I was trapped out in the big Victoria storm of 2014-10 on my bike. I was astounded how so many pedestrians dressed head to toe in black. In the blinding headlights, pelting rain and dark they were all but invisible to bikes and cars. One young cyclist who swerved in front of me was similarly all in black with no lights or reflectors.
We need to start pressing night pedestrians and cyclists to:
- dress in contrasting colours.
Wear a reflective vest over your coat. You can get them at stores such as Mark’s Work Wearhouse that sell clothing for construction workers. Good ones breathe, are water proof, strong, flexible and use super-reflective 3M Scotchlite. Cheap ones are made of vinyl, tear easily and accumulate sweat. The standard pattern of two vertical stripes on the front and an X on the back let drivers know if you can see them.
A reflective vest is not that onerous or expensive. Mine was on sale and cost about $65. It is completely satisfactory.
To my astonishment, a handsome young man told me the vest turned him on. I think he meant he supported the idea of bicycle safety, not literally that he was a vest fetishist.
- Persuade pedestrians, especially children and pets to wear flashing lights. They will find them cool, not geeky.
- Persuade cyclists to sport flashing lights and reflectors visible from front, side and back.
If you won’t wear reflective gear for yourself, do it for the poor driver who hits you or barely misses you and just about has a heart attack.
Gift of Survival
Why not give reflective gear as gifts to your pedestrian and cyclist friends to let them know you want them to stay alive? The elderly need the most prodding. A gift is emotional blackmail on them to use it.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)