Wear a bikesign

Equipment and On Road Behaviour, Laws and Rules. Cycling Promotion and Advocacy

Re: Wear a bikesign

Postby Mrfenejeans » Wed Feb 20, 2013 10:49 am

russell.bathard wrote:I rode with a large KEEP CLEAR sign on my back.Check out the unstaged action photos by googling bikesign.blogspot.com


To be honest the sort of distance given by the cars in the un-staged action photos seems pretty typical of what motorists give me and other cyclists i see out and about all the time who do not wear signs. In fact any close shaves I have had, have been at relatively low speed and on purpose.

I know from my motorist alter ego, that i would have trouble reading a small constantly moving sign on the back of a cyclist, I would in fact see the cyclist long before i could read the sign.
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by BNA » Wed Feb 20, 2013 11:13 am

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Re: Wear a bikesign

Postby familyguy » Wed Feb 20, 2013 11:13 am

russell.bathard wrote:...then you will have some actual facts to support your conclusions.


Touche. Over 10 years of no close calls myself, riding in high density, low density, country, city, highway, main road, back road. I believe that is as much 'fact' as your blog indicates. Good luck with your sign, but it's not for me.

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Re: Wear a bikesign

Postby russell.bathard » Wed Feb 20, 2013 8:24 pm

To il capone.Thanks for your continued interest.A bikesign provides safety for the cyclist far beyond what is normally experienced for vehicles approaching from behind.The bikesign creates an increased awareness that leads to an increase in safety.Please read in detail my blog by googling bikesign.blogspot.com
I am not suggesting if you wear a bikesign you can behave recklessly on the road.We are the minor and most vulnerable road user and should act responsibly and with courtesy. I think your idea of a wiggle for approaching trucks is dangerous and could cause an accident.A few seconds on the verge won't hurt you and truckies show their appreciation.
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Re: Wear a bikesign

Postby il padrone » Wed Feb 20, 2013 8:57 pm

russell.bathard wrote:I think your idea of a wiggle for approaching trucks is dangerous and could cause an accident.

Not my experience at all - and that's only over the past 33 years :roll:

I'm guessing that you misunderstand what I mean. Allow me to explain.

First thing with trucks in traffic is to be predictable but also conspicuous. The best sort of conspicuity comes from your road positioning. Ride in your lane, about 1-1.5m from the kerb, wider if the lane is narrow or there is any uncertainty. In the city and suburbs truck-drivers will see you ahead of other vehicles due to their height. They will plan ahead and change lanes early to overtake. Hug the kerb and they will be tempted to cut close - very dangerous for you. Do you advocate getting off the road for every large truck passing you in town? Very slow cycling.

On country roads also keep a road presence. Usually the best guide is to ride approximately where the left-most wheel of a car would travel. Passing traffic can see that a correct overtaking move is required. However large trucks like to maintain speed where they can. If you are too far left and/or there is no oncoming traffic they are often tempted to just drive straight by, especially if you are riding a very predictable track along the white edge line. This was the problem I faced with my mates in 1979 - large trucks cutting us disconcertingly close by. We found out however about the wiggle - we were riding with a strong tail wind and could hear the trucks well in advance, about a kilometre back. If there were no oncoming vehicles, when the truck was about 200m back we found that if we did a bit of a wiggle on the road (just for a second) the truck-driver would completely change lanes and overtake us (ie. overtake as they are legally required to). Truck is not delayed, we are not threatened. Win/win.

The wiggle should be done when the truck is far enough back to take notice and act, not close where it is a hazard. This is the key, and a rear-view mirror is almost essential. Truckies are professional drivers and do not want to cause any problems or have a collision - they have a job to do. By wiggling, even just veering a bit wider then back in line, at the right time they are made aware that cyclists may be erratic* and they can then decide to move out to pass safely.

This knowledge is something I have used in managing overtaking traffic, especially but not limited to, heavy trucks. It works with almost all drivers of cars as well. The essential tool to enable this to be done is not some sign the truck/car driver cannot even read, but the rear-view mirror, to correctly judge the traffic approaching, its speed and distance.

So there you have it - the 'user manual' for The WiggleTM :wink: Use it wisely.


* I'd rather that drivers think I am just that bit erratic (which in reality we are, if a pothole appears or a gust of wind strikes) than that I can follow a rod-straight course at all times. All drivers need to learn to give a correct margin for safety. There is no hard rule here (which is why I am skeptical about the "Metre Matters" campaign) - 10cms is never safe but it all depends on the vehicle speeds and the circumstances.
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Re: Wear a bikesign

Postby russell.bathard » Thu Feb 21, 2013 4:08 pm

To il capone.I am worried about you riding so far out from the curb.One day, one motorist, won't see you there and you will be ............Lets hope not, you seem a very nice peson.
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Re: Wear a bikesign

Postby Summernight » Thu Feb 21, 2013 4:16 pm

russell.bathard wrote:To il capone.I am worried about you riding so far out from the curb.One day, one motorist, won't see you there and you will be ............Lets hope not, you seem a very nice peson.


They don't see you if you're a mouse hugging the gutter. They definitely see me when I'm in the middle of the lane.

If they don't see someone who is smack bang in the middle of the road then they won't see ANYONE, including a car who may also be smack bang in the middle of the road. If someone isn't seeing anything then they'd probably hit a cyclist who is hugging the gutter as well as a cyclist who is claiming the lane.

Until your assertions are based on research with adequate numbers of participants and controllable variables, russell.bathard, then I'm going to claim my lane, be 1-1.5m or more from the gutter and be aware of my surroundings.
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Re: Wear a bikesign

Postby il padrone » Thu Feb 21, 2013 4:45 pm

russell.bathard wrote:To il capone.I am worried about you riding so far out from the curb.One day, one motorist, won't see you there and you will be ............Lets hope not, you seem a very nice peson.

Now I see it's not that you misunderstand me.... you just don't seem to be listening. I've been riding like this, as I said, for over 30 years. In particular in the past 8 years I have been made even more aware of what it is that I have been doing that works, so I can ride safer still. The only times I have trouble with close overtaking traffic and near misses have been when I momentarily vague out and am riding too close to the kerb*. When I move back into the correct lane position, I have no more trouble.





* Hmm..... petty much like this. Waaay too close to the kerb by my standards of safe. As for the signs and jacket - no thanks.

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Re: Wear a bikesign

Postby human909 » Fri Feb 22, 2013 8:22 am

Mrfenejeans wrote:In fact any close shaves I have had, have been at relatively low speed and on purpose.


Now that I think about it my two memorable close shaves have been like this too. Well actually one was high speed 60kph while I watched the #$(AT)%er in the eye the whole time. :evil: Both times I was centre of my lane on a multi lane road. I've had plenty more unnecessary close cut backs from motorists who have to go to the trouble of passing me.

I also got a few last time I was in Lycra on Beach Road when I made the mistake of given them an inch and stopped riding centre of lane for a bit. So it was back to lane holding vehicular cycling for me! :wink:
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Re: Wear a bikesign

Postby outnabike » Fri Feb 22, 2013 10:02 am

I must be very safe, I haven't learned how not to wiggle yet , they all give me a wide berth. :D Now I just have to claim the lane more often.
Very good advice in this forum. That pic with the truck is definitely not claiming the lane, and is giving the truck mixed signals, the sign is asking for room, but encouraging lane splitting.
Nothing wrong with a sign, but I reckon it gives a false security.
Agree with Human99 as well, give em an inch and the want to be a ruler... :D
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Re: Wear a bikesign

Postby RonK » Fri Feb 22, 2013 10:42 am

The picture illustrates pefectly the point I posted earlier about the A metre matters campaign - and the sign the rider is wearing. I think it is flawed and dangerous.

Do you really want trucks that size (or larger) overtaking just 1 metre away? And on the the highway where trucks are travelling at 100 kph?
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Re: Wear a bikesign

Postby il padrone » Fri Feb 22, 2013 1:49 pm

RonK wrote:Do you really want trucks that size (or larger) overtaking just 1 metre away? And on the the highway where trucks are travelling at 100 kph?

The picture above probably shows a road with a 60 or 80kmh speed limit - typical of what I have on main roads around my home area. The multi-lane road means that there is no requirement for a cyclist to ride "as far left as practicable". If a cyclist claims the full lane there are still two (or even three) other lanes for the overtaking driver to use. If you do claim the lane, truck drivers know how to cope with this very well, much better than a lot of car drivers. But nevertheless, almost all drivers will cope and you will have a much nicer ride.

As displayed very clearly in this video (also highlights the safety limitations of narrow cycle lanes)

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Re: Wear a bikesign

Postby il padrone » Fri Feb 22, 2013 2:41 pm

This sort of pace-line riding will sure keep the truck-drivers at bay (check out the Police with two pistols on their hips - better than any sign :mrgreen: )

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Re: Wear a bikesign

Postby Mulger bill » Fri Feb 22, 2013 3:45 pm

il padrone wrote:...(check out the Police with two pistols on their hips - better than any sign :mrgreen: )

So yer reckon a blue jersey with a checker pattern on the sleeves and sides and an image one of these slung on the back would do the job? :|
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Re: Wear a bikesign

Postby warthog1 » Sat Feb 23, 2013 7:24 am

il padrone wrote:I tend to prefer to wear shirts and am a believer in the value of ordinary street clothing for many (most?) city cyclists

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See, now thats why you shouldn't wear regular clothing on a bike. Look where his right foot is positioned on the pedal :P
FFS at least wear spd shoes and use appropriate pedals :mrgreen:

Honestly what is wrong with the clobber this Cervelo rider is wearing for city riders?

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Re: Wear a bikesign

Postby il padrone » Sat Feb 23, 2013 12:01 pm

Love the chainguard :D
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Re: Wear a bikesign

Postby RonK » Sat Feb 23, 2013 12:06 pm

warthog1 wrote:See, now thats why you shouldn't wear regular clothing on a bike. Look where his right foot is positioned on the pedal :P
FFS at least wear spd shoes and use appropriate pedals

Nothing wrong about a mid-foot pedal position, in fact it's recommended by many including Steve Hogg.
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Re: Wear a bikesign

Postby warthog1 » Sat Feb 23, 2013 4:42 pm

RonK wrote:Nothing wrong about a mid-foot pedal position, in fact it's recommended by many including Steve Hogg.


Yes my mistake I see now why he has his heel up on the pedal.
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Re: Wear a bikesign

Postby il padrone » Sat Feb 23, 2013 5:19 pm

Gee, it'd be nice to see him with the orthodox Kennedy bike-fit set up, and a full SPD-SL and Shimano carbon road shoes kit. He'd probably get to work a full 2mins quicker :roll:

But he's just a dude riding a clunker about town. If he's comfortable and can cover the distance to do his ride, good on him.
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Re: Wear a bikesign

Postby Ross » Sat Feb 23, 2013 5:39 pm

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Re: Wear a bikesign

Postby russell.bathard » Sat Feb 23, 2013 7:46 pm

To Mrfenejeans.Sorry for the late reply.I have also questioned the effectiveness of the bike sign myself but after extended trials I am convinced it does work to increase your safety on the road.That is why I wish to share this information with others and have set up bikesign.blogspot.com to achieve this.Behind the scenes I am approaching cycling organisations, government bodies, manufacturers etc to get this safety initiative moving.
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Re: Wear a bikesign

Postby russell.bathard » Sat Feb 23, 2013 7:58 pm

To anyone reading this post.Have you tried a bikesign yourself? Simply get a bright T shirt and a black texta and create your own design or use one from a selection at bikesign.blogspot.com
I am sure you will notice a difference on your very first ride.Please report back to this site to comment on its effectiveness.I wish to encourage others to wear this safety initiative.
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Re: Wear a bikesign

Postby il padrone » Sat Feb 23, 2013 8:36 pm

Please stay away from government bodies and 'safety authorities' with such ideas :|



"We don't need no clothing regulation
We don't need no thought control....."



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Re: Wear a bikesign

Postby warthog1 » Sun Feb 24, 2013 8:22 am

il padrone wrote:Please stay away from government bodies and 'safety authorities' with such ideas :|



"We don't need no clothing regulation
We don't need no thought control....."



Apologies to Pink Floyd


You left out "hey teacher leave them kids alone" :P
I always thought that line ironic given the poor grammar


+1 on stay away from government bodies with those ideas.
I am visible enough with the clothing and appropriate lighting I use. My experience is that those who do the close shaving, do so because they resent cyclists taking "their road space". I cant see a sign fixing that, and I do not wish to be forced to wear such gear.
If you choose to wear it I have no problem with that, it is your choice to wear what you want.
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Re: Wear a bikesign

Postby russell.bathard » Mon Feb 25, 2013 11:33 am

to il padrone and warthog,
I am not pushing for compulsory wearing of a bikesign.I agree with your comments it should be up to the individual to make this choice. We are too over legislated in this country as it is. eg. It is compulsory to wear a bicycle helmet. Personally I do not even agree with the compulsory aspect of this.What I am doing is employing my right of free speech to advance the safety idea of a bikesign, which I believe really works, in every possible way I can.
Something is needed to SNAP ( key word) drivers out of their DRIVING STUPER and stop them running over cyclists on the road.
I believe a simple bikesign can do this.
I have been hit from a passing sideswipe, on an open road, with no oncoming traffic while riding gutter rat style, well within the shoulder line, and being conspicuous and clearly visible.The motorist did not stop.
Did he even see me? Possibly not.
Would a bikesign have helped?Possibly.
In view of the serious consequences I am prepared to always WEAR A BIKESIGN because I believe it may be usefull in saving my life in these rare and one off ACCIDENTS where cycling fatalities can occcur.PS. If I had been riding further out on the road I wouldn't be here now.
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Re: Wear a bikesign

Postby il padrone » Mon Feb 25, 2013 1:31 pm

russell.bathard wrote:I have been hit from a passing sideswipe, on an open road, with no oncoming traffic while riding gutter rat style, well within the shoulder line, and being conspicuous and clearly visible.The motorist did not stop.
Did he even see me? Possibly not.

You see, here is where you had an incorrect road position. Ride wider.... approx in the left wheel track line of cars. Wider if necessary (eg. narrow lanes, double lines before a crest/bend)

russell.bathard wrote:PS. If I had been riding further out on the road I wouldn't be here now.

Very unlikely. You would have been very clearly taking up lane space that would require him to slow and change lanes.

Despite our worst fears, most motorists (yes even the hoons and arrogant rednecks) do not want the complications of answering nasty Police questions about a road collision or fatality. They certainly do not fancy a culpable driving charge. You need to listen to the many experienced cyclists on here - we have been practicing this sort of traffic safety skill for many years. It works.
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