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Riding in the dark(7 posts)

Riding in the darkwily in pacifica
Sep 16, 2003 7:48 AM
I commute about 20 miles each way to work and back 2-4 times a week. I leave about 5:45 AM and ride more than halfway in the dark. That will go up as the days get shorter until the time change. I ride a Ritchey Cross bike with three red blinkys on the rear and a 10w front light. At times I hit over 30 MPH so I think I may need a more powerful front light as yesterday I almost hit a dead skunk.

I am looking for a decent illuminated vest to help out on my visibility. My first thought was to get on one of those weekend cleanup crews to get one of those cool Caltrans orange vests but not sure if they are reflective. I don't want a full jacket or illuminite tights.

Does anyone have a good recomendation for a vest?

Thanks, Willy in Pacifica
re: Riding in the darkwily in pacifica
Sep 16, 2003 8:00 AM

Didn't see the post below on the same subject.

Sorry, Willy
I have an Illuminate jersey and jacket ...Humma Hah
Sep 16, 2003 10:55 AM
.... right off, I don't like that yellow Illuminite jacket. The visibility is execellent ... drivers avoid me like radioactive waste, and change lanes to avoid me half a mile back. Unfortunately, the bloody thing doesn't breathe, and I wind up drenched after 5 miles, in my own condensed sweat.

The jersey is more comfortable, but I wish it were not black. If not in headlights, it is stealth clothing.

I have a mesh orange vest with reflective tape, to have on-hand for overnight brevets (they specificallly require an orange vest). It looks goofy and is a tangle to put on, but does breathe well.

I get along pretty well with a 10W headlight, but my lighting system allows splitting power to a second 5 or 10W headlight. The better system might be to back up your present light with a second system, helmet-mounted, that puts the light right where you are looking.
I have an Illuminate jersey and jacket ...cydswipe
Sep 16, 2003 11:14 AM
I've been looking at Illuminite stuff for about 6 months. Why is almost all of it in dark colors? I would buy a hi-vis, illuminite vest instantly. I don't want black or dark blue stuff if I'm riding at dusk/dawn/night. Am I not looking at the right web-retailer? I know Performance gets "exclusive" colors sometimes. Where do I find light colored Illuminite clothing?
I wish I knew ...Humma Hah
Sep 16, 2003 12:06 PM
... other than that sweaty yellow jacket, everything in my local Performance shop is dark. The orange vest I have is NOT Illuminite.

Looking at some of their ads, I think a large part of their market is MTBers who want to be unseen as they poach trails, but visible as they come home on the road. This is NOT my idea of high visibility.
I used to work for PBS...MShaw
Sep 16, 2003 12:30 PM
...and they have their heads up their nether regions on a lot of things. This is especially true in the color department!

I picked up an illuminite vest in yellow for riding the motorcycle, but I wouldn't want to wear it riding a bicycle: no breathability.

Halo helmet bands are still sold at motorcycle shops. They stand out like a sore thumb at night.

Anything that moves is going to attract attention. Leg straps, etc. I used to put some reflective tape strips on my box section rims when I was commuting in the DC area. 3M makes a good tape that you can get at hardware stores for not a lot of $$.

Head mounted lights are nice for warning the idiots that want to turn left in front of you. I used to look at them with my 10w Niterider, just to make sure that they know I'm riding where they're pointing. Never got hit doing that, so it must've worked...

Willy check this outgtscottie
Sep 16, 2003 1:12 PM

They also had some in green the last time I was in the store in Calgary.