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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 11-06-12, 12:10 PM   #1
spivonious
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Signaling turns in the dark

So now that DST has ended, my evening commutes will be quickly getting darker.

How do you all signal your lane changes and turns in the dark?
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Old 11-06-12, 12:31 PM   #2
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Excellent question. I've been thinking about using a rubber band type setup and adding a small light to the back of each hand. Not sure it will work, but I'd like something.

My morning commute now has a bit more light, but the ride home is noticeably darker. My gloves do have reflective material, and I assume it works reasonably well, but I can't tell, obviously.
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Old 11-06-12, 12:33 PM   #3
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I have an old elasticized pants wrap with a reflective strip on it that I will put on my wrist.
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Old 11-06-12, 12:42 PM   #4
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I'm not using this so far (don't use gloves at all), but looks interesting:
http://alertshirt.com/trafficgloves.html


Doubt it has padding though.
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Old 11-06-12, 12:53 PM   #5
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You could just get some decent reflective tape and make an arrow on your forearm (tape it to your most commonly worn outer layer). At worst, you might have to redo it every week or so, but reflective tape is relatively inexpensive.

I have some map pockets designed to keep maps on your forearm while riding a motorcycle, and that would make a nice base for something similar. (you can check out the map pockets at aerostitch,com if you're interested).
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Old 11-06-12, 12:54 PM   #6
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Reflective ankle straps around my wrists.
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Old 11-06-12, 12:59 PM   #7
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There are some good ideas in here so far. I may sew some reflective tape to my gloves.
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Old 11-06-12, 01:08 PM   #8
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http://www.dontgethit.com/slapbracelets.html
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Old 11-06-12, 01:37 PM   #9
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I like the arrows made of tape idea.
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Old 11-06-12, 01:54 PM   #10
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The local REI had a lime-green reflective safety sash in their bargain bin for about a dollar. It had some really bright reflective material sewn to a felt backing. I've been cutting pieces off and sewing them onto panniers, my cycling shoes, and the cycling gloves I use on night rides. People who have driven by me at night have commented on how bright the patches are so I'm pretty confident that my hand signals can be seen.
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Old 11-06-12, 04:15 PM   #11
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Reflective tapes look like a good idea but do you think drivers will realize that what they see is a cyclist signaling a turn?
I commute in a rural area with very very light traffic so I don't have to worry about this sort of things, I just look over my shoulder and go if there's no car.
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Old 11-06-12, 04:41 PM   #12
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Reflective tape sounds good. I have a helmet light and wear gloves that are white on the back. I shine the light at my outstretched arm to light it up. With cooler weather I will be wearing a highly reflective jacket, bright yellow or orange, but actual reflective tape would enhance any hand signals.
Some kind of blinkers would seem ideal, but I use a rear flashing taillight so that could confuse the signal. The main thing is to let another road user (including cyclists) know why you are slowing or getting over to a left lane.
Be safe!
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Old 11-06-12, 04:59 PM   #13
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http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...ls_o00_s00_i00

I ironed this on all my jackets and jerseys - back, sleeves and ankles.
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Old 11-06-12, 05:14 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pallen View Post
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...ls_o00_s00_i00

I ironed this on all my jackets and jerseys - back, sleeves and ankles.
You ironed it on? It seems like regular adhesive tape. How long has it lasted so far?

I found this heat-transfer (iron-on) tape:

http://www.amazon.com/transfer-refle...sr=1-1-catcorr

$12 for 16 feet.

I'd like to put this on the back of my jacket:

Last edited by ChrisM2097; 11-06-12 at 05:19 PM.
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Old 11-06-12, 05:37 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leebo View Post
Reflective ankle straps around my wrists.
This, or some form of it...
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Old 11-06-12, 06:38 PM   #16
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Bright orange jacket + reflective elements on my gloves. Seems to do the job for me so far.
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Old 11-06-12, 07:45 PM   #17
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Lane positioning. If you're on the center line it's pretty obvious you *might* be turning left very soon.
Tweaks to your route to find well-lit intersections or lower traffic.
Time your approach to intersections to allow cars to go through first. There are some where I pull off the road until there is a good gap to get across dangerous intersections; worst case I'll do box turns or go pedestrian mode in a crosswalk.
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Old 11-06-12, 08:09 PM   #18
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Doesn't the jacket you wear at night have reflective piping or strips on it? Mine has very reflective piping down the backs of the sleeves. I also light up (four rear lights), and carefully use the lane. The ones that scare me are the ones that forgot to turn on their headlights, they won't notice me even if they see me...
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Old 11-06-12, 08:52 PM   #19
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Amateurs! Rank amateurs, the lot of you!


http://web.media.mit.edu/~leah/LilyP...al_jacket.html
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Old 11-06-12, 10:15 PM   #20
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The problem with clothing that has reflective, or lighted marking on it, is that it must be the right temperature to wear that article of clothing. That's a deal breaker for me. I want about 100F to 15F range of temp use.
I use reflective ankle straps on my wrist. There are many different things like them. The snap bracelet ones look nice. One of the guys I ride with has lights that go on your fingers with Velcro. He also has flashing rings for warm weather. My driving experience behind my friends on bikes, tells me that when the cars get close they can see your arm if you have a light colored jacket. The reflectors work great, but, the small lights like on that jacket in the video disappear when the car headlights are close to the bike. Just like a weak taillight does.
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Old 11-06-12, 10:20 PM   #21
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I turn my handebars in the direction I'm going to be turning.

only works if you have a ridiculously bright handlebar mounted headlight.
People see the big white light cone on the floor and know you're going that way.
also, if they ignore it, the beam melts them.
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Old 11-06-12, 10:28 PM   #22
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I have a pair of reflective velcro straps that I fasten to my wrists. Doesn't actually point the intended direction, but it gives drivers a pretty good idea.
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Old 11-07-12, 03:28 AM   #23
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i use the turn signals integrated into the dedicated and segregated bike lane
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Old 11-07-12, 07:48 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by david58 View Post
Doesn't the jacket you wear at night have reflective piping or strips on it? Mine has very reflective piping down the backs of the sleeves. I also light up (four rear lights), and carefully use the lane. The ones that scare me are the ones that forgot to turn on their headlights, they won't notice me even if they see me...
Reflective turn signals won't have much effect on drivers who otherwise can't/don't see a cyclist in front of them.

Get lights and appropriate reflectors and don't worry about visible hand signals. What do cyclists expect drivers to do when they see a cyclist hand signal at night, even if the driver sees the signal and recognizes it as turn signal? Slam on the brakes and yield right of way? I wouldn't count on it

If a cyclist can make a safe turn and the hand signal isn't intended to get a driver to alter his course, why bother with it?

Makes more sense for a properly lit cyclist to pick appropriate gaps in traffic for safe turning maneuvers and not depend on turn signals at night to make a space/gap for a cyclist in traffic.
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Old 11-07-12, 09:44 AM   #25
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Don't wanna wear the jacket? Fine!


http://www.amazon.com/Sunlite-Turn-S...e+turn+signals
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