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Old 06-21-06, 11:04 AM   #1
Recycle
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Being more visible to auto traffic

I want to be more visible when riding in traffic, especially during daylight.

This reflective triangle from REI looked like something that would help either day or night. (in addition to lights and blinkies at night)

It can be strapped to a pannier on trips, or strapped to your person on local rides.

Anyone ever use one of these or have an opinion as to whether or not they're any good?

TIA
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Old 06-21-06, 12:07 PM   #2
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I always use the triangle when commuting at night. I seem to get more space from cars coming up from behind. Then again, I also use an Amphipod Xinglet, as well as festooning my bike with reflective tape. And yes, I also have two blinkies and a headlight.

As for better visibility during the day, probably won't help much during the sunny summer days. It'll stick out most during low contrast, overcast days.
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Old 06-21-06, 12:16 PM   #3
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Ride with confidence look drivers staight in the eye at junctions,trafific ligts etc. I always ride at least a foot from the edge of the road, hate to say it but but you've got to fight for your piece of tar heaven if you're willing to be pushed off the road that's what they'll do, no one wants to kill you, so stand up for your right to be out there and if they treat badly i always let them know it, had some very good educational talks with the ill educated drivers of the world. In some 30+ years of rideing I've been knocked of my bike twice in hundreds of thousands of miles of rideing and racing. The best repost to the thick idiots of the world is "do you have kids or want kids? would you expext them to be treated this way when they're riding there bicycles?" then smile nicely at them say "have a great rest of your day" and ride off. tends to make them think just a little. I've also heard just about every gripe that drivers have then I remind them that I own a car that's nicer than theirs and that it doesn't give me a God given right to drive like a w+$%*r. Sorry but no more mister nice guy they need to learn that they don't own the world I live in.
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Old 06-22-06, 01:44 AM   #4
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I drive a truck for a living and I can tell you that anything you can do to make yourself more visable anytime is good, defensive riding. Neon is amazingly visable even in bright daylight. Use the triangle - at the very least.
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Old 06-22-06, 04:35 AM   #5
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I hear in India farmers who want to reduce the chance of a tiger attack go about their work wearing a mask on the back of their heads. This way the tiger thinks it's being watched. I wonder if this would work with cars. I would not be surprised.
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Old 06-22-06, 08:06 AM   #6
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Thanks for the comments. I just ordered a pair for my wife and I.

I'm also looking into ways to attach a full sized slow moving vehicle sign to my rack.
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Old 06-22-06, 08:39 AM   #7
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Wear a lurid Green jacket like PI sells if you want to be seen. Nothing stands out in the traffic as well as those [ugly] jackets.
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Old 06-22-06, 08:47 AM   #8
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You mean like this? I clipped off the belt and attached it with velcro to my backpack.

And I have had more drivers, daytime and nighttime, and cops pull up beside me and tell me that it really helps. Apparently a lot more drivers than you would ever think actually recognize that as being a slow moving vehicle/warning that there is something up ahead that I should be paying attention to signal.

When I go out on a training ride along the same routes I get a different level of support from drivers as I do when I am commuting and wearing my backpack.

I think it cost a whopping $8 or something like that too, so it has definitely been worth the money for me.
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Old 06-22-06, 09:49 AM   #9
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what light

Rule:
What rear light is that on your seat pack? Thank you

Last edited by rimugu; 06-22-06 at 09:55 AM.
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Old 06-22-06, 06:44 PM   #10
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I always wear my neon yellow vest when I ride. I definitely noticed a difference when I put it on after not wearing it - cars at intersections were much more likely to see me. Personally, I think it is more important than a helmet since being seen means less likely to get hit in the first place. (Helmets don't do much if a car runs over you). The one I wear was made by Canari but is no longer made. It is starting to fade but I am waiting for Pearl Izumi to introduce their new version of the Zephyr vest which will have a back pocket unlike the current one. I even ride my fixed gear bike with this vest on even thought the hipsters shake their heads sadly at my fashion faux paux.

Note to some of the other posters - reflectors aren't very usefull in daylight.
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Old 06-22-06, 07:55 PM   #11
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Whatever happened to the flag? I know they are a wind drag, but them sometimes, or so I have heard, one experiences tail winds. Also, I don't think one needs to wear it all the time, but around large trucks or in heavier trafic I think it might be the best defence. It flaps aroung and if you are trying toavoid being crushed by a cement truck, this might be your best bet for getting some elevation.

The triangle implies slow vehicle, which is, apparently a very political characterisation of a bike. Some seem to take it to mean that "I am not really a regular road user, like a tractor moving between fields, or a crew moving a house". Also in some jurisdictions bikes are excluded from that catagory which might make for an interesting argument in a lawsuit - "Your honor the plaintif appears not to have understood what category he was operating a vehicle within, and was otherwise conducting himself like a witless moron...". Hey I know we aren't talking politics here just safety, but there was a big thread in Advocacy on this.
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Old 06-22-06, 08:13 PM   #12
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I don't use any bags or stuff sacks that aren't red, yellow, orange, or neon green.
I'm always surprised people use black or blue panniers, they are a huge area and high vis colors make a world of difference, and I say this as a cyclist and motorist.
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Old 06-22-06, 10:42 PM   #13
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Good point. If you look at rule's bike gear above, his triangle is visible, but the rest of his stuff appears to be black. I like the yellow Ortliebs for visibility.
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Old 06-23-06, 01:54 AM   #14
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i think what nm+ said is good, but if you already own some dark colored paniers just throw on a neon rain cover on the back set and ride with it. Your bringing it with you anyway, so why not store it there.
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Old 06-23-06, 09:09 AM   #15
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you can still get safety flags, Cyclepro makes one for 7 bucks or so.

here's TWO triangles in use last weekend on a little 3 day tour up to the mountains- i also always wear a DOT class 2 safety vest and use the pannier triangle out riding on tour, i think visibility on country roads is very high on the priority list.

i have black ortleibs; Although ortleib colored panniers are brighter, the sides that face the drivers from a distance are black. you can notice a litttle of the yellow a bit further away than the black ones (LOTS of ortleib users in the Northwest), but not enough of a difference in my opinion.
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Old 06-23-06, 09:31 AM   #16
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We've been using the triangle along with colorful jackets for more than a month in Washington State, Canada and now Oregon and have not had one driver honked at us. I believe they send a message to drivers that we are concerned about our safety and they seem to yield for us.

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Old 06-23-06, 12:10 PM   #17
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I got my triangle from TeamEstrogen.com. I find that drivers see/recognize me way earlier, and when it's on the bike I seem to get a lot more room and no problems- I leave it on all the time now.



The red rear light is a Cateye TL-LD1000
The white light on the left/rear dropout is a Lightman xenon strobe
The orange bar with the reflector is something I picked up in a Paris bike shop.

(And, looking at the photo again, I should explain that those things on the handlebars are pogies from Madden Mountaineering that I use for winter bike riding (this is a March 06 photo)

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Old 06-23-06, 02:13 PM   #18
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My first tour (which I just finished a week and a half ago) I didn't use a triangle, but I did have a neon jersey that I wore every day. And it helps a LOT. Like people said, no one (well nearly no one) wants to hurt you, it is more a matter if they can see you in time to react correctly. I think a neon jersey would be very important even with a triangle, simply because you body is higher up than the triangle will be, and that is very useful in hilly areas.

And don't even think of touring without some sort of mirror (unless you have perfected turning your head and keeping straight, and even then, I would recommend a mirror), you just can't expect all drivers to know what to do around a cyclist, so it is up to the cyclist to be on the alert about EVERY car that is going to pass you (unless you got a nice 6 feet of paved shoulder, like I did in Kansas... that was a great state to cycle through). On my tour I was only surpised be a car passing a couple times (all of them were on very hilly Missouri roads).

Sorry if that came off a little strong, but I believe safety is of the highest importance. Not much point on going on a tour if you get in an accident in a few days.
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Old 06-23-06, 09:57 PM   #19
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I use the triangle on my rack pack, and also a reflective vest and ankle wraps. I use two flashing lights on back and have reflective tape on my fender. I also have a reflective tape pattern on the back of my helmet. This picture without fenders.

My goal is this; if they're gonna hit me, they'll have to be aiming for me as there is no way they can avoid seeing me.

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Old 06-23-06, 10:46 PM   #20
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I don't use mirrors, No particular point in my mind, cars don't want to hit you, and the ones that are inexperienced tend to give wide berth rather than snuggle up. Driving in the city I may be passed by hundreds of cars an hour, who knows, If I pay attention to all of them I'm not watching the road. The cars that really want your blood are mostly down the road, doors, folks pulling out of side streets, etc...

In fact the nearest I have come to being run over in a long time was a guy 100 yards ahead of me pulled over by a stop sign. Something didn't look right so I moved out into the empty oncoming lane. The Jackass threw the car in reverse and went whipping past me looking strait ahead at his rear view mirror. He never saw me. I keep my eyes on the road ahead for stuff like that, potholes ambushing dogs, etc... The guy behind has hours of time to see you in comparison.

In fact the second clossest I have come was last fall when a guy almost laid his 18 wheeler over on me when he was trying to avoid hitting a car stopped to make a left turn.

I regard the fear of the car behind a little like being scared of monsters under the bed. There could be monsters under there, and the possibility fills the mind. Hey, I may be wrong and maybe the accident stats say it's all the guy behind.
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Old 06-26-06, 06:06 PM   #21
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I'm a real fan of the orange triangle, and I have one on my rear rack bag because I think it's prudent. I want the guy who kills me to be very guilty about it.

This Sunday at the Tour de Sewickley I saw a couple, probably in their 50's, in the photo below. I asked if I could take their picture and they posed nicely but facing me, and then I explained that I wanted the view of the triangles. They were very good sports.

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Old 06-26-06, 06:17 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Recycle
Thanks for the comments. I just ordered a pair for my wife and I.

I'm also looking into ways to attach a full sized slow moving vehicle sign to my rack.
Just a note, although I seriously doubt ANYONE would get a ticket for it... it's actually illegal in some states to attach those to a vehicle which is not designated as a slow moving vehicle (in at least one of the states I've read up on, bicycles are specifically excluded from the 'slow moving vehicle' category... that also happens to be the state where the laws that I read specifically state that it's illegal to place one of those on any other vehicle)
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Old 06-26-06, 06:53 PM   #23
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Super high vis international orange jersey from Performancebike.com. Cheap and impossible not to see.
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Old 06-27-06, 05:12 AM   #24
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If I'm not mistaken, most accidents with cars are not from behind. Most accidents are caused by a car pulling out of a side street or parking lot directly into the cyclist. They were looking for on-coming cars or trucks, but not bikes. In those situations I check to see if the driver sees me, (eye contact) and if not, I check traffic to see if there will be an opening in traffic about the same time I will be passing in front of the car. If there is, I'm on full alert and may just slow down and ride behind the car or wave to get their attention.
Early morning fog is another danger spot, That's where reflectors and flashing lights really help. This is also a good time to cycle close to the white line, cars will generally learn toward the center line, which is easier to see for them. A front flasher is also a good idea.
I have a spinning strobe on the top of my helmet along with a purple propeller, OK so I just made that up, but it would be stylish!
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Old 06-27-06, 09:14 PM   #25
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i got a vest from harbor-freight-tool ($ 7.00). it is breath-able, reflective, and velcro latches (easy on/off).
Be Visable no matter how!
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