A Pool Noodle Isn’t the Worst Way For Cyclists to Keep a Safe Distance From Cars

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A Pool Noodle Isn't the Worst Way For Cyclists to Keep a Safe Distance From Cars

If your city doesn’t have bike lanes, it’s up to every car that passes you on your bike to determine how much space to give you. They often suck at it. Toronto cyclist Warren Hoska solved this by strapping a pool noodle to his bike.

The noodle, as you can see above, sticks out a couple feet to the side of the bike to give drivers a visual indicator of how far away they should stay. This concept isn’t entirely new. In Europe, reflective spacers are common and cheap. These circular flags stick out to the side so drivers can see how close they’re getting.

Of course there are downsides to the pool noodle technique. They’re not exactly designed to mount to bikes, so if you don’t attach it properly, it could come flying off in traffic. It could potentially get caught on other objects or cyclists if you frequently use bike lanes. You’ll have to judge for yourself whether it will work for your cycling habits.

Most of all, it just looks silly. However, as we’ve learned before, being silly doesn’t negate being useful. As Hoska himself puts it, “I’m unconcerned about looking good…I’m concerned about my safety most.” If you’re worried about any of the above concerns, you can always buy a proper reflective spacer, but if you go the pool noodle route, it’s still probably safer than trusting the visual judgment of every driver on the road.

Cyclist says his pool noodle makes Toronto streets safer for him | The Star

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