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Old 12-22-06, 10:28 PM   #1
Gerdz
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Daytime visibility from behind on a bent?

Hello,
I ride a BikeE which has a pretty high black mesh seat-back. I try to ride in bright t-shirts, but don't think they do any good for cars approaching from the rear - all they could see would be my sleeves. My rearward profile is basically a black rectangle with a little reflective grey strip on my black bag. Any ideas for making myself more visible to traffic overtaking me in the daytime?
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Old 12-23-06, 01:42 AM   #2
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get one of those "slow-moving vehicle" reflectors - a big orange reflective triangle. I also put hi-vis reflective tape on the back of my helmet and the frame around my bike. If you're really paranoid, a white flashing strobe oughts do it!
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Old 12-23-06, 07:17 AM   #3
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Old 12-23-06, 09:48 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerdz
Hello, .... Any ideas for making myself more visible to traffic overtaking me in the daytime?
I would think that since (in the daytime) your visibility is greatest anyway, there's not a whole lot you could easily to do better that. Anyone who's going to "accidentally" run into you in broad daylight is either inattentive of is incapacitated with drugs or alcohol--and nothing YOU do is going to be able to fix that.
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Old 12-23-06, 01:55 PM   #5
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get a 12vdc amber xenon strobe - you'll need a 12-14vdc battery to power it - which can also be used to power a mr16 halogen lamp based headlight system. for example:

http://cgi.ebay.com/Strobe-Light-Xen...QQcmdZViewItem
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Old 12-24-06, 01:08 AM   #6
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My 2 cents :)

Get this . It is worth the money. The LED's are so bright it hurts to look directly at them I agree with Doug5150. There are those drivers that wouldn't notice you if you had a giant flashing road construction sign strapped to your seat. Your best defense against those idiots is a good mirror that is systematically checked and an awareness of your surroundings. Beyond that... it's just fate
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Old 12-24-06, 06:20 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerdz
Hello,
I ride a BikeE which has a pretty high black mesh seat-back. I try to ride in bright t-shirts, but don't think they do any good for cars approaching from the rear - all they could see would be my sleeves. My rearward profile is basically a black rectangle with a little reflective grey strip on my black bag. Any ideas for making myself more visible to traffic overtaking me in the daytime?
I think the most obvious thing to have and I'm surprised that someone hasn't mentioned it, is to run with a flag. Myself as a Trike rider (catrike speed) run a six feet tall single orange flag, along with this rear light http://www.performancebike.com/shop/...tegory_ID=4322
and 99% of my riding is on the road. I also run with two mirrors, and too ride defensively is priority when riding the roads. Ride Safe.
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Old 12-24-06, 01:04 PM   #8
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I've always cut a length of the flagpole off. When I first got my trike, several people noted that the flag was too tall to see in traffic. It was over the heads of 90% of the traffic. If you're touring on the rural country roads, I'd recommend two flags... one tall and one midway. I'm also going to add a very bright blinking tail light on my flagpole:
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Old 12-25-06, 05:16 PM   #9
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I had the same question when my wife drove up behind me at a stop sign and said she did not see me until she was very close. She said that I blended into the road with the black seat and black bag on the back. I was running a Planet Bike Superflash and this light has a 1/2 watt led that will hurt your eyes. She said she never saw the flashing light. I had it mounted below the bag, now it is by my left shoulder.

This concerned me because if she had a hard time seeing me, so do the other vehicles on the road. Yes, visibility is greater in the daylight, but bikes are much smaller than cars and that is what people are conditioned to look for. Since we are slower moving vehicles, I felt it was important to do my best to make myself more visible from the from the front and the back to help people see me sooner.


I think this is better. I bought it from Ace Hardware for $7.50.



Added the Jogalite Yield Symbol.

I agree you cannot fix stupid, but it is important to make ourselves more visible. Many bikers and motorcyclists have been accidentally killed just because they were NOT SEEN in broad daylight. Not because they were run over by intoxicated drivers.

Last edited by dgholmes59; 12-27-06 at 09:43 PM.
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Old 12-25-06, 06:06 PM   #10
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Get a flag, no matter how much bright stuff you put on the bike, it's still too low to be noticed til too late. I like the idea of putting flags at multiple heights on the pole. Say what you will about the looks, but I'd rather be seen looking funny than not be seen at all. I have a heck of a time seeing recumbents w/o flags.
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Old 12-26-06, 04:08 PM   #11
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I rode today for the first time since I put the Hi-Vis vest over my seat back and bag. During the 30 mile ride, I rode on basically three types of roadway.
  • 2 lane with large shoulders
  • 2 lane with no shoulders
  • 4 lane, city road with 2 lanes in each direction

I was amazed at how much difference it made to have the HI-Vis vest hanging off the back of my seat. At least 80% to 90% of the drivers gave me extra room.

I traveled 20 miles on the 2 lane with shoulders. Most drivers hugged the center stripe with many going over the center stripe into the other lane. I could not believe it. This hardly ever occurred before using the vest. I was riding along on the shoulder admiring how the traffic was actually seeing me when I looked in my mirror and saw a huge machine behind me on the shoulder coming toward me. The machine was taking the whole shoulder and part of the road and was on the shoulder letting cars pass. I kept watching my mirror and was getting ready to take the ditch if he got too close. About 100 yards from me, he pulled into the regular lane, passed me and pulled back on the shoulder in front of me to let more cars by. It was one of those huge earth movers and he actually saw me.

I traveled 10 miles on the 2 lane with no shoulders. The road is fairly quiet, but there are a few diesel trucks that I usually encounter. I worry that they do not see me and I usually take the ditch when they come up behind me if it is safe to do so. Today, I heard a truck behind me and I could hear him downshift and slow a good 1/2 mile behind me. I knew he had seen me, so I held my lane and he passed in the oncoming lane since it was clear. I was feeling much more comfortable knowing I was being seen so quickly.

When I got back to town, I have to travel the 4 lane road to get back home. I rode in the right lane and watched my mirrors to see how the drivers would react to the vest. Cars were moving to the left lane a good 100 to 200 yards before getting to me. It was very nice. They usually crowd me in the right lane, but now they were actually passing me.

Hanging the vest off the back of the bike made a huge difference in the way drivers reacted to me on the roadway. I have ridden over 1500 miles since August and have gotten very mad at some of the drivers that pass me so very very close. Today, I realize if I make myself seen, they will try to give me some room. It may be because they now have enough time to react. Whatever the case, it was nice.
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Old 12-26-06, 04:47 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerdz
Hello,
I ride a BikeE which has a pretty high black mesh seat-back. I try to ride in bright t-shirts, but don't think they do any good for cars approaching from the rear - all they could see would be my sleeves. My rearward profile is basically a black rectangle with a little reflective grey strip on my black bag. Any ideas for making myself more visible to traffic overtaking me in the daytime?
I have the same bike with the same seat and immediately recognized that visibility would be an issue, particularly to motorists three of four car lengths back. I use a bright orange flag that sits about the same height as a person riding a standard upright bike's head. For the most part, it works well. I didn't spend more than $10.00 on the flag and used hockey tape (I'm in Canada---what else would I use?) to fix the flag along the seat-back post on the left side inside the mesh-wrap around. Good luck.
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Old 12-26-06, 05:11 PM   #13
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Flag visibility?

Question: since a flag (and I don't have one on my bent yet -just got it-) blows away from the direction of the wind, it's trailing edge should be facing towards overtaking traffic, which would mean that it presents a very narrow profile: how would this help? It seems to me that the FLASH FLAG would be a better option (though they are no longer available (at least that I can find). The link I just provided says that the guy who runs the site can still get them, but when I try to contact him, there's a verification process that requires you look at a .jpg file for a passkey, and the link to the picture is broken, so apparently, there's no way to get a hold of him to ask if he can still get them. DOH!

I rarely see other bent riders in my area, and when I do I never see them with flags, hence my question. Anyone have a link for buying a flag kit? I have recently acquired BikeE RX that I've just started riding, and I'm feeling a bit exposed, what with the black seat-back and all. One great thing I hadn't counted on: the ease of hand signaling on a bent: it's a lot more comforable to signal on a bent! Add in some glo-glovs and maybe the Safe Turn, though I have only used the Glo-Glovs (which work GREAT!)
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Old 12-27-06, 09:18 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nollij
Question: since a flag (and I don't have one on my bent yet -just got it-) blows away from the direction of the wind, it's trailing edge should be facing towards overtaking traffic, which would mean that it presents a very narrow profile: how would this help? It seems to me that the FLASH FLAG would be a better option (though they are no longer available (at least that I can find). The link I just provided says that the guy who runs the site can still get them, but when I try to contact him, there's a verification process that requires you look at a .jpg file for a passkey, and the link to the picture is broken, so apparently, there's no way to get a hold of him to ask if he can still get them. DOH!

I rarely see other bent riders in my area, and when I do I never see them with flags, hence my question. Anyone have a link for buying a flag kit? I have recently acquired BikeE RX that I've just started riding, and I'm feeling a bit exposed, what with the black seat-back and all. One great thing I hadn't counted on: the ease of hand signaling on a bent: it's a lot more comforable to signal on a bent! Add in some glo-glovs and maybe the Safe Turn, though I have only used the Glo-Glovs (which work GREAT!)
I have ridden behind my son while he was on my Bike E and the flag is plenty visible. It doesn't represent a narrow profile at all because it flaps and flutters in the wind. The movement is very noticeable to motorists. They are rarely directly behind you anyway as the drivers side is far to the left of the vehicle and cyclists are to their extreme right, therefore they get a profile view of the flag. In the year I have been using it, I've even had a number of drivers mention what a good idea it was to have the flag, mentioning the movement and unusual shape made me more noticeable.

Perhaps there are better products out there. If there are, they may entice theives, particularly if they are not easy or convenient for you ro remove and store.
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Old 12-28-06, 06:51 PM   #15
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I strapped a Cat Eye blinkie to the back of my helmet.

My head is the highest point, and about eye level with most drivers.
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Old 12-29-06, 08:18 PM   #16
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I use a fiberglass rod that is sold at ATV shops. I took off the small triangle flag and replaced it with surveying flaging (ribbon). I use a bright color this can be bought at most hardware stores. I tied 4 peaces that are 3-4 feet long on the top of the rod. When I am moving the flag waves this gets people to see that something is up ahead. The top of the flag is 7 feet tall so it can be seen.
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Old 12-29-06, 08:28 PM   #17
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Blackburn MARS 2.0 on a flagpole:



That's a sink stopper bracket holding the light on the pole, BTW.
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Old 12-29-06, 09:42 PM   #18
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I don't use flags or daytime blinkers, and I have not had a problem. I ride a mix of roads, some with paved shoulders and some without. I only ride on the shoulder when it is convenient for me, i.e. smooth and reasonably clean for long stretches at a time. Otherwise, I'm in the traffic lane. I'll share a standard lane, which is defined as 11.5 feet wide, but if the lane is narrow, I'm not afraid to usurp it for myself. I feel my lowracer is noticed better than a typical upright, even though the profile is a lot lower. Maybe it's because I look like a pothole from far away (and nobody wants to hit a pothole?)

Nice idea for a bracket, Shaman.
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Old 12-30-06, 06:31 PM   #19
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Vest

I use a dayglo orange vest over my seatback. Makes me look like a short roadworker walking along the side of the road. Also an LED tail light set on constant (no blink) because somebody told me that made it easier for a driver to judge distance.

On my typical shoulderless roads, drivers give me all kinds of room passing, and will even slow or stop behind me until the passing lane clears. Seems that's the local custom around here.

But then so is drinking. Oh well.

Hal
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Old 01-19-07, 11:49 PM   #20
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I have pretty much the same thing as "Hallyx". This is what it looks like from the back.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Back of Bike cropped 24%.JPG (94.1 KB, 8 views)
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Old 01-19-07, 11:56 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ric
I think the most obvious thing to have and I'm surprised that someone hasn't mentioned it, is to run with a flag. Myself as a Trike rider (catrike speed) run a six feet tall single orange flag, along with this rear light http://www.performancebike.com/shop/...tegory_ID=4322
and 99% of my riding is on the road. I also run with two mirrors, and too ride defensively is priority when riding the roads. Ride Safe.
Where did you get your Flag?
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Old 01-24-07, 09:34 AM   #22
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Where did you get your Flag?
All of my trikes came with flags at the time of purchase. Your LBS should have them in stock, most do if they're selling any type of bent. You can also do a Google search and come up with places to order from, the cheapest place online I've found is Amazon and they run around $8.00 ea.
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Old 01-24-07, 02:57 PM   #23
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Most department stores that sell bikes and bike stuff will have flags also.
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Old 01-28-07, 03:53 PM   #24
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can you see me?

http://youtube.com/watch?v=-ZUQ-YNnqbY

get a lime green alert shirt and a bike smv triangle, a side flash flag can also help
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Old 01-28-07, 08:07 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dgholmes59
I had the same question when my wife drove up behind me at a stop sign and said she did not see me until she was very close. She said that I blended into the road with the black seat and black bag on the back. I was running a Planet Bike Superflash and this light has a 1/2 watt led that will hurt your eyes. She said she never saw the flashing light. I had it mounted below the bag, now it is by my left shoulder.



I think this is better. I bought it from Ace Hardware for $7.50.

Added the Jogalite Yield Symbol.
How did you attach the Superflash mount to your seat up there? Did you have to cut the seat back material? I just got a Rans Stratus and see the logic of mounting the light a bit higher.
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