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  1. #1
    Commuter JohnBrooking's Avatar
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    I had an interesting idea on the ride home tonight; not sure if it's a good one or not yet. Maybe someone here has tried it already and can tell me. Or hasn't, but will be glad to give me an opinion anyway!

    I was thinking about cars giving me adequate space passing on my left, which most of them were, but not all. I thought of sticking my left hand out a bit, but didn't want to remove it from the handlebar right then (working hard in a headwind).

    Then I thought, instead of using my hand, what if I duct-taped a dowel off the left handlebar with an orange or red flag on it, as far out as I'd like them to stay? As I thought some more, I thought maybe a little flag by itself, waving straight back, would not be visible enough, so maybe I should add some silver tassles like they have on kids' bikes. More importantly, maybe I should use a length of spring instead of a rigid dowel, so if someone did hit it, it would give, instead of pushing my handlebars askew!

    Good idea, bad idea? Legal idea? What do you think?

    I can already imagine some cager claiming he didn't see it and getting mad at me for scratching his paint job.
    Quote Originally Posted by MadfiNch on Commuting forum
    What's the point of a bike if you can only ride it on weekends, and you can't even carry anything with you?!
    Portland Maine Bicycle Commuting Meetup

  2. #2
    You need a new bike supcom's Avatar
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    Some people mount a flag to a rear rack extending horizontally to the left. I would advise against mounting a flag to you handlebars. If a car, or any other obstacle, strikes it, you may lose control.

  3. #3
    Snakebite gritface's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnBrooking
    so maybe I should add some silver tassles
    Good idea, bad idea? Legal idea? What do you think?
    Make the tassels 20 feet long to prevent cars from following to close.

  4. #4
    Out of breath again. suntreader's Avatar
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    Interesting thought, but I'd be afraid of getting speared by the dowel in a crash.

  5. #5
    Dog is my co-pilot 2manybikes's Avatar
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    There are many variations of this already on the market. I had one that was from Sweden I think, it had a folding arm that would swing in. It had a pinwheel blade with reflectors on it. It was actually a government approved device. The theory I think is sound, I have seen cyclists doing this in Europe. I have never tried it.
    I never googled anything like that, there are probably some on line. My advice would be to not have too much air resistance. I have seen ones that look like a stop sign too. ?? And some just like a lollipop, with an orange hi vis circle and a reflector.

    The problem with the flag may be not much flat surface showing to the rear if it's windy or you are going fast. ? Maybe one of those safety triangles that reflect and fold up? I'm sure you can come up with something good for very little $$. I would like to see what it looks like when you are done!

    They all are fastened to the rear of the bike, NOT the handlebars. You can take a bump on the bike and still stay up, not the bars as easily.

    Put some kind of a hinge on it so that if it gets hit from the rear it will fold into the bike. Make the arm short enough so that it folds in behind your legs, just in case.

    There are also a few variations of the marker light in the end of the handlebars too. Both for straight bars and drop bars. Check Performance Bike on line. They have them.

    Here's one with red facing the rear and white facing forward. It looks good to me, You could make one.

    http://www.cyclexpress.co.uk/product...ction_1560.asp
    Last edited by 2manybikes; 03-25-05 at 09:38 PM. Reason: incomplete

  6. #6
    Conservative Hippie
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    I've been thinking about the old orange bicycle flag. The one about 5' tall on a flexy fiberglass pole. Just cut off the pole so the flag will stick out a couple feet and attach it sideways to the rear of your bike. Maybe put some reflective tape on the pole and flag if you'll be riding in the dark. I wouldn't attach it to the bars, though, for the above mentioned reasons. And you may want to think about what you'll do when some knuckle dragging moron hits it and accuses you of scratching his car.

  7. #7
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    A pretty std piece of kit in UK bike shops is an orange plastic arm with a reflective triangle that attatches to yuor luggage rack and pivots out. It does ensure wider passing distances, and is bendy enough to withstand some knocks.

  8. #8
    Commuter JohnBrooking's Avatar
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    MichaelW, do you know the actual name of the product or the company?
    Quote Originally Posted by MadfiNch on Commuting forum
    What's the point of a bike if you can only ride it on weekends, and you can't even carry anything with you?!
    Portland Maine Bicycle Commuting Meetup

  9. #9
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    I don't know...some drivers would likely see the opportunity for target practice. But the possibility of a long car scratch might dissuade some.

  10. #10
    Dog is my co-pilot 2manybikes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by velogirl
    I don't know...some drivers would likely see the opportunity for target practice. But the possibility of a long car scratch might dissuade some.

    I'm thinking spinning knife blades to slash tires, similar to Gladiators chariots !! Shades of Mad Max?

    no I'm not.

    John: If you have a periodical or magazine store near you, see if you can find the magazine "Cycling Plus"
    it is from the UK, it has more safety and commuter coverage than any magazine from the USA, or any I've seen. I think you would love it. It has things similar to this, and advertisements with web addresses for big shops that may sell new things. I have subscribed to it on line, at the web site.
    Sometimes my local "Borders" book store has it.

    http://www.cyclingplus.co.uk/
    Last edited by 2manybikes; 03-26-05 at 10:38 AM. Reason: incomplete

  11. #11
    Senior Member
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    Called a Safety Wing by
    http://www.bherrmans.fi/products/index.htm#
    available at
    http://www.sjscycles.com/store/vIndex.htm
    and
    http://www.cyclesmart.co.uk/shop/ind...rs/RFSVH6.html

    (ps bherrmans are also the source of hard-to-find deraillieur-compatable chaincases)
    Last edited by MichaelW; 03-26-05 at 10:48 AM.

  12. #12
    Dog is my co-pilot 2manybikes's Avatar
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  13. #13
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    In my neighborhood they'd kick your butt if you looked that dorky.

  14. #14
    2-Cyl, 1/2 HP @ 90 RPM slvoid's Avatar
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    In NYC, you won't be able to get anywhere with a giant flag sticking out the side of your bike.
    But it seems useful in the suburbs. I'd actually have an orange flag with a shiny silver tip on it to make it look like a jagged metal object at the end. Most drivers care more about their paint jobs than your life.

    And I agree with the others. Stick it out the back, not the front.

  15. #15
    Senior Member
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    I think a flag on the handlebars will make you crosseyed.

  16. #16
    52-week commuter DCCommuter's Avatar
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    There's also the "Flash Flag" -- $5 + $4 shipping:

    http://nordicgroup.us/s78/flags.html

  17. #17
    Mind,Heart,Spirit Kokoro's Avatar
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    How about a flashing yellow L.E.D. on the tip?

  18. #18
    Senior Member Dchiefransom's Avatar
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    It's a bad idea to attach anything that sticks out significantly from your handlebars, even if it's a bit flexible. If it was hit by something, it would put a "turning" force on your handlebars, causing you to suddenly swerve.

  19. #19
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    CommuterRun writes, "I've been thinking about the old orange bicycle flag. The one about 5' tall on a flexy fiberglass pole. Just cut off the pole so the flag will stick out a couple feet and attach it sideways to the rear of your bike."

    An individual in town has done this. For three years I have drove past him on his way to work and I noticed everyone seems to give him the room he deserves.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Metro's Avatar
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    There uses to be a "red reflective rod" that extended from the left side of the seat post. It had a solid appearance causing motorists to give extra leeway and was flexible and hinged so if it were struck, it would flex out of the way. I have not seen one in years. I don't know if there was something wrong with the design. I am afraid it has gone the way of the "flick stand" ( a little 'clip' that velcroed to your down tube that flipped down to lock your front wheel straight ahead when you wanted to lean it against a tree or something.)

  21. #21
    Junior Member musclefixer's Avatar
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    For some reason, I thought this part of the Flash Flag ad "interesting"
    "One very good safety device, widely used all over the world except the U.S..."
    The older I get, the faster I was.
    -2005 Trek 2100
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    The more I ride, the better I feel!!!

  22. #22
    I drink your MILKSHAKE Raiyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scoana
    CommuterRun writes, "I've been thinking about the old orange bicycle flag. The one about 5' tall on a flexy fiberglass pole. Just cut off the pole so the flag will stick out a couple feet and attach it sideways to the rear of your bike."

    An individual in town has done this. For three years I have drove past him on his way to work and I noticed everyone seems to give him the room he deserves.
    Save some typing and or C/P work. We have a reply w/ quote feature.

  23. #23
    Senior Member Metro's Avatar
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    why is there a line through this entire post?

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