Nobody in their right mind wants to get hit by a car, truck, bus, etc. Yet some trike riders do very little to help themselves be seen. They make silly excuses objecting to safety flags like “it will slow me down” or “they make noise flapping around back there and I don’t like to hear it”. I am pretty sure that laying in a hospital bed or a morgue will slow you down even more. I don’t know how many times I did not see a fellow triker or even a bicyclist until the last possible second because they were riding along in a shady area and had no lights or flags to help others see them. I am talking about riding on trails where some think they don’t need lights or flags. Others see me as I always have a flashing headlight and flashing taillight(s) plus two high visibility safety flags which by them selves can be seen far away. Many times I have had people tell me that they saw my flags from half a mile distance or more.
I like ribbon streamer flags. HERE is a source for them. Sarasota Sun Creations is the name of the company. The flags sell for about $40 each. There are quite a few different ones to select from. Those bright colors and the fact that the streamers move around a lot in the wind really draw attention to the flag. The streamer type flags I have had in the past fade out rather quickly in the sun and all too soon become rather ineffective compared to what they offered when brand new. Of course, the same is true for my full size safety flags. My streamers also frayed badly and all too quickly and easily. I don’t know how these would do. If I were wanting an effective safety flag I think I would give this company my business. I have my own supply of custom made safety flags however so it does not look like I will be buying any of these. They do wear out and fade out so I don’t know how long my supply will last me.
Stay safe out there. Use effective safety flags. They will help you …
Custom made safety flags seem to be popular and in demand. There are only a few sources I have heard of for them and I am not sure they are all still around. One of them I know that is is Lewis Ballie. You can visit his Facebook page HERE.
HEREis another source of custom flags. And HERE is another one. HERE is another one. Although I abhor the name ‘Devil Woman’ this flag maker chose I will include her HERE. In doing an online search for custom made recumbent flags I was surprised to discover how many search results turned up. These I have linked to are only a few of them.
And HERE is a website I recommend concerning safety flags. I fully agree with what they say. High visibility colors and lots of movement are required for a good safety flag. If a flag can’t be readily seen and attract attention it is worthless and serves no purpose. I see flags that can barely be seen up close much less farther away. I have had people tell me they saw my flags from over a half mile away.
I know that there are those who won’t use safety flags. They make ridiculous excuses like “a flag slows me down” or “I don’t like to hear the flapping”. I would rather ride .5 mph slower while being seen then living dangerously not being seen. And I love hearing the flags flapping as I know they are doing their job keeping me safe.
Yes, I know there are lights … something I also highly recommend in addition to the safety flags. I have very bright flashing taillights and headlights which can be seen far off, but I have had people tell me that they saw my flags before they saw my lights.
TerraCycle is well known for high quality products for us cyclists. Their flag holder (mount) is no exception. It is definitely more expensive than other flag holders I have seen ($38) but hey it is really well made and will definitely do a superb job of holding a flag pole. As you can see it is easy with this mount to adjust the angle forward to back of the flag pole (or even sideways if you have the mount positioned sideways on the trike).
It is available for both 1/4 inch and 6 mm flag poles. The mounting clamps are available in 1/2 thru 1 1/4 inch diameter or you can order it without any clamps. To order their flag pole mount click HERE
With these mounts the flag can be placed various places … rear stays, seat frame … anywhere that will work for you. I highly recommend not having your flag pole positioned where people can get their eye poked out riding or walking into it. I see this all the time … flag poles that pose a serious threat of injury of others. Be considerate of others and think about what you are doing. Don’t be part of the problem. Wouldn’t you feel terrible if you were the cause of somebody losing their eye?
Personally I remove my two flags after each ride so I need a system which is easy and quick to do this. My Catrike flag pole holders work great for me but I had to come up with my own mounting system which wasn’t hard to do
If you have not come up with what works for you or if you want to possibly improve what you have consider these TerraCycle flag mounts.
I have touched on this subject previously when I wrote “Honk if you’re Amish” … about riding in Amish country. I witnessed an Amish man dealing with a spooked horse as a result of my riding along in the opposite direction passing him. I assumed it was my flashing headlight that scared the horse. Later when I asked some other Amish men they said that it was more likely my safety flags. Anyway, when I saw the horse rear up and go berserk I really felt bad for the Amish man trying to control the horse. He had his hands full. I could tell he was up to the task however. He finally headed the horse down the driveway of another Amish farm away from me. The horse settled down and all was okay. That was bad enough and as I said I felt really bad over causing it. I would have felt a lot worse if it were a buggy full of kids and their mother … or just kids with no adults. They might not have been able to regain control of the horse and the result could have turned really ugly … even tragic. It happens all the time when horses get spooked.
BTW, the best advise is … DON’T RIDE AROUND HORSES! If you encounter a horse be aware that they spook easily and it can be a dangerous situation. They could even charge at you. If possible safety flags should be removed or at least covered up somehow so the horse doesn’t get spooked by it/them. I am told it is the flapping noise of flags that horses are scared of. So if we go slow enough our flags should not flap and scare horses. It is best to totally yield to the horse … pulling over to the side completely off of the trail if possible and stopping and remaining still until they get by. If there is any concern talk to the rider asking them what you should do. Cooperate together for everyone’s safety.
I seldom see any horses while I am out riding my trike. I pretty much have to ride out in Amish country to encounter them. Horses are not normally allowed on our local trail system for which I am very thankful. One day from the time this is posted on my blog an exception will occur. Horses will be allowed on one of our local trails between 10 AM and 3 PM. It is my favorite trail and I usually ride it every day. I will make an exception that day. Personally I wish they would not have made this exception and kept the horses off of the trail. I don’t really understand why they are doing this. There is a large property alongside of the trail which the city owns. It used to be a golf course. It went “belly up” and was sold. Now it is just land going to waste … pretty much unkept. It has paved trails running thru it. They plan on using this property as part of the “horse day” event. In my opinion it would not be necessary to use the multipurpose trail as well. The golf course property by itself is quite sufficient to accommodate the horses. It was an 18 hole golf course so there are lots of acres available. But this is “politics” and “we the people” have no say in it. At least they do have 4 volunteers who are supposed to clean up any horse poop. At least it is only one day and I will survive. I will just have to forgo riding on that trail unless I do it before or after the horses are on it. Fortunately there are other trails to ride on. And I do want to …
As an update on the horse event day I offer the following which I posted on Facebook:
“Today was one of two days that takes place annually. Horses were allowed on one of our local trails. The city bought the property of an 18 hole golf course and they opened it up for the horses to ride on as well. I rode my trike to where they were forming up and receiving information and instructions before being allowed to continue on with the ride in groups of 5 to 8 . There were probably about 100 horses and most of the riders were female. I guess that doesn’t surprise me. I am posting two photos. The first shows one of the small groups receiving the instructions.
The second picture shows a couple of horses that I had noticed had left all the other horses and came back over near where they entered the golf course property. I wondered about it but didn’t give it much more thought. Suddenly I heard shouting and commotion going on. One of the two horses had just thrown its rider and the horse landed on top of her. At first we were hearing “Call 911” “”Get HELP!” But before the call could be made they shouted back cancelling the 911 call saying that she is ok … just shaken up. I hope she is still feeling ok the following day. These bodies of ours are not designed to have horses land on top of us. This picture of the two horses was taken after the incident and they are headed back to where the rest of the horses are riding. I was told that the horse that threw the rider did not have a bridle and never has had one. My guess is that the rider was having some trouble controlling the horse and that is why she and a friend left the pack and came back over to where the horse threw her. BTW, you can see my safety flags in the foreground. I have them wrapped around the flag pole so that they don’t spook the horses.”
I am sure most of us remember the saying “an ounce of prevention equals a pound of cure” … or … “is worth a pound of cure”. It proved true today while I was out on my daily ride. The small bolt (machine screw) which holds my flag pole holder onto the back of my seat frame broke off and everything went south. At least it tried to. Fortunately I have a plastic cable tie around the flag holder bracket securing it to another place nearby which does not allow the flag holder to fall down onto the ground. I also have my two flag poles connected together by a small elastic bungee cord which prevents the loss of a flag as I ride along. Between these two safeguards I didn’t lose anything. I replaced the broken bolt upon arriving back home and everything is good to go. I have lost various stuff before so taking these preventative measures have paid off.
In the picture below you can see the black bungee cord connecting the two flag poles together.
And here is the plastic cable tie (yellow) which saved the loss of the flag holder. The red line points to the bolt that broke.
Yep, an ounce of prevention still equals (is worth) a pound of cure.