BikePortland Podcast: The Great Blinking Light Debate (and more)

BikePortland Podcast: The Great Blinking Light Debate (and more)

Bike Light Parade

Just lights to some people, but an
annoyance — and even a health hazard — for others.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Why would someone spray paint an angry, profanity-laced message about “epileptic lights” on a bikeway? Well, as the story we posted earlier this month illustrates, there’s a lot more to the topic of bike lights than you might think.

With that in mind Michael Andersen, Lillian Karabaic (our wonderful producer) and I tackled the topic of lights in the most recent episode of the BikePortland Podcast.

We were joined in studio by Halley Weaver, author of the Bikeleptic blog. Halley is not only an everyday bike rider, she also has photo-sensitive epilepsy, a condition that impacts her riding experience. For instance, she’s been a volunteer for the Portland World Naked Bike Ride for the past six years, but she can’t actually participate in the ride because of all the blinking bike lights used by the thousands of participants.

In this episode, Halley shares the straight dope on how your light choices can have serious health impacts on her and other road users with epilepsy — and how to make bike lighting choices that can minimize those impacts.

We also discuss the science behind nighttime visibility, the lack of lights as standard equipment on bikes sold in the U.S., and much more.

Have a listen for yourself…

And if you’re wondering about the fun song played during the intro, check out the video here.

You can subscribe to our monthly podcast with Stitcher or iTunes, subscribe by RSS, sign up to get an email notification each time we upload a new episode, or just listen to it above using Libsyn. Listen to past episodes here.

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