Stories and helpful tips about bikes and biking - including bicycle tours, bicycle camping, bicycle repairs among others.
Monday, January 14, 2013
Reflections on Reflectivity
While on the theme of being seen while winter cycing, I want to mention a workshop given by Coreen at "BikeWorks" about retroflectivity. The program included material that reflects light from any angle - something very important to those riding bikes during our short winter days.
How retroflectivity works
The creative juices were flowing freely and the participants eagerly drew up all manner of exotic (and detailed) designs. Across the table from me, Alexi was dissecting a very small and intricate pattern using an Exacto blade. I was impressed with his ambition.
Alexi carefully cutting
Tim, a year - round rider suggested that when choosing a pattern, to pick one that had human shapes so that drivers and pedestrians could recognize what was being reflected. That made perfect sense to me and I began to trace out a skeleton onto the reflective material until I discovered three things: 1. I'm no artist, 2. I wouldn't be able to complete the idea in the given time, and 3. the size of the design would use up hundreds of dollars worth of material which wouldn't be fair considering the workshop only cost five bucks.
This guy is definitley an artist!
My "AHA!" moment occured shortly thereafter and I got the brilliant idea of cutting out the pattern of a hand and arm which when ironed onto my "Barr Mitts", would look like an X Ray when a light was shone onto my handlebars. Thereby conforming to Tim's suggestion of using a recognizably human shape and allowing me to do something a little eccentric using only five bucks of material.
This is what Coreen (the person leading the workshop came up with):