Friday, February 03, 2012

Reflective Thoughts

I bought this reflective vest at a bicycle show in Philadelphia a couple years ago. It was $30, a little expensive, but I thought it would be worth it. It has LED lights that are battery operated. The lights blink brightly - - 2 in the front and 4 in the back. I thought that was a great idea and it was VERY eye-catching. Since my new commute is all city riding, this vest is excellent. And other bicyclists and pedestrians think so too, because I've had a handful of people comment that they think the vest is really neat. :) When I was taking the picture of the vest, I turned the lights on to see if it might make a better picture. I saw that, unfortunately, a couple of the lights are not working. :/ Not sure if these can be fixed or not - I don't think so. So I went online to see if I could find the same vest or something similar, and I did, so I'll be ordering it soon. The vest isn't the same one I have (and I don't have the manufacturer's name - rats!), but the one I found is probably better, because it has 16(!) lights on it! So I'll look like a Christmas tree! All the better to be seen! :) And the cost of the vest is about $10 less, so that's nice.

The past two nights, I went to someone's apartment in D.C. to look at some furniture I was considering buying. I wasn't sure how long it would take me to bike there, so I decided on the first try, to use the bike rack on the bus option, thinking this would be probably the faster option. I had trouble locating the exact bus stop (I hadn't studied my bus map very well). I finally found it and waited...and waited...and waited. I think the bus doesn't run that often (every 20 min.) and there was a lot of traffic. While I was waiting, bicycle after bicycle went by, as they chugged up the hill next to the bus stop. Shoot, I could have probably ridden faster, I thought.

The next night, when I had to return to that apartment again, I decided I would bicycle there - it's only 3.5 miles - but there are some long hills and lots of traffic, as the route is on a busy commuter street. I was surprised to get to the location about 20 minutes FASTER than the bus. I know this because that certain bus number did not pass me the whole way. :) I think if it had been raining, I would have taken the bus, but since the weather was nice, riding was fine. I got the exercise up the hill, and it saved me the bus fare. :) So it was a good experiment to try. :) Though there was a lot of traffic, I don't get slowed down by it since I can pass all the cars stuck at the lights and in the traffic jams. :)

4 comments:

2whls3spds said...

I have started seeing more of those vests. I saw several in the Lancaster, PA area being used by the Amish young folks on their kick scooters. Definitely stand out in the dark.

Aaron

Bicycle Friends said...

Being seen is important. I don't ride at night but I do like evening jogs.

I've tried many different reflective vests, and t-shirts but what I found works the best is a flashlight!

Everyone sees my flashlight and I feel safe!

Melanie Suzanne said...

I passed a guy wearing one of multi-light vests and thought it was the coolest thing ever. I could see him from a fairly long distance and, admired all the lights as I passed. Definitely high-vis.

adnan amjad said...

Bicycling is can make safe by using these types of vests specially at night.
Reflective vests