Why wear black?

Commuting, Day rides, Audax, Incidents, etc.
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Cunobelin
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Re: Why wear black?

Postby Cunobelin » 6 Jan 2020, 7:46pm

mattheus wrote:
Cowsham wrote:We as cyclists must do all we can to be seen and if that means wearing a dorky looking hi vis top so be it. Accidents are usually the combination of at least two factors that are not as they should be.

As a motorcyclist I make sure everything on the bike is as good as it can be because that's the factor I can control. I do the same with the bicycle, if there's something I can do to help prevent crap from happening it gets done right away. ( still working on my fibre optic rear light checker ).


Really? Quite a brave statement ...

So if I looked at your bike right now, I couldn't find any possible improvements? Or similar to your clothing, lights, and riding technique?


Just lock the bike up and leave in the Garage.... that prevents all the crap happening

dim
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Re: Why wear black?

Postby dim » 6 Jan 2020, 8:11pm

Cowsham wrote:We as cyclists must do all we can to be seen and if that means wearing a dorky looking hi vis top so be it. Accidents are usually the combination of at least two factors that are not as they should be.

As a motorcyclist I make sure everything on the bike is as good as it can be because that's the factor I can control. I do the same with the bicycle, if there's something I can do to help prevent crap from happening it gets done right away. ( still working on my fibre optic rear light checker )

I do a lot of my cycle miles in pitch dark country roads so I make being seen my main priority. The times I'm on the road are another factor that has a plus and a minus. The plus is there's very few cars at
6 am but the minus is the ones that are there may have dozy drivers at the wheel either going to work after a bad nights sleep or coming home
zombified from a night shift.

I don't thing it will ever be mandatory to wear hi vis but I'll keep doing it.

What I don't understand is why, if Mike Hall died instantly at the scene, his clothing and lights were discarded? This is the biggest mystery of that whole tragedy. I could understand (slightly) if paramedics etc were fighting to save his life and the clothes got misplaced during the fray but the report says he died instantly. Moreover the person who hit him must have driven on until they seen the bike embedded in the headlamp so he would have been long dead by the time anyone found him.

The light disappearing may have a logical answer such as the light could have dropped off the bike some miles before and will never be found who knows, ( this has happened to several of my cycling friends ) but the clothing going missing that's a complete mystery to me.


I don't really know what happened in the accident with Mike .... all that was said is that it was at an intersection .... so did the car hit him side on and not from the rear?

I've seen the video of him cycling on the night, and he was clearly visible from the rear

mmcnay
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Re: Why wear black?

Postby mmcnay » 6 Jan 2020, 9:58pm

mjr wrote:
Lights are necessary to see with in unlit areas. They're not necessary to be seen. Loads of stuff without lights on can be seen. I see them. Trees, animals, kerbs, walls... Why can't you?


I was talking about night time, or times of low visibility. I can of course see things during the day. But, not bein an owl, I can't at night. Well not when I'm riding a lane in the country. A rear light is only about being seen, isn't it? Hi-viz is like a reflector, lights up like a road sign when car lights hit it.

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The utility cyclist
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Re: Why wear black?

Postby The utility cyclist » 6 Jan 2020, 10:06pm

mmcnay wrote:
mjr wrote:
Lights are necessary to see with in unlit areas. They're not necessary to be seen. Loads of stuff without lights on can be seen. I see them. Trees, animals, kerbs, walls... Why can't you?


I was talking about night time, or times of low visibility. I can of course see things during the day. But, not bein an owl, I can't at night. Well not when I'm riding a lane in the country. A rear light is only about being seen, isn't it? Hi-viz is like a reflector, lights up like a road sign when car lights hit it.

What happens with unlit debris in the road, what about a fallen branch/tree, what about an animal, what about a broken down motor vehicle with no electrics, sounds like you and a few others are going to slam straight into these, what with having no hi-vis or lights on them ... :roll:

pwa
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Re: Why wear black?

Postby pwa » 6 Jan 2020, 10:12pm

The utility cyclist wrote:
mmcnay wrote:
mjr wrote:
Lights are necessary to see with in unlit areas. They're not necessary to be seen. Loads of stuff without lights on can be seen. I see them. Trees, animals, kerbs, walls... Why can't you?


I was talking about night time, or times of low visibility. I can of course see things during the day. But, not bein an owl, I can't at night. Well not when I'm riding a lane in the country. A rear light is only about being seen, isn't it? Hi-viz is like a reflector, lights up like a road sign when car lights hit it.

What happens with unlit debris in the road, what about a fallen branch/tree, what about an animal, what about a broken down motor vehicle with no electrics, sounds like you and a few others are going to slam straight into these, what with having no hi-vis or lights on them ... :roll:

I slid into a black bullock while descending on a dark lane on my bike. I had good lights and wasn't going fast, but the bullock looked like a shadow, not a 3D object, until I saw the light in its eyes. So yes, it is easy to misread what you see in the dark if you are looking at something dark against a dark background. You think you are looking at one thing, then suddenly you realise it is something else.

jgurney
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Re: Why wear black?

Postby jgurney » 6 Jan 2020, 10:45pm

pwa wrote: I slid into a black bullock while descending on a dark lane on my bike. I had good lights and wasn't going fast, but the bullock looked like a shadow, not a 3D object, until I saw the light in its eyes. So yes, it is easy to misread what you see in the dark if you are looking at something dark against a dark background. You think you are looking at one thing, then suddenly you realise it is something else.


My only accident in recent years was very similar. A black bovine stood sideways on across the lane, under trees between tall hedges with rising ground behind it so there was neither any skyline nor close background. My lights were showing the hedges and the lane surface, with just darkness dead ahead. When the animal appeared out of that darkness (it's hooves appeared first, showing against the surface) I had time to brake and stop before hitting it - but my rear wheel slipped in some cow exhaust and I fell off into some more.

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Re: Why wear black?

Postby mjr » 6 Jan 2020, 11:07pm

Cowsham wrote:
mattheus wrote:
Cowsham wrote: As a motorcyclist I make sure everything on the bike is as good as it can be because that's the factor I can control. I do the same with the bicycle, if there's something I can do to help prevent crap from happening it gets done right away. ( still working on my fibre optic rear light checker ).


Really? Quite a brave statement ...

So if I looked at your bike right now, I couldn't find any possible improvements? Or similar to your clothing, lights, and riding technique?


You find it I'll fix it.

Is the back of your back mudguard brilliant white gloss like mine? :twisted:
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
All the above is CC-By-SA and no other implied copyright license to Cycle magazine.

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mjr
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Re: Why wear black?

Postby mjr » 6 Jan 2020, 11:08pm

jgurney wrote:
pwa wrote: I slid into a black bullock while descending on a dark lane on my bike. I had good lights and wasn't going fast, but the bullock looked like a shadow, not a 3D object, until I saw the light in its eyes. So yes, it is easy to misread what you see in the dark if you are looking at something dark against a dark background. You think you are looking at one thing, then suddenly you realise it is something else.


My only accident in recent years was very similar. A black bovine stood sideways on across the lane, under trees between tall hedges with rising ground behind it so there was neither any skyline nor close background. My lights were showing the hedges and the lane surface, with just darkness dead ahead. When the animal appeared out of that darkness (it's hooves appeared first, showing against the surface) I had time to brake and stop before hitting it - but my rear wheel slipped in some cow exhaust and I fell off into some more.

Isn't that seeing it but misinterpreting what you saw?
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
All the above is CC-By-SA and no other implied copyright license to Cycle magazine.

Cowsham
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Re: Why wear black?

Postby Cowsham » 7 Jan 2020, 12:27am

Cunobelin wrote:
Cowsham wrote:We as cyclists must do all we can to be seen and if that means wearing a dorky looking hi vis top so be it. Accidents are usually the combination of at least two factors that are not as they should be.


There is still no actual evidence that HiViz is effective, you continue to make unsubstantiated claims

As a motorcyclist I make sure everything on the bike is as good as it can be because that's the factor I can control. I do the same with the bicycle, if there's something I can do to help prevent crap from happening it gets done right away. ( still working on my fibre optic rear light checker )


Maintenace is nothing to do with HiViz


Reply
Was it you who said hi vis is no good if it's not kept clean etc ?



Cunobelin wrote:
Cowsham wrote: I do a lot of my cycle miles in pitch dark country roads so I make being seen my main priority. The times I'm on the road are another factor that has a plus and a minus. The plus is there's very few cars at6 am but the minus is the ones that are there may have dozy drivers at the wheel either going to work after a bad nights sleep or coming home zombified from a night shift.


Again you are making absurd scenarios to support your claims. HiViz will not help if the driver is inobservant, as with the drugged-up elderly and epileptics you tried as a "bête noire"previously

Reply
Absurd scenarios are usually one of the factors that caused the accident.


Cunobelin wrote:
Cowsham wrote: I don't thing it will ever be mandatory to wear hi vis but I'll keep doing it.


Mainly because there is no evidence to support such a law

Reply
Are there as many cyclists killed by cars wearing hi vis as not wearing hi vis or are the numbers only from the numbers of deaths overall? Because if that's the case then how can you prove one thing or the other? The only thing that tells you is the number is increased, decreased or stayed the same and there can be many other factors e.g. increased/decreased traffic / cyclists etc etc

Cunobelin wrote:
Cowsham wrote:What I don't understand is why, if Mike Hall died instantly at the scene, his clothing and lights were discarded? This is the biggest mystery of that whole tragedy. I could understand (slightly) if paramedics etc were fighting to save his life and the clothes got misplaced during the fray but the report says he died instantly. Moreover the person who hit him must have driven on until they seen the bike embedded in the headlamp so he would have been long dead by the time anyone found him.

The light disappearing may have a logical answer such as the light could have dropped off the bike some miles before and will never be found who knows, ( this has happened to several of my cycling friends ) but the clothing going missing that's a complete mystery to me.


As a generic statement from experience. ( I do not know any details of the case in question)

Clothing is often damaged or removed during the assessment and treatment of an accident victim. That involves cutting and removing the clothing to put on ECG leads for example, or to assess injuries.

As relatives rarely want to be given a bag of cut-up blood-stained clothes, they are either kept as evidence or discarded. You do realise that we don't just rock up and say "he is dead", there will be a serious attempt to revive and assess the injuries. It may have been the patient died instantly, but gathering the information, assessing the injuries will take time. You assume they are alive until there is unequivocal proof they are not.

Reply
In a high profile case like this it honestly beggars belief why the clothes were lost.


Cunobelin wrote:As for the rest of this, there are two things, firstly no one actually knows about the light, or other details... the second is that it shows the poor taste and lack of consideration trying to use this incident to make claims about HiViz


Reply
When something like this happens we need to learn what went wrong and set measures in place to try to give a better outcome ( even if that means testing drivers and cyclists more often ) whether you decide it's in bad taste or not doesn't matter a jot.

Marcus Aurelius
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Re: Why wear black?

Postby Marcus Aurelius » 7 Jan 2020, 12:40am

The utility cyclist wrote:What happens with unlit debris in the road, what about a fallen branch/tree, what about an animal, what about a broken down motor vehicle with no electrics, sounds like you and a few others are going to slam straight into these, what with having no hi-vis or lights on them ... :roll:

If you hit unlit debris you didn’t see, so what, it’s an inanimate object. A lot of broken down cars will have little reflective triangles set out behind them before you reach them, I’ve certainly seen this a few times, and it’s very rare that the indicators won’t be functioning. A lot of the animals that I’ve encountered on the back roads, especially in the New Forest, have got reflective collars, especially the big stuff. It can get interesting if there’s a pig, or something in the road, but they have a tendency to look up if they hear a vehicle / something approaching, and they oink / grunt, so you can hear them, a lot of animals also have reflective eyes, which is a hint at how nature helps itself.

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The utility cyclist
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Re: Why wear black?

Postby The utility cyclist » 7 Jan 2020, 1:36am

jgurney wrote:
pwa wrote: I slid into a black bullock while descending on a dark lane on my bike. I had good lights and wasn't going fast, but the bullock looked like a shadow, not a 3D object, until I saw the light in its eyes. So yes, it is easy to misread what you see in the dark if you are looking at something dark against a dark background. You think you are looking at one thing, then suddenly you realise it is something else.


My only accident in recent years was very similar. A black bovine stood sideways on across the lane, under trees between tall hedges with rising ground behind it so there was neither any skyline nor close background. My lights were showing the hedges and the lane surface, with just darkness dead ahead. When the animal appeared out of that darkness (it's hooves appeared first, showing against the surface) I had time to brake and stop before hitting it - but my rear wheel slipped in some cow exhaust and I fell off into some more.


Sounds like two people going too fast to be able to see and their brains have enough time to process.figure out what it was.

Like some have done a fair bit of riding on unlit roads, as far back as the 80s for me as a teen, but many tens of thousands of driving in the hours of darkness including commuting through countryside that had a tendency for animals to be in the middle of the road. The only time I've ever come close to hitting something was whilst driving and it was a deer at the brow of a hill, that was my fault, I was going too fast for the conditions such that I didn't have enough time to process what was in front of me, just like your mad cows.

We try to kid ourselves that actually it's not our faults, but really it is, that is the whole point of that statement in the HC, one of, if not the most important, it's meant to keep us safe, it's meant to keep others safe whether that be another human being or an animal.

When we 'need' other things to be lit up or wearing a certain colour that may or may not aid us, then we are on that slippery slope of failing to grasp that some things just won't be, that we need a certain amount of time to process information and need to be more aware and slow down to give us that thinking time and a bit more leeway to boot. Getting drawn into the everything needs to be lit up it can so easily and often does end up with people coming a cropper.

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Cunobelin
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Re: Why wear black?

Postby Cunobelin » 7 Jan 2020, 6:56am

Cowsham wrote:
Cunobelin wrote:As for the rest of this, there are two things, firstly no one actually knows about the light, or other details... the second is that it shows the poor taste and lack of consideration trying to use this incident to make claims about HiViz


Reply
When something like this happens we need to learn what went wrong and set measures in place to try to give a better outcome ( even if that means testing drivers and cyclists more often ) whether you decide it's in bad taste or not doesn't matter a jot.



Except you didn't... You merely blamed the rider for a lack of HiViz, despite a total ignorance of the reality or facts of the event.

You did not investigate, you did not come up with an outcome from an informed investigation, or look for a better outcome. YOu merely claimed outrigh that the victim may still be alive if he had worn HiViz.

mmcnay
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Re: Why wear black?

Postby mmcnay » 7 Jan 2020, 7:41am

The utility cyclist wrote:What happens with unlit debris in the road, what about a fallen branch/tree, what about an animal, what about a broken down motor vehicle with no electrics, sounds like you and a few others are going to slam straight into these, what with having no hi-vis or lights on them ... :roll:


I'm not going to slam into them, because I am a careful driver. And a careful cyclist. What I realise is that not everyone is as careful as me. I want them to see me in plenty of time, so that they can make the decision to avoid me.

Crap on the road, brown and green stuff like bits of tree often don't show themselves until one is closer, than for example when there's a bit of builder's old hi-viz lying on the verge.

I'm not saying hi-viz is a magic solution, and of course drivers should always pay good care and attention. But hi-viz does make one more visible, (I'm not going to argue about this point, as far as I am concerned it is a fact.) And I want all drivers, careful and careless, to see me in enough time to avoid me.

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Re: Why wear black?

Postby pwa » 7 Jan 2020, 8:15am

mjr wrote:
jgurney wrote:
pwa wrote: I slid into a black bullock while descending on a dark lane on my bike. I had good lights and wasn't going fast, but the bullock looked like a shadow, not a 3D object, until I saw the light in its eyes. So yes, it is easy to misread what you see in the dark if you are looking at something dark against a dark background. You think you are looking at one thing, then suddenly you realise it is something else.


My only accident in recent years was very similar. A black bovine stood sideways on across the lane, under trees between tall hedges with rising ground behind it so there was neither any skyline nor close background. My lights were showing the hedges and the lane surface, with just darkness dead ahead. When the animal appeared out of that darkness (it's hooves appeared first, showing against the surface) I had time to brake and stop before hitting it - but my rear wheel slipped in some cow exhaust and I fell off into some more.

Isn't that seeing it but misinterpreting what you saw?

It is. You see something, and for a few crucial seconds you dismiss it as something that requires no braking.

pwa
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Re: Why wear black?

Postby pwa » 7 Jan 2020, 8:33am

The utility cyclist wrote:
jgurney wrote:
pwa wrote: I slid into a black bullock while descending on a dark lane on my bike. I had good lights and wasn't going fast, but the bullock looked like a shadow, not a 3D object, until I saw the light in its eyes. So yes, it is easy to misread what you see in the dark if you are looking at something dark against a dark background. You think you are looking at one thing, then suddenly you realise it is something else.


My only accident in recent years was very similar. A black bovine stood sideways on across the lane, under trees between tall hedges with rising ground behind it so there was neither any skyline nor close background. My lights were showing the hedges and the lane surface, with just darkness dead ahead. When the animal appeared out of that darkness (it's hooves appeared first, showing against the surface) I had time to brake and stop before hitting it - but my rear wheel slipped in some cow exhaust and I fell off into some more.


Sounds like two people going too fast to be able to see and their brains have enough time to process.figure out what it was.

Like some have done a fair bit of riding on unlit roads, as far back as the 80s for me as a teen, but many tens of thousands of driving in the hours of darkness including commuting through countryside that had a tendency for animals to be in the middle of the road. The only time I've ever come close to hitting something was whilst driving and it was a deer at the brow of a hill, that was my fault, I was going too fast for the conditions such that I didn't have enough time to process what was in front of me, just like your mad cows.

We try to kid ourselves that actually it's not our faults, but really it is, that is the whole point of that statement in the HC, one of, if not the most important, it's meant to keep us safe, it's meant to keep others safe whether that be another human being or an animal.

When we 'need' other things to be lit up or wearing a certain colour that may or may not aid us, then we are on that slippery slope of failing to grasp that some things just won't be, that we need a certain amount of time to process information and need to be more aware and slow down to give us that thinking time and a bit more leeway to boot. Getting drawn into the everything needs to be lit up it can so easily and often does end up with people coming a cropper.

I wish I could take you back in time and space to that incident but all I can do is assure you that I am a cautious cyclist on dark lanes, always on the look out for hedgehogs, fallen branches or whatever, and always descending a lot slower than in daylight. I saw the black shape in time, but my eyes and brain played a trick on me and I dismissed it as a shadow. A few seconds later I saw it for what it was. If you think that couldn't happen to you with the way you cycle, I think you have just been lucky so far, and it could happen to you. I have cycled many thousands of miles on dark lanes and this has only happened once. You and I are equipped with eyes and a brain that generally get things right but occasionally mislead, even when we are paying attention. I have not had the same happen while I've been driving, but I am not so complacent as to dismiss the possibility. Of course that is a reason to take care, but having witnessed how fully you can misinterpret a dark object against a dark and blotchy background, I won't be going out onto dark lanes dressed as a dark object, not unless I have good lights or a generous area of reflectives.