As I sit here typing this it is snowing again outside. Being stuck indoors thru another nasty winter unable to go riding outdoors I am envious of those who can ride at this time of year. So sometimes I watch others ride on videos posted online. Here is one I came across which I think looks very inviting.
One of things I noticed as I watched this is safety flags. This is a subject I approach with passion. I have WRITTEN ABOUT IT before and even made up a VIDEO of my own about it. I know not everybody agrees with me on this as it is obvious by the flags they choose to fly and by the position they have them at. Safety flags can be quite effective and eye catching or they can be quite ineffective. In this video embedded below I captured a screenshot of two trikes in the front of the camera. Both are flying safety flags. One is barely flapping while the other is flapping vigorously. One is farther away than the other. The one which is most visible and eye catching is not the one which is flapping the most or closest. It is the one flapping the least and furthest away. How can this be? Color! The yellow flag stands out far better than the multi-color (blue, white, red and yellow) one. Look for this fairly early on in the video. Normally the flags that flap around a lot are more eye catching, but if the colors are not all that noticeable than the flapping doesn’t accomplish all that much good. You can see this in the video.
Nope, I just don’t get it. Why bother? Why spend the money to fly a flag that doesn’t show up? I mean the whole idea of a safety flag is to help others see you. If is for your safety … hence, it is called a safety flag. Flags might be pretty to look at, but if they are not eye catching … well, what can I say? It’s your funeral as they say. I know there will be many who spurn what I am saying. They might even get upset with me. I know many will go on ignoring what I am saying. But if just a few trike riders wake up to this and do something to help others see them it will be worthwhile getting others upset with me.
The size and shape of the flag makes a big difference as to whether or not it attracts attention and accomplishes its mission … making you visible and helping protect you. There are flags which are very popular but the shape of them makes them worthless as safety flags. They barely move and because of this and their physical size they can’t hardly be seen from behind. They actually blend right in with the flag pole so what is seen is something about 5/16 of an inch in width. That is ridiculous! I am talking about flags that look like these pictured below:
I have followed behind several flags like these (shapewise) and unless they have the additional ribbons like the one if the bottom picture they are practically worthless. The ribbon is the only thing which can be seen as it flaps around and moves enough to catch the eye while the much larger flag surface just can’t be seen from behind.
While I am at it I see some trikers fly their flags down real low. I assume they do so trying to keep wind resistance down. I guess they have it in their minds that this is going to slow them down a half a mile an hour and they can’t have that. Again, I don’t get it. Why bother at all? If your flag isn’t going be placed where it is noticed then you might as well not even have one.
Then there are those who fly their flag(s) quite high. In doing so their flags are above the straight forward line of sight of most motorists with the exception of semi-tractors. In my opinion safety flags should be about 5 feet off of the ground to their top. Also the flag pole should be fairly upright … not angled way back. That not only helps them flap better but it will help keeping someone from getting their eye poked out if they walk or ride into your flag sticking way out behind your trike where it is quite vulnerable.
Well, anyway the video of this trail ride is neat and it makes me all the more desirous to ride. Come on Spring! I want to …
KEEP ON TRIKIN’