Friday, October 28, 2011

Do You Neon?

George was ahead of the game

Which camp do you fall into? Do you dare not leave your house in pre-dawn hours without your high-visibility neon-pea jacket? Or do you sacrifice some visibility for a bit of common fashion sense. In recent years we have seen fluorescent jackets take over charity rides and Stateside gran fondos. For some reason being in a group of 500 to 1000 cyclists isn't safe enough for some people, they have to don their neon-garb, even if it's 80 degrees and blindingly bright. Most days I can spot at least one jacket or vest while I'm out riding. Up until recently Sugoi and Canari were the only brands that had a corner on the fluoro market. You could walk into any massive sports retail store and find the cycling section by following the soft neon glow of sub par wind jackets. Nowadays more brands are hopping on the neon band-wagon.
This is not me, It's the Tiny Neon Girl

Don't get me wrong, I understand where these people are coming from. They maybe had some close calls, have known someone who has gotten hit, watched the news or read an article about how dangerous it is to ride around on 2 wheels. Therefore they follow the soft neon glow in their local Sportchalet and find the neon-jacket that will protect them from agitated soccer moms and teen drivers. I have had close calls with both types of drivers but never once have I thought about buying high visibility clothing, I just keep my eyes and ears open. I have never owned a single piece of neon cycling gear, although I'm sorry to say I wore nothing but neon skiing gear in the 80's, on the mountain only. Not a good decade for me, besides the fact I was kind of pudgy. That may have been where my hatred for bright clothing originated.

Smart and Classy just like…uh,
not like me.

This all changed when Embrocation Cycling Journal came out with their Hi-Viz shoe covers this spring. I got scared because I had visions of hot pink ski pants and neon purple parkas, what if my OCD comes back, I have a tendency of going overboard when I like something. I did some more research on the shoe covers and I'm ready to buy. I then thought about maybe picking up a brighter jacket for the dark and danky winter season. I personally am going for the Rapha rain jacket in red. I needed more of a rain jacket, but the Rapha yellow Pro-jacket gets style points, maybe when it goes on sale.
My cold weather/rain jacket of choice this year

Assos Air Jack Jacket
If you can afford it, congratulations

I've seen research where green is the most visible color while driving, I'm in a rush so I can't find the exact article but I did read it, I swear. I think the Assos Air Jack seems perfect for winter riding, sans douchey model. It's bright but not annoyingly bright, plus, who wouldn't want to look like a june bug. Red is a good go to color too, you can see it and it's classic looking. I understand that neon yellow and green is the optimum color when riding at dusk and dawn but I believe that if you have bright enough lights and reflective stripes/bands on your clothing the cars aren't gonna get you. Riding is dangerous, we except it every time we throw our leg over the top tube. You guys can buy/wear whatever you want, I'm just giving my opinion on what I like when it comes to being seen while riding. Have at it.

The Rapha Brevet Jersey and Vest gets an honorable mention. I saw it at the Rahpa store up in San Fransisco and fell in love with it, alas, I sacrificed it for the Woman's Vest. It has reflective stripes on both the jersey and vest. The vest is bright pink and is kind of reminiscent of my 80's ski days, I guess that's why I liked it so much .

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