Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Morning Sun

I could be considered a bit overly cautious at times, but here is something that all motorcyclists should maybe consider. Again, I may be preaching to the choir, but........ Right now the sun is getting to be very low in the sky when I leave for work in the morning. I live on the east side of Wichita and work downtown. My commute is almost straight west in the morning, straight east in the evening. As a commuter, if you happen to live west of where you are employed, then sometimes you get to battle the sun on your way to work in the morning, and possibly again later in the day when you ride home. I don't have to face that situation because the sun is usually behind me on my normal commute. But I do sometimes have to deal with the fact that my mirrors will be glared up with the sun behind me. At times the use of the mirrors has been rendered almost useless.
Now I always try to be careful as I ride. I frequently make use of the mirrors and, when changing lanes, I will always turn my head briefly to double check and make sure a cage is not in my blind spot. But when the sun is low in the sky, the resource of using the mirrors becomes ineffective.
One thing I have thought about as I ride west in the morning is that drivers (and riders) traveling east will have the sun in their eyes.
Can they see me?
Particularly if they want to make a left turn?
I have been trying to take that into account as I ride west in the morning.
With the sun low in the sky, shadows become very long. Can make for an interesting picture, even if taken with the Blackberry.


  1. I ride East on my commute and the sun has been blinding the last few mornings. I laughed when I read your post this morning. It had finally occured to me, that if I left twenty minutes earlier I'd not have to ride into the sun. Today was the first day of this. I arrive at work, check the computer and there is your post about the morning sun. Goes to show, timing is everything.


  2. Keith,
    There are arguments in town here about whether it is better to live on the east side of town or the west side. Fighting the sun on a commute is part of the argument.
    Pretty soon it will be dark when I leave and come home so it won't matter much, but for a few weeks .....
    Thanks for the comment

  3. Dear CPA3485 (Jimbo):

    Your concern that oncoming drivers will be blinded to your presence is well-founded. That is why I have 5 brighter-than-average lights all aimed forward, and have them on throughout the hours of daylight. Even so, it is obvious that oncoming cars may not see me unti the last minute. Why not drive into work around 10am and eliminate the glare factor? And to reduce aggravation of driving home in the rush hour, leave the office around 3pm.

    Fondest regards,
    Jack • reep • Toad
    Twisted Roads

  4. Jack,
    I gotta admire your thought process, but know that I will disregard your suggestion about my working hours. Clients will just not understand.
    Oh well, nice thought.


  5. You are wise to consider such things. I have saved myself several times by taking this into consideration.

    Good reminder for everyone.