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Old 05-16-13, 03:11 PM   #1
Buzzatronic
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Retractable horizontal 3' flag?

So I'm getting pretty tired of being buzzed by traffic that insists on passing me within inches of my shoulder. I've seen a few homemade 3' buffer bars but I'm wondering if there is anything ready-made out there. Here's an example of a homemade model I've seen:



What I'm thinking would be perfect is something that:

1. Has a flag on it
2. Can be mounted to my rear rack without messing up my pannier mount
3. Can be quickly removed/collapsed when I'm not on the road.

Has anyone found a solution for this?
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Old 05-16-13, 03:56 PM   #2
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Sorry I can't help you about your question, but I'd like to note that that guy's shirt really, really looks like something that would have the unintended consequence of people buzzing him on purpose, just to "teach him a lesson". I've discovered that many motorists, y'know, the jerk type, get mighty riled up from passive-aggressive things like the message on his shirt, and it's those people who we need to be more careful.
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Old 05-16-13, 04:56 PM   #3
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Sorry I can't help you ...
+1

I don't want someone running me over, then claiming "I was distracted by the message on their jersey".

The flag in #1 looks pretty good, but the tip of it should obviously be steel-spiked. Most motorists value their paint job more than some arbitrary bicyclist's welfare. A spike would increase the efficacy of a "minimum safe passing distance" flag. Plus it would scratch the crap out of cars who weren't paying attention, which would be a good lesson for the inattentive motorist.

OP, IIRC the flag that's been around for years is mounted with a spring breakaway device. Here it is:

http://www.bikecommuters.com/2007/08...st-impression/

User-improved version:

http://www.bikecommuters.com/2007/10...e-safety-flag/

Another type of flag, I think this is the one used in Europe:

http://forums.mtbr.com/commuting/fla...ew-471496.html
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Old 05-16-13, 05:22 PM   #4
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[SNIP]

Another type of flag, I think this is the one used in Europe:

http://forums.mtbr.com/commuting/fla...ew-471496.html
I like the idea of a pinwheel-like device, if not for any potential safety reasons than just for the sheer fun of it. Weeeeeeeeee! If I can find a pinwheel in hi-viz orange and lime with a suitable stick I might just try this.
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Old 05-17-13, 09:08 AM   #5
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So this secretary (its an old joke) gets told by her boss that they have a business trip in Jamaica next week. She knows what that means, so she heads to the pharmacy to get airsickness medication and also birth control. When she gets to the counter the clerk says to her, "lady... if it affects you like that... why do you do it?? I really have to ask some of you... if you feel you need buffer bars, or GoPro camera's or Dinotte Daylight Dazzlers or other assorted "safety" equipment to ride... ... why do it? I wouldn't. I wouldn't have a thing to say if these precautions made you any safer but, to hear the lurid accounts revealed in these pages... you guys are the ones being medevaced to the Downtown Receiving Hospitals. Daredevils like myself that go out there day after day with the minimum of reflective gear and a healthy amount of defensive riding skills don't have much to say about our rides. "How was your ride home dear?" "Meh... ok". Eight miles each way in suburban 45mph traffic... surely there was buzzing and right hooking and honking and flashing going on? Ok, don't tell my wife about the flashing... I agree with an earlier poster... a shirt that say's 3' please is just asking for it. JUST RIDE!!

H
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Old 05-17-13, 09:20 AM   #6
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I wear high vis and ride farther out in the lane than right up against the edge. I also use very bright front and rear lights. I've seen videos of how effective this is from a motorist's perspective, and so I do it. Haven't tried any other methods, although I do like the idea of that flag that folds up neat against the seat stay.
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Old 05-17-13, 09:44 AM   #7
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There are several types of those flags on Amazon. I've thought about getting one for my commuter.
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Old 05-17-13, 10:20 AM   #8
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LOL, my first thoughts when I saw this were, "How many points do I get if I hit the flag with the car?" "Do I lose the points if the cyclist doesn't react or get more if I make him jump?"

I generally go along with Leisesturm and PatrickGSR94 and make myself visible to a reasonable extent with clothing, reflectors and lights but I primarily depend on experience, riding skills and defensive and, at times, assertive riding (eg., taking the lane). It has worked so far.
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Old 05-17-13, 10:22 AM   #9
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I also think a mirror to see behind you is very important to have... I really need to get one.
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Old 05-17-13, 11:23 AM   #10
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And so with your flag sticking out, you force other cyclists way out into the lane to pass you?
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Old 05-17-13, 11:42 AM   #11
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I also think a mirror to see behind you is very important to have... I really need to get one.
Useful tangent: The Take-A-Look mirror is the best mirror I've used, by far. Highly recommended. I don't always use a mirror, but ...
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Old 05-17-13, 11:48 AM   #12
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LOL, my first thoughts when I saw this were, "How many points do I get if I hit the flag with the car?" "Do I lose the points if the cyclist doesn't react or get more if I make him jump?"
There a reason some riders put a hard, scratchy object on the end of these. It does wonders to car paint.
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Old 05-17-13, 11:49 AM   #13
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I see these in Europe quite often. Not quite 3 feet, but they get the job done.
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Old 05-17-13, 11:58 AM   #14
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My experience has been most people give the lane when I take. Only when I ride on the white line has traffic buzzing by me been an issue, actually even when white striping it I get nearly 6 feet. I hate it that so many poeple have to deal with this. but bright yellow spinners and arrows do look like a distraction. it would be nice if we had a more standard level of annoyance.
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Old 05-19-13, 01:09 PM   #15
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I see these in Europe quite often. Not quite 3 feet, but they get the job done.
Nice.

What worries me about these devices are the following.

1. What happens if it gets attached to a passing motorist?
2. What happens if it gets attached while you're trying to lane split other vehicles?

Using a flag would force me to stay behind the cars at stop lights for fear of the flag getting attached to a vehicle. That's a huge compromise and I'm not sure I'd want one for that simple reason alone. The last think you would want is to get dragged by a moving vehicle.

Also, I suspect using one would probably get you more car horns since the motorist would be forced to give you more room with the flag. I wonder if this is usually the case?

I prefer to take the entire lane and when the cars start to close, move over to let them pass. This usually results in the motorist giving you more room when passing. However, you'll need a mirror to determine when cars are approaching to do this.
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Old 05-19-13, 01:33 PM   #16
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After a very near miss by a landscaping truck pulling a trailer that was swerving all over the lane, I started carrying a flag that I could hold out with my left hand when I was skirting a blind curve. I attached it to my frame using two of those old-fashioned clamps designed to hold brake cables against the top tube, and when I needed it, I simply pulled it out and extended it as far out as I needed to. I'm pretty sure it saved my life a few times; then I stopped using it and now I can't find it.

Anyway, I agree with all who opined that the flashier and nerdier you get with this stuff, the more of a magnet you are for jerky drivers.
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Old 05-19-13, 01:42 PM   #17
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Tail-gunner facing backwards..
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Old 05-19-13, 03:19 PM   #18
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Tail-gunner facing backwards..
Oh man! That made me snort!
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Old 05-19-13, 04:27 PM   #19
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Awesome, I want a flag. I'd like one 4-5'' vertically coming off the rear rack.
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Old 05-19-13, 07:35 PM   #20
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I've seen a bike with a kickstand mounted to a rack with a flag on it.
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Old 05-19-13, 10:44 PM   #21
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Thanks for all the replies folks. For the record, the pic I posted was to illustrate the flag, not his shirt. I would not wear that.
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Old 05-20-13, 06:29 AM   #22
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Don't you want 4 feet? If it's mounted to the bike, and you want 3 feet of space, you want at least a 4 foot long stick.
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Old 05-20-13, 06:30 AM   #23
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Awesome, I want a flag. I'd like one 4-5'' vertically coming off the rear rack.
" is inches. I think you meant ' for feet.
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Old 05-20-13, 06:32 AM   #24
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I'm pretty sure it saved my life a few times; then I stopped using it and now I can't find it.
Well then get another one quickly man, before you die!
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Old 05-20-13, 07:29 AM   #25
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I'm pretty sure I saw this guy at the Bike-to-Work day gathering with the mayor last Friday.
I know thsi photo was taken in Nashville - Here's the spot: https://maps.google.com/maps?q=nashv...12,292.89,,0,0
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