The Dark Hours and a Close Call
For the last month it's been dark when I ride to work in the morning. I live in the desert and there's a long stretch of slab with no lighting, so when I say dark I'm talking about dark.
During daylight hours on this route I usually ride at 90 mph (indicated). Out of habit, I rode the same speed in the darkness for the first week or so. One morning I started thinking that perhaps I was outrunning my headlights. I've slowed down to 80 mph (indicated) in the dark.
At 80 mph (indicated) I count 3 seconds of illumination out front. I determined this through a rigorously scientific process: I look at a roadside sign, start counting when the headlight hits it, stop counting as I pass it.
So I have a couple questions for you fellas.
1) Do you think 3 seconds of illumination is about average for a Strom at 80 mph (indicated)?
2) Do you think 3 seconds is enough? I realize that's a subjective question - I welcome your opinions.
I suspect that as we're entering Fall and heading toward Winter, there will be more of us commuting in the dark hours. This morning I was preparing to enter the interstate. I had cut my speed, was beginning the turn, and rolling on the power. In the periphery of my headlight I just barely picked up an object in the middle of the onramp. I cut the throttle, straightened up, and prepared to pass the object on the right. Then I picked up a second object on my right, which I passed on the left. Fortunately I had enough room going diagonally across the onramp to slalom the two objects and make two 45 degree corners instead of one smooth arc.
The objects turned out to be sandbags left by a road crew. They had broken open ad spilled sand across the freshly smoothed blacktop. Had I not cut the throttle and straightened up (never touched the brakes), I think I would have a) hit one or both sandbags, b) slid across the sand, c) ran off the road, d) any combination.
Any thoughts on my reaction? Was it appropriate or was the result lucky?
Last edited by dad of two dudes; 09-22-2010 at 11:25 PM.
Reason: periphery, not perifery