Why wear black?

Commuting, Day rides, Audax, Incidents, etc.
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[XAP]Bob
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Re: Why wear black?

Postby [XAP]Bob » 24 Jan 2020, 8:46am

Cowsham wrote:
[XAP]Bob wrote:
paulipedia wrote:The most important thing at night........


No - lights and a red rear reflector - that's all that's actually required by law.
For modern bikes you also need pedal reflectors.


At night?


Yes - at night.

During the day you don't need any of the above.
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way. No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
There are two kinds of people in this world: those can extrapolate from incomplete data.

Cowsham
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Re: Why wear black?

Postby Cowsham » 24 Jan 2020, 9:43am

[XAP]Bob wrote:
Cowsham wrote:
[XAP]Bob wrote:
No - lights and a red rear reflector - that's all that's actually required by law.
For modern bikes you also need pedal reflectors.


At night?


Yes - at night.

During the day you don't need any of the above.



Yes lights at night ? But no reflectors during the day? Holy ****

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[XAP]Bob
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Re: Why wear black?

Postby [XAP]Bob » 24 Jan 2020, 1:43pm

Cowsham wrote:
[XAP]Bob wrote:
Cowsham wrote:
At night?


Yes - at night.

During the day you don't need any of the above.



Yes lights at night ? But no reflectors during the day? Holy ****

During the day no other vehicle will have headlights on - so reflectors are just dull plastic.
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way. No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
There are two kinds of people in this world: those can extrapolate from incomplete data.

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Re: Why wear black?

Postby Vorpal » 24 Jan 2020, 2:26pm

Cowsham wrote:
[XAP]Bob wrote:
Cowsham wrote:
At night?


Yes - at night.

During the day you don't need any of the above.



Yes lights at night ? But no reflectors during the day? Holy **

In terms of visibility, reflectors mean nothing during the day. Unless you want to dazzle someone reflecting sunlight.

Daytime: conspicuity depends upon *contrasting* colour, which is the basis for the vibrant colours used for 'hi viz' (however in a bright or snowy environment, dark colours may work better)
Night time: conspicuity depends upon not being dark which means light and/or reflectors

Neither ensures that anyone will actually see you, just that you are more easily seen.
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

paulipedia
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Re: Why wear black?

Postby paulipedia » 24 Jan 2020, 6:05pm

I was talking about clothing, when I said the most important thing; in answer to the question.

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mjr
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Re: Why wear black?

Postby mjr » 24 Jan 2020, 7:06pm

Vorpal wrote:Night time: conspicuity depends upon not being dark which means light and/or reflectors

...except under modern superbright LED street lights where conspicuity depends upon being dark so that you contrast with the brightly-lit surroundings!

Black clothing for the lit areas with low-mounted reflectors and lights for the unlit areas may now be the most logical approach.
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
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[XAP]Bob
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Re: Why wear black?

Postby [XAP]Bob » 26 Jan 2020, 8:49am

mjr wrote:
Vorpal wrote:Night time: conspicuity depends upon not being dark which means light and/or reflectors

...except under modern superbright LED street lights where conspicuity depends upon being dark so that you contrast with the brightly-lit surroundings!

Black clothing for the lit areas with low-mounted reflectors and lights for the unlit areas may now be the most logical approach.



Yes - it used to be that having clothing that scattered (not reflected) the two sodium lines could have been considered useful.

I wonder if that's where the assumption that yellow was high vis came from?
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way. No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
There are two kinds of people in this world: those can extrapolate from incomplete data.

hoogerbooger
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Re: Why wear black?

Postby hoogerbooger » 3 Feb 2020, 9:03pm

Apols I've not managed to get through all the posts on this one, so may well repeat some previous comment:

At night time when driving I sometimes find modern bike lights too bright, in that it takes me longer to realise it's a bike that's quite close, delaying me slowing down , something that is potentially needed on the narrow and lanes round here. I find it much easier if the cyclist also has a flashing light rather than just one front facing v bright white light. Reflectors on pedals/ankle bands and additional flashing back and front lights all seem to be easier for me to spot quickly as a cyclist. As I don't like it when cars shoot past at great speed at night on narrow lanes, I try to moderate this risk by flashing alot (in a strickly non-British standard way) Obviously won't work with all drivers,but the risk to me is cumulative & I ammore than happy to use my own judgement to manage the risks.

I agree on the contrast issue during the day......but I struggle to see how often black will contrast with much in the countryside or in town at day time. Hence my surprize at how much reaction this post has received. I just thought all those cyclist in black kit were vain or hadn't thought about it ! ....( but I see views differ & I must be presumptious)

I don't tend to drive much in towns during the night so I won't comment on black in towns at night, but during the day in busy traffic I'm far more likely to spot a large fast moving vehicle ,particularly if in a contrasting colour, than any cyclist. It's obviously not that helpful saying it's the drivers that are the risk when it's the cyclist that will get hurt. Ask my missus ( 4 years to recover from the drivers mistake....who didn't see her amoungst the traffic). So when I'm cycling through busy traffic I go for bright contrasting clothes /helmet & won't be wearing black. I'll also continue to keep vigilant and manage the traffic as much as a cyclist can do. Anyway my choice & I'll stick to it.

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The utility cyclist
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Re: Why wear black?

Postby The utility cyclist » 3 Feb 2020, 9:38pm

Slowing down at night will be far more effective than most of what you're suggesting, it gives you much more time to react and absorb what's in front/around you whether lit or unlit.

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mjr
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Re: Why wear black?

Postby mjr » 3 Feb 2020, 9:56pm

Sorry your missus was hurt. Probably the driver wasn't looking.

Your choice is your choice - until you start suggesting it is good practice, which dressing in dazzle camo, donning a hard hat and fitting flashers is not.
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
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Re: Why wear black?

Postby pjclinch » 4 Feb 2020, 9:45am

hoogerbooger wrote:
At night time when driving I sometimes find modern bike lights too bright, in that it takes me longer to realise it's a bike that's quite close, delaying me slowing down , something that is potentially needed on the narrow and lanes round here.


If there's clearly something there, and you're not sure what it is, I think it might be a Cunning Plan to slow down straight away.

hoogerbooger wrote:I agree on the contrast issue during the day......but I struggle to see how often black will contrast with much in the countryside or in town at day time. Hence my surprize at how much reaction this post has received. I just thought all those cyclist in black kit were vain or hadn't thought about it ! ....( but I see views differ & I must be presumptious)


Black is much darker than most things, so it contrasts well with a lot. Have a look out the window and I think you'll find that a mid-to-dark grey would blend in a lot better, but black attracts far more ire.
The actuality is that most of the furore is a self reinforcing feedback loop: hi viz must be important because everyone goes on about it. Everyone goes on about it because they think it's important. What is actually important is people using roads, particularly in fast, heavy vehicles look where they're going and drive so that they can stop in the space they are aware of.

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mattheus
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Re: Why wear black?

Postby mattheus » 4 Feb 2020, 12:15pm

WMIDS_HiViz.png


"Our colleagues from @HighwaysWMIDS were dealing with a broken down vehicle on the hard shoulder with all their emergency beacons on when someone not paying attention collided with the HE vehicle. Luckily minor injury.
"

https://twitter.com/CMPG/status/9882349 ... 70/photo/1

Ellieb
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Re: Why wear black?

Postby Ellieb » 4 Feb 2020, 3:37pm

mattheus wrote:WMIDS_HiViz.png

"Our colleagues from @HighwaysWMIDS were dealing with a broken down vehicle on the hard shoulder with all their emergency beacons on when someone not paying attention collided with the HE vehicle. Luckily minor injury.
"

https://twitter.com/CMPG/status/9882349 ... 70/photo/1

I notice the police haven't painted their patrol car black.
Nobody is saying that hi-viz guarantees safety or that black = instant death. The question is whether it increases the probability of being seen & therefore reduces the chances of getting hit by a car.

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Re: Why wear black?

Postby Marcus Aurelius » 4 Feb 2020, 3:49pm

Ellieb wrote:
mattheus wrote:WMIDS_HiViz.png

"Our colleagues from @HighwaysWMIDS were dealing with a broken down vehicle on the hard shoulder with all their emergency beacons on when someone not paying attention collided with the HE vehicle. Luckily minor injury.
"

https://twitter.com/CMPG/status/9882349 ... 70/photo/1

I notice the police haven't painted their patrol car black.
Nobody is saying that hi-viz guarantees safety or that black = instant death. The question is whether it increases the probability of being seen & therefore reduces the chances of getting hit by a car.

It’s about risk mitigation. You can’t account for complete idiots, but if you cover your bases against the majority of people you’ll encounter, that’s just fine and dandy.

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Re: Why wear black?

Postby Marcus Aurelius » 4 Feb 2020, 3:52pm

The utility cyclist wrote:Slowing down at night will be far more effective than most of what you're suggesting, it gives you much more time to react and absorb what's in front/around you whether lit or unlit.

Quite right, that applies to cyclists as well. The first bit of advice I give for people asking about riding at this time of year, is slow down a bit, from what you normally do. Simple but surprisingly effective.