About that Speed Vest

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Thursday, October 22, 2009
By Yokota Fritz

My (mostly non cycling) buddy Michael in Denver asked what the point of this Speed Vest is. Why is it helpful for motorists to know how fast a cyclist is going?

I think motorists see a bike and mostly think "slow." And yes, we generally are slower than most traffic. But there have been occasions when I'm traveling at or near the speed limit and it seems like drivers behind me still feel compelled to pass me just before attempting a right turn.

Would something like this Speed Vest showing I'm traveling at 27 mph in a 35 mph zone help prevent right hooks? I don't know, but I certainly understand the rational behind it.

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Methinks most moto-heads just want to pass the bike and if necessary cut them off no matter what the speed of the two-wheel. I've seen 'em do it!

The only speedvest I need:

photo at
Curtis - rock on! Can I post that image with a link to your site?
I don't want a speed vest, I'd keep getting speeding tickets if the cops knew how fast I ride! Hahaha!
Don't forget being passed when you know that you're going slightly faster than the posted speed limit (27/28 in a 25).
Sure, use that photo any way you like.
I think most drivers (including myself up until recently) consider the speed limit a minimum speed limit. I travel on a few roads where I'm prefectly capable of doing the speed limit, and when I do, I take the lane. I still find myself getting passed by cars that bottom out on speed bumps right next to me.
I understand the rationale -- but think it's one that drivers don't necessarily get. I do think a fair number of accidents happen because drivers assume we're going more slowly than we are - but I'm not sure they don't screen us out of their attention scope before noting, say, our speed on a vest. It might just be unique and weird enough to trigger more attention.
I tend to go the "expected speed" in traffic - easy in a heavy bike - and have noticed lots more invisibility issues hwen I"m riding lighter and faster.
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