There are few topics more divisive in motorcycling than that of Hi-Viz. There are three camps on the argument. Firstly there are those who swear by it, claiming that its the best way to been seen on the road. Then there is the argument for those who claim that it doesn't make a blind bit of difference as if other road users cant see the bright lights on either end of the machine, a bit of flouro textile, isn't going to help. Finally there's the minority who find themselves somewhere in the middle. Me? I'm in the middle and here's why. I believe that the term Hi-viz is somewhat misunderstood. Most riders seem to feel that Hi-Viz is either bright yellow, orange or god forbid, pink. I am not going to deny that these colours will constitute being Hi-Viz colours, but in the right conditions black is also Hi-Viz and so is white. The key is in contrasting with the background. Due to the almost ridiculous time of day/night that I have to start work, almost half of my riding is done in the dark, therefore I make sure that I'm wearing something bright and/or reflective like my Oxford Hi-Viz waistcoat. When heading home, if the sun is out, I remove the waistcoat and rely on the black and white colouring of my jacket to ensure that I contrast with my surroundings. I think it also helps to have leathers and or a helmet of of different colours for this very reason. Yes, dressed from head to toe in black may look flippin awesome, but if you come off the bike and are lying in the road, unconsious, then the next car along has little or no chance of seeing you there. Now I understand that that's an really extreme example, but it does illustrate the point. In my opinion any advantage you can get from standing out from your surroundings is something that is well worth taking, and if that means that sometimes you have to look like a crossing guard, then sobeit.
My name is Matt Brown and I'm a UK journalist formerly based in London, but now calling the South of England home. I've been riding bikes since 2007, but got hooked straight away. Nothing gives me the feeling of freedom, even when stuck in a city. In 2010 I became a RoSPA gold rider, but when it comes down to it, I'm Just a normal man, riding his bikes as often as he can.