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Whip Flags?

Old 10-19-11, 07:36 AM
  #1  
Jeraimee
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Whip Flags?

I've seen whip flags on ATVs and children's bikes. I've also seen some older photos of fellow cyclists using whip flags but, does anyone use these any more?

Will a whip flag actually help with visibility? I ride mostly here in FL and as most know - we have the worst drivers (it's true, we have the data to back that up).
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Old 10-19-11, 08:01 AM
  #2  
imi
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Why not? Go for it I say! Don't some recumbent guys use them?
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Old 10-19-11, 08:14 AM
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Yes, many currently use them, especially recumbent cyclists. In heavy traffic, sometimes that's all you see of a recumbent rider if you're driving a vehicle through heavy traffic. A lot of users have them attached so they're sticking out on the traffic side about 8"-12" and it seems to work very well in keeping vehicles from crowding too close as they pass.
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Old 10-19-11, 08:36 AM
  #4  
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Flags, Dinnotte Tail lights and High Vis anything works together.





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Old 10-19-11, 08:43 AM
  #5  
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Not sure I understand "whip flag"....like these?
Attached Images
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TOUR June 8 & 9 2011 015.jpg (99.2 KB, 91 views)
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Tour #2 July 6-9 029.jpg (104.1 KB, 72 views)
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Old 10-19-11, 09:10 AM
  #6  
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I have been told twice by motorists that they probably would have hit me had they not seen the flag. Both times I was in a very hilly area, i.e. Ozarks, and they saw the flag before me. I wonder how many times people had not stopped. I firmly believe it also helps when going through larger towns with heavy traffic as they can see the flag whipping around over the car ahead of them.

My flag is in two sections. If it is windy and no hilly areas, I shorten it and stick the other section sticking out my pannier as the flags do catch the wind.

I have used a flag now for over 30 years of touring. Yes, a bit dorky but so what. Over the years, I have added the US and Oklahoma flags to my safety flag.
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Old 10-19-11, 09:34 AM
  #7  
imi
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Originally Posted by TulsaJohn View Post
Yes, a bit dorky but so what.
I have a notion that motorists in general think a fully loaded touring bike is "dorky" to say the least, if not flat out "whacko"... Something to keep safely away from... even when passing! A flag, at worst, will affirm their view...

I would like to think they are showing respect and admiration... but, well, yerknow...
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Old 10-19-11, 12:30 PM
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Dorky? Perhaps, but if it helps in preventing me from being roadkill, then certainly.

Being dorky does not matter when you are dead.
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Old 10-19-11, 12:33 PM
  #9  
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Just saw a couple of touring cyclists with those a few weeks ago. They were on traditional bikes. Made them VERY visible.
Question for those who are using them - how noticeable is the wind drag?
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Old 10-19-11, 08:34 PM
  #10  
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OK, the girlfriend is convinced it'll add to my safety and I can't argue... any suggestions as to where to buy online (I'll hit the LBS tomorrow) and how to mount?
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Old 10-19-11, 09:32 PM
  #11  
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I have the BoB flag on my Trailer and you don't even know it is there or I don't anyway.
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Old 10-20-11, 05:30 AM
  #12  
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I use two, but only when I'm towing my trail a bike with trailer:



What's interesting is I find that drivers are unfailingly courteous when I'm riding with this setup.
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Old 10-21-11, 06:27 AM
  #13  
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When I've toured with my Bob I've used the flag that came with it.

When I tour with racks and panniers I use a flag, but I mount it horizontally. It sticks out on the left side of my rear rack, about 10-12 inches. My theory is that people who are selfish enough that they would pass close and not swing wide, are probably also the kind of people who wouldn't want anything (like a flag) touching their car. If they would otherwise pass me within 5 or 6 inches (Yikes!), with the flag they'll have to pass 15-18 inches away - still not great, but better. That's my theory, anyway.

I toured with a gal who had a flag on her rack. It stuck out on both sides. She brought some little, plastic clothespins with her and pinned her socks on the fiberglass wand to dry during the day. It was an amusing sight when riding behind her.
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Old 10-21-11, 10:29 AM
  #14  
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When I did my London-to-Rome tour, in a group of 12, we all had the orange flags attached to the rear rack sticking vertically up. As we passed through each country, we added flags beneath the orange (i still have mine somewhere in storage right now). So we had the Union Jack, followed by the French Flag, then the Swiss, and lastly the Italian flag. Certainly helps with visibility and the additional flags certainly draw attention (and usually friendly comments - like a group of Brits walking in the street in Dieppe) and we had no issues on the trip as far as car-involved incidents.

The 'drag' is minimal to nonexistent - didn't notice it at all.
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Old 10-21-11, 10:49 AM
  #15  
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If you don't already have a red flasher on the back get one of those too. I use one on the roads here in central Florida and so far I haven't had a problem with people coming up from behind but I have with people pulling in front. I guess I need a strobe on the front for those people. The problem with the worse drivers is about to get even worse than it is because of all of the snowbirds about to invade the state for the next six months. Our population doubles and almost triples where I live (close to The Villages).
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Old 10-21-11, 06:45 PM
  #16  
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choclabman, try being down here in Coral Springs right next to Boca Raton ...
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Old 10-22-11, 03:01 AM
  #17  
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Oh yeah, definitely worse than it is up here. During the winter months I try to stay off the roads and ride the rail-to-trails or use my hybrid and ride some of the mtb trails.
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Old 10-22-11, 11:05 AM
  #18  
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want a groovy flag? head down to the marine supply store. they've got
loads of smallish flags, marine grade, bright colors, unique designs.
plus the necessary mounting clips and ropes.
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Old 10-22-11, 07:38 PM
  #19  
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Originally Posted by KDC1956 View Post
I have the BoB flag on my Trailer and you don't even know it is there or I don't anyway.
Same here .... mind you I only use it on the BOB



Andrew
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Old 10-22-11, 08:04 PM
  #20  
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Years ago when I did my long tours I used to wear one of those mesh vests that linemen and road crews wear when standing in the roadway. They are a dayglow orange with a reflective X on the back and front. Its much larger than the little flags, light weight and airy and is easily seen from all angles.
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Old 10-22-11, 08:28 PM
  #21  
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Originally Posted by saddlesores View Post
want a groovy flag? head down to the marine supply store. they've got
loads of smallish flags, marine grade, bright colors, unique designs.
plus the necessary mounting clips and ropes.
It is too late in the day now to take photos, but on one of my flag poles, I am using a five flag set of Tibetan prayer flags. For the pole, I used three sections of a tent pole repair kit, with elastic cord running down the center of the sections. This type of pole is very easy to transport.

For an attachment to the bike, I took a length of 1/2 inch plastic tubing, and attached it to the rear rack using zip ties. The flag pole is then inserted into the tubing. The bottom of the tubing has an elbow joint, so the flag does not protrude out the end, and water will drain off.
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Old 10-22-11, 09:30 PM
  #22  
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Originally Posted by Aushiker View Post
Same here .... mind you I only use it on the BOB



Andrew
Nice setup.
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Old 10-23-11, 06:49 AM
  #23  
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Just having returned from a trip to FL, I think a whip flag is a good idea Jeraimee!

10 Wheels - Re: those photos - where were you guys headed?
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Old 10-23-11, 11:22 AM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by saddlesores View Post
Want a groovy flag? Head down to the marine supply store. They've got
loads of smallish flags, marine grade, bright colors, unique designs.
You might try flying the Yellow Jack.
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Old 10-23-11, 02:15 PM
  #25  
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Had a few minutes this morning, so took some photos of my flag setup, referenced in post 21.

Long Haul Trucker with flag mounted

Close up of the flag mount

Flag pole collapsed into its three sections. This just happens to be a touch longer than the top tube length of my LHT.
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