Conspicuity for cyclist survival
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CONSPICUITY FOR CYCLIST SURVIVAL. Jack Holmgren Member San Francisco Randonneurs Randonneurs USA 3-31-12 (All errors and opinions are the author’s). Don Mitchell at the start of the 2009 Gold Rush Randonnee. Our Fallen Comrades. Bruce Taylor – 2010 Don Mitchell – 2010

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CONSPICUITY FOR CYCLIST SURVIVAL

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Conspicuity for cyclist survival

CONSPICUITY FOR CYCLIST SURVIVAL

Jack Holmgren

Member

San Francisco Randonneurs

Randonneurs USA

3-31-12

(All errors and opinions are the author’s)


Don mitchell at the start of the 2009 gold rush randonnee

Don Mitchell at the start of the 2009 Gold Rush Randonnee


Our fallen comrades

Our Fallen Comrades

  • Bruce Taylor – 2010

  • Don Mitchell – 2010

  • Jim Swarzman – 2011

  • Others hurt or killed by cars at night, in low-light, or daylight

  • We owe it to them to be as conspicuous as possible.


The problem drivers

The Problem = Drivers

  • The man who struck Don Mitchell at 50 MPH

  • 78 years of age

  • Driving near on-coming traffic – glare

  • Twilight

  • Shortly after the switch to Daylight Savings

  • Was likely 4 feet into the shoulder

  • Credibly said that he NEVER SAW Don


The man who ran into and killed don

The man who ran into and killed Don

  • NEVER SAW Don.


Holmgren s first law of cycling survival

Holmgren’s First Law of Cycling Survival

  • You can never be too conspicuous.


Cars and bikes

Cars and Bikes

  • Drivers – Younger AND Older Fail to compensate

  • Limitations at night

  • Reduced contrast

  • Sensitivity to glare

  • All of which decrease their ability to SEE CYCLISTS.


We know drivers fail to compensate

We know Drivers fail to compensate

  • Is this bad?

  • Yes, it is bad.

  • But what can we do about it TODAY?

  • We can compensate for the drivers by being MUCH MORE conspicuous.


Conspicuity

Conspicuity

  • The property of being clearly discernible.

  • The state or quality of being clear or bright; brightness; conspicuousness. http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/conspicuity


Don mitchell s memorial

Don Mitchell’s Memorial


Vis quiz the best way to boost awareness of a cyclist in the dark low light is

Vis Quiz – The best way to boost awareness of a cyclist in the dark/low light is:

  • 1.Blinking tail light ____

  • 2.Solid tail light ____

  • 3.Reflective vest ____

  • 4.Reflective Sam Browne Belt ____

  • 5.Rear facing horn ____

  • 6.Reflective ankle bands ____

  • 7.Reflective material on cranks ____


Biological motion biomotion

Biological Motion (Biomotion)

  • Drivers see and recognize a human form:

  • Retroreflective material

  • Worn on moving Joints


Survival conspicuity material

Survival Conspicuity - Material

  • Start with the shiny stuff as it works in the rain/fog/sleet – buy products made with slick retroreflective material - see article in American Randonneur, Reflections on Retroreflectivity http://www.rusa.org/newsletter/08-02-09.html

  • Go for as much as you possibly can get.

  • Beware of phrases like “reflective accents.”


Survival conspicuity biomotion is the most important

Survival Conspicuity - Biomotion is the Most Important

  • Ankle, ankle, ankle

  • That’s about the only place on a cyclist that

  • Brings out the biomotion.

  • Rivendell makes big, fat, slick ankle bands.

  • They cover the leg and stick out a few inches.

  • DO NOT SKIMP ON ANKLE BANDS!

  • You want the “best and the brightest.”


Survival conspicuity reflective clothing

Survival Conspicuity – Reflective Clothing

  • Calculate coverage – how many square inches/centimeters of reflective material?

  • Look only to the reflective coverage, e.g., some ankle bands have bright colored fabric and only .5 or .75 inches of reflective stripe.

  • Reflective material that is 90 degrees to the road or close to that is most reflective.

  • Think about the garment’s angle to vehicle headlights as worn by the cyclist while riding.


Conspicuity for cyclist survival

Moonbeam DIY modification – 4 inch wide strip of slick material sewn to the bottom of the back of visibility vesthttp://www.reflective-stripes.com/product.sc?productId=7&categoryId=6


Survival conspicuity camelbak issue

Survival Conspicuity – Camelbak Issue

  • Put

  • Your

  • Camelbak

  • On

  • Before

  • Your

  • REFLECTIVE VEST OR SAM BROWNE BELT!!!!


Viz quiz the best way to boost awareness of a cyclist in broad daylight is

Viz Quiz – the best way to boost awareness of a cyclist in broad daylight is:

  • 1. Rear facing horn___

  • 2. “Share the Road” decal on top tube___

  • 3. Clothing that uses black and colors found in nature like brown, green, eggplant, blue…___

  • 4.Clothing that uses retroreflective material___

  • 5.Clothing that uses loud colors like Hi-Viz Yellow, Safety Orange___

  • 6.Mixed in checks or chevrons___


Is this conspicuous

Is this conspicuous?

  • Go to the Rapha, Capo, Castelli, Pearl Izumi, You-Pretty-Much-Name-It cycling clothing company website and click on all the “cool” looking black and earth-tones clothing.

  • In their defense, they are responding to a degree to market-share pressure. Be the pressure and don’t buy these drab and invisible colors and they will go away.


Identify the conspicuity items in this photo

Identify the conspicuity items in this photo


Traffic master jersey a good example http www elevengear us trafficmaster html

Traffic Master Jersey – A good examplehttp://www.elevengear.us/trafficmaster.html


Survival conspicuity wear clothes that stick out during the vast majority of your riding daylight

Survival Conspicuity – Wear clothes that stick out during the vast majority of your riding (Daylight)

  • Contrasting colors are best

  • Hi-Viz Yellow

  • Safety Orange

  • The two winners (In a 1994 study, “...fluorescent yellow was found to be best detected and fluorescent orange was found to be best recognized against any of the three backgrounds investigated.” (Zwahlen & Vel, abstract) )

  • But these are of little help at night/low-light.

  • Don’t get lulled into thinking you’re safer just by wearing these colors at night.


Survival conspicuity distractions competition for driver attention

Survival Conspicuity – Distractions = Competition for Driver Attention

  • GPS

  • Cell Phone and Audio

  • Cars and Buses

  • Signs and Scenery

  • Pedestrians and animals

  • Threat level highest in urban environments so APPLY Survival Conspicuity to your COMMUTE


Survival conspicuity fashion quiz

Survival Conspicuity – Fashion Quiz

  • Would you rather:

  • 1. Look good on the bike and be hurt/dead?___

  • 2. Look like a clown on the bike and be alive?___

  • If you selected #2 then consider wearing your L2s visibility vest always (that means on your commute, brevets, permanents, centuries, double centuries, training rides, etc.).

  • Clubs can order custom L2s vests at:

    http://www.t2s.fr/Presentation.html


Survival conspicuity tail lights

Survival Conspicuity – Tail Lights

  • Which is more important?

  • Your fellow riders not liking your bright lights?

  • Getting killed/hurt by a car because you did not have the brightest lights?

  • Always move up with the technology, e.g., Planet Bike Super Flash .5 Watt was the best but PB Turbo Flash = 1 Watt can and should be used in daylight too.


Survival conspicuity to flash or not to flash

Survival Conspicuity – To flash or not to flash?

  • Randonneurs must have A steady light in low-light and at night.

  • Some run that and one or several flashing.

  • Flash or steady is personal.

  • The point is to have good LIGHTS (plural)

  • Multiple lights are part of the Rando ethos of back-up.


Survival conspicuity multiple tail lights

Survival Conspicuity – Multiple Tail Lights

  • “Volagi” mount (brake bridge) http://volagi.wordpress.com/2011/12/08/how-to-making-a-mount-for-a-planet-bike-superflash/

  • Seat-stay mount

  • Helmet mount

  • Many is much better than one

  • Is this obnoxious?

  • Yes.

  • Does it make you more conspicuous?

  • Yes, and that is more important than anything.


Survival conspicuity aim

Survival Conspicuity - Aim

  • Not about alerting Martians

  • Aim for the Earthlings

  • No seat-bag, seat-pack, Carradice bag, pannier, Camelbak, mounting of lights as too much variation

  • Have a friend help by looking at the light from several distances, e.g., 50, 100, 200, 300, 500 meters to determine optimal positioning.


Survival conspicuity always ride with lights on

Survival Conspicuity – Always Ride with lights on

  • Cars turn their lights on during the day.

  • So can you! Increases conspicuity by day

  • Many lights designed to be seen by day:

  • Planet Bike Turbo Flash

  • Portland Design Works Radbot

  • Dinotte


Survival conspicuity front lights

Survival Conspicuity – Front Lights

  • Have good ones.

  • Have a back-up.

  • Daytime running lights – an idea whose time has come.

  • Endorsed by Robert Choi, inventor of the LED tail light!


Survival conspicuity reflective bikes and bits

Survival Conspicuity – Reflective bikes and bits

  • Powder coated reflective paint rims and frames

  • Stick-on bits of reflector on cranks, seat stays, helmets (up high so they’re visible in areas with many cars), etc.

  • Strands of bendable lights to wrap the frame with.

  • Reflective strips on tires and spoke lights.

  • Lights that project the image of a bike lane.

  • All communicate that the driver is approaching a cyclist.


Survival conspicuity organize

Survival Conspicuity – Organize!

  • Join a/several bike coalitions:

  • http://www.napabike.org/

  • http://www.bikesonoma.org/

  • http://marinbike.org/Index.shtml

  • http://www.sfbike.org/

  • http://www.ebbc.org/

  • http://bikesiliconvalley.org/group/santa-clara


Survival conspicuity organize1

Survival Conspicuity – Organize!

  • Amplify your voice with a chorus by joining a coalition or several coalitions.

  • Support programs that lead to greater driver cognition and awareness of cyclists in daylight, at night, and in low-light.

  • Ride with others in low-light or at night.

  • Ride with others in daylight.


Daytime riding

Daytime Riding

  • Helmet + Ankle Bands + Conspicuity Vest + Daytime Strength Tail Lights +Daytime Strength Front Light =

  • SAFETY or greater safety


Night time riding

Night Time Riding

  • Helmet + Ankle Bands + Conspicuity Vest + Daytime Strength Tail Lights + Night Time Strength Front Light (s) =

  • SAFETY or greater safety


A n c l

A-N-C-L

  • A = Ankle bands for biomotion

  • N = Noggin for helmet to protect same

  • C = Conspicuity Vest for conspicuity

  • L = Lights for front and back always on even by day

  • Do an ANCL check just before riding off.


Holmgren s second law of cycling survival

Holmgren’s Second Law of Cycling Survival

  • You should always try to be more conspicuous!


Thanks

Thanks

  • To the science gals and guys at Queensland U out there in Brisbane, Australia. http://www.hlth.qut.edu.au/opt/research/driving/visibility.jsp

  • FEMA

    http://www.usfa.fema.gov/downloads/pdf/publications/fa_323.pdf

  • They study this stuff and publish so that I can lift much of it verbatim and put it on the screen.

  • Thanks to them and thanks to all the researchers working on this life and death issue.


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