Trendy, but Invisible!

Commuting, Day rides, Audax, Incidents, etc.
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braz
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Trendy, but Invisible!

Postby braz » 26 Jul 2009, 11:59am

We get a lot of E - to - E riders passing through at this time of year, many of whom are wonderfully kitted out with smart biles, matching paniers, all the latest clothes - and are almost impossible to see at times!

If we take the road from Liskeard to Callington (A390) as an example - narrow, quite hilly and slow in places, blind bends, overhanging trees forming 'corridors' - and riders in black outfits! A hi-viz vest costs a quid from Poundland (no, I'm not on commission) and could save your life - so on the occasional minutes when the rain does stop (two in the last 3 weeks!) and you take your yellow raincoat off - please wear something bright! - I drive that road every day for business and don't want to be the one that kills you!

regards to all, Braz.

drossall
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Re: Trendy, but Invisible!

Postby drossall » 26 Jul 2009, 2:06pm

There is an argument that it's contrast that matters, so black is the best choice in bright lighting.

Whilst no-one would advise "stealth" clothing, the idea is that pedestrians and cyclists should be seen regardless of what they are wearing, and our duty is to drive in a way that allows that. Hi-vis is for extra safety - it's not the minimum, but the cyclists' equivalent of buying a Volvo.

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Mick F
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Re: Trendy, but Invisible!

Postby Mick F » 26 Jul 2009, 6:58pm

drossall wrote:There is an argument that it's contrast that matters, so black is the best choice in bright lighting.


I agree with the rest of your post, but definitely not the above. Black can never be the right choice, even if you're cycling in snowy conditions!

Contrast, yes. Bright colours, multi-colours, yellows, oranges, black and white, red and green ..... the list is endless, but never black on it's own.

We were with "The Man in Black" when we were with The Race Against Time in 2007. Me and Don drove the support van and our 7 riders pedalled their hearts out. MiB kept pace with them for many miles through Scotland up the A9. Don and me would wait in laybys for our chaps to feed and water them, and we would watch them coming (and going) for mile after mile.

We could see our chaps easily, but not MiB. I know we had some rotten weather through that trip, but some of the Upper A9 distance was good and sunny.

Eventually when they spit up, MiB was almost invisible in the distance. His outfit blended in with the tarmac, banks and hillsides.

Believe me. This is true.
Mick F. Cornwall

jazzkat
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Re: Trendy, but Invisible!

Postby jazzkat » 26 Jul 2009, 6:59pm

I was once told by a very experienced motorcyclist
" I wear a hi viz "sam brown" belt, I wear a white helmet, my bike is covered in flouro stripes, I have flashing lights and a siren, and they still don't see me!"

puts it into perspective I think.

A lot of drivers will not see you no matter what you wear.

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hubgearfreak
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Re: Trendy, but Invisible!

Postby hubgearfreak » 26 Jul 2009, 9:55pm

Mick F wrote:We were with "The Man in Black" ........... 2007.


i doubt it, He was dead by then :(

whoops
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Re: Trendy, but Invisible!

Postby whoops » 26 Jul 2009, 10:11pm

hubgearfreak wrote:
Mick F wrote:We were with "The Man in Black" ........... 2007.


i doubt it, He was dead by then :(


When did Valentine Diall [the man In black] dress and look like Johnnie Cash :D :D :D

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hubgearfreak
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Re: Trendy, but Invisible!

Postby hubgearfreak » 26 Jul 2009, 10:40pm

whoops wrote:When did Valentine Diall [the man In black] dress and look like Johnnie Cash :D :D :D


about 40 years ago :lol:

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Ben Lovejoy
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Re: Trendy, but Invisible!

Postby Ben Lovejoy » 28 Jul 2009, 12:23am

drossall wrote:There is an argument that it's contrast that matters, so black is the best choice in bright lighting.

Not IME. Hi-viz shows up in sunlight far better than black.

Whilst no-one would advise "stealth" clothing, the idea is that pedestrians and cyclists should be seen regardless of what they are wearing

Lots of things are true in an ideal world, but I prefer to make myself conspicuous in the real one.
TRICE Q with Streamer fairing for the fun stuff
Brompton M3L for the commutery stuff
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drossall
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Re: Trendy, but Invisible!

Postby drossall » 28 Jul 2009, 12:32am

Me too, because the additional safety is clearly worth having.

However, if we accept that hi-viz is necessary, it no longer provides additional safety. Instead, it becomes the new base-line minimum level.

That's true even if every cyclist in the country were to wear hi-viz.

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cycleruk
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Re: Trendy, but Invisible!

Postby cycleruk » 28 Jul 2009, 10:53am

In the R/C model plane world, black contrasted with yellow was considered the optimum colours.
Black on it's own will soon disappear into green hedges especially in the shadow of strong sunlight.
To many contrasting colours / patterns though can become camouflage.
I saw a cycle the other day with a childs windmill on the rear. Now that did attract my attention. Sort of a flashing light. :lol:
There's no such thing as a tailwind.
It's either a headwind, or you're going well.

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EdinburghFixed
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Re: Trendy, but Invisible!

Postby EdinburghFixed » 28 Jul 2009, 11:06am

I'm seeing a lot of fair weather commuters at the moment with high-viz that has clearly seen a bit of use, and frankly they are almost the same colour as the hedge / verge. It's terrifying that people can be so unaware that they just put a tick in the "responsible cyclist" box without thinking about what they are actually doing. Faded yellow/green camo on a yellow/green background, very smart. Often the dark bits of bike and pannier are the most obvious thing! :shock:

Myself, I have little problem seeing solid black objects in my path (we keep revisiting this - it's scary that once we'd have had only "no high viz at night" rants, now we are seeing "no high viz in high summer" ones). However, perhaps I just take more care / am more aware than your average driver :P

2Tubs
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Re: Trendy, but Invisible!

Postby 2Tubs » 28 Jul 2009, 1:51pm

Can I suggest you get our eyes tested. You might drive into one of those invisible black Range Rovers.

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amaferanga
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Re: Trendy, but Invisible!

Postby amaferanga » 28 Jul 2009, 2:46pm

IMO, in good, clear conditions fluro vests little or make no difference.

In poor visibility they may help drivers see cyclists from further away, but are far less effective than good lights (e.g. a flashing Smart 1W rear LED).

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Re: Trendy, but Invisible!

Postby 2Tubs » 28 Jul 2009, 2:50pm

I’m willing to bet that if you said to the average driver that somewhere along their route, many miles of country lanes without street lighting that they are to drive at midnight, you have placed a black bin liner on the road full of nails and broken glass that they will see it and avoid it.

Give them the same task with a bag full of cuddly toys it’ll get mown down.

Somehow, cyclists are more cuddly toys than nails and broken glass.

Anyone using the excuse that a cyclist wearing black is the cause of their accident is excusing their own poor driving and concentration. It excuses every driver who’s ever said SMIDSY. And I’ve had that said to me in a bright yellow Altura Nevis rain jacket many times. It’s an excuse for impatience and woeful driving skills, nothing more, nothing less. Perhaps I’m abnormal but I don’t find cyclists wearing black invisible. Not even at night; provided they have lights of course.

That said, there is no harm in the cyclist taking steps to being seen. In poor conditions I do the same (yeah, I talk the talk, but even I know that many motorists just don’t care). But as they original poster seems to know that there are cyclists along a road he takes should he not take the responsibility and not run them over, rather than putting the onus on them to not be run over?

Gazza
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hubgearfreak
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Re: Trendy, but Invisible!

Postby hubgearfreak » 28 Jul 2009, 7:47pm

2Tubs wrote:Can I suggest you get our eyes tested. You might drive into one of those invisible black Range Rovers.


+1. my motor car is dark blue, am i to avoid cycling or driving in the OPs area?