neon by day, reflective by night
[/QUOTE]- Those hideous neon yellow jackets seem to really increase your visibility. In fact, I suspect that if you wear one, the old "Officer, I just didn't see him" excuse won't hold up.
hi all, first time post to this forum. having recovered from a horrible accident in which an old lady sped out of an intersection and hit me last april, on "earth day", i have become exceedingly scrupulous as to visibility. at the time of the accident, i was wearing a reflective vest, the kind that looks like nylon netting with reflective strips. turns out this is better for nighttime, because those reflectors work best when a focussed light beam is shining on them.
during daytime, solid (i.e., non-netted) neon type vests work best. i use an orange deer hunting jacket (cheaper than fancy bike store neons) over my netted reflective vest during the day, while at night i interchange the position of these vests, keeping the reflective over the neon.
neon jackets are not visible easily at night! my friend who followed me in her car to test my visibility at various angles of viewing said reflective vests and the strips i wear on my ankles to keep the long pants from getting caught in the chain are the most visible features. she claims the red rear reflector is only rarely visible.
when she approached me sideways, she found that the spoke mounted reflectors on the front and rear wheel caught the headlights best.
fortunately, my accident has made me a more dedicated cyclist, and also switched me from the "vehicular camp" to the "invisible". that is, i bike assuming that no car will ever recognize my existence, while at the same time being as visible as possible. i might have back pain for a long time due to the compression fractures, and arthritis from the right scapula break, but otherwise i am whole and healthy, in fact healthier as i swim twice a week as a form of physical therapy. the insurance co. also bought me a new trek 6500 in place of the totalled bianchi lynx. yes, i use a MTB, call me a wuss, but i like the fact that fat tires do not get as many flats. i hate fixing flats, those ridged tubes cannot hold a patch! i simply change the tubes whenever i get a rare flat, maybe once or twice a year on average, not bad given that i do about 3000 miles per annum!
another thing to watch out for: some oncoming motorists give the turning signal way in advance, while they do not intend to turn until the intersection below yours. they will also slow down as they approach you, because they may have just seen you. this combination of circumstances can cause you to imagine the car is going to be making a turn at your intersection. DO NOT BE TEMPTED TO CROSS AHEAD OF THE VEHICLE. i saw a close call in front of me when a cyclist assumed that the vehicle was slowing down to turn, but then went ahead to the next intersection. fortunately, the guy had the sense to jump his bike and avoid being hit.