Monday, March 14, 2011

SEE and Be Seen

One of the first things you're taught in Motorcycle Safety Class is the acronym; S.E.E.  That stands for Scan, Evaluate and Execute.  Since you don't have eyes in the back of your head, it also helps to make yourself as visible as possible, especially in the low light of early mornings during early Spring and late Autumn.  And, for those of you who are fortunate enough to ride all year; the low light of early morning and early evening in Winter.  After I had graduated from the Motorcycle Safety Foundation course, I received an nice triangle shaped, reflective sticker for the back of my helmet.  However, I retired that helmet after last season.

So, I needed to add some reflective material to the back of my new Arai XD3 helmet.  My local industrial hardware store sells reflective tape, by the foot, in one inch and three inch widths.  I purchased a foot of red and a foot of white in the one inch wide variety.  Even one inch wide tape is too wide to stick to the helmet without wrinkling and eventually peeling off. So, I used a Cutterpede, which my wife happens to own, to make 1/8" strips.  A cutterpede is essentially a straightedge cutter.  An Xacto knife and steel ruler will work just as well (except you're going to have to measure out the strip widths yourself).  I cut a bunch of strips from both the red and white reflective material and proceeded to layout a simple pattern that fit within the markings already on the helmet (courtesy of Arai).  For the most part, I applied most of the reflective strips to the back of the helmet, but I also followed some of the helmet contours and put some material on the sides, too.  This, coupled with the reflective material on my FieldSheer Adventure jacket and/or my hi-viz yellow Olympia Bushwacker jacket should help me to be more obvious to others on the road.

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