The other day I was riding to work when I happened to notice the other people riding bicycles around me.
This was more of a coincidence than typical of what I see everyday. But I wondered- does not wearing a fluorescent uniform make a person stand out more?
Two Kinds Of Visual Distinction
The first is what BikeyFace is alluding to. This is the kind of reasoning one might use when attending a gala and selecting an outfit for the dual purpose of looking great but not having to share the limelight with another individual in the same getup.
But then there is the ‘real world‘ experience that rescue workers, police, highway construction team members all seek to avoid. They in fact recognize the reality that being an individual appearing amidst the sea of moving traffic it is always best to ‘stand out‘.
Muted earth tones like those picture in the cartoon are surely not the best way to avoid collisions. At dusk and dawn you are a ‘sitting duck‘. In fact the automotive world knows that grey cars are more likely to be involved in a collision because they are less visually distinct than other cars in their surroundings.
It is more than time for cyclists to stop taking their cue from the Pope of Bicycling. Dressing in loud colors can save your life as sure as spraying on what he feels is the demeaning reflective paint offered up by Volvo.
It is possible to overthink this. Stop being afraid to think for yourself. Common sense tells us that the more vivid the colors of the outfit the more easily seen is the rider.