Cycling visibility - How to be safe by increasing visibility on the road


#1

What are your tips/what do you do to increase your visibility while cycling on the road?

Here are mine:

  1. Wear bight colors. I love this high-visibility jersey from Velosmith, our local bike shop. You can see this jersey from really far away!

  1. Use front and back lights, even during the day.
  • The front light is visible on daylight and it has 3 settings. In this video I have it in the blinking setting, which catches driver’s attention from far away.
  • The rear light is specially designed to have varying outputs and an interruptive flash pattern, which catches the attention of drivers more than a light flashing on steady flashing pattern (steady pulsing is less noticeable than one that continually varies its intensity and pattern).


#2
  1. I use front and back lights whenever I ride- day or night. Like you, my lights do various patterns.

  2. Hi Viz colors, especially socks, back of riding tights. Hi- Viz moving colors are seen more than static ones. I do use hi- viz jerseys and gloves when possible.

  3. For mountain biking, we wear hunter orange clothing during hunting seasons (7 months out of year). Also, no white helmets in the woods.

Finally- I make sure I am not riding on certain roads at certain times of day due to sun angle. We have some east-west roads that are hard for riders to see. I will start my rides at a different place , just to bypass those tough roads.


#3

I have read that drivers see lights that move around better than lights that are stationary, so I wear a flashing red light on my left ankle in addition to the front and rear lights on my bike.

When I am bike commuting in the dim mornings of spring/fall/winter I also have fun spoke lights on my wheels. And last winter I put tinsel and Christmas lights on my helmet :slight_smile:

Also, if you are riding on busy city roads that don’t have a bike lane, don’t ride far over to the right but take up more space. Take the whole lane if you need to for your safety and don’t be shy about it! If you don’t need to take the whole lane, then imagine there is a car parked on the curb/side of the road, and ride that width away from the curb.


#4

This is a great point. That will not only make you more visible, but also decrease the chances that the cars try to squeeze by you.


#5

Absolutely wear bright colors! Drivers notice them from farther away and can react accordingly. I see so many cyclists out by me riding in black, even at dusk when it is hard to see anything. I don’t understand it.

Lights front and back, day and night.

Another thing that I never go without is a rear view mirror that clips to my sunglasses. It doesn’t help drivers see me, but it helps me see what is behind me so I am never taken by surprise. The one I use is called Tiger’s Eye. It’s really small and you can easily see behind you with just a quick glance.

I also avoid riding at duck or later, or when I know there will be a lot of traffic. And I never, ever ride by the high school at dismissal time!


#6

Cycling safety is a hot topic here in nyc with 3 cyclist dying in the last week on the streets of our city.
For visibility I also wear bright clothes and a bright helmet. And gloves so cars can see me when I signal.
Agree with not riding close to parked cars. We have a possibility of being doored here in nyc.
I use my lights and have a bell and use my mouth to let others know I’m around.
I’m a defensive rider anticipating others moves. Also NO HEADPHONES and no thinking. Once I start drifting off, I lose focus.
Stay safe stay visible. And I may use the Christmas light idea for my next night ride.


#7

Amen to everything!! Love the jersey @Coach_Theia! I just got a new set of lights with the daylight options - my old rear light was not working properly and the new set has the blinking (not steadily to help attract attention) options and a group ride option on the rear - when i commute to work, i dont stress as much because i try and take the bike path not streets but for my Fondo rides this summer, full front/back lights are key!

I try and wear brightly colored tops and my team kit this summer is bright orange (not my color but its about the team and its highly visible!) I also like bright pink - i almost got hit by a cabbie in Chicago a year or so ago (while I’m not going to say i’m 100% always in the right, i was absolutely allowed to be riding where i was) so that made me more thoughtful about my own gear and lights - and yes, he got a permanent mark on his record - i did report it

@Gossimrr sorry to hear about the bikers in NYC - i get it - please be careful!! We need to look out for each other!


#8

These are all great tips. Thanks everyone for sharing. My flashing rear light is also a radar (Garmin Varia). The radar function doesn’t increase my visibility, but it does give me a heads up that a car is coming up behind me. When there is wind in my ears, I can’t always hear the cars. When the Varia detects a vehicle, there is an audible alert from my bike computer. A dot, representing the car, appears on the side of the computer screen and its passage from the bottom of the screen to the top mimics the speed at which the car is actually approaching me. When the dot is at the top, the car is right beside me. The colour of the dot represents how fast the car is approaching (red means fast). Currently this radar only works with Garmin bike computers. This was given to me as a gift (I admit, I initially thought it was gimmicky) but now I won’t ride without it. I really do appreciate the warning of a car’s approaching presence.


#9

I love the Varia radar! Besides all the things that @Gossimrr mentioned about riding in NYC, we also have to be careful with all the electric bikes (mainly delivery guys) flying past you at 40mph on a bike lane and you can’t hear them so having the radar has been extremely useful!


#10

Had that experience the other day, @Covi. I was riding home and this guy comes out of nowhere flying by me, not making his presence known, not exactly holding a line, passing me on an overpass on an e-bike. Not a safe move…


#11

@sjelinski I’ve never heard of that Radar. That sounds great! And @Covi those delivery guys are so dangerous! For sure.

All we can do is be good ambassadors and hope that people will follow by our example.


#12

In addition to most of the above I also have reflective stickers on my wheels. I picked some up on a Kickstarter deal but they are also available here. People on my rides have commented about how much they stand out in the dark. https://thebeam-europe.com/products/wheel-flash


#13

Oh @stacypro, those are cool!


#14

I love them! In general I’m a fan of anything reflective or that catches light that I don’t have to remember to charge!


#15

Hannah bikes to football training - she uses an old bike so as not to worry too much when it’s locked up outside the venue; to ensure maximum visibility I attached reflective spoke covers and wrapped reflective tape on much of the frame… not something I’d be willing to do to my beautiful carbon road bike but then again I don’t tend to ride that in the dark