Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Stealth Cyclists ?

Old 04-22-12, 09:53 AM
  #26  
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Originally Posted by John Young View Post
Yeah you are always going to get some drivers that wont see you no matter what... but surly bright clothes will help.

I know when I am driving I always notice the bright clothes on cyclists a long way back
I doubt that hostile, short-tempered clothing will do much, unless it scares cars away.

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Old 04-22-12, 11:18 AM
  #27  
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Yeah just us cyclists and no cars.... how nice would that be.


Even for a day.....
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Old 04-22-12, 11:31 AM
  #28  
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It doesn't matter what you wear. Ride like you're invisible.
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Old 04-22-12, 11:48 AM
  #29  
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I think people can see cyclists whatever color they wear. Can't you see motorcyclist because their leather jacket is black?
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Old 04-22-12, 01:46 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by generalkdi View Post
I think people can see cyclists whatever color they wear. Can't you see motorcyclist because their leather jacket is black?
Chances are you will hear a motorcycle before you ever see it. At least around where I live.
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Old 04-22-12, 01:58 PM
  #31  
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Old 04-22-12, 02:23 PM
  #32  
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They are trying to stealth draft. /thread
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Old 04-22-12, 04:31 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by John Young View Post
Yeah you are always going to get some drivers that wont see you no matter what... but surely bright clothes will help.
I dunno... I kinda think that black actually stands out more in the day... or at least that's what I tell myself.
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Old 04-22-12, 04:40 PM
  #34  
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We can't outsmart the stupid - those texters are the one hazard on the road we cannot influence whist on our bikes.

ACTIVE lighting/coloration is best. Put a nasty-bright red strobe on the back - that light can be visible in the daylight for between a quarter and half mile.

Top that off by wearing an unstylish Fluorescent yellow or orange shirt - add that "passive" coloration to the active. It might not say BMC or Campy or whatever on the jersey, but it will be visible from far away.

And at night, ACTIVE is far better than PASSIVE. Use lamps as primary, reflectors as secondary. Irritate them into attentiveness - well, it sounds good - simply be obnoxious and catch their eye.

And pray they are watching the road. Cussed cell phones!
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Old 04-22-12, 04:43 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by John Young View Post
Recently I have noticed more and more road cyclists with black or very dull clothes. Is this some new trend ? Do they think its not cool to wear bright clothes or do they just have death wish ?


But seriously... in general, I've seen such dull safety awareness among the riders fitting the "roadie" stereotype that it's surprising more of them don't get into collisions. Lack of visibility countermeasures is just the tip of that iceberg.
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Old 04-22-12, 04:47 PM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by dgasmd View Post
You are making the logical assumption that bright fluorescent clothing makes you more visible. Not necessarily true even if it makes common sense!
Very true. Car accidents happen every day. What makes people think that wearing a brightly colored shirt is going to protect them? If you can't see a huge car, it doesn't matter what color clothing you wear. The fact is, some people driving cars just aren't paying attention. It's not normally a matter of "I couldn't see them"...it's a matter of "I wasn't paying attention".
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Old 04-22-12, 04:51 PM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by Velo Vol View Post
That thing is plain as day. I can totally see it.
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Old 04-22-12, 04:59 PM
  #38  
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There have been a good number of occasions while driving that I've been surprised coming upon a pedestrian or cyclist wearing drab clothing in situation with poor visibility. It happens most often at night, but sufficiently poor visibility has happened in broad sunny daylight where there were patches of sun and shade along the road. The high contrast between the brightly it areas and the deeply shaded areas can make it difficult to see thing in the shade. I have cursed these morons, not because I'm concerned for their safety, but because I don't want to have hit anybody, morons or otherwise.
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Old 04-22-12, 05:10 PM
  #39  
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at night in the rain, bright clothes are pretty useless. you are better off spending your money on extremely bright/obnoxious lights....a high lumen light with a strobe mode and super bright blinky light in the back should be sufficient. the rest is up to you and your own skill.
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Old 04-22-12, 05:27 PM
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The bigger danger are cyclist who believe they have an equal right to the road and refuse to move over in traffic...or worse, groups that ride 2-abreast in traffic. The laws might state that cyclist have an equal right to the road, and you can feel free discuss that with your greiving, widowed wife. If there isn't a bike lane, I am riding as close to the gutter as possible. Ride like you are invisible and never try to flex your legal authority.
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Old 04-22-12, 05:33 PM
  #41  
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uh oh. thread hi jack imminent.
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Old 04-22-12, 06:14 PM
  #42  
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I can't believe anyone who's in their 40s and has been riding since a child believes that riding bicycles in normal colored clothing is a new thing. Cycling in florescent colors is a new thing. I really doubt you would have found a bike shop that sells mostly florescent jackets and vests 10 - 15 years ago. Some? yes, but now it's almost all you can find. You can hardly find a normal yellow jacket, they're all florescent.
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Old 04-22-12, 06:23 PM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by John Young View Post
Yeah you are always going to get some drivers that wont see you no matter what... but surly bright clothes will help.

I know when I am driving I always notice the bright clothes on cyclists a long way back
I think you notice because you're a cyclist. Years ago before I got into cycling, I didn't notice bright colored cyclist clothes.

Think about driving and seeing other cars. Most of the time I doubt you pay attention to a yellow car over a black one.
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Old 04-22-12, 07:37 PM
  #44  
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I light up, wear obnoxious colors, and wear reflectors on me and my bike.

The closest I have come to nasty collisions in my year (as of tomorrow) cycling again has been ninja cyclists or ninja runners. However, in the past year I have noticed more and more runners that are lighting up. But the ninja salmon cyclists are still there, scaring the crap out of me in the dark. And most of the commuters on my route seem to have lights, but they are mounted on the seat post and then they have a bag on the rack obscuring them (or similar variations).

I try to light up with a blinky on the back of my helmet, my backpack, my trunk, and a steady red on the rack. Front, is a magic shine on the helmet, usually on strobe, and one on the handlebars. In the daytime commute, I just use the strobe on the front and blinkies. Have REALLY come to believe in the high-lumen front strobe. But all in all, we are cycling in large part in faith - we have little control over those drivers approaching from behind, and can only hope that they are not texting or at least if they are they stay in their lane.

My approach is to try and ride as invisibly as possible, lit as obnoxiously as possible.
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Old 04-23-12, 03:08 AM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by pgjackson View Post
The bigger danger are cyclist who believe they have an equal right to the road and refuse to move over in traffic...or worse, groups that ride 2-abreast in traffic. The laws might state that cyclist have an equal right to the road, and you can feel free discuss that with your greiving, widowed wife. If there isn't a bike lane, I am riding as close to the gutter as possible. Ride like you are invisible and never try to flex your legal authority.
Yes I agree when I used to ride with a friend years back we were always on the look out for cars (we used to ride in the country) once we heard a car we always moved over to single file to easily let them past. I come behind some cyclists while driving and even in busy towns and cities wont move or give an inch which of course will just make drivers annoyed and liable to cause an accident

Originally Posted by Camilo View Post
I can't believe anyone who's in their 40s and has been riding since a child believes that riding bicycles in normal colored clothing is a new thing. Cycling in florescent colors is a new thing. I really doubt you would have found a bike shop that sells mostly florescent jackets and vests 10 - 15 years ago. Some? yes, but now it's almost all you can find. You can hardly find a normal yellow jacket, they're all florescent.
When I first started cycling most people who were serious about cycling wore cycling tops with bright graphics on them. The designs were usually copies of team colours and graphics from races such as the Tour de France. I had a very bright 'Z' top which was very bright and vivid and easy to spot. Of course the 80's had plenty of florescent colours but most cyclists wore the bright team tops I mention. One thing you did not see much of back then was bike helmets, you could get them but they were VERY expensive and not as stylish as today, I had skull-cap type one which was a bit hideous by today's standards
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Old 04-23-12, 06:29 AM
  #46  
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Both times I was hit, they said I didn't see him.
That used to be the standard excuse, but now several states, including MN, have equated "I didn't see him/her" to an admission of improper care when operating a motor vehicle. Of course that doesn't release riders from responsiblility for following the law regarding lights, reflectors, and proper operation of a bicycle on a public roadway, but at least they are making strides away from blaming the victim. Also before our state legislature is the Vulnerable Road User Law that toughens protection for cyclists, pedestrians and adaptive device users against reckless drivers.

I too have seen more cyclists opting for black, gray, or muted colors in riding gear and flat black seems to be a popular color for bike frames. I'll admit that a black frame with ghosted graphics and black anodized fittings looks really cool on the showroom floor, but they disappear into the surrounding pavement (literally and figuratively) on cloudy days and in low light.

While I don't want to look like an escapee from Cirque du Soleil, I do pick my bikes and apparel based in part on visibility, and sometimes even that isn't enough.

Not too long ago I was crossing an intersection where I had the right of way when a driver pulled out directly in front of me. I avoided a collision and the driver rolled down his window to apologize. "Sorry, I didn't see you." I was polite but thought to myself, "In broad daylight, on an almost empty street with a clear view in every direction, how do you not see the 220 pound, 5'11" guy in the bright red long sleeve jersey and silver and white helmet, on the bright red bike with all silver aluminum fittings and reflective silver and white graphics???"

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Old 04-23-12, 10:51 AM
  #47  
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No guarantee you won't be taken out by an inattentive motorist; nevertheless, I'll take my chances w/ bright jerseys whenever I'm riding on the road.
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Old 04-23-12, 10:57 AM
  #48  
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Living in a small town area such as I do I find it very flattering when people know who I am out on the fogline of the major hiways.

Of course, wearing my tie-dye cotton shirt might have something to do with that.
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Old 04-23-12, 11:28 AM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
Just to be clear, what dgasmd says is correct, and it has little to do with leaning, so it is still relevant in a car - it's called "target fixation" and it's something that motorcyclists, in particular, are taught to be aware of.
This is also why in Mtn biking or in case of a crash in front of you, look to where you want to go and not at what you want to avoid. I ended up having to put this to the test in a crit a few days after I was given said advice and it worked like a charm, I was able to slip right between the 2 riders in front of me that had made contact and were going down in opposite directions.

To the point of this tread, I wear a bright yellow jacket for commuting in bad weather, but otherwise rely on blinkies. Flashing lights get way more attention than bright colors.
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Old 04-23-12, 12:05 PM
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Originally Posted by John Young View Post
Yes I agree when I used to ride with a friend years back we were always on the look out for cars (we used to ride in the country) once we heard a car we always moved over to single file to easily let them past. I come behind some cyclists while driving and even in busy towns and cities wont move or give an inch which of course will just make drivers annoyed and liable to cause an accident
An impatient driver is the one at fault. If I have the right to use the road it doesn't create an automatic requirement to move over every single time anyone wants to go faster - if it did then on a busier stretch I'd be permanently at the side of the road waiting for cars to overtake.

Moving to the side isn't necessarily the best thing to do. When I'm riding on an urban road near my home that has a 20mph speed limit and I'm riding at 20mph why do I need to keep over at all? There is no legal reason why any vehicle (other than an emergency vehicle with blue lights and sirens on) would overtake me. If I'm going slower than the speed limit I'll still only keep over if it's safe for a car to get past me. Keeping right over on the approach to a traffic island can be a seriously bad thing to do if it encourages someone to try and squeeze past when there isn't enough room.

Personally when I'm out on my bike the first priority is my safety, then the convenience of others. If I can safely keep aside to let someone pass then I will. If there isn't room then whoever is behind me has to wait until there is room.

To give an example - riding a singletrack road in Yorkshire with a couple of friends we had a Land Rover pulling a trailer appear behind us. My friends moved right to the very edge of the road but I stayed resolutely in the middle of the road, simply because the road wasn't wide enough for the person behind to get past us. About 200 yards further on there was a passing place so the three of us pulled into it and let the guy pass. We might have been within our rights to leave him stuck behind us but since we could let him pass without endangering us it seemed like basic courtesy to do so, but until the passing place an overtaking manouevre would have put us all in danger so I positioned myself to make it clear there wasn't enough space for him to get through.
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