Sunday, April 06, 2008

A Reflection on Me

I've recently lost all track of time, but a month or so ago Fritz linked to a cartoon featuring a guy riding in the snow saying "Saving the planet ... for my kids" as a car drove by with a kid in the window shouting "Hi Dad!" I had to print it and post it on my refrigerator in the continuing effort to make my kids roll their eyes. I meant to comment on it here back then, but time keeps on slippin'.

What was so wonderfully ironic was that it hadn't been more than a couple days since my daughter drove past me under similar circumstances. I took the opportunity to do a little research; I asked her if she could see me clearly from a distance and she said she could. When I asked her which of my lights or reflective gear did she notice first and the answer took me by surprise. "Your ankle straps." Seriously, these things were a stocking stuffer that my wife got me a couple Christmases ago so I'd stop using the small bungee cords I swiped from her. I liked the Velcro straps but never really thought about them as being particularly attention grabbing.

I know CAT got them from Amazon and the closest thing I see there now are these Reflective Ankle Straps which will set you back $6.76. Hey, every little bit helps when you're trying to be seen.


Noah said...

I've heard of this phenomenon several times by other motorists and cyclists. Peripheral vision can't determine color very well but is extremely sensitive to both motion and contrast. Supposedly, this is a survival mechanism developed by mainframe programmers so that they could see the Tyrannosaurus Rex out of the corner of their eye with enough time to escape.

Ankle straps activate both because they go up and down.

the old bag said...

I was on the last leg of my commute during that not-dark/not-light time of the AM when a coworker passed by in his car. He later said the lights I had were great-n-all, but what really grabbed his attention were 3 neon yellow streamers (18"x3" or so) tied to my backpack flapping in the breeze. "Whoa", I think, was his official response.

When drivers are thinking about everything but what's on the side of the road, grabbing attention through movement can make all the difference.

WildcatAl said...

I wore a pair of reflective straps today that I used to only wear on Moonlight rides. Thanks for the info. I think they will become standard biking attire item now.