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Thread: Be Visible!!

  1. #1
    Life is good RonH's Avatar
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    This morning on the ride in I saw a young lady commuter on a black mtn bike, wearing black lycra shorts, and a black sleeveless jersey, with a black backpack. When she passed under some of the overhanging oaks and was in the shadows, I could hardly make her out when I was 50 feet behind her.
    I pulled up beside her, and after a few pleasantries mentioned that it was hard to see her and suggested she wear something a little brighter. I'm not sure if she heard everything I said because of occasional traffic noise.

    One of the things we emphasize in our Effective Cycling (Bike Ed) classes is being visible, day and night. I hope she got the message.
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  2. #2
    Burnt Orange Blood Longhorn's Avatar
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    I was thinking the same thing about my husband. We went on a group ride a few weeks ago and he was wearing a silver helmet, gray T-shirt, gray biking shorts, and a mostly black bike. I have a helmet-mounted mirror and was ahead of him on one leg of the ride and could barely make him out behind me. Fortunately, he doesn't usually ride in traffic but it was a good reminder to me to wear bright, visible clothes! I'm glad I went for the red helmet, too!

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    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    Cheap, bright and comfortable:
    http://www.alertshirt.com/xhaletshirt1.html

    Al

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    Senior Member Pedal Wench's Avatar
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    Thread hijack in progress...

    Ron!!! I just saw a bus with a "Share The Road" billboard across the back of the bus! It had the Atlantabike.org logo on it too! If you had anything to do with this, WAY TO GO! You rock!!!

    We now return you to your regularly scheduled thread...

  5. #5
    Burnt Orange Blood Longhorn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noisebeam
    Cheap, bright and comfortable:
    http://www.alertshirt.com/xhaletshirt1.html

    Al
    Thanks for the link! I'm going to be riding at dusk this summer so I ordered four of the ones with the reflective stripe.

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    Thanks for the t-shirt link!! I saw someone wearing a yellow one like one of those today, so the word is getting around. I see road workers, most wearing their job-given visibility vests, but I notice some have shelled out the extra bucks to get their own nicer ones.

    Another tip, Timbuk2 makes bags in any colors you want, just go to their web site and order, so you can get them in orange and yellow and stuff, I just ordered one in all yellow.

    Those t-shirts are going to be good for this summer weather, it's getting freakin hot out there.

    I wear a white helmet too, much more visible than an oh-so-stylish bk blue etc one.....

  7. #7
    cab horn
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    Arrrghh.. my eyes. Why can't we have some non... ugly looking high vis colours. Oh why.

  8. #8
    Life is good RonH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3cannondales
    Ron!!! I just saw a bus with a "Share The Road" billboard across the back of the bus! It had the Atlantabike.org logo on it too! If you had anything to do with this, WAY TO GO! You rock!!!
    We received a grant from the Governor's Office of Highway Safety to promote a "Share the Road Awareness" campaign to "educate" motorists and cyclists about sharing the road together, safely. The "governor's money" paid for the bus displays. They be on the buses for about a month.
    I've seen it on three buses in different parts of town so far.

    Bus displays are great because the message is right in front of several motorists while they're stuck at a traffic light or while following the bus.


    Don't you think it looks kinda like a giant bumper sticker??
    My bikes --> 2001 Litespeed Tuscany---2011 Felt Z4

    Life is like a 10-speed bicycle. Most of us have gears we never use. ~ Charles Schultz

  9. #9
    Life is good RonH's Avatar
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    Here's a photo of the bus back that was taken yesterday near Lenox.

    My bikes --> 2001 Litespeed Tuscany---2011 Felt Z4

    Life is like a 10-speed bicycle. Most of us have gears we never use. ~ Charles Schultz

  10. #10
    Senior Member Pedal Wench's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RonH
    We received a grant from the Governor's Office of Highway Safety to promote a "Share the Road Awareness" campaign to "educate" motorists and cyclists about sharing the road together, safely. The "governor's money" paid for the bus displays. They be on the buses for about a month.
    I've seen it on three buses in different parts of town so far.

    Bus displays are great because the message is right in front of several motorists while they're stuck at a traffic light or while following the bus.


    Don't you think it looks kinda like a giant bumper sticker??

    You mean, does it look like the bumper sticker on my back of MY car? You bet it does! I like it - in my mind, I'm thinking the bus drivers might give me a bit more space (I know, they probably have no idea WHAT signs are on their bus on any given day, but a girl can dream!) The bus I saw was heading up North Druid, which is the route I take on my after-work rides, so I'm thrilled. Good work - can we keep them out there for longer than a month???

  11. #11
    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    While bright clothing in daylight helps make you more visible, I believe the role of clothing brightness in determining a cyclist's visibility to other drivers pales in comparison to the role played by lane positioning.

    In other words, a cyclist riding in the gutter wearing a neon pink, yellow and orange jersey is going to be significantly less visible to other drivers than a gray/black attired cyclist positioned more assertively in the lane.

    If your goal is increasing visibility, then your priority should be visible lane positioning, and clothing coloring and brightness should only be a secondary concern.

    Serge
    Last edited by Helmet Head; 05-25-05 at 11:52 AM.

  12. #12
    Life is good RonH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3cannondales
    Good work - can we keep them out there for longer than a month???
    Sorry. This part of the campaign ate up a good part of our "paid displays" budget. It's supposed to run until about mid-June.

    Our new bumper sticker is supposed to be ready sometime in the next 2 weeks. We're getting a zillion of them. Here's a picture of it.
    My bikes --> 2001 Litespeed Tuscany---2011 Felt Z4

    Life is like a 10-speed bicycle. Most of us have gears we never use. ~ Charles Schultz

  13. #13
    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Ugh. The cyclist is clearly off to the side and out of the way of the passing car. While that is appropriate for a lane wide enough to be safely shared, we hardly need a "share the road" reminder on such roads or in such contexts.

    What I'd like to see is an image that depicts a cyclist riding assertively in a narrow lane, and a motorist passing him in a manner that requires him to move at least partially into the adjacent lane. Probably has to be a top view.

  14. #14
    Life is good RonH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    The cyclist is clearly off to the side and out of the way of the passing car.
    How can you tell all that from a two-dimensional picture?

    The "space" depicted between the car and cyclist is to show motorists that they should allow some space (like 3 feet) when passing.


    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    What I'd like to see is an image that depicts a cyclist riding assertively in a narrow lane, and a motorist passing him in a manner that requires him to move at least partially into the adjacent lane. Probably has to be a top view.
    You're right. Tough to do in a two-dimensional picture without cluttering up the image.
    Remember, most motorists are only going to see this for a few seconds max. Not much time to really look at all the details in the picture. Just a quick glance at the image and a quick read of the message before the bumper sticker is out of view.
    My bikes --> 2001 Litespeed Tuscany---2011 Felt Z4

    Life is like a 10-speed bicycle. Most of us have gears we never use. ~ Charles Schultz

  15. #15
    Mettle to the Pedals Dewbert's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noisebeam
    Cheap, bright and comfortable:
    http://www.alertshirt.com/xhaletshirt1.html

    Al
    I picked up some at Wal-mart that were very similar for about $6.00
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    http://www.HowILost100Pounds.com

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    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    I find that what's happening more often than not is that the message "share the road" is interpreted to be addressing cyclists, telling cyclists to share the road by staying out of the way of cars by "riding as far right as practicable".

    I don't think the message that motorists should pass cyclists with sufficient space is communicated by "share the road" signs and campaigns. Heck, even I didn't know that was the point.

  17. #17
    Senior Member nick burns's Avatar
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    IMHO "Share the Road" is just a message to motorists that cyclists have as much right to the road as automobiles & motorcycles. I believe many motorists don't realize that, judging by how often people post "I was yelled at to get on the sidewalk".

    Fortunately where I live that mentality doesn't seem to be prevalent, but apparently in other parts of the country it's common.

  18. #18
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    I find that what's happening more often than not is that the message "share the road" is interpreted to be addressing cyclists, telling cyclists to share the road by staying out of the way of cars by "riding as far right as practicable".

    I don't think the message that motorists should pass cyclists with sufficient space is communicated by "share the road" signs and campaigns. Heck, even I didn't know that was the point.
    Unfortunately you are far too advanced in your thinking of what message needs to be conveyed. Most drivers around here don't even know that cyclists should be on the road, let alone that they are and the legal requirements for passing space. Yes ideally the cyclist should be shown using the full lane, but graphically that is hard to do - do you have suggestions for a quick easy to interperet graphic? - I agree it looks like they are to the right of the car, not neccesarily squeezed or in the gutter area, really we don't know if the car is in the next lane over. But at least this graphic is a bit better than the one in common use around here showing end view with a cyclist in the gutter to the right of the car.

    I would love it if there were more share the road signs and campaigns around here - even a national one. The state of awareness of cyclists rights on the road is miserable these days.

    Al

  19. #19
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by operator
    Arrrghh.. my eyes. Why can't we have some non... ugly looking high vis colours. Oh why.

    Uh, the fact that it "got" your eyes is the point...

  20. #20
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noisebeam

    I would love it if there were more share the road signs and campaigns around here - even a national one. The state of awareness of cyclists rights on the road is miserable these days.

    Al
    Tend to agree, and this is one reason I like bike lanes... if for no other reason, they do indicate that cyclists will be on the road. Now the lane may not be well designed, and there may be other issues with motorists thinking you MUST be in the lane, but that lane does at least indicate that cyclists are allowed on the street. Heck, the Bike Lane signs, and the Bike Route signs are so darned small that they are only effective for those folks on a bike (which I believe is their intent... but it is preaching to the choir).

    Anything that indicates to motorists that cyclists are supposed to be in the street, sharing the street, etc, I think is a good thing. Big stenciled cyclists without an actual BL would be just as good.

    Of course more cyclists out there would also do that... but that is also part of the problem... SIGH... Chicken or egg... which comes first?

  21. #21
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by operator
    Arrrghh.. my eyes. Why can't we have some non... ugly looking high vis colours. Oh why.
    The hi-vis yellow/lime and the orange T-shirts on the link I provided actually look good. The colors on the web are not representative, the lime yellow is much more yellow and the orange a day-glow bright orange.

    I actually get compliments (mostly comments) on the shirt color, (when in otherwise non cycling clothing so folks don't know why I have it on). Especialy the orange 'that intense', 'that wild', or more comments like 'that is blinding' or the 'brightest thing I've ever seen' (for the yellow)

    I agree, I have seen some quite ugly cycling specific hi-vis clothing - usually the yellow is more nasty color and the patterns added mess things up.

    Al

  22. #22
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    There was a guy attempting to cross a busy highway on his bike wearing all dark colors with no reflectors on his bike. It was ridiculous. If I hadn't pointed this idiot out, WE might have hit that fool too.

    He was even dodging traffic... not waiting for the light or anything.

    Koffee

  23. #23
    scofflaw
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    Quote Originally Posted by noisebeam
    Cheap, bright and comfortable:
    http://www.alertshirt.com/xhaletshirt1.html

    Al
    These look great for almost everyone. I wish they would make them smaller then med. 40 inches.

  24. #24
    scofflaw
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    Quote Originally Posted by koffee brown
    There was a guy attempting to cross a busy highway on his bike wearing all dark colors with no reflectors on his bike. It was ridiculous. If I hadn't pointed this idiot out, WE might have hit that fool too.

    He was even dodging traffic... not waiting for the light or anything.

    Koffee
    hijacking thread, I heard one of my young male coworkers rides in winter (here in dreary Seattle)
    in dark clothes no lights. Today I ask him about it and even offered him a red blinkly light for his messenger
    bag. He just got pissed. I'm going to keep working on him, though. It's not cool to ride in the dark
    and rain and scare the sh*T out of otherwise well meaning automobilists because they couldn't see you.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dewbert
    I picked up some at Wal-mart that were very similar for about $6.00
    The extra $1.75 would be worth it to me to avoid the evil empire.

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