Author Topic: Musings on visibility  (Read 1706 times)

Cudzoziemiec

  • Eating all the pies and drinking all the tea.
Re: Musings on visibility
« Reply #25 on: January 10, 2021, 09:48:03 pm »
Oh and I seem to recall a lot of twin headlight motorcycles only have one on the front when dipped so doesn't look like a car far away
I think there was a rule change on this at some point, and then maybe one back again. The incident I referred to happened in the early 90s, when twin headlights were quite a new trend on m/cs. Many of the scooters that you see around town have twin headlights both on all the time, but possibly the regulations are different if they're classed as mopeds.
Faster than a walk, slower than a train, often slightly higher than a person. (David Byrne)

Re: Musings on visibility
« Reply #26 on: January 10, 2021, 09:50:50 pm »
In addition to the moving reflectors, I’ve got a pet theory (with no studies to back it up, but why let that get in my way): two similar lights, at the same height, are more noticeable than one.

The thing that's always made me nervous about this is that pairs of lights might be assumed to be a car's width apart, suggsting that you're much further away than reality.  Which is why I fitted barakta's trike with a flashing light on the rear rack, in addition to the pair of static ones on the back of the front mudguards.
Fair point, especially if you’re somewhere with long straight roads or riding faster than me. Closer up I assume the difference is more obvious. Though I only have one “main” light lately.

hellymedic

  • Just do it!
Re: Musings on visibility
« Reply #27 on: January 10, 2021, 11:26:09 pm »
Camouflaged cops in broad daylight...


Karla

  • car(e) free
    • Lost Byway - around the world by bike
Re: Musings on visibility
« Reply #28 on: January 11, 2021, 01:15:06 am »
I have heard from taxi drivers that the thongs they notice most <snip>

Taxi drivers generally don't notice my thong because I keep it inside my jeans.  Some day I might try the whale tail look, in which case I"ll report back here whether it alters their behaviour.

TimC

  • Old blerk sometimes onabike.
Re: Musings on visibility
« Reply #29 on: January 11, 2021, 02:28:56 am »
I have a set of GCN winter tights which are dayglo yellow for the bottom of each leg (about 30cm or so). Those who've seen me out on the bike mention that the movement is very eye-catching in daylight. Pedal and shoe reflectors achieve a similar effect in low light. I had need to go shopping on Friday, fairly late, and passed a cyclist coming the other way. He was wearing one of those (very expensive, I think) fully reflective jackets which really, really stood out. If I was in the habit of riding in the dark, I'd definitely go for one of those!

Re: Musings on visibility
« Reply #30 on: January 11, 2021, 05:56:24 am »
Suggesting cars are banned is stuff of fantasy.Most pedals don't accommodate reflectors, which are very effective for rrasons previously mentioned, so I use reflective ankle straps which fasten via velcro. Reflective jackets are very effective and lastly as a motorist and keen cyclist flashing lights to front and rear in daylight is amazing. Occasionally I'll spot a fellow cyclist coming towards me from 100s of yards away just from the flashing front light. This is especially the case during gloomy winter conditions. Safe cycling everyone

LMT

Re: Musings on visibility
« Reply #31 on: January 11, 2021, 09:08:35 am »
One rear light, one front light and a a pair of mirrors. Being aware of your surroundings (road you are cycling on), conditions, traffic volume and reading the road ahead.

The (dying) art of defensive cycling.

Cudzoziemiec

  • Eating all the pies and drinking all the tea.
Re: Musings on visibility
« Reply #32 on: January 11, 2021, 09:38:50 am »
as a motorist and keen cyclist
Problem spotted. Everyone on this thread is a cyclist (even if for various reasons they no longer ride) and therefore attuned to identifying shapes as cyclists (and then treating those cyclists with respect on the road). Some other motorists and pedestrians might take a bit longer to identify lights and shapes as cyclists (and it might not always help when they do!)
Faster than a walk, slower than a train, often slightly higher than a person. (David Byrne)

Jaded

  • The Codfather
  • Formerly known as Jaded
Re: Musings on visibility
« Reply #33 on: January 11, 2021, 09:39:57 am »
A downside of increased visibility on the roads is the blinding effect of front lights on shared paths. Modern lights seem to have no shape, just a round blob of brightness that blinds.
If you don't like your democracy, vote against it.

Karla

  • car(e) free
    • Lost Byway - around the world by bike
Re: Musings on visibility
« Reply #34 on: January 11, 2021, 10:17:52 am »
[counts down the seconds until we have a forum love-in about B&M lights]

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Musings on visibility
« Reply #35 on: January 11, 2021, 11:42:00 am »
A downside of increased visibility on the roads is the blinding effect of front lights on shared paths. Modern lights seem to have no shape, just a round blob of brightness that blinds.

This is why I love my Edelux II light, sensible light pattern...

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

Re: Musings on visibility
« Reply #36 on: January 11, 2021, 11:49:01 am »
Yeah my b&m has a lovely shape

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Musings on visibility
« Reply #37 on: January 11, 2021, 11:49:32 am »
The thing that's always made me nervous about this is that pairs of lights might be assumed to be a car's width apart, suggsting that you're much further away than reality.  Which is why I fitted barakta's trike with a flashing light on the rear rack, in addition to the pair of static ones on the back of the front mudguards.

One time, driving at night out in the depths of OverIjssel, I was on a relatively long straight road. I could see a car coming towards me maybe 1km away. Then it... got further away. then it got closer very quickly... then further away very quickly...

Then I drove past the two cyclists on bikes with identical front lights... riding side by side...

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Musings on visibility
« Reply #38 on: January 11, 2021, 11:53:15 am »
as a motorist and keen cyclist
Problem spotted. Everyone on this thread is a cyclist (even if for various reasons they no longer ride) and therefore attuned to identifying shapes as cyclists (and then treating those cyclists with respect on the road). Some other motorists and pedestrians might take a bit longer to identify lights and shapes as cyclists (and it might not always help when they do!)

Absolutely this.

Kim, driving a CAR: "Ooh, Rohloff."
Barakta: "What?"
Kim: "On that guy's bike.  Rohloff gear hub."
Barkata: "There was a cyclist?"
Kim: "On the other side of the [busy, 4-lane] road.  We've passed him now."


Psychology, not optics.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Cudzoziemiec

  • Eating all the pies and drinking all the tea.
Re: Musings on visibility
« Reply #39 on: January 11, 2021, 12:29:31 pm »
Two other points, one optical, one learned:

You're moving. Someone might see you but they also need to project your trajectory. Sometimes a bright light can actually obscure movement.

Bikes and cyclists behave in a slightly different way to cars and drivers (and trikes are slightly different again). When teaching a small child to cross the road, you'll notice that one of the problems they have is that they can easily learn to look this way then that way, and that a flashing yellow light on a car means a particular thing, and traffic lights of different colours and shapes mean x, y and z. But there are lots of less defined predictions we (adults) make about what driver actions; having right at the staggered junction, they're likely to then turn immediately left to go effectively straight on; having altered their speed or course slightly in this or that way, they're probably about to do this or that action. This isn't "local knowledge" it's learned behaviour about the behaviour of drivers and motor vehicles. That is slightly different for cyclists and because there are fewer of us, a lot of it is less likely to be shared with non-cyclists.
Faster than a walk, slower than a train, often slightly higher than a person. (David Byrne)

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Musings on visibility
« Reply #40 on: January 11, 2021, 12:42:28 pm »
But there are lots of less defined predictions we (adults) make about what driver actions; having right at the staggered junction, they're likely to then turn immediately left to go effectively straight on; having altered their speed or course slightly in this or that way, they're probably about to do this or that action. This isn't "local knowledge" it's learned behaviour about the behaviour of drivers and motor vehicles. That is slightly different for cyclists and because there are fewer of us, a lot of it is less likely to be shared with non-cyclists.

Another example is people's varying levels of understanding of the behaviour of articulated vehicles, and how a driver towing a trailer will have to approach a corner.  Particularly relevant to cyclists, of course.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

FifeingEejit

  • Not Small
Re: Musings on visibility
« Reply #41 on: January 11, 2021, 02:59:37 pm »
But there are lots of less defined predictions we (adults) make about what driver actions; having right at the staggered junction, they're likely to then turn immediately left to go effectively straight on; having altered their speed or course slightly in this or that way, they're probably about to do this or that action. This isn't "local knowledge" it's learned behaviour about the behaviour of drivers and motor vehicles. That is slightly different for cyclists and because there are fewer of us, a lot of it is less likely to be shared with non-cyclists.

Another example is people's varying levels of understanding of the behaviour of articulated vehicles, and how a driver towing a trailer will have to approach a corner.  Particularly relevant to cyclists, of course.

This is where I usually fill in with the time someone driving behind me in Lane 2 went balistic at me for backing off to let the articulated vehicle in Lane 1 so they could negotiate the small circle (this is Dundee) outside Riverside Tesco, who clearly was more interested in getting squished against the signage than collecting what ever it was they were in a hurry to get into tescos for. I of course then blasted past the artic in lane 2 before the lane drops (no longer an S4).

Rear wheel steering on long unarticulated vehicles is another one, my drive home involves joining traffic leaving the Bus Station so I get to see the line the current range of huge Megabus and Citylink vehicles take as they turn right to head for Perth, yeah I'll be backing off from them anywhere tight too.