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Is wearing hi-viz a continuing trend?

Old 04-30-11, 05:35 PM
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powerhouse
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Is wearing hi-viz a continuing trend?

About a year ago I purchased a new, screaming-yellow , Pearl Izumi wind jacket to replace the old one I'd used for so long. When bicycling, it helped to keep the chill off during the cooler hours of the day or during the early and latter part of the season. It also helped to provide extra visibility of me to motorists.

During the past year, I also began wearing it at various other times when off the bike. While walking some of the MUPs in the city I live in, I wear my jacket when the the wind comes off the sea. I also use it for its visibility to approaching runners or bicyclists. As a person with a visual impairment, it also has helped at times as a pedestrian crossing streets on dark, overcast days. Motorists seemed to pay more attention and stop. Perhaps I looked dorky wearing the jacket but I don't care.

I thought I was the only one who wore such a hi-viz jacket while off the bike. But lately I've noticed many other people (other than bicyclists) wearing them while walking the MUP's, out shopping for groceries, and other places around town.

Is wearing hi-vis off the bike a continuing trend? Discuss.

Last edited by powerhouse; 05-04-11 at 08:25 AM.
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Old 04-30-11, 05:45 PM
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My favorite warm pullover is a high orange viz polar fleece. I started wearing it because I got it for free from my work but now I wear it as first choice. It's a lot more important for me to wear high viz going to work (crossings etc) than it is if I am at work. One does wonder however, if everyone was wearing high viz, would it be any use? I guess not everyone would wear high viz, so that discussion is pointless. For instance, some of the population are highly focused on their appearance so it will probably always be an advantage for me to wear high viz.
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Old 04-30-11, 07:04 PM
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Having lived and travelled in North America, Australia and parts of Europe, I've made an observation regarding the hi-vis clothing.

In Canada and the US, you rarely see people wearing anything hi-vis unless they are forced to wear a reflective vest by nature of their work ... and sometimes not even then if they can get away with it (although maybe that's changing now).

In England and Australia, just about every tradie, and a lot of other people in other areas, wear hi-vis stuff and often reflective hi-vis stuff. There is a large range of clothing and lots of different companies make them. This is one example of many companies you'll find if you google hi-vis clothing: https://www.hi-vis-clothing.b-protected.com.au/ (I selected it as an example, because it has a lot of examples of different hi-vis clothing)

This sort of thing seems to be quite common here ... this, or something like it, is sold in every hardware store I've been in.


I work in an Engineering Department, and we were all given green and orange hi-vis winter jackets (rain jackets with a removable fleece vest lining) ... too heavy for cycling, but comes in handy walking to work on cool, rainy foggy winter days. For cycling, however, I have two hi-vis yellow jackets, one hi-vis yellow vest, and one hi-vis yellow long-sleeved jersey.
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Old 04-30-11, 07:08 PM
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It's not just cycling that is going hi-viz. I've noticed that the shirts I get from marathons or half marathons now come in hi-viz colors. If you participate in a sport where you train on public roads, it's nice to be seen.
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Old 04-30-11, 10:31 PM
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Originally Posted by powerhouse View Post
About a year ago I purchased a new, screaming-yellow , Pearl Izumi wind jacket to replace the old one I'd used for so long. When bicycling, it helped to keep the chill off during the cooler hours of the day or during the early and latter part of the season. It also helped to provide extra visibility of me to motorists.

During the past year, I also began wearing it at various other times when off the bike. While walking some of the MUPs in the city I live in, I wear my jacket when the the wind comes off the sea. I also use it for its visibility to approaching runners or bicyclists. As a person with a visual impairment, it also has helped at times as a pedestrian crossing streets on dark, overcast days. Motorists seemed to pay more attention and stop. Perhaps I looked dorky wearing the jacket but I don't care.

I thought I was the only one who wore such a hi-viz jacket off the bike. But lately I've noticed many other people (other than bicyclists) wearing them while walking the MUP's, out shopping for groceries, and other places around town.

Is wearing hi-vis off the bike a continuing trend? Discuss.
I sure hope it's a trend since many lives will be save on a bike or not. I hope the days when duffus crawls on his bike in a black ,or dark colored, clothing then wonders why he got hit by a driver who couldn't see him, are leaving fast.

Hi-Viz makes a difference no matter what the fashion morons say.
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Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred, which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?
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Old 04-30-11, 10:50 PM
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I own two hi-viz jerseys and find myself washing them every other day for commuting. The rationale was emphasized for me by some pix in Bicycling magazine a few months ago that showed a cyclist in hi-viz in low light compared to one in standard clothing-the difference was remarkable. I also notice at the Giants (Don't Stop Believin') game the other day that all the roving vendors where wearing hi-viz and they were very easy to pick out of the black-and-orange clad crowd.

Having been the first person on the scene of a horrible accident when a young black-vest clad cyclist had her helmet smashed by an SUV, I can tell you that is worth it to take every precaution to be seen. I can't say for sure that this young lady would have been saved by hi-viz, but I suspect lack of visibility (she was lying unconscious in a shadow) may have played a part.

I wear my Canari hi-viz windbreaker all the time in non-cycling situations- as a PE teacher I can't really afford a lot of specialty clothes that only fit one context. Hiking, sports-spectating, it's all good, as long as your fashion sense doesn't outweigh your utilitarian ethic.
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Old 04-30-11, 11:39 PM
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My rain parka is same reflective bands and Neon lime, as the roadside workers wear,
because I got it from the same shop.
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Old 05-01-11, 06:34 AM
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It's heartening to see that basic survival instinct is a continuing trend in the human species. For a while I've been having some doubts, particularly of cyclists who often seem to value fashion more than life.
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Old 05-01-11, 07:07 AM
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I think that the popularity of neon colors comes and goes.

Right now wearing day-glo colors is on an upswing. Their use has become a requirement for an increasing number of jobs. I drive a school bus and we have reflective vests to wear on the lot and, to indicate thqt we're bus drivers, we're supposed to wear them whenever we go into a school.

There's no doubt in my mind that they stand out more and make you more visible. I do have doubts about how much good it does. The people who pass you too closely - I suspect that's either deliberate or else they're texting somebody and are completely oblivious.

I'm betting the popularity of high viz stuff will fade over time.
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Old 05-01-11, 07:18 AM
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I don't know ... from my observations people in the UK have been wearing hi-vis stuff since I first visited there in 2002, and from what I've been told, well before that as well. As you say, the use of hi-vis stuff is required for many jobs. Here in Australia, lots of people wear the hi-vis stuff (as mentioned in my post) like a uniform, and have done for years. I don't think that's going to go away any time soon.


Neon as a fashion may come and go (last time it was popular was in the 1980s), but hi-vis as a work requirement is likely to be here to stay for some time to come.
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Old 05-01-11, 11:00 AM
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I have to chuckle now that Hi-Viz is gaining ground on bikeforums and elsewhere since I joined the fourms back when. When I first mentioned Hi-Viz the racer boys here back then would flame me for the suggestion.

My how times change....
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Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred, which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?
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Old 05-01-11, 11:52 AM
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I have a hi viz vest. My commute is 3 miles on streets, 14 miles on bike path. I hate wearing hi viz so much that I wait until the end of the bike path to put it on, and I don't wear if at all if it's sunny out. I usually only wear it commuting or if I'm riding somewhere at night.
Baby steps I guess, a year ago I wouldn't have been caught dead in yellow anything. I've noticed a relationship between age and fashion concerns, the older I get the less I care about looking dorky.

As for trendiness, you may see more cyclists wearing it, but the percentage of 18 year olds who make fun of you for wearing it willl never change.
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Old 05-01-11, 02:54 PM
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Originally Posted by garagegirl View Post
Baby steps I guess, a year ago I wouldn't have been caught dead in yellow anything. I've noticed a relationship between age and fashion concerns, the older I get the less I care about looking dorky.
Don't look now but you're maturing i.e. getting older to the point you no longer believe you're invincible.
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Originally Posted by krazygluon
Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred, which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?
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Old 05-01-11, 03:55 PM
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Originally Posted by garagegirl View Post
As for trendiness, you may see more cyclists wearing it, but the percentage of 18 year olds who make fun of you for wearing it willl never change.
But .... why would anyone care what an 18 year old thinks of what you're wearing????
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Old 05-01-11, 07:28 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
My rain parka is same reflective bands and Neon lime, as the roadside workers wear,
because I got it from the same shop.
+1

I work in safety and have several items that are ANSI Class 3 compliant. And I am not above wearing them as regular street wear or cycling wear for that matter.

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Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
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Old 05-01-11, 07:34 PM
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Most of the people I see wearing reflective clothing around here, like a construction worker vest, don't have any lights on their bikes. They think a striped vest is just as good, if not better. It isn't.

Reflective clothing is fine for a supplementary piece of safety equipment, but reflectors aren't half as visible as you think they are to a driver. Light up your bikes.
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Old 05-01-11, 10:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
But .... why would anyone care what an 18 year old thinks of what you're wearing????
I've always thought that if an 18 year old makes fun of what I'm doing, I'm doing something right. Particularly males. I'm past the stage of trying to impress 18 year old girls (well, mostly).

On my big ride today I was thinking about this, and I noticed how much more visible high-vis and neon colors were, even in sunshine. The darker colors (even red) simply faded into the background.
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Old 05-02-11, 12:06 PM
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I even wear hi-vis socks in addition to the jacket/jersey or vest. A section of my commute is on a 50 mph road where I take control of the right lane. I want overtaking motorists to figure out ASAP that Iím not a motorcycle going the same speed as them. The pedaling action unmistakably says "bicycle".

As for the OPís question, "is hi-vis a continuing trend?" I donít know. I never wear it for anything but (certain) bike rides, and seldom see anyone else but cyclists wearing it.
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Old 05-02-11, 01:17 PM
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Years ago hunters used to camouflage themselves to the max to ensure a kill to put on the table. Then hunters started shooting each other since they didn't silhouette as a human. That's when blaze orange hunting gear was mandated AND ENFORCED so that the human silhouette was clear to all other hunters to avoid these terrible hunter deaths.

IMO the transportational cyclist now needs to be REQUIRED to wear a lime green hi-viz clothing anytime they ride the roadways or steets.
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Originally Posted by krazygluon
Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred, which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?
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Old 05-02-11, 01:25 PM
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I am primarily a bike commuter / utility rider so I'm in traffic in suburbs and the city as much if not more than trails. Being seen by drivers is paramount to my survival plan. I have the usual chrome yellow windbreaker but this winter I bought a $15 Home Depot road worker vest with uber reflective stripes that weighs nothing and folds up into something that will fit under the saddle if needs be or more usually a pocket. That vest is ALWAYS on the bike even if I am a Sunday ride on a leisurely suburban trail.

Of course at my age not being run over by the SUV du jour comes out far ahead of looking like a dork.
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Old 05-02-11, 02:44 PM
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Originally Posted by powerhouse View Post
About a year ago I purchased a new, screaming-yellow , Pearl Izumi wind jacket to replace the old one I'd used for so long.
I have a Quest WxB $100 Screaming Yellow Medium in my Amazon cart, just waiting to get paid so I can
  • Tag my bills
  • Recover several hundred dollars into my emergency fund
  • Throw the $100 for the jacket

I overspent last month by about $1450 of discretionary spending (including a $300 fine for parking somewhere I didn't see the "NO PARKING" sign... I saw the "PARK HERE" sign >) so I'm backing off this month. I want to pay off my car (which I'm doing at $600+/mo; who pays the minimum payment anyway? Do you like paying $30,000 for a $14,000 car?), not squander my savings.

However, I've decided that the jacket warrants some out of my discretionary account. The rest of my discretionary account is getting dumped into my emergency fund; discretionary spending is limited to some $300/mo, and yeah... $1450 is a bit more than $300, I need to fix this.

Part of that decision was the absolutely wasteful spending on a bicycle I can't ride in light almost-showers. A jacket is enough if it's just raining a little, enough that you almost wouldn't get the umbrella out. It's been doing that a LOT here, days I could ride my bike otherwise. I wouldn't even need rain pants for this (a water-resistant jacket would work, but I'm going for the full waterproof one).

The other part is the obvious visibility benefit. The black jacket's cheaper. Forget that, yellow is obnoxious and highly attention-grabbing.
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Old 05-02-11, 04:59 PM
  #22  
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Originally Posted by Nightshade View Post
Years ago hunters used to camouflage themselves to the max to ensure a kill to put on the table. Then hunters started shooting each other since they didn't silhouette as a human. That's when blaze orange hunting gear was mandated AND ENFORCED so that the human silhouette was clear to all other hunters to avoid these terrible hunter deaths.

IMO the transportational cyclist now needs to be REQUIRED to wear a lime green hi-viz clothing anytime they ride the roadways or steets.
Maybe, just maybe we should require drivers to learn how to drive and NOT run over and into people...like that is going to ever happen

Aaron
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Aluminum: barely a hundred
Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
_krazygluon
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Old 05-02-11, 05:43 PM
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Originally Posted by wahoonc View Post
Maybe, just maybe we should require drivers to learn how to drive and NOT run over and into people...like that is going to ever happen

Aaron
You know as well as I do that your point of view won't wash since there are two people involved in every accident. I'll bet hunters used a line just like yours to complain about blaze orange clothing when it first was required.
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Originally Posted by krazygluon
Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred, which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?
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Old 05-02-11, 07:13 PM
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Originally Posted by wahoonc View Post
Maybe, just maybe we should require drivers to learn how to drive and NOT run over and into people...like that is going to ever happen

Aaron
I'm a cautious, considerate, careful driver in a place where there's cyclists of all types and stripes (Portland) and I'm still surprised occasionally by a cyclist I "didn't see" until I was almost on top of them. It's a matter of contrast, color, and motion- too many times it's a person wearing "useful" gear that does not stand out from the background. I hate dark blue rain jackets in particular.

In order to avoid you, first they must see you.
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Old 05-02-11, 09:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Jeff Wills View Post
I'm a cautious, considerate, careful driver in a place where there's cyclists of all types and stripes (Portland) and I'm still surprised occasionally by a cyclist I "didn't see" until I was almost on top of them. It's a matter of contrast, color, and motion- too many times it's a person wearing "useful" gear that does not stand out from the background. I hate dark blue rain jackets in particular.

In order to avoid you, first they must see you.
The whole point behind Hi-viz clothing for cyclist as well as hunters.
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My preferred bicycle brand is.......WORKSMAN CYCLES
I dislike clipless pedals on any city bike since I feel they are unsafe.

Originally Posted by krazygluon
Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred, which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?
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