It seems like every winter I end up forking over at least a hundred bucks to feel sort of visible out on the road after dark (and this time of year, a lot of our bike riding is after dark). This year is all about adding reflective tape to everything. In a city environment like the one we ride in there is a lot of ambient light, and that light is often moving (e.g. headlights). I’ve noticed on other riders that in this setting reflective material can go a long way. I got particularly inspired on our helmets. Check out how awesome my family looks in these!
H (in the blue helmet) requested flowers. R (in the red helmet) requested a train and flowers. Angela (in the purple) didn’t know what she wanted, but I ended up going for a sort of mythological motif, with wings and lightning bolts. For those wanting to try this on their own, I used “Reflexite” tape** ordered from this place, and just cut out the designs. I did it all freeform, so I can’t really offer patterns (just inspiration), but if you’re at all crafty, I’m sure you can come up with something! Note that this particular tape comes in many widths and many colors. I ordered both 1″ and 2″ widths, but could have done all these designs with the 1″ width. One roll of the 1″ tape would do a lot of helmets (the “hundred bucks” quote above also involved reflective tape for coats, Xtracycle bags, and bakfiets box, and a bunch of leftovers…)
You can tell I improved substantially after my first attempt on my helmet, before I was inspired to get fancy by H’s request for flowers (I’m trying to tell myself it looks punk rock…):
**I didn’t do an exhaustive research project to find this stuff, mostly just scanned a couple bike forums to find out what other people liked, and it seems to do the trick. If anyone else has a favorite reflective tape, please speak up in comments.