Hi, I'm Jan from VelomobileWorld.com, below every video or end of the video I ask people to put their questions in and there was under the video "Turning the rear wheel", the question was from Larry Rogers, I hope I pronounce his name properly, he asks: "Hello, Jan have you done any study as to which color or color combinations give the velomobile the best visibility in all weather, light conditions?"
That's a very hard question to answer because there are very very much different settings, where you are, cycle lane, are you driving between the cars and I think this question is about visibility and colors, so I answered ... I split my answer in a couple of small things like colors, I think light is important, it's always discussed if do you need to wear a flag on your velomobile and I think one of the most important thing is the position on the road and eye contact with the drivers, so I will split it in this four things and I will answer them one by one.
So first, colors ... um a chameleon wants to hide, so the chameleon takes the colors which are there, so if you're driving on an asphalt road, black is not a great idea or onto the seat, it's looking really great but for visibility it sucks, so you have to choose some colors which are not so much available there, so if you live in a country where cars are always red, just a suggestion, then red is not a great idea because you blend in between the cars, if all the cars are white, I've seen in Israel, I think because white is the cheapest color, many many cars are white, so again white is not a great color to be visible because you want to stand out in the surroundings.
I told already, black is not a great idea because black ... the roads are mostly black, so make a bit of study in your situation, what colors are the mostly seen and then take light colors which are not so much seen, so your color is attracting directly attention. So that is about colors.
Light ... I always drive with my lights on and I prefer even the rear light to flash, even on day time I have them on, I know I need to charge my battery a bit more, but I attract more attention to me like, hey I'm driving here and I've heard also many people being positive about that I drive with lights on, that they say they see me better so my suggestion is to drive with lights also on daytime, if you guys think I'm wrong, always let some comments behind, I can learn also from you, so do that please.
The flag on the velomobile ... well, the velomobile is pretty low so if you drive between big cars it might be a good idea to have a flag on your velomobile, only there is a problem with flags, because flags are normally attached to children bikes, um people don't see what they don't expect, I've seen once a study that um, just an example, they were driving in a simulator or some candidates were placed in a simulator and they say: watch out for the mothers with the strollers, so they drive around watch out for the mothers with the strollers and they put a couple of gorillas crossing the street and they asked these candidates, did you see the gorilla and they didn't see the gorilla.
So that's a bit with the flags, the flags are attached normally to children bikes, the speed of a velomobile is much higher, um I don't know how big it helps to have a flag on your velomobile, it might improve a bit if you drive between the traffic, but I still think that's a bad idea if you have parked traffic before the traffic light to drive between it, because people are not only driving, they are checking their Whatsapp, checking the kids on the back seats, so driving between the traffic I think it's a bad idea, anyway it's better to wait the person who came to the back of you, he or she saw you, so they take care of you, not driving against you.
Um what else ... yeah, the position on the road ... in the Netherlands we have very nice cycle lanes, cycle paths are separate from the the traffic, that's good for cyclists who drive 25, but if you drive 40, 45, it's not so great because the cycle lanes make some curves which you can't take with that high speeds, people are not always expecting that you come with high speeds over the cycle lanes, so because people are not expecting, you need to take some precautions, I think it's called, so make sure you see the eyes of the driver.
Many times I got shouted at me and people say, you're so low I cannot see you and I said, look you cannot see me with this side of your head, there you have just no eyes so ... um people were not looking in my direction, so they couldn't see me, but still they were pissed off on me that they didn't see me, although they didn't look, so make sure that people see you, that I think it's a very important thing like when you drive you're like, yes you've seen, that person seen me, that person have seen me.
I noticed here in Romania that's not an issue because velomobiles are such a rarity, uh everybody have seen me, the whole traffic is kind of ... focusing on what I do there, so it's a non-issue here in Romania, but I've noticed in the Netherlands that it's an issue sometimes.
I hope I answered to your question Larry, if you have more questions for us, just let them behind in the comments and probably I will answer yours in a video.
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