Author Topic: Flags and visibility  (Read 3804 times)

Flags and visibility
« on: September 11, 2015, 06:47:23 am »
Hi Everyone,

Last night I was told I needed a flag fitted to my Fuego as car drivers could not see me when they overtake me. I was just wondering if anyone had any advice to deal with people who think a flag would make car drivers safer around me. I have a yellow cover over the bag on the rear  and have cycled over 12,000 miles (2 1/2 years) without one and think it is unnecessary on the bike.


Mr Larrington

  • A bit ov a lyv wyr by slof standirds
  • Custard Wallah
    • Mr Larrington's Automatic Diary
Re: Flags and visibility
« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2015, 07:17:23 am »
Ask your would-be saviour when the last time was that they saw a low-slung sports car equipped with a flag.  Then advise them that if they really have difficulty in seeing markings painted on the road  - which are much lower than even the most stoating of recumbents - they should relinquish their driving licence forthwith.  You are not the Head of State or a member of the Diplomatic Corps.

Or you could just kill them, and then have an ice cream.

Much of North America is infested with giant pickup trucks and SUVs but curiously no-one driving a normal car seems to feel the need to fly a flag from it.  Except Mr Obambi, and possibly the Ruritanian Ambassador.
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RichForrest

  • T'is I, Silverback.
Re: Flags and visibility
« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2015, 09:58:34 am »
Next time tell them that they passed to close and if they gave you room and passed wider they would have seen you.

Re: Flags and visibility
« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2015, 10:43:15 am »
On the one hand tis good for the car behind the car behind you (sometimes) to be able to see and the flag movement can be very visible in certain conditions, on the other I have forgotten my flag and noticed no change in other road users behaviour.
     Tis a bit like the other question which can never be definitively answered, what does a Dodo taste like  :o
The problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so sure of themselves, and wiser men so full of doubt.

Re: Flags and visibility
« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2015, 11:52:24 am »
I was with cycleman when his flags were stolen in Craven Arms while we ate lunch.
He didn't seem less visible and he was at exactly the same level of volume and rudeness if somebody offended his sense of space  ;D
Never knowingly under caffeinated

Re: Flags and visibility
« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2015, 11:57:45 am »
What, Cycleman  :o
The problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so sure of themselves, and wiser men so full of doubt.

Re: Flags and visibility
« Reply #6 on: September 11, 2015, 01:09:58 pm »
Further discussion here https://yacf.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=87320.0

Until relatively recently my daughters cut a lower profile walking than I did on my recumbent - naturally we made them carry a flag at all times when walking out of doors....a saltire of course although being yellow and red 'The Lion Rampant' may have been a better choice.

Pete Crane E75

Re: Flags and visibility
« Reply #7 on: September 11, 2015, 01:17:02 pm »
The response will depend on who is saying it I suppose.

If it is a driver casually abusing you at the roadside then asking them who exactly they are talking to if you are invisible might be a good start. If it is a friend, loved one or work colleague just ask them if they can see white lines and cats eyes.

I think there are situations where a flag can make you more visible, but whether they come up often enough to make it worth the hassle the rest of the time is a personal judgement. When I first got my trike I used one. I don't anymore.

Re: Flags and visibility
« Reply #8 on: September 11, 2015, 01:25:21 pm »
One driver in a black VW Golf screeched away from the lights after me once (me on an ICE 26) pulled alongside with his window open and screamed at me " I can't see you" the link between (what is left of) my brain and lip disappeared and I instinctively replied "Well open your f*****g eyes then", he got quite agitated  :facepalm:
The problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so sure of themselves, and wiser men so full of doubt.

tonycollinet

  • No Longer a western province of NĂºmenor
Re: Flags and visibility
« Reply #9 on: September 11, 2015, 01:27:20 pm »
My approach to this is use a flag.

It doesn't make me more visible (except in some edge cases - e.g. while filtering) - but it shuts people  up.

Tigerrr

  • That England that was wont to conquer others Hath made a shameful conquest of itself.
  • Not really a Tiger.
    • Humanist Celebrant.
Re: Flags and visibility
« Reply #10 on: September 11, 2015, 01:38:36 pm »
I rode flagless for years and got fed up with being advised I was invisible and needed a flag. I gave up with witty responses.
In the end I got a bit of carbon kite spar and some flouro gaffer tape and made a flag. I found the comments reduced and my commute easier plus I got more road room. It doesn't make me more visible but it does command more space which is probably helpful.
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http://humanist.org.uk/michaellaird

Re: Flags and visibility
« Reply #11 on: September 11, 2015, 01:53:36 pm »
My approach to this is use a flag.

It doesn't make me more visible (except in some edge cases - e.g. while filtering) - but it shuts people  up.

Never bothered myself,  people will still find something to whinge about - I've had assorted 'get on the cycle path' dickdom, but never anything to do with flags..friends/relatives that bring up visibility soon give up after 'x years and y 1000 miles and I get far wider overtakes than on an upright'..even if they're not entirely convinced it ends the argument :)

That said, I'm at a similar height to a feugo (speed machine/fujin), I might feel differently on a low ICE maybe, but I suspect not.

Aside from never feeling like it'd make the blindest bit of difference, having a flag is a) one more thing for some idiot to nick b) something for similiar idiot passenger to make a grab for on the way past. Tho' I was considering one for my (deferred - knee trouble) ridelondon outing, on the basis that some upwrong riders sem to be a little oblivious to there souuroundings, and probably more so if they think there's just things on the road of a similar height.

Re: Flags and visibility
« Reply #12 on: September 11, 2015, 01:58:02 pm »
I only started riding a recumbent bike last November - a Performer.  Initially, I fitted a flag for my rides around the rural lanes around my home.  However, it was soon apparent that flags upset horses and I took it down.  I don't need a tonne of steel-shod hooves trying to sit on my seat when I'm already in residence.

So I took it down.  I've always found, having covered well over 1000 miles, that vehicles give you plenty of room.  Discussions elsewhere have concluded the same, largely because (it is thought) that drivers spot something odd in front and slow down and give you a wider berth than they might for a DF bike.

I have not yet had a close pass on the recumbent, but I have had a few on the DF - two this week!

I've not used a flag for months and I've had no problems - indeed I get noticed because when I mention to people in the village that I also ride a 'recumbent' and explain what it is lots of them have seen me on the road.  So, the vision sticks.

Re: Flags and visibility
« Reply #13 on: September 11, 2015, 02:38:37 pm »


                                                        I might feel differently on a low ICE maybe, but I suspect not.

  Quite so, rarely do I feel vulnerable on my ICE (seat on lowest recline as I am sure air flow over the mighty beer basket is better like that  :facepalm:).

   
The problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so sure of themselves, and wiser men so full of doubt.

Re: Flags and visibility
« Reply #14 on: September 11, 2015, 03:17:25 pm »
What, Cycleman  :o

Hard to believe isn't it? ;0
Never knowingly under caffeinated

Arellcat

  • Velonautte
Re: Flags and visibility
« Reply #15 on: September 11, 2015, 03:30:04 pm »
Further to my earlier post on the subject, I remember in my Speedmachine days getting really quite fed up with the number of people who told me I was very dangerous, on account of not having a flag and even though they* had seen me they were afraid that someone else might not.  When I sold the bike and bought my altogether higher up and sitty-up Lightning, the comments stopped almost immediately.  I actually think I can count on one hand the number of invisibility comments I've had.

While doing Pedal for Scotland last weekend several people, who asked me about the velomobile and should I not have a flag sticking up, seemed remarkably open to persuasion when I pointed out that on account of its being bright red and nine feet long, and necessitating the use in an extremely vehicular manner, the height was perhaps somewhat academic.  Yet at the finish line, I had to sit for several long moments (and enlist a friendly second volunteer) to be handed my bottle of water.  The nonplussed first volunteer who was actually standing less than three feet away completely missed me holding out my hand and looking directly up at him, by failing to look down at all.

* "You're strange and therefore dangerous so get off my road, but I'm faced with the fact that I did actually see you. My dichotomy and middle class Britishness nonetheless compels me to rant at you, albeit with slightly less vehemence."

Re: Flags and visibility
« Reply #16 on: September 11, 2015, 03:36:58 pm »
The nonplussed first volunteer who was actually standing less than three feet away completely missed me holding out my hand and looking directly up at him, by failing to look down at all.

                    What a little treasure   :facepalm:
The problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so sure of themselves, and wiser men so full of doubt.

Re: Flags and visibility
« Reply #17 on: September 11, 2015, 08:44:20 pm »
Don't listen to that nobby  quint, sweet and innocent me   :demon:
the slower you go the more you see

Re: Flags and visibility
« Reply #18 on: September 11, 2015, 09:15:35 pm »
Don't listen to that nobby  quint, sweet and innocent me   :demon:

I can still remember the flags. Two Isle of Man ones. They reminded me of his little legs going round and round.  ;D
Never knowingly under caffeinated

Re: Flags and visibility
« Reply #19 on: September 11, 2015, 09:24:42 pm »
Trouble is I can picture them, all three of em  :facepalm:
The problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so sure of themselves, and wiser men so full of doubt.

barakta

  • Bastard lovechild of Yomiko Readman and Johnny 5
Re: Flags and visibility
« Reply #20 on: September 11, 2015, 09:57:26 pm »
I had this debate with someone I was talking about recumbents with recently. "Nah, traffic is too busy going WTF to not see you, while shouting that they can't see you usually".

I've finally got one of the teamleaders in my office to stop telling me how invisible Kim is on her bent by saying "So invisible that you saw her and felt you had to tell me all about it yeah?" about 6275456 times... 

I do have a flag, but we're using it as an aerial for my FM comms system and Kim made me a skull and cross-spork flag. I don't think it makes me more visible on my Sprint.

Re: Flags and visibility
« Reply #21 on: September 12, 2015, 07:49:56 am »
Character assassination  ::-)  :)
the slower you go the more you see

Re: Flags and visibility
« Reply #22 on: September 12, 2015, 09:31:09 am »
Character assassination  ::-)  :)

         Sings "Three wheels on my wagon (etc)"   ;D
The problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so sure of themselves, and wiser men so full of doubt.

Re: Flags and visibility
« Reply #23 on: September 12, 2015, 06:43:00 pm »
Last night I was told I needed a flag fitted to my Fuego as car drivers could not see me when they overtake me. I was just wondering if anyone had any advice to deal with people who think a flag would make car drivers safer around me. I have a yellow cover over the bag on the rear  and have cycled over 12,000 miles (2 1/2 years) without one and think it is unnecessary on the bike.

I agree with the majority opinion that mostly people are too busy going "WTF?" to not see you!  However there is, perhaps, one situation in which a flag might be of some use.  Specifically narrow single-track roads with hedges / bushes near the corners.  It's possible that a flag might be seen above the plant-life whilst the rest of your recumbent might not.  Whether this would result in the driver thinking "There's a flag, there must be something attached to it I'd better slow down / be ready to slow down" or just "I wonder what that piece of material is?" whilst they keep their foot hard on the accelerator is something I'm less sure about.

Jaded

  • The Codfather
  • Formerly known as Jaded
Re: Flags and visibility
« Reply #24 on: September 12, 2015, 07:26:05 pm »
The hedgerows round us neatly hide 'bents, uprights, urban tractors and much more.
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