Tricks for being seen on the road.

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
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meic
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Tricks for being seen on the road.

Postby meic » 18 Oct 2010, 4:17pm

Thinking about the best ways to get noticed on the road, inorder to avoid getting knocked off rather than just posing.

I do a few without thinking but there may be some I have not thought of.
The eyes/brain are good at detecting movement and this should be exploited more.

A favourite is when approaching a car waiting at a side junction I will move my position on the road so that I am moving from side to side from their viewpoint. At the same time I will be getting towards the middle of the road causing a ripple of disturbance in any other traffic.

On narrow A roads I tend to ride further out so that vehicles can not just drive past me without changing course, this change of course hopefully sends a warning to the car that is so close behind them that they can not see me.

Reflective pedals or bright shoes could be used to take advantage of moving legs but I havent much faith in anything below car bonnet height being seen.
Yma o Hyd

snibgo
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Re: Tricks for being seen on the road.

Postby snibgo » 18 Oct 2010, 4:45pm

Reflective armbands so my signals are visible at night.

cyclingthelakes
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Re: Tricks for being seen on the road.

Postby cyclingthelakes » 18 Oct 2010, 5:12pm

A favourite is when approaching a car waiting at a side junction I will move my position on the road so that I am moving from side to side from their viewpoint. At the same time I will be getting towards the middle of the road causing a ripple of disturbance in any other traffic.


I don't quite understand this, doesn't sound exactly right.

I know of someone who put wireless Christmas lights on his bike for visibility, also those lights that go into the spokes are good. I have 3 bike blinkies including one that I've put on my helmet so that one is always ready to go, another that is stationary and another one that is a clip on.

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meic
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Re: Tricks for being seen on the road.

Postby meic » 18 Oct 2010, 5:30pm

I mean that I change my position on the road so possibly moving from 18" from the kerb to 3 foot from the kerb then to the white line if no traffic behind me. So I am moving across their field of view aswell as towards them.
Yma o Hyd

eileithyia
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Location: Horwich Which is Lancs :-)

Re: Tricks for being seen on the road.

Postby eileithyia » 18 Oct 2010, 6:01pm

1st time I ever got knocked off (in the dark) I agonised for weeks of how to make myself more visible from behind.
This was early 80's with no fancy LEDS, flashing lights, oversized lights etc.
I finally decided that no matter what I did if the b*****s aren't looking in the right place they will not see you!
That does not mean I do not deck myself out like a Xmas Tree...
Rear lights, steady and flashing, reflective ankle bands, and arm bands with a clip on light; White one on left arm pointing forward for the ones pulling out of a side junction and a red one on right arm pointing backwards, tis surprising how much extra space they give you when I wear that one.

Interestingly the next 3 off's I had due to cars, have all been in broad daylight!
I stand and rejoice everytime I see a woman ride by on a wheel the picture of free, untrammeled womanhood. HG Wells

reohn2
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Re: Tricks for being seen on the road.

Postby reohn2 » 18 Oct 2010, 6:05pm

I bought a Bandana earlier in the year to protect my bald head from the sun,one day when not wearing it I put it in the back offside pocket of my road top,that day I noticed less close encounters,when I got home I realised I'd been riding with the loose ends hanging out,I also noticed less C/E when wearing it,I'm putting down to the loose ends flapping and drawing driver's attention to me.
As the nights are drawing in I'll trot out my usual system of avoiding C/E's by wearing a red flashing LED just above the elbow of my right arm,facing rearwards it really does work :)
Last winter I bought a helmet with clip on the back for an LED light,for some strange reason it increased C/Encounters :shock: I put this down to it making me appear narrower than actually am :? whereas wearing a light on my elbow has the opposite effect,I'm thinking its the psychological effect,and supports my belief that a lot of drivers don't see cyclists as a human being on a bicycle,just a thin thing to one side of the road that doesn't warrant any special attention.
Their automatic driving habits need upsetting enough for them to really see me.

Shaz, we were posting at the same time :)
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Cunobelin
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Re: Tricks for being seen on the road.

Postby Cunobelin » 18 Oct 2010, 6:09pm

The best visibility aid I have found is the AirZound!

Amazing how many drivers cannot see a 720 Lumens front light and pull out at a junction, until the AirZound does its work and you become magically visible!

millimole
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Re: Tricks for being seen on the road.

Postby millimole » 18 Oct 2010, 6:35pm

While it's a little bit dated, once you can get past the rhetoric there's some good stuff in the 'Theory of Big' at http://www.tibsnjoan.co.uk/Big.html

thirdcrank
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Re: Tricks for being seen on the road.

Postby thirdcrank » 18 Oct 2010, 6:47pm

By concidence, there's a letter about cycling without lights published in today's Daily Telegraph, under the headline Sign of autumn: a pre-dawn cyclist with death wish from that superior form of road user, a Daily Telegraph-reading driver, who concludes
A swerve on my part in the nick of time spared my (unlit cyclist)

And my very 'umble thanks on behalf of all cyclists to the altruistic writer of the letter. :roll:

For some unexplained reason, it's illustrated with a picture of multiple BBAR and holder of some current RRA records, Ken Joy, being handed a bottle during a record attempt, complete with lamp on the ubiquitous fork boss. The picture used by the DT is another from this series (but with the helper's arms outstretched like the sailor in the Skegness ads.) I suppose it shows there are all sorts of tricks for being seen on the road :wink:
kenjoy1945_500.jpg
Safety first: Eyes on the road ahead.


And for lovers of the seaside, here's a Skeggy poster:
skegness.jpg
Skegness is so bracing!
skegness.jpg (2.64 KiB) Viewed 1598 times

cyclingthelakes
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Re: Tricks for being seen on the road.

Postby cyclingthelakes » 18 Oct 2010, 6:57pm

I'm not going to go into it a whole lot except I read in a forum once where someone said a "flag" jersey tends to keep motorists away more. At first, I did not think much of that and now the weather is getting colder for heavier clothing but I think it is a correct idea, motorists for some reason may stay away from someone wearing the flag depending on where you are.

MattyDeez
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Re: Tricks for being seen on the road.

Postby MattyDeez » 18 Oct 2010, 7:24pm


GrahamNR17
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Re: Tricks for being seen on the road.

Postby GrahamNR17 » 18 Oct 2010, 7:32pm

meic wrote:Reflective pedals or bright shoes could be used to take advantage of moving legs but I havent much faith in anything below car bonnet height being seen.

Don't be put off. Some years ago I followed a cyclist at night who was wearing reflective cycle clips, they showed up superbly, as did their pedal reflectors.

Richard Ballantyne's advice in his various 'Bicycle Books' holds true; put reflectors low down where they're caught by car lights, and put lights up high where they're at/near eye level of the car driver.

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7_lives_left
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Re: Tricks for being seen on the road.

Postby 7_lives_left » 18 Oct 2010, 8:28pm

GrahamNR17 wrote:
meic wrote:Reflective pedals or bright shoes could be used to take advantage of moving legs but I havent much faith in anything below car bonnet height being seen.

Don't be put off. Some years ago I followed a cyclist at night who was wearing reflective cycle clips, they showed up superbly, as did their pedal reflectors.

Richard Ballantyne's advice in his various 'Bicycle Books' holds true; put reflectors low down where they're caught by car lights, and put lights up high where they're at/near eye level of the car driver.

Last autumn I had a following motorist buttonhole me while I was stopped ready to turn right at a T junction.He was "just giving me a friendly warning" because I was wearing black jeans and a black jacket. However I think I was adequately lit (a rack mounted B&M tail light and pedal reflectors). I think what he meant was that he couldn't see the lights or pedals over the 4 foot high bonnet of his 4 by 4 while he was tail gating me. I wish I had told him to "back off then" but I didn't make any reply.

Edit: In addition to the lights and pedal reflectors, I had reflective patches on the pannier.
Last edited by 7_lives_left on 19 Oct 2010, 7:53pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Tigerbiten
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Re: Tricks for being seen on the road.

Postby Tigerbiten » 18 Oct 2010, 9:09pm

meic wrote:.......... but I havent much faith in anything below car bonnet height being seen.

When I'm on my Trice Q, my head is below the hight of most car bonnets.
I've done over 8k miles on it now and only had a couple of smidnsy's.

The trick is to be different enough to catch the drivers attention.
Once you get that, your safe ........ :D

thirdcrank
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Re: Tricks for being seen on the road.

Postby thirdcrank » 18 Oct 2010, 9:21pm

cyclingthelakes wrote:... someone said a "flag" jersey tends to keep motorists away more.....


Sorry to be slow to catch :oops: on but I don't understand. At first I thought you were referring to the Union Flag (and drivers might think you were a British nationalist.) Then with the bit about depending on where you are I thought it might be nationalism more generally. googling seems to bring up a lot of references to American flags - is it because they are frightened of the publicity they'd attract by killing Lance A?

:?