Sunday, September 13, 2009


...that's what you are,
unpredictable, though near or far....

The predictable driver has become quaintly unpredictable with a simple little electronic device, but in a good way. I wanted to test this little electronic wizardry for a couple of weeks before I wrote about it.

Living in a college town can make for an interesting commute. Imagine 17,000 university students coming back to school after summer vacation, many of them young freshmen new to the area who don't know where they're going. The rest of them think they know where they're going and all of them on cell phones, texting while driving. This doesn't include the numerous high school kids going back to school and how many of just got their license. I know I was one once, but we didn't have cell phones.

So I purchased and installed a headlight modulator from Comagination for my bike.

My intent is to be visible and if I can catch just a glimpse from a texting driver, I am that much safer. I have used the modulator for about three weeks now and I expected people to flash their lights at me, adjust their rear view mirror and point at my headlight as if it were broken. But what is actually happening is hardly that at all, although I've had one driver pull over and another did flash his lights.

You all know that car that comes from the side street, rolls through the stop sign, glances at you and pulls out anyway. The one that could have waited two more seconds, it isn't like there is anyone behind you. Happens all the time, it has come to be expected. You can predict the exact moment when simultaneously they see through you, release the brake and step on the accelerator. It is almost a disappointment when they actually stay still, throwing you off your game. Well this predictable driver has become unpredictable. they roll to the stop and I wait for them to go, they've got plenty of time, you wait for it and they "see" you. The nose of the car dives to a stop, the front wheel doesn't move, you wait for it, make eye contact and they are looking at you, watching you as you pass.

It is a great little device, I can shut off the modulation when riding in a group, turn it on when leading or riding alone and people see me. Although I am still cautious at intersections and side streets, it is nice to know I've a fighting chance against an "intexticated" driver.

Please hang up and drive.