In a meeting with some folks from 3M and watched this youtube video.
Ben's been preaching this to us for a long time but this really drive the point home.
I can see your point...
Badda-boom, i'll be here all week....
Reflectivity? Isn't that somewhere between contemplation and hindsight? I don't think we will see that for a couple more generations of smart phones and Ipods. It'll then take another year to trickle down to bike gear.
Seriously, I look at what I both look for and see when I drive. Missing oncoming cars is #1. Staying on the road is #2. For those, my eyes are sometimes ahead, sometimes diverted (for blinding headlights, a common thing these days) and sometimes down and to the right. Riders who expect me to have my eyes up and to the right all the time are dreaming. If you want to be seen by me reliably, have lights/reflective gear that attracts my attention when my focus is elsewhere.
I'm guessing I am not unique. So I try to dress/set up my bikes so I would not be likely to hit me.
Reflective materials never need batteries; they're always "on". It's cheap insurance.
Not only do I have it on my bikes, I sew it on my cycling jacket and made the world's most visible ankle bands, backed with wool felt to give them some body. I've also sewn it on my backpack and outer wear.
Here's a look at my stash and some sample work.
Good lights and reflective stuff on shoes and clothing or ride off road.
I have to admit that I've turned into a wuss in the last few years and am just not commuting in the coldest and wettest of winter months. I got hit back in 2007 while wearing a neon green jacket, during grey morning hours, with two headlights (one 1/2 watt LED blinking on helmet and one 1 watt LED steady on bars), and reflective tape all over my bike (I buy it in rolls). Still got hit by a car pulling out in front of me. The issue isn't my visbility, it's all the drivers with their windows fogged up. That happened right before my first son came along and it just isn't worth the risk to me anymore.
Used to ride with the fashion-correct black winter kit, and one blinker. Many years later neon yellow jacket, blinker on bike, blink on helmet, head light (flashing on road, solid on trail), spoklits on wheels, and reflective tape on every tube. Sure this is my commuter, but it's the bike I ride in the dark coming and going to work.
I often come across folks with a single, misdirected blinker,no reflective tape, no reflectors, and dark clothing. I want to say, "You know that dim blinker isn't a force field, don't you?"
When I do bike safety rodeos with the Boy Scouts, I tell the parents "We can't eliminate accidents, but we can lower the risk. If your kid gets hit by a car because he wasn't seen, or crashes and hits his head with a cheap, or no, helmet, how much would you pay to undo that and get your boy out of the hospital? That's the figure to keep in mind getting your son ready to ride."
Lights and reflective stuff is cheap compared to a broken bike, or broken me.
Kid, I've been adding Planet Bike blinkies to my vest on the belt strap at the front corners of my hips just for cars coming out of side streets and oncoming left turning. Both of those are pretty far from the main beam on most bike headlights. It appears that people do see them, judging from the behaviors I've been seeing since I started using them.
To put the cost of lights, etc, in perspective; in Portland a 3 mile taxi ride in one of those big orange vans to the ER is a cool $1000.
I now use flashing lights during my daytime rides. May not really help, but at least I know I am doing what I can to increase my viability.
If it's overcast the lights go on. On the commute into work a couple years ago a woman pulled up alongside me and informed me my taillight was useless. She was right; the batteries were low and although looked fine on start up dimmed quickly.
As a back up measure I went to the auto parts store and got some reflective tape for my fenders.
A couple of months ago the same thing happened, so I bought a Nite Rider Solas 2w rechargeable light and add more reflective tape to the sides of my bike. The Solas throws red light 20' behind my bike!
I should probably add some reflective material to my commuter bags as well.
this post is one month late :) as the darkest time of winter is now behind us.
I'd never wear white anyway - gets dirty v. quickly.
That was a good video - reflective S really works. I rely more on flashers - I use 2 or 3 of the Planetbike bright red rear flashers all the time. People give me more room in the dark than during daylight.
I often ride to work at about 5:30 am. Part of my ride takes me through Mission Trail Park. Zero lights! A few times I have come up upon a couple jogging with no light or even reflective strips. Good thing I have good lights, however they have been lucky.
Just for fun I purchased a lights that attache to the valve stems. It makes cool blue cirles at about 20 miles. I did it for the fun factor but I am sure it also improves my being visiable.
Also I have a really good reflective jacket. Ironically it's black!
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