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Staying visible!

Sorry Mate I Didn't Arrrggghhh!!!

Jim at the forum writes:

Okay, so my girlfriend is worried about me being hit by a car and wants me to get some sort of high vis top whilst cycling. She suggested a high vis sash, I refused. I use a front/rear light combo everytime I'm out. I was thinking of getting a fluro top (do these only really work in dull light or will they be good in summer too?) but wondering if I'd be better off with a bright coloured top...

As cyclists, our visibility should naturally be enhanced by the glow of righteousness that comes from choosing this transport option.

Realistic illustration of what can happen to the unrighteous when exposed to the holy glare of the righteous

Unfortunately the wattage of virtue is usually not strong enough to bring us out of SMIDSY territory; in sad point of fact, nor would it be even if the sun were shining out of our saddle.

Studies have shown that being seen is both a science and an art.

First the science.

The paradox of Schrödinger's cat teaches us that the act of observing disturbs the observed. You can experience this by performing the following simple experiment: the next time you go for a ride, instead of your usual kit, wear a dress. (The technique works if male or female.) This is guaranteed to generate comments, maybe even wolf whistles if you've recently shaved. Make careful note of your reaction to the attention. I can confidently predict that your passions will have been excited one way or the other.

Now the art.

Striking livery has a spotty track record for attracting attention – see above reference to sun, and this recent article. Unfortunately, in these cases I cannot tailor bespoke advice, other than to suggest perhaps another dress. It's down to individual circumstances and interpretations. Like any good art, you'll know it when you see it. Or when somebody else does.

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