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Old 10-13-08, 05:05 PM   #1
eldenh
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Frontal visibility

Recently I was riding by a construction area and the flagman commented that I was hard to see. The back of my bike sports a lime green bag and a red reflector, but from the front there is little color to be seen except for my helmet. Motorcyclists are mandated to ride with a headlight on which makes them more noticeable. Since most accidents are at intersections, might more noticeable clothes or accessories reduce their frequency?
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Old 10-13-08, 05:09 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by eldenh View Post
Recently I was riding by a construction area and the flagman commented that I was hard to see. The back of my bike sports a lime green bag and a red reflector, but from the front there is little color to be seen except for my helmet. Motorcyclists are mandated to ride with a headlight on which makes them more noticeable. Since most accidents are at intersections, might more noticeable clothes or accessories reduce their frequency?
Even with the brightest clothes you are still a narrow profile. And if you get the sun at your back, those clothes are doing nothing for you. We cyclists can be hard to see sometimes.
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Old 10-13-08, 07:32 PM   #3
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Get a headlight. One that can blink is even better.
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Old 10-13-08, 07:41 PM   #4
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I will occasionally sit upright for a short time if I wish to be more visible or attract attention of any kind in the daytime (unless blinding, lights can be ignorable by whoever chooses to do so). Works quite well with motorists taking their half out of the middle (they also get a slightly downstretched arm with the index finger pointing towards their lane if they push their luck) and joggers obsessed with their iPods.

Either method is legal, neither is offensive, and they can prevent a potential accident/collision.

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Old 10-14-08, 07:27 AM   #5
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My commute always places me with the sun at my back, which is not much of a problem in the summer, but since the days are getting shorter, it is a concern. Last week I started riding with my headlights on, not only in the morning when I need it, but in the evening to help been seen against the setting sun. And this is on top of wearing a hi-vis yellow jersey. Being seen is being safe.
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Old 10-14-08, 07:32 AM   #6
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High power LED headlight, flashing, always.

Niterider Minewt X2 is my recommendation. and a Planet Bike Superflash or two on the back.
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Old 10-14-08, 08:32 AM   #7
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A headlight is a great idea. I also wear a reflective vest, it's great because it goes over anything and it's mesh so it doesn't make you hot. I ride a road bike so it isn't very effective when in the drops, as Kurt mentioned above, sit more upright when you want to be noticed.

But no matter what you do, ride like the cars can't see you.
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Old 10-14-08, 08:41 AM   #8
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I am always potentially invisible when riding no matter what lights and colors are on display.

When driving a huge ambulance with dozens of bright flashing lights, a nasty loud siren and cruise ship quality air horn, I also seemed to lapse into stealth mode.

In today's local news, we are reading of a trooper who was invisible. He was sitting in the right lane of a rural expressway protecting an accident scene, all lights running including a directional arrow, when a nice young lady plowed into him at 70 MPH. "I looked up and there he was." Both seem to have made it through with only minimal damage.
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Old 10-14-08, 08:48 AM   #9
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while running sag at a recent century, i passed some recumbent riders who had rear red blinkies on. even though it was broad daylight, a motorist would really have to try hard NOT to see them.

are there front white blinkies made? lites i currently have are good for night/dusk riding but are not as pronounced as the ones mentioned above. should have asked the 'bent riders...!
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Old 10-14-08, 08:52 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eldenh View Post
Recently I was riding by a construction area and the flagman commented that I was hard to see. The back of my bike sports a lime green bag and a red reflector, but from the front there is little color to be seen except for my helmet. Motorcyclists are mandated to ride with a headlight on which makes them more noticeable. Since most accidents are at intersections, might more noticeable clothes or accessories reduce their frequency?

I find it easiest to believe a motorist 'sees me' when I have full eye contact with the driver coming from the right as I approach an intersection. Until that happens I am in full defensive mode. Years of experience have taught me, with our narrow profile, that their front door frame is enough to completely block me out as they approach the intersection.

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Old 10-14-08, 08:55 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Roughstuff View Post
I find it easiest to believe a motorist 'sees me' when I have full eye contact with the driver coming from the right as I approach an intersection. Until that happens I am in full defensive mode. Years of experience have taught me, with our narrow profile, that their front door frame is enough to completely block me out as they approach the intersection.

roughstuff
I have had drivers, pedestrians Look Directly at me then pull out or step out right into my path.
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Old 10-14-08, 09:24 AM   #12
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I have had drivers, pedestrians Look Directly at me then pull out or step out right into my path.
Same here.

Eye contact is one of those things that can be quite deceiving... as it may appear that someone is looking right at you, while in fact they are looking at something right behind you.
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Old 10-14-08, 11:19 AM   #13
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I have had drivers, pedestrians Look Directly at me then pull out or step out right into my path.
Yes, that is true, as is genec's comment in the letter after yours. I should have implied that eye contact was a necessary, but not sufficient criteria.

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Old 10-14-08, 12:23 PM   #14
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When I ride I generally have the blinky going in the back and have my headlight strobing in the front and have my hi-vis vest on. Doesn't matter what time of day it is. My lights on my car come on when I start it, so same reasoning for the bike. Better to look dorky and been seen than to look cool and be become someones hood ornament.
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Old 10-14-08, 05:16 PM   #15
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"The flagman commented I was hard to see", or, I wasn't looking for cyclists, so I didn't see you.

I seem to see a typical cycling clubroom meeting:
Bump
"Sorry, I didn't see you, Captain Invisible"

"Oh, is that you, Transparent Boy?"

"No, 'tis I, Negative Opacity Woman"

Crash, Bang!

"Is that you, Transparent Boy?"

"What are you? A driver? - can't you tell me, Translucent Person, from Transparent Boy, yet, Captain Invisible?"

"Sorry, TP, since you're so easy to see thro', you bear a remarkable resemblance to Politician's Campaign Advert Man.

"Still CI, as NOW is here, how about a 3-up?"

"Possibly TP, but only after the Team Time Trial practice".

And so on.
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Old 10-14-08, 07:25 PM   #16
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Better to look dorky and been seen than to look cool and be become someones hood ornament.
i commute and tour with a verticle orange safety flag attached.

commuting, i also have pannier (front and rear sets), handlebar bag, and helmet mounted lights/flashers. i encourage drawing attention as well. i have even gone as far as stringing battery powered x-mas lights to pole of safety flag and wrapped main frame with simular lightsl, flashing, steady, or both modes.

i really dislike tinted windows that seem to be increasing in occurance. now there is no eye-contact during the day as there has been no eye contact at night.

i guess there are more celebraties or visually challanged drivers who need to hide or be shelterd behind the comfort of TINT than i was aware of!

be safe, be seen (either as "dorky" or darwin smart)!
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Old 10-15-08, 08:56 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atbman View Post
"The flagman commented I was hard to see", or, I wasn't looking for cyclists, so I didn't see you.

I seem to see a typical cycling clubroom meeting:
Bump
"Sorry, I didn't see you, Captain Invisible"

"Oh, is that you, Transparent Boy?"

"No, 'tis I, Negative Opacity Woman"

Crash, Bang!

"Is that you, Transparent Boy?"

"What are you? A driver? - can't you tell me, Translucent Person, from Transparent Boy, yet, Captain Invisible?"

"Sorry, TP, since you're so easy to see thro', you bear a remarkable resemblance to Politician's Campaign Advert Man.

"Still CI, as NOW is here, how about a 3-up?"

"Possibly TP, but only after the Team Time Trial practice".

And so on.
Sounds like the Invisible Man's family reunion.
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