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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 08-04-08, 05:49 AM   #1
shmulb
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Bicycle Visibility

I had a bit of an epiphany while driving home from a club ride yesterrday. I was on a fairly busy road at about 40mph following a motorcyle and a line of cars in front of him. As traffic slowed I found myself too close to the bike and realised that unconsiously I was basing my distance off the car in front of him. He was on a dark bike with nondiscript clothing and unless I consiously focused on him he was almost "invisible" to me.
If this happens to a motorcycle, what do I look like on a bicycle to other drivers in traffic! Although I always commute with 2 blinking rear lights, 2 blinking front (in daylight) and wear really bright clothing, I finally saw why this is so important.
I guess what I am trying to say is, do whatever it takes to make yourself as visible as possible, looking like a clown may save your life.
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Old 08-04-08, 06:23 AM   #2
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I agree. I have come up on several people riding bicycles, even during the day, that blend in with the surroundings. I started wearing a HiVis yellow helmet and shirt. My bike has bright white blinkies in front, a SuperFlash on helmet and on the rear rack.
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Old 08-04-08, 07:31 AM   #3
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I wear a bright flourescent yellow reflective vest for my morning and evening commutes. Never wear it when out just riding, but always on the commute where I expect more traffic.
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Old 08-04-08, 09:10 AM   #4
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I was following a soldier biking home from Fort Lewis on the freeway the other day. Black harley (not that it mattered, riding into the sun), guy wearing all his camo, and he had a shoulder sash that was that visibility chartreuse but it was kinda lost in the folds of his clothes. I guess he was trying a little anyway.
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Old 08-04-08, 09:14 AM   #5
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military are mandated to have a mil -spec hi viz vest
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Old 08-04-08, 09:28 AM   #6
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I was wondering if he was required to stick to the sash, but sounds like the opposite is the case, unless the sash counts as the vest.
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Old 08-04-08, 09:37 AM   #7
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I'm in the Army and you can wear both, depends on your commander. Those "sashes" are our PT belts, which we are required to wear when we workout (so we don't get ran over when running). I wear a hi-vis yellow PT belt around my backpack at all times as well as putting one around my top tube at night. They are very reflective and seem to do the trick.
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Old 08-04-08, 09:54 AM   #8
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$5 - ANSI Approved. Why would you not?

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Old 08-04-08, 10:59 AM   #9
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Always wear the vest, I know it's saved me a couple times...guy making an illegal U-turn, did a second look at me and held up and a guy about ready to open his door, did second take. I saw them both and could have PROBABLY moved defensively but I know it was because of the vest that caught their eye.
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Old 08-04-08, 11:25 AM   #10
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This is what I wear most days (in addition to my lights and reflective bits)



http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?c...3A%20Outerwear
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Old 08-04-08, 11:28 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HardyWeinberg View Post
I was following a soldier biking home from Fort Lewis on the freeway the other day. Black harley (not that it mattered, riding into the sun), guy wearing all his camo, and he had a shoulder sash that was that visibility chartreuse but it was kinda lost in the folds of his clothes. I guess he was trying a little anyway.
I know the Navy requires motorcyclists to wear a full reflective vest.
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Old 08-04-08, 12:24 PM   #12
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I know the Navy requires motorcyclists to wear a full reflective vest.
Yes, it's finally getting through to the folk's that "profile" on the roads is important to road visability
too.
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Old 08-04-08, 01:15 PM   #13
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I have the harbor freight vest, otherwise I wear bright shirts when riding. Most of the time.
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Old 08-04-08, 01:20 PM   #14
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I always wear a yellow or orange tee shirt when commuting. Blinkies are always on day or night.
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Old 08-04-08, 01:21 PM   #15
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After daylight savings the majority of bike commuters in NYC end up biking at night. I often ride up the west side river path as do thousands of others. It has been a pleasant turn of events to note that a majority of riders have a front and back blinking lights. This has changed tremendously over the past 5 years. I think it's great.
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Old 08-04-08, 01:24 PM   #16
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this might help

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Old 08-04-08, 03:27 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HardyWeinberg View Post
I was following a soldier biking home from Fort Lewis on the freeway the other day. Black harley (not that it mattered, riding into the sun), guy wearing all his camo, and he had a shoulder sash that was that visibility chartreuse but it was kinda lost in the folds of his clothes. I guess he was trying a little anyway.
The camo helps you blend in on the road too.
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Old 08-04-08, 03:39 PM   #18
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this might help

Reflectors on rims are horrid because they unbalance your wheel completely. Either have one that goes all the way around or put reflective tape on the rim just under the braking surface, but why make your ride suffer by having such things on your bike. But that guy in the picture has the right idea, since at that point you wouldn't notice the wobble nearly as much.
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Old 08-04-08, 09:39 PM   #19
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Reflectors on rims are horrid because they unbalance your wheel completely. Either have one that goes all the way around or put reflective tape on the rim just under the braking surface, but why make your ride suffer by having such things on your bike. But that guy in the picture has the right idea, since at that point you wouldn't notice the wobble nearly as much.
Wouldn't the LED valve stem covers be a good alternative? Granted look dorky as hell but if you only use them at night they might be worth while.
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