Poll

What does the panel think about the 'bent ''safety flag on a pole'' thing ??

Naff
5 (16.7%)
Not necessary
17 (56.7%)
Necessary
3 (10%)
None of the above.
5 (16.7%)

Total Members Voted: 29

Voting closed: January 22, 2020, 06:56:37 pm

Author Topic: the 4 N's  (Read 2659 times)

Blodwyn Pig

  • what a nice chap
the 4 N's
« on: December 23, 2019, 06:56:37 pm »
just wondering, some folks use them, others don't,  obviously only talking road use here. 

Re: the 4 N's
« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2019, 07:17:11 pm »
4Ns? Education needed please!

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Rebuilding a PDQ frame to restart my recumbent collection!

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: the 4 N's
« Reply #2 on: December 23, 2019, 07:20:24 pm »
Look at the poll options for the explanation.
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

Socks

  • FFCT rally, France 2012
Re: the 4 N's
« Reply #3 on: December 23, 2019, 07:29:01 pm »
It's been my experience of recumbent bikes that they are more visible than traditional bikes.  This might relate to the neuroscience of how our vision and brains work.  Briefly, eyes pick up so much information that the brain has to filter this and decide which bits are important.

So an unfamiliar object like a recumbent is more likely to register even when a bit lower down than an upright.

And in relation to flags, on a ride earlier this month a driver held back up a climb to a blind summit, and with the low sun in our eyes.  Then overtook when he could see that it was safe.  And stopped further up the road to say that he had found it difficult to see what was ahead and I should think about a flag and pole on my recumbent.

I've thought about this but it seems like simplistic nonsense.  He saw me despite the low sun and poor vision.  A flag would also have been difficult to see in those conditions.  So basically a waste of time.  A flashing led rear light would be a better bet for poor visibility.

Phil W

Re: the 4 N's
« Reply #4 on: December 23, 2019, 08:22:40 pm »
Drivers everyday see and react to things on the road much lower and smaller than you and your recumbent.  You are visible. Visibility isn't the issue, attention span is. When does a driver first notice you, do they continue to notice you, and does that alter their driving to get safely past you? Recumbents are still a relatively rare sight on the roads. So you get noticed, because most drivers aren't familiar with recumbents, they tend to pay attention to you, they're not certain, so you get a wide berth till they are past.

I also have a theory that an upright bike being taller than wider makes them appear to take up less space than they do, thinner; recumbents seem wider than they are. So one gets a closer pass than the other.

Plus my recumbent I'm eye level with drivers of normal sized cars, on the road bike I'm above their roofs.

Bright primary colours plus reflectives on back of bike, plus lights for dark or poor visibility and you'll be fine.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: the 4 N's
« Reply #5 on: December 23, 2019, 08:59:44 pm »
I don't use a flag on my Streetmachine because it's the same height as a car and I've never felt the need.

Barakta has one on her trike, mainly to serve as an aerial for her radio aid.  I consider it a mild eye-poking hazard that also serves to spook the few horses that aren't already bothered by a low recumbent.  I don't think anyone has trouble spotting recumbent trikes on the road, and when I ride it, I don't usually bother.

I don't use a flag on the Red Baron, because it isn't in the spirit of aerodynamic gains.  I'm aware of occasionally disappearing behind a motorist's left wing as they overtake (you can tell because they give you even more room).  I don't like riding the Baron in urban traffic more than necessary, mainly because of the low tolerance for potholes that drivers are completely unsympathetic to, but also because being low down and highly reclined limits what *I* can see.  It's not unsafe, but the extra caution required becomes tedious.

I don't use a flag on my Brompton, which does have serious being seen issues, because I don't think it would help.


From general observation, most recumbent flags do very little to improve visibility from behind, because the air-stream renders them 1-dimensional.  To solve this I think you need a windsock or turbine blade design, increasing the drag.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

fd3

Re: the 4 N's
« Reply #6 on: December 23, 2019, 10:04:51 pm »
On open spaces you are seen and noticed without a flag.  If you are trying to filter through traffic, invisible but for a flag, then I don;t think that will help, motorists will wonder what's going on but not associate it with a bike.
[/I could be wrong]

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: the 4 N's
« Reply #7 on: December 23, 2019, 10:33:05 pm »
Recumbents aren't very good for filtering at the best of times (even if you're high enough to see what's going on, manoeuvrability and ease of start/stop riding can be an issue), so that doesn't really matter.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Tim Hall

  • I want to eat the fleeting shade of your lashes
Re: the 4 N's
« Reply #8 on: December 23, 2019, 10:38:29 pm »
I don't use a flag on my Streetmachine because it's the same height as a car and I've never felt the need.

Barakta has one on her trike, mainly to serve as an aerial for her radio aid.  I consider it a mild eye-poking hazard that also serves to spook the few horses that aren't already bothered by a low recumbent. 

I was on a ride with Auntie Helen once, she on her recumbent with flag.  We chanced upon some horses, so she sensibly unshipped the flag and dismounted. My suggestion of staying on the bike, carrying the flag like a lance and proceeding at the pace of a hussar was not taken up.
 
There are two ways you can get exercise out of a bicycle: you can
"overhaul" it, or you can ride it.  (Jerome K Jerome)

Re: the 4 N's
« Reply #9 on: December 23, 2019, 11:29:10 pm »
Back in the UK drivers would always give me a pretty wide berth, flag or no flag. Sadly here in Japan the attitude seems to be "that looks strange... better do a close pass". I'm actually thinking about adding a flag, though it seems unlikely to help.

Re: the 4 N's
« Reply #10 on: December 24, 2019, 12:11:41 am »
A bit like magical plastic bonnets. There’s no SCIENCE to support their efficacy, but none riders consider them essential. If you like them or otherwise want to use one, then why not, it’s not hurting anyone.
Sorting my life out, one shed at a time.

LMT

Re: the 4 N's
« Reply #11 on: December 24, 2019, 06:36:00 am »
A bit like magical plastic bonnets. There’s no SCIENCE to support their efficacy, but none riders consider them essential. If you like them or otherwise want to use one, then why not, it’s not hurting anyone.

Because it gives drivers an excuse.

Ime they're shit. Better off getting a good mirror and riding defensively.

Re: the 4 N's
« Reply #12 on: December 24, 2019, 11:44:09 am »
My thinking is .....
If you have an accident then it's another box ticked just like DRL or a magic hat.
How well it works in practice is anbodies guess.
Plus I've started to use one less due to having to remember to remove it when putting the trike away after a ride.

I still use a union jack on my trailer because when touring abroad it shows where I've come from.

YMMV ..............

Re: the 4 N's
« Reply #13 on: December 24, 2019, 06:38:17 pm »
I have one of the new trice flags fitted but I don't find it makes a great deal of difference to how vehicles react to the trice. It may have some benefits when riding in London traffic I suppose  :)
the slower you go the more you see

fd3

Re: the 4 N's
« Reply #14 on: December 26, 2019, 12:54:44 am »
What about a periscope?
[/I could be wrong]

Blodwyn Pig

  • what a nice chap
Re: the 4 N's
« Reply #15 on: December 26, 2019, 11:20:22 am »
What about a periscope?

what about it ?

Blodwyn Pig

  • what a nice chap
Re: the 4 N's
« Reply #16 on: December 26, 2019, 11:23:27 am »
the consensus  appears to in  favour not necessary  , so I prob won't bother , they appear to be most popular in the USA, for some reason.

Mr Larrington

  • A bit ov a lyv wyr by slof standirds
  • Custard Wallah
    • Mr Larrington's Automatic Diary
Re: the 4 N's
« Reply #17 on: December 26, 2019, 11:36:08 am »
What about a periscope?

what about it ?

Periscopes have been used at Battle Mountain by Team Cygnus and IUT Annecy but are probably sub-optimal in everyday use.
External Transparent Wall Inspection Operative & Mayor of Mortagne-au-Perche
Satisfying the Bloodlust of the Masses in Peacetime

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: the 4 N's
« Reply #18 on: December 26, 2019, 12:23:56 pm »
What about a periscope?

That's usually what gets suggested about 30 seconds after I get in someone's velomobile.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: the 4 N's
« Reply #19 on: December 26, 2019, 03:29:45 pm »
My mates are obsessed with getting me a flag at the moment, doubt it will come to fruition!
I am considering salvaging the lollipop from my mums old bike for use on certain local lanes that people drive far too fast on.
She also an old horn that's like a squeezy ball which makes a comedy parp! Had my eye on that for years!

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: the 4 N's
« Reply #20 on: December 26, 2019, 03:43:16 pm »
I am considering salvaging the lollipop from my mums old bike for use on certain local lanes that people drive far too fast on.

Umbrella works better.


Quote
She also an old horn that's like a squeezy ball which makes a comedy parp! Had my eye on that for years!

Ask Butterfly about her pothole detector...
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Phil W

Re: the 4 N's
« Reply #21 on: December 26, 2019, 04:24:20 pm »
My mates are obsessed with getting me a flag at the moment, doubt it will come to fruition!


It's often  other cyclists who often make stupid comments about the visibility of recumbents, without really thinking through what they are saying. 

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: the 4 N's
« Reply #22 on: December 26, 2019, 04:51:56 pm »
My mates are obsessed with getting me a flag at the moment, doubt it will come to fruition!


It's often  other cyclists who often make stupid comments about the visibility of recumbents, without really thinking through what they are saying.

Cyclists with no recumbent experience can be as bad for uninformed authoritative opinions as motorists with no cycling experience.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Arellcat

  • Velonautte
Re: the 4 N's
« Reply #23 on: December 26, 2019, 05:09:48 pm »
From general observation, most recumbent flags do very little to improve visibility from behind, because the air-stream renders them 1-dimensional.  To solve this I think you need a windsock or turbine blade design, increasing the drag.

I had a flag on my Windcheetah, back in t'day.  It made no difference whatever to whether motorists saw me or not, and whether they accidentally nearly ran me over or not.  So I put a lovely rainbow coloured spinsock on the flagpole instead.  I found it made no difference whatever to whether motorists saw me or not, and had the unhappy side effect of making me the laughing stock of 14 year-old boys across the city.

I never put a flag on my stealth black Speedmachine.  I lost count of the number of times people came up to me to tell me how low to the ground I was, and how worried they were that someone else might not see me.

Riding a bright red, 9 foot-long velomobile, on the other hand, very definitely makes sure motorists see you.  I'll come up behind a slower cyclist on the long hill on my commute home, and the vm is like a magic deflector shield for the other rider.

Re: the 4 N's
« Reply #24 on: December 27, 2019, 01:13:34 am »
Tried a flag for a while after friends ranting at the wife, the only difference it made I frightened horses. I had one on the opposite side of the road sit down with the rider on its back. Fortunately having been around horses in a previous life, I recognised the horse wasn’t happy so I jumped off and grabbed the flag , the poor animal was ok after that.