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Junior Member
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600 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I am getting bored with doing loops on the path at the park, so I recently ventured out into traffic - and I must say, I am a bit unnerved at times. I remember how my dear old grandpa used to drive, but that's a story for another day...:rolleyes:

Do you fellows use Safety/ High Visibility Gear?

I'm thinking mirrors, seat strobes, valve stem strobes, reflective clothing, anything to attract attention.

I'm also thinking about protection, i.e. pepper spray to ward off dogs/people, etc.

I was looking at a seat strobe here

Any other ideas?

Anything except one of those big orange flags like I had on my bike when I was a kid!:D

Comments/Suggestions always welcome! :)
 

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Senior Member
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1,084 Posts
I wear a ANSI class 2 safety shirt that I got from a former employer, utilize two Blackburn Mars 3.0 taillights, and two Cateye HL-EL320 headlights when riding at night.
That's in addition to the standard red & white reflectors, wheel reflectors and reflective sidewall tires.

That gives me a reflective profile like a construction worker, a blinking red taillight, a solid red taillight, a blinking white headlight and a solid white headlight

People still almost hit me on occasion.

Whatever you can get, it's better than nothing.

I might get a few things from ruseen.com soon, or from the safety supply house at work.
 

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Junior Member
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Discussion Starter #3
People still almost hit me on occasion.
I have a habit of stopping & pulling over if a car is coming in both directions at the same time, to give them both room & avoid being run over. :eek:

I just thought of something; are there laws governing the use of reflective clothing or flashing lights on the bikes? Maybe it is different in certain areas.

For example, I'm wondering if a person could have too many lights on their bike, would that violate some law? Guess I should check w/ my local law enforcement.
 

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Senior Member
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I have a habit of stopping & pulling over if a car is coming in both directions at the same time, to give them both room & avoid being run over. :eek:

I just thought of something; are there laws governing the use of reflective clothing or flashing lights on the bikes? Maybe it is different in certain areas.

For example, I'm wondering if a person could have too many lights on their bike, would that violate some law? Guess I should check w/ my local law enforcement.

Maryland law requires a minimum of one red and one white solid or flashing light if the bike is to be ridden at night.

Nothing else.

That I think is minimum safe practice. I could see there being an issue with excess, but obviously a reasonable amount probably would go unbothered.
 

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1,544 Posts
Reflecting sidewall tires, spoke reflectors, rear reflectors for the bike. I do not ride at night. Neon yellow jersey, helmet & gloves for me. They match the bike, sorta.
I listen carefully for traffic behind me & have learned how to look back without wrenching my neck. Slow city traffic may find me hogging the drive lane keeping up or slipping onto the sidewalk to avoid tight spots. I occasionally get rude to drivers who don't give me room.
 

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Premium Member
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8,414 Posts
Rear and front reflectors, spoke reflectors.

Portland Design Works Danger Zone rear light (awesome!) and a NiteRider MiNewt 600 front light. Ankle Biters ankle bands and a Blackburn Flea USB on the back of my helmet.

and. . . .

Mirror!

You'll learn to adjust to traffic, it's the fallacy of America's attitude/laws to cycling. "Put this styrofoam bowl on your head and act like you're a car." Because you know, a cyclist and a car are incredibly similar, like practically the same, right?
 

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Deranged Touring Cyclist
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Does anyone use lights in the daytime? I roll with 2 active taillights and a flashing white headlight in the daytime. Full compliment of reflectors, and most of my jerseys are hi-vis. Battery costs would really hurt, except I have all rechargeables, so it's no biggie. The lights aren't particularly bright in the day, but I'm told they still add visibility.

For night, a 2nd headlight gets added.

Where can one find spoke reflectors? I have reflective rings on my tires, but would love some spoke reflectors to round out the wheels.
 

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Premium Member
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I've had people tell me my headlight, when flashing is TOO bright during the day, I run my taillight as well during the day.

There's a ton of spoke type reflectors, they have the flat ones that come on bike by law and then there are others.

"That" magazine has a product showcase, scroll back a little and you'll see them. One is a pretty neat 3-D thing so you can see them from behind as well.

If you want to get REALLY crazy, they have taillights that project a bike lane behind you and to your side using lasers. There's also the "Flash Flag" for your seatstay. . . . . . .
 

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Deranged Touring Cyclist
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Knee,

Oh, of course! Duh. I once saw a bike with long thin reflectors actually attached to each spoke - I have the normal wedge-in type, have been looking for the long thin ones for a good while, now.

Kudos for running lights during the day! Every little bit of added visibility helps.
 

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Premium Member
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Yup, bu tin the end I think there are several factors at play and the hi-viz items (clothing, lights, etc) just help shift odds on your side. I have no scientific proof of this, maybe just anecdotal.


I think (just IMHO)

1. cyclist attention
2. driver attention
3. road environment


are your three factors. If you're not paying attention by looking at a cell phone, ipod, daydreaming, whatever, you're putting yourself at risk to get hit by maybe weaving, running a stop sign, not slowing down for a car pulling out, whatever.

The driver not paying attention may hit you due to their inspecting the inside of their colon with their head by texting, talking, radio, whatever. You're are risk here because they simply do not see you, due to lack of attention. The hi-viz stuff, (again IMHO) helps bring them back to focus since a flashing light, bright color, etc draws attention to you and may make them stop scrolling for Justin Bieber's Love Songs on their Ipod or typing "OMG! My BFF! Like totes!" on their phone.

The road environment is a factor with or without hi-viz stuff. No amount of lights are going to protect you in a 55 mph two lane road without a shoulder, nor are they going to save you on a decreasing-radius downhill blind.

Ride defensively and keep your eyes and ears open. Keep your nouth shut though, swallowing bugs sucks.
 

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Junior Member
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600 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Does anyone use lights in the daytime? I roll with 2 active taillights and a flashing white headlight in the daytime. Full compliment of reflectors, and most of my jerseys are hi-vis. Battery costs would really hurt, except I have all rechargeables, so it's no biggie. The lights aren't particularly bright in the day, but I'm told they still add visibility.

For night, a 2nd headlight gets added.

Where can one find spoke reflectors? I have reflective rings on my tires, but would love some spoke reflectors to round out the wheels.
I plan on using strobes for daytime riding. I probably won't do any night riding, so I don't need full-on lighting, just hi-vis lighting to catch attention.

I have rechargeables too, but a lot of batteries can add up in weight (I would think). I'm looking at getting lights that use BIOS type batteries (CR2032 type). They are super light, last a long time (not sure about in light situations though), and I can buy them cheap, around .30/ea. for good ones.
 

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Total noob (& forum admin)
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Brands that feature 3M Scotchlite Reflective Material:

The New Balance 360 Degree Jacket and a few items from The North Face (e.g. Men’s Hayes Short-Sleeve Shirt) are two great brands that make products to wear during cycling. Additional brands that feature 3M Scotchlite Reflective Material in some of their products are Levi's, Pearl Izumi, Showers Pass, Sugoi and Arcteryx.
 

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I use a cygolite head light. Its super bright, re-chargeable, and can plug into a USB port at work to charge!
I have a planet bike tail light. Its pretty bright for its price. I often wear a headlamp on my helmet, more so others can see me than the other way around.

I've also had illuminite clothing, but their reflection can get worn off on some clothing. I haven't seen their stuff in stores lately...
 

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Where can one find spoke reflectors? I have reflective rings on my tires, but would love some spoke reflectors to round out the wheels.
Don't use spoke reflectors on the front wheel, a friend of mine who worked on a bicycle repair shop had a large number of accident cases which where caused by front spoke reflector coming loose and locking the front wheel. The reflective tire sides are more effective, in Holland you have to have reflective tire walls, you are not allowed to ride with spoke reflectors only
 
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