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  1. #76
    Senior Member closetbiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by closetbiker View Post
    If I remember right, I believe it says something about how it is that drivers just don't see what's right in front of them.
    Quote Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post
    You aren't remembering right. Sometimes, drivers don't "see" things that they should be seeing.
    I borrowed the book from the library, so I don't have the text in front of me but I did jot down some notes and they say, drivers often only look for what they expect, not for what they don't.

    If a driver is looking for other motor vehicles on the road and isn't expecting to see a cyclist on the road (even if the cyclist is in high visibility clothing), will a driver see the cyclist?
    "My two favourite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything" -Peter Golkin
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  2. #77
    Yabba-Dabba-Doo! AlmostTrick's Avatar
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    I do find it strange that many of the same cyclists who would never consider using Hi - vis clothing or mirrors as a safety aid, (way too dorky) have little problem considering a helmet an essential piece of safety equipment.
    Have Bike, Will Travel

  3. #78
    your nightmare gal chipcom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlmostTrick View Post
    I do find it strange that many of the same cyclists who would never consider using Hi - vis clothing or mirrors as a safety aid, (way too dorky) have little problem considering a helmet an essential piece of safety equipment.
    Helmets are magic. Duh.
    "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. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlmostTrick View Post
    I do find it strange that many of the same cyclists who would never consider using Hi - vis clothing or mirrors as a safety aid, (way too dorky) have little problem considering a helmet an essential piece of safety equipment.
    Are helmet-advocate mountain bikers exempt from this grievance? Or should they look into Hi-Viz gear for hunting accident avoidance/aerial search-and-rescue facilitation?

  5. #80
    Senior Member WPeabody's Avatar
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    While driving a car, even though I look for cyclists, it's difficult to see them as it is.
    The ones' that stand out visually on the open road, (with few other distractions) especially on overcast days, are the the ones in the hi-vis yellow jackets. Better yet, hi-vis mixed with hunter orange, because my driving glasses tend to mix yellow, light green and white.
    When the sun is slanting through the windshield, all cyclists are invisible no matter what they have on. I could barely see the riders on a tandem, one day on a narrow section of a busy two lane road. They had blinking lights, and hi vis jackets on. Because of the cyclists, I tend to drive slower than the speed limit through there so I can see them in time.
    Believe me, other motorists get annoyed with me for going 40 in a 45 zone... but there's very often a bicycle rider on that shoulderless section of road.

    As a cyclist, I no longer take it for granted people can see me, even with the bright colors and blinking lights.
    What do you call a cyclist who sells potpourri on the road? A pedaling petal-peddler.

  6. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by WPeabody View Post
    When the sun is slanting through the windshield, all cyclists are invisible no matter what they have on.
    This.

    When I am riding into a setting or rising sun, I will often exit the traveled portion of the roadway in the presence of overtaking traffic, and sometimes pull over completely. If the roadway is wet (i.e. shiny) it gets even worse.

  7. #82
    Senior Member Tsuru's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghettocruiser View Post
    This.

    When I am riding into a setting or rising sun, I will often exit the traveled portion of the roadway in the presence of overtaking traffic, and sometimes pull over completely. If the roadway is wet (i.e. shiny) it gets even worse.
    Oh man.. there are a couple times a year where that's an issue in the morning for me on the commutes. Add in dewed over windshields or whatever and yeah, I'm a little nervous.

  8. #83
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WPeabody View Post
    While driving a car, even though I look for cyclists, it's difficult to see them as it is.
    The ones' that stand out visually on the open road, (with few other distractions) especially on overcast days, are the the ones in the hi-vis yellow jackets. Better yet, hi-vis mixed with hunter orange, because my driving glasses tend to mix yellow, light green and white.
    When the sun is slanting through the windshield, all cyclists are invisible no matter what they have on. I could barely see the riders on a tandem, one day on a narrow section of a busy two lane road. They had blinking lights, and hi vis jackets on. Because of the cyclists, I tend to drive slower than the speed limit through there so I can see them in time.
    Believe me, other motorists get annoyed with me for going 40 in a 45 zone... but there's very often a bicycle rider on that shoulderless section of road.

    As a cyclist, I no longer take it for granted people can see me, even with the bright colors and blinking lights.
    Quote Originally Posted by ghettocruiser View Post
    This.

    When I am riding into a setting or rising sun, I will often exit the traveled portion of the roadway in the presence of overtaking traffic, and sometimes pull over completely. If the roadway is wet (i.e. shiny) it gets even worse.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tsuru View Post
    Oh man.. there are a couple times a year where that's an issue in the morning for me on the commutes. Add in dewed over windshields or whatever and yeah, I'm a little nervous.
    I fully agree with you guys... I have seen this effect myself. I have seen cyclists totally disappear in glare, or appear narrower than a roadway sign post... if that is the moment that a motorist "looks," then you ARE invisible.

    I tried to make this point on a VC cycling message board... and the response I got was "it doesn't happen to me... " Sigh... just goes to show how close minded some folks can be.

  9. #84
    Senior Member closetbiker's Avatar
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    ... and then there were the instances when I was hit by cars.

    Post-collision, asking the drivers if they had seen me approaching (with the right of way), they said, "Yes."

    "My two favourite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything" -Peter Golkin
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  10. #85
    Hills hurt.. Couches kill RacerOne's Avatar
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    I used to ride in a bright blue gore-tex jacket, my wife saw me one day and said I was hard to see. I recently upgraded to a bright yellow gore-tex jacket, now I notice people in the oncoming lanes looking directly at me as they pass, not so much before. I'm sold.

  11. #86
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    Hi-Vis would be fine with me, but it can be hard to economically come by in an appealing style.

    Every year, the originally local big box variety store near me orders up a big stock of full zip fleece vests in all the standard sportswear colors...black, blue, brown, green. And they're cheap too....$20.00...full retail...goes down to half that and more later in season. Even with the discount, they never completely sell out.

    But....never any Hi-Vis. Since we seem to be flooding the world with cheap plastic crap, how about just a few of those vests in Hi-Viz? One of those in Hi-Vis Green, I could actually use. I already have fleece vests in the other standard colors.

    I actually like and am comfortable with the loose fit and styling of these outdoor wear vests for general cycling. The styling of Hi-Vis construction worker safety vests on the other hand? Ugly. Despite their value for visibility purposes, avoiding being uglier than I already am is something I'm prepared to risk a certain level of danger for.

    The Hi-Vis and reflective apparel that cycling gear specific manufacturers offer is good enough and well designed, but way beyond many people's pocketbooks. Did a web search 2-3 months ago for a Hi-Vis fleece vest and came up with, I think...one result. Bit of a weird, over-detailed design too. Simple is good.

    The fickle, peculiar tendencies of the buying public is, I suppose, responsible for this situation. Another Hi-Viz product...this one is reflective too, that has/had some potential, are Glo-Gloves. Clever idea...knit glove with tabs of the lime-green reflective material over the fingernail area of the hand and a larger square of it on the back of the hand area. Color of the knit material making up the body of the glove? Black. Yes....Black. Great for the disco...not so great for visibility while biking. Why not Hi-Vis green like the color of the reflective material?

  12. #87
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    High Visibility Fleece (but not cycling skin-tight)

    Quote Originally Posted by wsbob View Post
    Hi-Vis would be fine with me, but it can be hard to economically ... how about just a few of those vests in Hi-Viz? ... am comfortable with the loose fit and styling of these outdoor wear vests for general cycling. The styling of Hi-Vis construction worker safety vests on the other hand? Ugly. ... Did a web search 2-3 months ago for a Hi-Vis fleece vest and came up with, I think...one result. Bit of a weird, over-detailed design too. Simple is good. ...
    Not quite big box prices, but high visibility yellow-green fleece vests and jackets are available from JL Rowing. Strangely, they do not list these on their JL Cycling tab, but under the JL Rowing subtab "High Visibility" (perhaps because the jacket is not a skin-tight, low aerodynamic drag, cycling fit; there is some room to move or layer more inside the jacket).

    Alert Shirt remains the low cost, high visibility alternative if you want t-shirts, sweatshirts, or even a tank top(!). I've not found any fleece there.
    Correction: Alert Shirt has a 2010 Winter Sale on including a vest with high visibility outer layer and fleece inner layer for $17.50. THE PVC coated polyester outer layer probably does not breathe (waterproof though), but maybe a vest would ventilate enough for cycling.

    Edit #2: Might also look at hunting clothing for high visibility (usually orange, not yellow-green) fleece.

    Edit #3: Google search: "high vis" OR "high visibility" OR ansi fleece vest
    This finds other possibilities such as this High Visibility Fleece Vest for $28.50.
    Last edited by Giro; 03-05-10 at 11:49 AM.

  13. #88
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    Giro...hey!...thanks for the legwork...your search produced better results than mine. The Safetykorp vest (your 'Edit #3') is close to what I had in mind. It's not exactly cheap for me, but it's a possibility. I bookmarked it. Has an optional hood too, for $4.00 extra, which some people might like. Slightly loose with a little sacrifice of aerodynamics is fine with me. That mostly describes my cycling wear.

  14. #89
    Dogs like me. Ajenkins's Avatar
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    I honestly don't feel so afraid of being on a bicycle that I need to gear up with tons of safety crap to ride. I get on the bike, ride intelligently, get off the bike. Pretty simple, actually. I just don't understand why everybody is so afraid of cycling.

    Cycling isn't dangerous.

  15. #90
    Senior Member closetbiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ajenkins View Post
    I honestly don't feel so afraid of being on a bicycle that I need to gear up with tons of safety crap to ride. I get on the bike, ride intelligently, get off the bike. Pretty simple, actually. I just don't understand why everybody is so afraid of cycling.

    Cycling isn't dangerous.
    Yeah, but they'd never be able to sell all that stuff unless people thought it was.
    "My two favourite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything" -Peter Golkin
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  16. #91
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ajenkins View Post
    I honestly don't feel so afraid of being on a bicycle that I need to gear up with tons of safety crap to ride. I get on the bike, ride intelligently, get off the bike. Pretty simple, actually. I just don't understand why everybody is so afraid of cycling.

    Cycling isn't dangerous.
    I agree, but I still wear an alert shirt for my commute and use blinkies in dim light and solid lights at night. But if I am running errands where I don't change clothes at the destination I wear whatever I had been wearing already.

  17. #92
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noisebeam View Post
    I agree, but I still wear an alert shirt for my commute and use blinkies in dim light and solid lights at night.
    And I still thank you noisebeam, for informing me about alert shirts years ago. I still use the same t-shirts and they are as still as bright and comfortable as day one.

  18. #93
    Vegetable Rights! Surfindixon's Avatar
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    Have been reading this thread with extreme interest.

    What I know.....

    Cyclists clad in black (or, as they are referred to here, Ninja Cyclists) are quite common place on UK roads. As far a drivers are concerned, in the evening \ dark they appear right out of nowhere and the driver only sees them when they are just feet away from their front wing. These ninja cyclist may have a blinker on but more often than not it is dim and lacking in so far as it is not attention grabbing.

    My approach to safety is to give the driver as much help in seeing me as possible.

    I use 4 rear blinkers (Smart 1/2 Watt Lunar rears). Two below the seat and one on each stay. They're on night and day. Are four rears enough? I don't think so but driving colleagues at work have given very positive feedback saying, 'I wish all cyclists were lit like that'. Utilising rechargeable batteries keeps the cost of the 'always on' approach right down. On the front I utilise 2 cateye el220's. Balance of 'be seen' and 'being able to see' at a reasonable price point

    Side visibility. Relective stickers around my helmet and the use of Scwalbe Marathon Plus tyres with scotchlite relective trim (again, positive comments have been made). I am going to reinvest in spoke reflectors.

    As for a reflective, dayglo vest I use the workies standard hi viz waistcoat which are available from the local tool store or market for under $5. These go over your cycling top of choice and are good for about twenty washes. Also improves side vis in the evening \ night.

    ReflectiveWaistcoat.jpg

    Whether it looks cool or not is not the point. It's about helping the driver see you as early as possible.

    I still get people driving too close when overtaking but this is down to the individual driver and their lack of respect \ skill than it being a bizarre response to the high viz gear.

    I just wouldn't venture out without any of my safety gear. And it's not about being scared of cycling. As I said, drivers need all the help they can get and I'm more than willing to meet that agenda for the purposes of my own safety.
    Last edited by Surfindixon; 03-06-10 at 03:34 PM.

  19. #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ajenkins View Post
    ...I just don't understand why everybody is so afraid of cycling.
    ...
    Always interesting when someone uses a phrase like this suggesting they either assume or imply the reason that people use visibility safety gear while cycling, is that they are afraid of cycling. My thought is that people using this gear are not afraid of cycling, but are simply afraid of possibly not being seen by the big, heavy, fast moving motor vehicles.

    Of course, not being seen by the people driving cars, trucks and other big vehicles is something many people on the road riding bikes don't seem to associate with even the slightest bit of danger.

  20. #95
    Bicikli Huszár sudo bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ajenkins View Post
    I honestly don't feel so afraid of being on a bicycle that I need to gear up with tons of safety crap to ride. I get on the bike, ride intelligently, get off the bike. Pretty simple, actually. I just don't understand why everybody is so afraid of cycling.

    Cycling isn't dangerous.
    For me personally, I don't think cycling is particularly dangerous, but there's no reason not to help stand out.

    There are 3 or 4 cyclists heading down one of the streets that I drive home from work on (on the rare occasion I'm driving). As a driver, there is no question that the only guy who wears a dayglo vest stands out like a sore thumb compared to the rest of traffic. I see him blocks away. It's only anecdotal evidence of course, but I don't force it on others - I just think it's logical to stand out as much as possible when far more vulnerable in an accident than a car would be.

    I'd also note there are the occasional motorcyclists who wear a dayglo vest as well, and they also pop out in traffic. Most people's eyes tend to be drawn to brighter colors like that.

    I'm not scared of cycling. I'm calm and relaxed. It's not like I'll refuse to ride if I have no vest or that I'm uncomfortable without it , I just think it's a good idea to have one. I don't think my vest will give me super powers. A crappy cyclist is still a crappy cyclist, dayglo or not. But from my experiences as a driver seeing cyclists on the road, there's no doubt in my mind that it highly increases visibility, which is generally considered to be a Good Thing.

    As far as looks... psh, I don't care. I'm married, who am I trying to impress .
    Last edited by sudo bike; 03-08-10 at 05:41 AM.
    "The bicycle is the noblest invention of mankind. I love the bicycle. I always have. I can think of no sincere, decent human being, male or female, young or old, saint or sinner, who can resist the bicycle."

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  21. #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by wsbob View Post
    My thought is that people using this gear are not afraid of cycling, but are simply afraid of possibly not being seen by the big, heavy, fast moving motor vehicles.
    I don't think most construction workers are "afraid" of their buddy operating the backhoe, but they wear hi-viz anyway.


    I wear hi-viz gear 90% of the time when riding, but today I just had a white jersey and a black backpack. I wasn't afraid.

  22. #97
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    It is not that I am afraid of not being seen, I just prefer to be seen sooner. The sooner I am seen, the sooner motorists may start to give indication/response they see me. If the response significantly puts the vehicle driver in a lower category of potential for further interaction, that lets me prioritize other potential hazards.

  23. #98
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    Isn't the idea the attract the attention of the drivers as to your prescense? If they see you they might actually leave you alone. Barring cell phone drivers(i.e. those with electronic
    schitsophrenia(sic)) aka: impaired driving, you should reasonably be safe.

  24. #99
    Senior Member closetbiker's Avatar
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    My position is that being seen is more a matter of drivers paying attention to the road and it's users rather than what a user would be wearing (within reason of course)

    to this point, one need not wear a thread to get noticed

    "My two favourite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything" -Peter Golkin
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  25. #100
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Of course the ultimate irony is that this thread exists at the same time along with the thread about the motorist running into the train.

    http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...ou-F-ing-train

    If a driver cannot see and anticipate a train on fixed tracks, then it hardly matters what you wear...

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