Wear a bikesign

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

Re: Wear a bikesign

Postby wizdofaus » Mon Feb 25, 2013 2:06 pm

OTOH, I can completely understand less experienced cyclists not wanting to sit too far out in the lane for fear that they might annoy some impatient driver to the point they're going to overtake them when there's clearly not enough room, especially if the driver realises they have to swerve back towards the kerb to avoid cars in other lanes (including those coming the opposite direction). And yes I've seen it happen, many times, though so far amazingly without anyone being knocked off.

For experienced cyclists that can hold 30-40 k/h, I agree - take up as much of the lane as you need, and certainly stay at least a metre out from parked cars. If you average around 20 k/h (or less) I wouldn't recommend riding on any busy road unless there's a nice wide shoulder, ideally marked as a bike lane. Mind you even at 15 k/h it's possible to be knocked off by an out-swinging door (it happened to me), though I would suggest if you're paying careful attention to parked cars (as I wasn't at the time!) it's very very unlikely to result in any serious sort of injury (my phone OTOH was definitely a write off!).
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by BNA » Mon Feb 25, 2013 4:16 pm

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Re: Wear a bikesign

Postby il padrone » Mon Feb 25, 2013 4:16 pm

For inexperienced cyclists sure thing, it's a challenge - something to learn in time, with the advice of more experienced riders. However I doubt that Russell is really a newbie, and he has been given enough information about vehicular cycling on this thread.

For slow speed cyclists (20-25mh) it is not necessarily impossible. The principles apply regardless of speed, eg. quite relevant even climbing a hill at 15-20kmh. This shows some slow speed riding in congested streets:




For most drivers there is very little difference between a 20kmh cyclist and a 35kmh cyclist - you are still regarded as holding them up. Best to encourage them to change lanes and go past. If you are travelling at 20kmh this will be all the more obvious to them. A following driver will be alerted to your presence much earlier by the cars ahead changing lanes to go by, whereas when they are just skimming you in the lane, they will get less notice of your presence (part of the reason why gutter-hugging is so dangerous).

Another clip at higher speed on a fairly busy road with fast traffic. The cyclist is probably riding at about 25-30kmh.



Bicycle speed is 15mph, speed limit 45mph, effective traffic speed +55mph. We're getting ~6ft of passing clearance... and I would not want less than that!
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Re: Wear a bikesign

Postby wizdofaus » Mon Feb 25, 2013 4:43 pm

It's not just that you're perceived as holding them up any less, it's that a motorist thinks he can sneak by a 15 k/h an hour cyclist much quicker than he can a 30 k/h cyclist. But with heavy traffic, cars often aren't able to go much above 30 k/h, so it is a significant difference.

Also given your videos aren't filmed in Australia (unless someone has deliberately done a mirror-image), I'm not convinced they demonstrate all that much that's relevant to cyclists in this country.

FWIW, I like the idea of the bike-sign vests for less experienced cyclists, but I'd suggest they need to look a little more professionally made before most people I know would consider them.
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Re: Wear a bikesign

Postby il padrone » Mon Feb 25, 2013 5:18 pm

wizdofaus wrote:Also given your videos aren't filmed in Australia (unless someone has deliberately done a mirror-image), I'm not convinced they demonstrate all that much that's relevant to cyclists in this country.

Not "my videos" :|

They are mostly from Commute Orlando, in Orlando, Florida, USA; not somewhere that is renowned as being terribly cyclist-friendly.
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Re: Wear a bikesign

Postby il padrone » Mon Feb 25, 2013 5:28 pm

Another example, from Commute Orlando. You judge the bike-friendliness of the auto traffic and the road environment :wink:




A rather 'juicy' bit of road to try to negotiate. Here in Melbourne I don't know of anything quite as intimidating in its design :?

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Re: Wear a bikesign

Postby KenGS » Mon Feb 25, 2013 5:35 pm

wizdofaus wrote:It's not just that you're perceived as holding them up any less, it's that a motorist thinks he can sneak by a 15 k/h an hour cyclist much quicker than he can a 30 k/h cyclist. But with heavy traffic, cars often aren't able to go much above 30 k/h, so it is a significant difference.

Drivers cannot easily tell the speed of a cyclist hence the misjudgements.

wizdofaus wrote:Also given your videos aren't filmed in Australia (unless someone has deliberately done a mirror-image), I'm not convinced they demonstrate all that much that's relevant to cyclists in this country.

Why not? Are Australian drivers, better? worse? more psychopathic? The video is from the US where car is just as much king as here, if not more. There's even a bogan (or whatever they are called in the US) at 3:16 who toots and calls out but still gives plenty of passing space.

wizdofaus wrote:FWIW, I like the idea of the bike-sign vests for less experienced cyclists, but I'd suggest they need to look a little more professionally made before most people I know would consider them.

I think less experienced cyclists are better off learning better roadcraft than putting their faith in a sign on their back.
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Re: Wear a bikesign

Postby wizdofaus » Mon Feb 25, 2013 6:46 pm

KenGS wrote:
wizdofaus wrote:It's not just that you're perceived as holding them up any less, it's that a motorist thinks he can sneak by a 15 k/h an hour cyclist much quicker than he can a 30 k/h cyclist. But with heavy traffic, cars often aren't able to go much above 30 k/h, so it is a significant difference.

Drivers cannot easily tell the speed of a cyclist hence the misjudgements.


They certainly can if they can see the rest of the traffic is doing 30 but they're being held up by a bike in front of them doing 15. FWIW however I agree this is exactly the situation (where there's heavy traffic in all lanes) where you should hold your position in the lane; it's only if you're hugging the gutter that it's likely that a motorist will think they can squeeze past. But my point remains that a novice cyclist is understandably going to feel very uncomfortable doing so.

KenGS wrote:
wizdofaus wrote:Also given your videos aren't filmed in Australia (unless someone has deliberately done a mirror-image), I'm not convinced they demonstrate all that much that's relevant to cyclists in this country.

Why not? Are Australian drivers, better? worse? more psychopathic? The video is from the US where car is just as much king as here, if not more. There's even a bogan (or whatever they are called in the US) at 3:16 who toots and calls out but still gives plenty of passing space.


I had thought until recently that US drivers were no better than here, but I've read in a few different places (including in this forum topic) that this isn't the case, and not having any first hand experience riding there, I'm happy to defer to those who've observed both first hand. I didn't mean to imply the video was completely useless, just that I'd be wary of assuming Australian drivers would behave quite the same way. Certainly from the 2 minutes of the second video Il Padrone posted, I'd say US drivers seem quite a bit more sensible than what I see here on a daily basis.

KenGS wrote:
wizdofaus wrote:FWIW, I like the idea of the bike-sign vests for less experienced cyclists, but I'd suggest they need to look a little more professionally made before most people I know would consider them.

I think less experienced cyclists are better off learning better roadcraft than putting their faith in a sign on their back.


The two are hardly mutually exclusive. If the bikesigns were sold along with a pamphlet with guidelines on riding safely among traffic, it's a win-win. While there are an unfortunate minority of drivers that are actively hostile towards cyclists, I still believe most dangerous driving in this country is because car drivers just don't even notice cyclists, or give them a second thought. I've been cycling on Melbourne roads for 20 years, and yet even still as an occasional driver I find myself not always noticing riders as soon as I'd like, often because they don't make themselves clearly visible. Bikesigns definitely seem to be one way to ameliorate that situation (and the guy in that 2nd video is effectively wearing a "bikesign" - a big flouro coat saying "here I am here I am"!).
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Re: Wear a bikesign

Postby gorilla monsoon » Wed Feb 27, 2013 3:31 pm

russell.bathard wrote: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.


In Brisbane yesterday I followed a cyclist wearing a fluoro vest with a big black smudge on the back. When I got up close to the fellow at a traffic light I noticed it read "A metre matters" and had a big black arrow pointing to the right. What that means is that most drivers won't actually be able to read the well-meaning signage until they are less than three metres away.
Seriously, he could have just had the vest without the slogan and arrow and it would have been just as effective visually.
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Re: Wear a bikesign

Postby Aushiker » Wed Feb 27, 2013 3:51 pm

On the topic of claiming the lane ... I have some Australian "evidence" to add to that posted by Pete. These are videos that I recorded myself. You can find them at http://aushiker.com/cyclist-safety-taki ... -the-lane/

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Re: Wear a bikesign

Postby wizdofaus » Wed Feb 27, 2013 7:11 pm

Aushiker wrote:On the topic of claiming the lane ... I have some Australian "evidence" to add to that posted by Pete. These are videos that I recorded myself. You can find them at http://aushiker.com/cyclist-safety-taki ... -the-lane/


I would say though all the evidence in the world isn't going to help novice cyclists feel comfortable about avoiding the gutter. Even if they know intellectually it's less safe, just the sheer sound of cars coming up behind you when you know you're in their path is enough to make riding an uncomfortable experience, which it should never ever be (in fact, as far as I'm concerned, if you're not enjoying it, you're doing it wrong).
OTOH, knowing you're wearing something that is designed to encourage drivers to give you more space could potentially help overcome the psychological side of it.
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Re: Wear a bikesign

Postby gorilla monsoon » Thu Feb 28, 2013 11:59 am

Claiming the lane is like losing your virginity. You think about it, skirt around the edges and then finally take the plunge. It feels a bit awkward at first but it soon starts to feel really good and you just want to keep on doing it.
Some days you are a big, strutting rooster, some days you are a bit chicken and some days you are just a complete cocque. Roger Ramjet: 2009 Giant CRX3 Spockette: 2009 Trek FX 7.3 (WSD, property of Mrs Monsoon) Lady Penelope: 2011 Avanti Cadent 1.0 TdF
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Re: Wear a bikesign

Postby il padrone » Thu Feb 28, 2013 12:12 pm

gorilla monsoon wrote:Claiming the lane is like losing your virginity. You think about it, skirt around the edges and then finally take the plunge. It feels a bit awkward at first but it soon starts to feel really good and you just want to keep on doing it.

:shock: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Quotable quote there gorilla monsoon !! Love it :D

Mind if I utilise it for my sig? It says it all.
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Re: Wear a bikesign

Postby gorilla monsoon » Thu Feb 28, 2013 12:14 pm

It is yours to use, my friend, free from copyright. Just as long as I get attribution.
Some days you are a big, strutting rooster, some days you are a bit chicken and some days you are just a complete cocque. Roger Ramjet: 2009 Giant CRX3 Spockette: 2009 Trek FX 7.3 (WSD, property of Mrs Monsoon) Lady Penelope: 2011 Avanti Cadent 1.0 TdF
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Re: Wear a bikesign

Postby il padrone » Thu Feb 28, 2013 12:35 pm

Oh, too long, exceeds the character limit. Shucks! :(
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Re: Wear a bikesign

Postby wizdofaus » Thu Feb 28, 2013 1:12 pm

gorilla monsoon wrote:Claiming the lane is like losing your virginity. You think about it, skirt around the edges and then finally take the plunge. It feels a bit awkward at first but it soon starts to feel really good and you just want to keep on doing it.


Wait, it's possible to keep losing your virginity? I thought it was a kinda one-time thing...

FWIW not sure I agree it "feels really good". I'd still much rather ride in a dedicated lane.
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Re: Wear a bikesign

Postby gorilla monsoon » Thu Feb 28, 2013 2:38 pm

wizdofaus wrote:
gorilla monsoon wrote:Claiming the lane is like losing your virginity. You think about it, skirt around the edges and then finally take the plunge. It feels a bit awkward at first but it soon starts to feel really good and you just want to keep on doing it.



FWIW not sure I agree it "feels really good".


Then you are not doing it right. (As the actress said to the bishop.)
Some days you are a big, strutting rooster, some days you are a bit chicken and some days you are just a complete cocque. Roger Ramjet: 2009 Giant CRX3 Spockette: 2009 Trek FX 7.3 (WSD, property of Mrs Monsoon) Lady Penelope: 2011 Avanti Cadent 1.0 TdF
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Re: Wear a bikesign

Postby wizdofaus » Thu Feb 28, 2013 2:48 pm

Unfortunately the scope for any further double entendre seems to be limited to how much lube I should use. Unlike rowing, where there's an impressive list of terms guaranteed to get a class of 13yos giggling.
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Re: Wear a bikesign

Postby russell.bathard » Fri Mar 01, 2013 8:05 am

to gorrilla monsoon,What you have probably seen is the product of Safe Cycling Australia or The AmyGillett Foundation.I completely agree with your comments.This design does little to improve the safety of cyclists ON THE ROAD even though it does spread a message when stopped at lights.
To be useful as you ride the sign must be large,clearly visible,and the message brief and concise, to be able to be conveyed to the motorist from a distance of around say 40 metres.These oganisations have missed a great opportunity here to improve cycling safety IN A RIDING SITUATION .I have approached them about this.The bikesigns I have detailed in bikesign.blogspot.com have the requirements I describe and are effective in a riding situation.
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Re: Wear a bikesign

Postby Aushiker » Fri Mar 01, 2013 8:27 am

russell.bathard wrote:to gorrilla monsoon,What you have probably seen is the product of Safe Cycling Australia or The AmyGillett Foundation.I completely agree with your comments.This design does little to improve the safety of cyclists ON THE ROAD even though it does spread a message when stopped at lights.
To be useful as you ride the sign must be large,clearly visible,and the message brief and concise, to be able to be conveyed to the motorist from a distance of around say 40 metres.These oganisations have missed a great opportunity here to improve cycling safety IN A RIDING SITUATION .I have approached them about this.The bikesigns I have detailed in bikesign.blogspot.com have the requirements I describe and are effective in a riding situation.


I am not sure about this ... I would suggest none of the jersey's do anything other than maybe, and that is a big maybe being read at an intersection. For the past week I have been taking careful note as a cyclist of other cyclist's jerseys; normally I don't bother. If I don't bother as a cyclist I seriously doubt most motorists do. I know for one my partner has never commented on a jersey or looked carefully at least with me in the car.

What I noticed was that most of the time I couldn't read them unless they where passing me or I was passing them or pulled up behind them at the lights etc. If they where passing on the other-side of the road, the jersey was pretty much unreadable in any detail. So driving a car, am I really going to bothered taking in messages on cyclists jerseys? No. I am focused on passing safely, not hitting the cyclist and so on.

I also observed peopled at traffic lights to see if I can see evidence of people actually taking any interest in the cyclists ... again I found no evidence of this. I seriously doubt people bother to look.

All that said I would be interested in any credible evidence to suggest jersey design makes a difference. To date I haven't seen anything and the research on high-viz wearing of clothes does not suggest that less visible clothing is suddenly going to get more interest.

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Re: Wear a bikesign

Postby il padrone » Fri Mar 01, 2013 9:55 am

Look, the problem with such a shirt design is threefold:

1. Limited recognition until the driver is quite close (well before that they should have seen you anyway)
2. Requirement to read/understand some message.
3. They've got to bother to even look, as Andrew mentioned, when they are actually more focused on the surrounding traffic and timing their move to pass you.

It is much better to work on the driver's psychology and basic instinct response. That is why your road positioning works so much more effectively. If you really feel you need an aid to signal drivers to keep further clear of you then I think you would get a much better result with one of these, called a Safety Wing:

Image

This is a US photo. Fit it on the right side of course in Australia. It folds out of the way anytime you feel it's not needed and for parking the bike. It can also be fitted in various positions and used with panniers fitted. It won't scratch or damage a car should one hit it, but they will not want to go close to it, passing at least 30-50cm clear of it thus giving you that extra space. Also it gives you a reflector placed out to the right, so will be very useful in keeping traffic well clear at night - something a shirt design will not do very well, if at all. Added bonus - you get to wear whatever clothes you like :D

Abbotsford Cycles in Richmond (Melbourne) used to have them on their website, can't see it on their new website but I'm sure they would still be able to get one for you if you asked them.
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Re: Wear a bikesign

Postby wizdofaus » Fri Mar 01, 2013 10:36 am

il padrone wrote:Image

Reckon there's a far better argument for those being legally required than helmets. And I ride a roadie usually, on which it would look...awkward...
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Re: Wear a bikesign

Postby Summernight » Fri Mar 01, 2013 11:45 am

wizdofaus wrote:
il padrone wrote:Image

Reckon there's a far better argument for those being legally required than helmets. And I ride a roadie usually, on which it would look...awkward...


You can fold it in when you want to ride fast. :lol:

I do like the product though and would be much more willing to put one of those on my bike than wear some piece of clothing/a sign.
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Re: Wear a bikesign

Postby Marx » Fri Mar 01, 2013 12:02 pm

One of the great things for me about riding bikes, is that I don’t demand anything for anyone. I just ride my bike.
Putting out signs requesting others to do something just muddies the waters on who accepts responsibility for what you are doing.

In a world where emergency service vehicles are complaining about gaining right of way while they have their lights & bells on, it’s a long path to tread expecting a change in behaviour from the great unwashed because you wrote something on your top.
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Re: Wear a bikesign

Postby il padrone » Fri Mar 01, 2013 12:11 pm

Marx wrote:One of the great things for me about riding bikes, is that I don’t demand anything for anyone. I just ride my bike.
Putting out signs requesting others to do something just muddies the waters on who accepts responsibility for what you are doing.

This sounds a little 'muddy' wording to me. Surely it should be:

"Putting out signs requesting others to do something just muddies the waters on who accepts responsibility for what these others are doing" :?:


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Re: Wear a bikesign

Postby gorilla monsoon » Fri Mar 01, 2013 11:05 pm

russell.bathard wrote:to gorrilla monsoon,What you have probably seen is the product of Safe Cycling Australia or The AmyGillett Foundation.I completely agree with your comments.This design does little to improve the safety of cyclists ON THE ROAD even though it does spread a message when stopped at lights.
To be useful as you ride the sign must be large,clearly visible,and the message brief and concise, to be able to be conveyed to the motorist from a distance of around say 40 metres.These oganisations have missed a great opportunity here to improve cycling safety IN A RIDING SITUATION .I have approached them about this.The bikesigns I have detailed in bikesign.blogspot.com have the requirements I describe and are effective in a riding situation.


Sorry, but those examples are no better than what I saw in Brisbane. I think an ordinary high-vis vest and a couple of good red blinkies on the back will do me. i agree with IP and Aushiker that no one is going to be reading your dinky little sign, at any sort of reasonable road speed, from any reasonable distance and I class 10 metres as the minimum reasonable distance.
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