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  1. #1
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    Don't wear black. DON'T WEAR BLACK. LOSE THE BLACK, MORONS!

    I've wondered for years why it isn't obvious to every last cyclist that wearing black, especially in spring and fall when it gets dark early, is a really good way to increase your chances of getting hit by a car. Nobody in the group of generally 50ish longtime traditionalist riders I hang out with pays any attention, and they laugh at my green/yellow/pink/anything BRIGHT shirts and jackets.
    About dusk today, two of them riding together on a two-lane road through overhanging trees were hit by an SUV. No serious injuries, but they both fell. They're making the usual cyclist noises about rude drivers and sharing the road, but I've ridden with both of them for years, and warned them that they're just about invisible. I'm happy they're OK, of course, but I still don't get the fascination with black.
    Last edited by Velo Dog; 09-17-10 at 11:28 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member canyoneagle's Avatar
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    Bright colors definitely help, but I also use active lighting (PDW Radbot 1000 and a PB superflash in back, PB Blaze 2W in blink mode up front). I wouldn't think of riding without them.

    Visibility is key. Have you ever seen the British PSA about bikes?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xNSgmm9FX2s
    Last edited by canyoneagle; 09-18-10 at 11:00 AM.
    Currently one bike: Singular Gryphon do-it all bike with Nuvinci N360
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  3. #3
    Senior Member LesterOfPuppets's Avatar
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    I wear safety green tees in the summer all the time.

    I've yet to find a good safety green shell for the rainy months, so my shell is black. I am a moron.

    I do make sure to keep the PBSF a flashing day and night during the months with the short days, however.
    1980ish Free Spirit Sunbird fixed * 1996 Mongoose IBOC Zero-G * 1997 KHS Comp * 1990-ish Scapin * Lemond Buenos Aires Triple

  4. #4
    Senior Member Northwestrider's Avatar
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    +1 canyoneagles suggestion on lighting

  5. #5
    Kid A TurbineBlade's Avatar
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    +2 replace the "don't wear black" comment with "don't ride in the dark without lights". I wear black all the time, but my bike is like a Christmas tree going down the road.

    It's just common sense here, noting magic.
    Cyclist, angler and aquarist

  6. #6
    Senior Member pablosnazzy's Avatar
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    i wear black on the outside, because black is the way i feel on the inside. i'm pretty sure they didn't get hit because of the color of clothes they were wearing, but because of careless bike riding. lights, awareness, defensive (or sometimes offensive, depending on circumstances) cycling attitude, these are what keeps you from getting hit. i shall continue wearing all black and i shall probably continue not getting hit by cars.

  7. #7
    xtrajack xtrajack's Avatar
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    With lots of lights and reflectives, .color becomes moot.
    2008 Kona Fire Mountain/Xtracycle
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    Cycling well IS Cycling Advocacy
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  8. #8
    Life is good RonH's Avatar
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    I always wear bright colors. I have another thought on black cycling clothes.
    This summer I have seen a lot of cyclists wearing black jerseys in the middle of the day. Don't these people know that black clothing absorbs heat and is very hot in the middle of the day? Makes me hot just thinking about it.
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  9. #9
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    Who are you calling a moron ?

    What you need to focus your wrath on are the real ninjas who wear black and have no reflective stripes or lighting.

    A lot of my riding gear is black... but your aren't going to miss me in the dark.

    Unless clothing is treated to be reflective those brighter colours are not going to stand out in the dark either and won't increase your odds of not being hit by much.

    My winter shell is black, grey, and red... without reflective materials it might as well be black and when you ride here in the winter, darker colours actually give more contrast against what is often a white and snowy back ground.

  10. #10
    XR2
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    Lead by example and quit yer cryin'.
    I owe-therefore I am.

  11. #11
    Senior Member CNY James's Avatar
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    i dont wear black because its just one more thing than I can do to stay noticed. Anybody ever heard of being "too visible?"

    Saying "I dont need to wear colors b/c I am a better cyclist/have lights/whatever your excuse is" is just ignorant. That's like saying "I dont wear my seatbelt because I'm a good driver"

  12. #12
    z90
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    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ihtZtUpn7sQ

    Well, you wonder why I always dress in black,
    Why you never see bright colors on my back,
    And why does my appearance seem to have a somber tone.
    Well, there's a reason for the things that I have on.

    I wear the black for the poor and the beaten down,
    Livin' in the hopeless, hungry side of town,
    I wear it for the prisoner who has long paid for his crime,
    But is there because he's a victim of the times.

    I wear the black for those who never read,
    Or listened to the words that Jesus said,
    About the road to happiness through love and charity,
    Why, you'd think He's talking straight to you and me.

    Well, we're doin' mighty fine, I do suppose,
    In our streak of lightnin' cars and fancy clothes,
    But just so we're reminded of the ones who are held back,
    Up front there ought 'a be a Man In Black.

    I wear it for the sick and lonely old,
    For the reckless ones whose bad trip left them cold,
    I wear the black in mournin' for the lives that could have been,
    Each week we lose a hundred fine young men.

    And, I wear it for the thousands who have died,
    Believen' that the Lord was on their side,
    I wear it for another hundred thousand who have died,
    Believen' that we all were on their side.

    Well, there's things that never will be right I know,
    And things need changin' everywhere you go,
    But 'til we start to make a move to make a few things right,
    You'll never see me wear a suit of white.

    Ah, I'd love to wear a rainbow every day,
    And tell the world that everything's OK,
    But I'll try to carry off a little darkness on my back,
    'Till things are brighter, I'm the Man In Black.

    Johnny Cash

  13. #13
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    I ride for the most part on a trail. I am lucky to have a road bike trial form my house that goes drectly to the bech. Just about 32 miles one way. And two miles a way a mountain bike trial that will take you almost as far as you want to go, say about 50 miles one way. I never take it more than eight, to steep. So I don't need bright colors. Love black shorts, but i don't mind read, yellow of light blue jerseys.

  14. #14
    Senior Member cruisintx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CNY James View Post
    i dont wear black because its just one more thing than I can do to stay noticed. Anybody ever heard of being "too visible?"

    Saying "I dont need to wear colors b/c I am a better cyclist/have lights/whatever your excuse is" is just ignorant. That's like saying "I dont wear my seatbelt because I'm a good driver"
    came in on this thread a little late; but someone has already said all that needs to be said -- well done!

  15. #15
    Senior Member wolfchild's Avatar
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    Hey Velo Dog, I think you are just making a blanket statement. Not every cyclist that wears black or dark colours is a moron. Sometimes I like to dress in dark colours when I ride, but I also have lots of lights and my backpack has big reflective triangle on the back.

  16. #16
    vol
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    I often see people wearing dark without light riding at dusk or evening and thought it not smart. Unless you are a fugitive not wanting the detectives to find you...

    Question: Does a light-colored bike help?

    Quote Originally Posted by canyoneagle View Post
    Visibility is key. Have you ever seen the British PSA about bikes?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xNSgmm9FX2s
    Funny

  17. #17
    Senior Member dougmc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CNY James View Post
    Saying "I dont need to wear colors b/c I am a better cyclist/have lights/whatever your excuse is" is just ignorant. That's like saying "I dont wear my seatbelt because I'm a good driver"
    Seatbelts != light colored clothing.

    A better analogy would be a white car vs. a black car. Do you tell people not to buy black cars?

    I'll wear whatever I damn well like. It's a bike, not a fashion statement. If somebody really can't see me with my multiple lights, reflectors, brightly colored helmet, shiny bits on the bike ... I don't think a yellow T-shirt would have made a difference either.

  18. #18
    Senior Member LesterOfPuppets's Avatar
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    CNY James' ride:

    1980ish Free Spirit Sunbird fixed * 1996 Mongoose IBOC Zero-G * 1997 KHS Comp * 1990-ish Scapin * Lemond Buenos Aires Triple

  19. #19
    Kid A TurbineBlade's Avatar
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    This thread is awesome -- such a critical topic in cycling.

    Next debate: rear blinking lights

    If your rear blinking light blinks approximately 1-2 per second, you're good to go.

    If you set your rear blinker to some other weird, oscillating pattern -- you're an idiot. And you're probably going to die.
    Cyclist, angler and aquarist

  20. #20
    Senior Member LesterOfPuppets's Avatar
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    Those blinkies with the setting that blinks one LED at a time in an odd sequence are pretty bad. They look like little red forest nymphs off in the distance.
    1980ish Free Spirit Sunbird fixed * 1996 Mongoose IBOC Zero-G * 1997 KHS Comp * 1990-ish Scapin * Lemond Buenos Aires Triple

  21. #21
    Kid A TurbineBlade's Avatar
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    i dont wear black because its just one more thing than I can do to stay noticed. Anybody ever heard of being "too visible?"

    Saying "I dont need to wear colors b/c I am a better cyclist/have lights/whatever your excuse is" is just ignorant. That's like saying "I dont wear my seatbelt because I'm a good driver"
    Drastic measures are needed here. You can't simply avoid black clothing -- you need EXTREME visibility.

    Like this guy (right):

    bigbirdcookie..jpg

    If you aren't visible from space on your morning commute, you're going to die. Seriously. Don't f--- around here.
    Cyclist, angler and aquarist

  22. #22
    Senior Member canyoneagle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LesterOfPuppets View Post
    They look like little red forest nymphs off in the distance.
    Can I have some of whatever you are taking?
    Currently one bike: Singular Gryphon do-it all bike with Nuvinci N360
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  23. #23
    Senior Member canyoneagle's Avatar
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    I only wear black while riding ninja/salmon, helmetless, without hands (so I can juggle knives), on my bike that has the JB Weld steering tube extension.

    http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...or-ninja-trout.
    Currently one bike: Singular Gryphon do-it all bike with Nuvinci N360
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  24. #24
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    I see everything as a factor in safety. Wearing bright colors, having a million lights, and being the most technically precise rider the world has ever seen help weigh the odds in your favor in terms of getting into an accident. That being said, there are plenty of random things that you have no control over that can kill or maim you. For every time a flashing light on your bike and a bright jersey saves you, there could be a random person pulling in front of you where you can do nothing. I try to tip the odds to my side as much as I can, but I also accept the inherent dangers of riding as well regardless of what precautions are taken.

  25. #25
    rebmeM roineS JanMM's Avatar
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    I've been called a moron before and don't generally wear black. Or, maybe he meant maroon.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by JanMM; 09-18-10 at 07:17 PM.
    RANS V3 (steel), RANS V-Rex, RANS Screamer

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