Tag Archives: reflective clothing

Being visible and noticed doesn’t end when the sun comes up

by John Brown

With summer in full swing, consider taking center stage by wearing clothing that makes you more visible to others while riding your bike or walking. Being noticed by others is the key to avoiding accidents. There are two forms, passive and active visibility to focus on. Things like reflectors and bright colors especially in patterns that make you stand out are forms of passive visibility. While lights and blinkers are great examples of active visibility, most people focus on nighttime visibility. Though, far more hours on the spent under the sun while riding a bike. Here are a few tips to keep you safe and visible whenever you ride.

Clothing that makes you more visible

Read on to see where each one is helpful and most efficient.

If you were driving a car which cyclist would grab your attention first?

The easiest way to be visible is to wear highly visible clothing. Whereas black may be slimming, it doesn’t offer others the best chance to see you. The most visible color available is high visibility (hi-vis) yellow. It is bright yellow not found naturally and sticks out against the backdrops on most normal roads and paths. If hi-vis yellow isn’t for you, try to wear other colors that would stand out, like bright blue, red, or orange. Better yet, an obnoxious pattern of several above mentioned color, so you are sure to be noticed.

The most visible color available is high visibility (hi-vis) yellow.

Lights

Many companies are recommending riders use their lights during the day as well as at night for a great reason. Active forms of visibility like blinking lights do a lot to attract the attention of others. For best visibility and longest battery life, use your lights in “blink mode” rather than a steady beam.

Reflectors

Most cars sold in the US are equipped with daytime running lights. For that reason, the reflectors on your bike will shine back at drivers during the day and alert them to your presence. Beyond the standard reflectors, your bicycle comes with, think about adding adhesive reflective tape to bags, helmets as well as your bike.

Position

Being visible while riding can be as simple as your position on the road to be noticed. In situations where there isn’t enough room for a bike and car, be sure to take up enough space as to ensure no driver could miss seeing you and try to “squeeze” past. Also, ride at a controlled speed where there may be blind corners, driveways, or crosswalks. Additionally, don’t stop in places where others can’t see you until it’s too late.

When making a lane change, signaling your turn and try to make eye contact with those you are approaching.

Signal

No amount of visibility will make up for erratic riding. Be sure to signal where you are going so auto drivers, other cyclists and/or pedestrians know where you are headed. When overtaking riders or walkers from behind, be sure to let them know where you are going with a simple “on your left” or “on your right”. Then, give them a moment before passing and ring a bell if you have one.

Kids

Kids riding bikes is something we need to preserve in this digital world. The best way to keep kids on bikes is to keep it fun and safe. Try to have two adults riding with kids if possible, one leading and one following. Be sure to remind children of how and when to signal, and dress them colorful clothing. Because kids bikes are lower to the ground than an adult bike, they can go unnoticed, a flag mounted to the bike reminds drivers that there is a bike below.

Following these tips will limit the chance of accident and keep your ride fun and safe.

Reflectors are forms of passive visibility, while lights are great for active visibility. Read on to see where each one is helpful and most efficient.

Finding visibility for safety and fun in fall’s limited light

by John Brown

With schools now in full swing, Halloween on every child’s mind, trees soon dropping their leaves and the days getting shorter we need to begin considering visibility while riding our bikes. The main forms of visibility we focus on are passive and active visibility. Things like reflectors and bright colors are forms of passive visibility, while lights and blinkers are great examples of an active visibility. Read on to see where each one is helpful and most efficient.

Passive visibility

Most autumn rides start in the light, and only devolve into darkness as the ride stretches on. In these cases, most riders rely on passive visibility to get them home. Provided that your ride is under street lamps or some form of light, that passive visibility will get you home safely. The most common form of passive visibility is the lowly reflector. These plastic devices are required by the CPSC to be installed on all bicycles sold in the united states. You will find reflectors come in two colors, white (front and wheels) and Red (rear). Additionally, many apparel companies install reflective materials onto their products. Like the reflector on your bike, these reflective materials will take any light thrown at you, and return it back to the source of the light. Where passive reflectivity falls short, is when there is no light source to activate the visibility.

This jacket offers excellent visibility through color and reflective materials.

Sealsinz makes some cool winter gloves that are both visible and insulated

Active visibility

When the area is devoid of a light source, as a rider, you need to create that light to keep yourself safe. For cyclists, Lights and blinkers are the most common devices for light. Where the light and the blinker differ is that blinkers are designed to be seen while lights allow a rider to both see and be seen.

Great lights are usually rechargeable and use an LED bulb. For riders who spend a lot of time off-road or on unlit paths, these lights are a necessity. While most mount onto the bars or helmet, there are a few companies who integrate lights into the bike or your helmet.

MagicShine Bike Helmet and remote (inset)

MagicShine Bike Helmet and remote (inset)

 

Blinkers are usually battery operated and use an LED to flash intermittently. These blinkers can easily be mounted to your bicycle. In some cases, blinkers are incorporated into helmets, gloves, shoes, saddles and handlebars.

The Omni Bike Helmet, with photo receptor covered and lights on.

The Omni Bike Helmet, with photo receptor covered and lights on.

What to use this Fall

For the fall season, mount a pair of blinkers to the bike (one front an one back). When you get stuck in low light and high traffic, simply switch on the blinkers. If your route is going to be unlit for any portion, a front light makes things safer. Overall, just think ahead before your next ride and pack to insure you can see and others can see you.

 

Reflectors are forms of passive visibility, while lights are great for active visibility. Read on to see where each one is helpful and most efficient.

Top 5 Tips For An Immensely Rewarding Fall Bike Ride

by Jess Leong, HaveFunBiking.com

Bike riding in fall can come with many challenges. However, it can also be immensely rewarding. While bicycle season is winding down for some, for many other cyclists their two wheels are a favorite mode of transportation to explore the great autumn landscape. Pedaling along the colorful autumn roads or trails is so breathtaking that I will admit that fall bike riding is one of my favorite times to ride. Not too hot, not too cold, and there are less insects once the first frost hits.

If you’re planning to ride around this fall, check out these top tips before heading out.

Fall Bike Riding Tip 1: Layer It Up

For fall bike riding layering your clothing is key.

For fall bike riding layering your clothing is key.

The temperature fluctuation can be really confusing when you want to get dressed and go biking. The morning can look like 47 or 48 degrees Fahrenheit, but by the afternoon it could be in the lower to mid 70s! The best way to combat this is by wearing multiple layers that you can easily remove and put back on to find your perfect temperature. When layering a good rule of thumb is to make sure that whatever you decide to put on last, it will b the first thing that you’d want to take off!

Pro Tip: Start off while still slightly chilly. As you ride, you’ll warm up and that chilliness will go away. However, bring an extra layer incase you stop along the way! You want to stay warm when you’re not riding.

Not sure what to do for layering? Check out our article about how to layer, why it’s beneficial, and what to wear.

Fall Bike Riding Tip 2: Beware of Wet Leaf Piles

The falling leaves are gorgeous, and leaf piles can be a lot of fun. However, a wet, crunchy leaf pile an be a hazard when riding your bike through it. Not only can water splash upwards onto your bike and legs, but the bike tires can slip on the leaves. When leaves are wet, they become slick or slippery. With a normal bike tire being thinner, it has less surface area for surface tension. If a leaf gives away, or get stuck onto the tire, a bike can slip out from under you.

Luckily, if you have a fat bike, this is less of a problem. The larger tires adds more traction to the surface and, therefore, is less likely to slip. Even with the lesser likelihood of slipping, caution should still be used.

Also, wet leaf piles can conceal a number of different items. This can include nails, glass, or other objects that can puncture you tires. No one wants a flat while out riding. Sometimes you can’t avoid riding through the piles, but if you can, ride around the leaves.

Fall Bike Riding Tip 3: Stay Visible

For fall bike riding high visible clothing and saddle bag gear are easier for motorists to see.

For fall bike riding high visible clothing and saddle bag gear are easier for motorists to see.

Dusk is coming earlier and earlier as the season continues on. This means that the evening is intruding on some great riding opportunities in the daylight. While some daylight will be saved temporarily when we fall backwards an hour on November 6th this year, the time change can still negatively affect cyclists.

When times change it affects a person’s sleeping routine leading to a lack of sleep. This sleep deprivation makes people less attentive while driving. While November 6th is a Sunday this year you would think that people will most likely sleep in and therefore decrease the number of accidents. However, cyclists and other pedestrians should be aware and be extra cautious that day, and the day following. Why? Because people need time to adjust to the time change. It has been found that there is a significant increase of fatal accidents following the changes in daylight savings time when it occurs on a Sunday or Monday – according to a study done in Sleep Medicine and The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents.

This means that staying visible is even more important than usual. This isn’t limited to just the morning, but throughout the day whether on the road or trails.

You can do this in a couple of ways depending what you are comfortable with doing. Plus, the more you do, the more you increase your visibility.

Wear Light or Neon Colored Clothing

Wearing bright colors will make you stand out. If someone doesn’t see you to begin with, the color will catch their attention and they will find it easier to keep tabs on where you are. On the other hand, wearing dark colors isn’t recommended. Dark colors can blend into the dark and reduce your visibility. Natural colors can also blend you into the background or sidelines making you less visible.

Wear Reflective Clothing

When cycling in the early morning before there’s much daylight, or in the evening, reflective clothing is a must. This way, when the headlights on a car shine on you, you’re immediately recognized.

Add Lights to Your Bike

For fall bike riding add bike light front and back to be more noticeable.

For fall bike riding add bike light front and back to be more noticeable.

Did you know it’s a law to have lights on your bike? It’s something you have to do, but you should also do it because you’re interested in staying safe.

It’s important to note that lights aren’t required for daytime riding. However, since we never know when it might get dark out and we can’t plan for all those times when we end up riding late at night, it’s important to have a light handy. If it’s already attached to your bike, then it’s something you don’t have to worry about!

Unfortunately, there are no excuses if you get pulled over by a police officer for riding in dark conditions without one. Every state might have slightly different laws regarding bike lights (with many similarities as well). For bike laws and more about lighting in Minnesota, Minnesota Department of Transportation has a condensed document to review.

Fall Bike Riding Tip  4: Check Your Tire Pressure and Tires

As discussed earlier, leaves can hide different items that can puncture your tire. It’s not always avoidable, so it’s important that you should check your tires occasionally. This shouldn’t be limited to the fall and winter, but should be checked every time before you begin riding. Doing this allows you to catch any problems sooner rather than later.

Another thing to check is tire pressure. While fall isn’t as cold as winter, the cold can still alter the tire pressure. So, it’s best to check to make sure that the tire pressure is perfect before going out for your ride.

Fall Bike Riding Tip 5: The Usual Tools

Remember to bring the usual tools that you would usually bring for your bike adventures! In case anything happens, you want to make sure you have all the materials you need to fix it. To know what these are, check out our article about the tools you should have along for any ride.

With these tips, you’re sure to have a great and safe extended season as you continue to ride your bike through autumn.

Keep safe, have fun, and ride on!

 

Jess Leong is a writer for HaveFunBiking.com