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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Columbia, MO
    Posts
    2,051

    Orange vest reduces harrassment

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    Several weeks ago I got a reflective orange road vest, like what construction workers wear, so I'd be more visible. It worked great--with an unexpected benefit that I get hollered & cussed at far less.

    I thought I'd throw that out there. That sort of thing is a big deterrant to commuting for a lot of people.

    The only downside is my 12 yr old daughter is mortified to be seen with me. I told her "Better a live dork than fashionable roadkill!" and she said "No..." Then she informed me that I am under no risk, with or without the vest, of ever being fashionable roadkill!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    I'm the only one allowed to whine
    Posts
    10,576
    I've always worn either a reflective orange vest or a screaming yellow one. (and sometimes I've even had a flag on my bike)

    I kinda figure if you look like a total dork the cars must feel a little sorry for you, so they act nicer. Either that or they can just see you better.

    (actually, traffic does seem to be a bit more respectful when you wear something gawd-awful bright, for whatever reason.)
    "If Americans want to live the American Dream, they should go to Denmark." - Richard Wilkinson

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    326
    I think that there is a lot of truth to this.

    My opinion is that a lot of motorist anger at bikes is a response to fear. I've felt fear/anger that while driving when a bike is riding dangerously, but your definition of 'dangerously' is relative to your experience on a bike, or driving near bikes. You hear comments from motorists all the time like 'this bike just came out of nowhere and I almost hit him' etc.

    I've never seen a cyclist materialize out of thin air myself...

    Unusually bright clothing lets motorists see you from far away, especially in areas with a lot of hills tree cover or dreary weather. You have a better chance of catching their attention from a distance, before they are on you and they can prepare to pass you safely, etc. and that takes away that fear reaction. At least I prefer that to thinking that they are laughing at me...

    As for your daughter... I think in the scheme of things it's more realistic to strive for world peace than fashion kudos from an adolescent daughter.

    Anne

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Riding my Luna & Rivendell in the Hudson Valley, NY
    Posts
    8,409
    I noticed last year when I started wearing screaming yellow neon tops that cars seem to behave more courteously. Seeing the change in driver behavior made me a true believer.
    Townsfolk sometimes tell me when they see me with my bike in town, that they could see me a mile away on the road. Since then I make sure to wear neon yellow tops EVERY time I bike. I have hot weather tank tops, breezy mesh safety vests, longsleeve jerseys, windbreaker, etc. In winter I wear wool base layers under the yellow.
    I love seeing in my rear view mirror that a car far behind me is already starting to move over to give me safety room long before they reach me.
    Lisa
    Our bikes...OurBikes...and my mountain dulcimer blog
    Ruby's Website and My blog
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    276
    I started wearing a bright orange vest a couple of winters ago. I was riding in toward the east as the sun was coming up. I drove the route a couple of times and realized that the drivers were blinded. So, I did everything I could to be seen. I used to wear the vest backward because most of the reflective stuff is on the front of the vest. I took a bicycle safety class a couple of months ago. They spent a lot of time hammering into us about being predictable. So just a week or so ago, I realized the sun is not in the same spot that it was in and maybe I should turn the vest around becuase that is how drivers expect me to appear. So far I have not been given any indication that the drivers see me any less. Besides, for the winter, I now have a yellowish green jacket that is so bright it burns your eyes to look at it directly so I don't even were the vest.

    The only time I've felt like a dork wearing the vest was when my partner and I went riding on a path just a block from our house. I wore the vest out of habit. The path does not envolve cars or any thing else motorized

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Boulder
    Posts
    930
    Maybe they just think you're, erm, special?? I agree though, I generally feel like I have less incidents when I wear my fluorescent yellow jacket, but usually it's too dang hot to wear it. I'll have to find a sleeveless atrocity to wear now.

    My stepbrother used to take classes in Temple, which is located in a pretty bad part of Philly, and when he had to take the train home at night he would wear one of those propeller hats, thinking that if the attackers thought he was handicapped that they wouldn't mug him. He never got mugged, so guess it worked??

    K.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Looking at all the love there that's sleeping
    Posts
    4,172
    I like to wear bright, attention-getting colors to be better noticed on the roads. LisaSH - when someone in your village says "I saw you from a mile away", do you reply, "Why thank you. That was the intent."??
    Last year, Terry had a really obnoxious "Yellow lava" print for their jerseys - I see they still have a mesh tank in their sale section - that I wanted to get (but didn't) for it's shock factor. But then, I worried...would it make drivers sooooo woozy, that they's lose control of their car and swerve into me??
    2007 Seven ID8 - Bontrager InForm
    2003 Klein Palomino - Terry Firefly (?)
    2010 Seven Cafe Racer - Bontrager InForm
    2008 Cervelo P2C - Adamo Prologue Saddle

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Spokane, WA
    Posts
    818
    I just bought a screaming neon yellow sleeveless jersey at TE. It's Terry's Breakaway Jersey with mesh side panels. Perfect for summer riding! And when the sun hits you drivers would have to be blind to miss you. bikerHen

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Riding my Luna & Rivendell in the Hudson Valley, NY
    Posts
    8,409
    My very favorite brand of screaming neon yellow stuff is Brooks' "NightLife" line. So bright it hurts the eyes. Terry bikes carries some of them, but one can sometimes find the pieces a bit cheaper or on sale at other online places like Holabird Sports and Footlocker.
    In the hot summer, i wear their mesh breezy t's (I actually cut the sleeves off!) and their razor-back tank with built-in bra.
    I'm a big NightLife fan.
    Lisa
    Our bikes...OurBikes...and my mountain dulcimer blog
    Ruby's Website and My blog
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Portland, OR
    Posts
    1,253
    I'm very fond of the PI Whisper Vest. I just throw it over whatever bike clothes I'm already wearing*, it adds very little warmth or weight. The mesh back is very breezy, and when it's really hot out I just wear unzipped most of the way. Today while sweating up a hill I was thinking that I might even dare to wear it over a sportsbra if it was unbearably hot.


    *I just hate yellow as a color, personally, so being able to wear whatever I want underneath really makes a difference with me, mentally. I know, silly.
    Last edited by Dianyla; 06-20-2007 at 03:48 PM. Reason: initially said "not" instead of "hot"

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Mrs. KnottedYet
    Posts
    8,975
    Non scientific study in random order of things that seem to reduce harassment:

    red white and blue anything, I have one red white and blue jersey (rails to trails) and it seems to help.

    riding my mountain bike to work as opposed to road bike

    I'm told that skorts help. I don't have any skorts
    Custom Road bike ~ Mondonico Futura Legero
    Found on the road ~ Motobecane Mixte
    N+1 new bike ~ Salsa Vaya
    Commuter ~ Soma Buena Vista Mixte

    http://madeinusareviews.blogspot.com/

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    WA State
    Posts
    4,389
    I kind of like the jerseys that say Police in really big letters - and support your local.... in really small ones. You want to bet me that wearers of those jerseys get less harrasment.

    My team kit has big easy eye green (that flourescent yellow/green color) stripes on it and though its not the whole shirt or shorts, I know from experience that I can spot my teammates a mile away because of it. I don't find that drivers are any nicer... just gives them a better target to aim at...

    traveling somewhat behind a guy the other day I did notice that cars were much more willing to pass me very close than they were him - do they think that I won't leave a very big dent or something (and no I don't ride in the gutter casue I don't like to encourage people to pass that close - I did have the TT bike out and I wonder if that made me look smaller and easier to pass)
    "Sharing the road means getting along, not getting ahead" - 1994 Washington State Driver's Guide

    visit my flickr stream http://flic.kr/ps/MMu5N

  13. #13
    Jolt is offline Dodging the potholes...
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Southern Maine
    Posts
    1,677
    I also wear a screaming yellow vest with reflective stripes on it, and I do look like a dork in it! Especially with the purple helmet, the gloves and the red plastic crate on the back of the bike . With very few exceptions, drivers give me plenty of clearance when passing. I haven't had any real problems with rude drivers in general, the worst I've had is comments/catcalls from guys on the sidewalk (and those are sometimes funny). The only time I don't wear the vest is if it's a bright sunny day and I happen to be wearing a really bright top such as my shocking pink t-shirt.
    2011 Surly LHT
    1995 Trek 830

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    pacific NW
    Posts
    1,043
    I have a Performance jersy in the ugliest screaming shade of orange that you can imagine. It actually took me a long time to work up the courage to wear it, but it does seem that cars give me more room and there are fewer cat-calls. People always comment on it and say that it is a good idea to be so highly visible on a bike--but I haven't seen any rush of people buying these gawd awful things. Hubby has one 'cause bought it for him, but his actually looks kinda nice on him...

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Columbia, MO
    Posts
    2,051
    Quote Originally Posted by Kimmyt View Post
    Maybe they just think you're, erm, special??
    My brother said the road vest + bike helmet made him think "special" too!
    Funny how "special" is now a fashion statement and a way to protect ourselves!

 

 

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