Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Results 1 to 16 of 16
  1. #1
    Dominatrikes sbhikes's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Still in Santa Barbara
    My Bikes
    Catrike Pocket, Lightning Thunderbold recumbent, Trek 3000 MTB.
    Posts
    4,920
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Cyclists I observed today and the lesson learned

    Today I drove. I saw different bicyclists than I normally see. Here's what I noticed:

    1. A cyclist riding over a bridge in the bike lane
    2. A cyclist waiting for a light in the center of the traffic lane
    3. A cyclist riding on the left edge of the road on a one-way street (this is legal)
    4. A cyclist riding down the center of a left turn lane

    The first three all had greenish-yellow high-visibility jackets on. I know that I saw many other cyclists but these three I specifically saw because of those jackets. I only noticed their lane position because that's the fixation on this forum. I think the jackets did way more for their visibility than lane position. Why? Because out of all the cyclists I saw, they were the ones I really noticed and didn't forget about.

    The fourth cyclist didn't have any high visibility gear on.

    Lesson learned? They were riding VC-style just fine despite the plethora of bicycle facilities in town, despite their apparent range of ages, races and genders, despite the type of bike or clothing they wore, despite the parts of town they were in, and despite the presence or absence of bike lanes on the roads they were using. Having plentiful roadway bike facilities does NOT preclude cyclists riding vehicularly.

    Also, riding vehicularly or otherwise doesn't guarantee being noticed. High-visibility gear does a much better job of that!
    ~Diane
    Recumbents: Lightning Thunderbolt, '06 Catrike Pocket. Upright: Trek Mountain Bike.
    8.5 mile commute. I like bike lanes.

  2. #2
    Sumanitu taka owaci LittleBigMan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Posts
    8,945
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thanks for sharing your observations.

    No worries

  3. #3
    your nightmare gal chipcom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    The Cracker Factory
    Posts
    24,353
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by sbhikes
    The first three all had greenish-yellow high-visibility jackets on.
    Jackets, in California, in August? Has hell froze over?

    I have to agree that high-viz reflective clothing is more important than lane position, based on my own experience since I started wearing Alert Shirts. I used to get folks who obviously didn't even notice me until they were right on top of me...even when I was in the center of the lane. Not so much any more.
    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

  4. #4
    Senior Member Keith99's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    5,777
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by sbhikes
    Also, riding vehicularly or otherwise doesn't guarantee being noticed. High-visibility gear does a much better job of that!
    Almost the first thing I learned. I've always picked out jersies that stand out. I don't want the guy who hits me to claim he did not see me. That the glare blinded him I will accept.

  5. #5
    Dare to be weird!
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Austin TX
    My Bikes
    Hybridized 1970s Coppi road bike; Townie city cruiser
    Posts
    1,990
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Hi-vis gear helps, but really I think cyclists simply don't register in the minds of some drivers.

    I wave to drivers when I meet them at intersections. I do not wave because I'm trying to make friends. I do it to wake them up from their driving trance.

  6. #6
    No-Pants Island bbonnn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    South Bay of SF
    My Bikes
    2007 Trek Pilot 2.1 WSD & 2001 Specialized Crossroads
    Posts
    425
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    OK, so maybe it's a superstition, but my experience has been that more cars come close to hitting me when I'm wearing hi-vis gear than when I'm not.

    My only conclusion (since I totally agree that they make me much more visible) is that the cars who almost hit me have seen me and are mis-judging my speed or being aggressive (pull out in front of me, crowd me, cut me off, etc.), while on the days I'm not wearing hi-vis, the drivers don't even see me, so I'm harrassed less.

    I'm having a full-on misanthrope day, can you tell?

    But I'm a total supporter of hi-vis garb. Hooray for pigment technology.

  7. #7
    Senior Member oldokie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Oklahoma
    My Bikes
    Bianchi San Remo, Cannondale SR500
    Posts
    412
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Unfortunately, I saw something very different today. It was before daylight and I almost collided with two other bicyclist at a dark intersection in my housing edition. I had a headlight as well as a tail light while they had nothing. They barely passed a few feet in front of me and never looked back. If I had been a car, they would be road kill.
    Inside every old person is a young person wondering what happened.

    06 C'dale SR500
    96 Bianchi San Remo for touring

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    14,274
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Humm....
    I ride in a majority VC manner on fairly busy streets, as of late. No high vis shirts. Just my commuter jacket in the morning with the reflective piping.
    My jerseys are bright yellow, medium red, and dark blue\black. What has the lack of hi vis clothing done for me? Nothing. I rarely have issues either way.
    It just makes sense to wear reflective gear early in the morning.
    What I do not understand is someone dressed with a helmet\reflective gear and they run red lights. Seems a tad contradictory.

  9. #9
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    A land that time forgot
    My Bikes
    the ever shifting stable loaded with comfortable road bikes and city and winter bikes
    Posts
    18,026
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    why, they're more clearly seen by cross traffic, datajunkie!


    i think visibility does SCADS more than lane position as we begin to commute into the dark months..... i've often times poised these types of questions around this forum, about lane position versus visibility devices, and which is more effective for early recognition by drivers, but get little from the resident grand poohbah of lane positioning himself.

    no comment. its as if, admiting visibility works better than positioning is impossible for him to actually utter. its against his grey poupon imaginings from his armchair world.


    i agree, the visibility of a bicyclist is MUCH MORE APPARANT, and from a much greater distance, than any lane positioning nuance. and ESPECIALLY at night or twilight....
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  10. #10
    Senior Member mechBgon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Posts
    6,957
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    All hail the powar of Fluorescent Lime!!

    Another tricky visibility situation is when people are facing the sun as it comes down to the horizon. If their windshield is dirty or pitted, it's difficult to see through. If you have the setting or rising sun at your back, be especially on your guard for left-crosses or people pulling out into your path from side streets. If you have daytime-visible lights, turn them on.

    The collision that totalled my Fuji Team sent me to the hospital (I turned out to be just banged up & scraped up). When the police officer came to let me know the outcome (he cited the driver), he asked if this was what I was wearing at the time? and noted the color of my helmet (orange) and of my shirt (white) in his report. Interesting, eh?

  11. #11
    semifreddo amartuerer 'nother's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Northern CA
    My Bikes
    several
    Posts
    4,599
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by chipcom
    Jackets, in California, in August? Has hell froze over?
    heheh yeah it's pretty funny to watch people and their dress habits here. It's not uncommon to see people walking around in full winter parkas in the middle of August (or June or July for that matter) -- especially when it gets really cold -- like, below 70F
    Can you pass the test?
    Yield to Life.

  12. #12
    Senior Member tomcryar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    658
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I've heard it snows when it gets below 60F

  13. #13
    your nightmare gal chipcom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    The Cracker Factory
    Posts
    24,353
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by DataJunkie
    What I do not understand is someone dressed with a helmet\reflective gear and they run red lights. Seems a tad contradictory.
    Ya think?
    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

  14. #14
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    14,274
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    occasionally. However, it hurts my bald head. Just don't tell my boss

  15. #15
    Speed Demon *roll eyes*
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Waterloo, Ontario
    My Bikes
    1998 specialized s-works mtn bike / 2005 Kona Jake the Snake
    Posts
    982
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I think hi vis stuff works better for sure. Good observations.

    @ the person who observed more problems with close calls with it: people tend to move where they look. IF a person is staring at your hi vis (or your ass hehe) and is moving, they will move towards you! This is true for walking, driving, running, riding, or anything else where you are not on rails. This is why I find the instruction given to novice drivers to "look where you are going" or to "keep your eyes on the road" is so hilariously stupid that it cracks me up every time. The weaving driver IS looking where they are going; they are just not looking in the right places. And how exactly does looking at a piece of asphalt keep you from striking other road users exactly? Another favourite is "turn here" spoken well before a turn. It can result in some truly hilarious driving...
    1998 Specialized S-works Hardtail - hotrodded
    2005 Kona Jake the Snake cyclocross

  16. #16
    your nightmare gal chipcom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    The Cracker Factory
    Posts
    24,353
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by sgtsmile
    Another favourite is "turn here" spoken well before a turn. It can result in some truly hilarious driving...
    It wasn't hilarious to the Korean who owned the store I turned into!
    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •