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Bike Flags

Old 08-01-08, 08:27 AM
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rumrunn6
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Bike Flags

Am I the only one using a flag? I think it helps get a few more inches of consideration. The flag plus the strobes, plus my bright yellow shirt. I'm moving folks so stop where you are supposed to and let me by if I have the right of way. You know? Anyway - doesn't anyone else want a flag.

Should I get rid of it? Am I making an ass of myself?
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Old 08-01-08, 08:42 AM
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That flag is totally Fred, ergo, I'd keep it. Anything that gets you noticed (on a bicycle or motorcycle, at least) keeps you safe.
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Old 08-01-08, 08:43 AM
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OK, thanks for the vote. What does totally "fred" mean?
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Old 08-01-08, 08:50 AM
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From the Bicycle Source:
Originally Posted by Bicycle Source
fred 1) n. a person who spends a lot of money on his bike and clothing, but still can't ride. "What a fred -- too much Lycra and titanium and not enough skill." Synonym for poser. Occasionally called a "barney".

2) n. a person who has a mishmash of old gear, does't care at all about technology or fashion, didn't race or follow racing, etc. Often identified by chainring marks on white calf socks. Used by "serious" roadies to disparage utility cyclists and touring riders, especially after these totally unfashionable "freds" drop the "serious" roadies on hills because the "serious" guys were really posers. This term is from road touring and, according to popular myth, "Fred" was a well-known grumpy old touring rider, who really was named Fred.
Wear the title with pride, my friend.

I am [a] Specialized Fred. (Apologies to Specialized's Marketing Department. )

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Old 08-01-08, 09:22 AM
  #5  
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I use a flag, but it's not the same kind of flag. I often carry a red flag, the kind used for directing traffic. I use it to signal- it is better than hand signals alone.


As for Fred, Are you familiar with railroad terminology? FRED stands for "Flashing Rear End Device". Trains don't have a caboose anymore; the Fred mounts on the coupler of the last car of the train. It's like a "Blinkie"! Except in addition to the flashing light, it has an air pressure monitor and a radio transmitter, to let the engineer know if the train is losing it's air brakes.
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Old 08-01-08, 09:23 AM
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Only if you care what other people think *shrug* I personally don't or I wouldn't be riding my bike to work.

My wife has a flag but it is on her trike and for her mid racer recumbent. I'm picking up one for my highracer recumbent that I commute on which most people don't think would need a flag at all.

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Old 08-01-08, 09:27 AM
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I used a flag when touring on back country roads... I figured on those lonely farm roads anything that can make me more visible would help.
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Old 08-01-08, 09:40 AM
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I occasionally use a flag mounted sideways out towards the left so that it sticks out 34" to the side of my bike. Works EXTREMELY well for encouraging careful passing. But it seriously limits maneuverability.
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Old 08-01-08, 09:48 AM
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I have seen flags on bikes. It seems to me that the flag itself is too small to be seen very well. One tends to see the rider long before one sees the flag. That applies to wide open country roads. Flags may well be effective in suburban and urban environments. At any rate, they can't hurt.
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Old 08-01-08, 09:50 AM
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Had one on an organized ride once. Took me two days to stop swinging my leg over the back of the bike to get one, despite being whipped in the groin.
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Old 08-01-08, 10:00 AM
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Thanks for the "FRED" info. It all makes sense. I had a compliment paid to me the other day, possibly condescending from a "serious" rider. I slowed down for the upcoming railroad tracks and as he and his quiet follower slowly passed me, he said "Nice pace! You were really moving!" I nodded to him in thanks. I guess it took him longer to catch up to me than he was expecting. He wasn't a commuter, he was fresh. Would love to race him. I was on my last 5 miles of my 44 miles roundtrip which by the way includes 30 minutes at my GYM for intense upper body weight training. I'd like to see him catch up and pass me in the morning.

I don't want to look like a dork, I really don't, but there's no way I'm, ever gonna wanna look like a "serious" biker. Guess I'll be Fred for a while longer ...

Hey, I have clean socks! :-)
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Old 08-01-08, 10:01 AM
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Under normal circumstances, i don't think a flag is necessary. . If a cyclist is all that worried about being seeing, I think a reflecterized vest works equally well. Maybe even more so.
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Old 08-01-08, 10:05 AM
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OK - more about the flag. It helps motorists know I am approaching before they see ME because it is above most roof lines.

... still hoping someone might talk me out of it.
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Old 08-01-08, 11:47 AM
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I personally think the flags are a waist of time, money and drag. The flag tends to flap straight back in line with the direction of travel thanks this gets more pronounced the faster you ride. When I see a cyclists and they have a flag I usually don't see the flag until I get much closer. Second problem is that the flags are orange. It has been shown in research that the color orange is not all that visable in lower light conditions (the same conditions that make cyclists less visiable on the road). This is why hgihway crews and other constuction works have switched over from wearing orange only to most now wearing H--Viz lime-green/yellow shirts. If you want to be seen wear bright clothing. Your body is large and putting on something bright will make you MUCH more visable. I ride year round and starting in the late Summer and continuing to Spring I wear an ANSI Class II vest all the time for my morning and evening commute. During the Summer I''' only put on the vest if I am out riding late in the evening or at night (vest also has large reflective bands). When I have seen other riders wearing ANSI level brightness Hi-Viz I can usually see them from a mile out. Usually you first notice a bright blob in the distance. Only when you get closer can you tell it is a cyclists. Compare that to someone wearing dark clothing but with a "safety" flag, and you won't see them till you are much closer. A flag won't hurt, but bright clothing will help a lot. Sure I look like Fred Fall through Spring (a Plant Bike Super Flash adds to the Fredness), but at least I know I can be seens from quite a ways out, even in the dead of night.

Happy riding,
André
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Old 08-01-08, 11:52 AM
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That flag is very high. Are you using it for 18 wheel truckers? Otherwise, I would lower it to about SUV height.

I only use a flag on my small wheeled bent and keep it half way between driver eye level of a car and SUV.

Right now I use an American Flag. If I can ever get one the right size, I want to put the "Don't Tread on Me" flag on the bent.
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Old 08-01-08, 12:14 PM
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Originally Posted by CB HI View Post
That flag is very high. Are you using it for 18 wheel truckers? Otherwise, I would lower it to about SUV height.

I only use a flag on my small wheeled bent and keep it half way between driver eye level of a car and SUV.

Right now I use an American Flag. If I can ever get one the right size, I want to put the "Don't Tread on Me" flag on the bent.
Cool idea... check boat flags at your local marine shop... they come in various sizes, although "Don't Tread on Me" is still going to be hard to find.

You know, thinking about it, that is a great slogan for a cyclists' T shirt.

Check here for flags... https://www.united-states-flag.com/1stnavyjack.html
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Old 08-01-08, 12:47 PM
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Originally Posted by andrelam View Post
I personally think the flags are a waist of time, money and drag. The flag tends to flap straight back in line with the direction of travel thanks this gets more pronounced the faster you ride.
That is why you mount it facing out to the left side
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Old 08-01-08, 04:56 PM
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Close guys but I'm not talked out of it yet. Keep trying. :-)

The flag is red, same color as traffic cones. (but I do like to new lime greens stuff) Red is better because it does not occur in nature, but green does.

The flag has been trimmed in length and while riding it is the same height as my head. It is still above roof tops, but not trucks and not the biggest suvs. gave that up when i trimmed a foot of length.

I do wear bright clothing and use daytime strobes. My bike bag is red, my helmet is red. There is no doubt that they see me. The question, is what do the drivers do. When the see a biker they make assumptions and move on, mentally. When the see the flag it rings a different bell in their head and the are more courteous. Due, no doubt to the Fred factor.

Come on, I want to ditch the flag, keep em comin'
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Old 08-02-08, 06:50 AM
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It's been years since I saw anyone using a flag, but I used to see people using them on group rides. When I encountered a group while driving on a level road the riders themselves always were more noticeable than their flags. But in hilly areas the flags sometimes stuck up high enough for me to notice them when the riders were obscured by a dip in the road, before the riders themselves came into view.
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Old 08-02-08, 07:56 AM
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They aren't always needed but when they do do perform a unique function it could be that one instance that my life or injury was saved ...

Thanks for that input!!!!!
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Old 08-02-08, 09:34 AM
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Originally Posted by genec View Post
Cool idea... check boat flags at your local marine shop... they come in various sizes, although "Don't Tread on Me" is still going to be hard to find.

You know, thinking about it, that is a great slogan for a cyclists' T shirt.

Check here for flags... https://www.united-states-flag.com/1stnavyjack.html
Small quibble, that isn't only the first Navy Jack, it is also the current one. The old one was a blue flag with 50 white stars but we changed back to "Don't Tread on Me" for the war on Terror because it is more agressive. I'm not joking.
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Old 08-02-08, 10:03 AM
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Your flag is ok. Might want lower it 12 "
For Real Traffic use a Dinotte.
Check out my sig U-Tubes for flags
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Old 08-02-08, 12:34 PM
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Wow! You are low down and definitely need a flag huh?
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Old 08-02-08, 01:51 PM
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Nothing says Dork-O-Rama like a flag!

Unless you have a recumbent, I don't really see the need for one. It really doesn't make you any more visible since bike riders are pretty visible vertically already since their heads are as high as most sedan's roofs.

In the countryside in the midwest in August, when the corn is way over head high, might be useful in beinmg seen by side traffic when approaching an intersection.
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Old 08-02-08, 02:24 PM
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Originally Posted by CB HI View Post
That flag is very high. Are you using it for 18 wheel truckers? Otherwise, I would lower it to about SUV height.

I only use a flag on my small wheeled bent and keep it half way between driver eye level of a car and SUV.

Right now I use an American Flag. If I can ever get one the right size, I want to put the "Don't Tread on Me" flag on the bent.
I need me one of them. Even seeing a Don't Tread on Me flag flipping above the cars would be more visible than nothing. ...though I'd also consider putting an LED at the top of the pole for night riding (though I tend to rig my own systems up, there probably isn't a stand-alone system that has this. If there is, please show me).
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