Day’s Verse:
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
Galatians 5:22-23

Yesterday Deborah and I went to Seattle Fabrics. I wanted to find some reflective ribbon to dangle off the back of my helmet. In the past, I’ve used fairly expensive iron-on reflective strips on a pretty thick, heavy strap. That didn’t work that well — it was awfully heavy — so I switched to a lightweight, light-colored floating silk ribbon. That is fine, but doesn’t have the reflective bits. Reflective ribbon hasn’t been exactly an easy thing to find.

At least, it wasn’t until we went to Seattle Fabrics. That’s where I encountered more reflective ribbon and fabric than I even knew existed. It was like dying and going to heaven, in terms of reflectivity. Normally reflective stuff at bike shops costs a lot, and you don’t get much. Here, it was $2/yard for 3M super-reflective gosgrain ribbon. I felt like I was stealing when I paid $4 for my two yards.

Now, you’re probably wondering: Why would Katie want ribbons on her helmet? Lots of reasons:

  1. It’s unique. This means that motorists can recognize me as the same bicyclist day after day, even if I’m wearing different clothes or on a different bike. The benefit of this is that, once I’ve established a pattern of being law-abiding and courteous on the road, regular commuters who drive by me will know it’s me and give me the respect I’ve earned. Basically, it changes me from “One of those darn bicyclists” to “That lady I see riding here every morning.”
  2. It’s noticeable.During daylight, things flapping around catch peoples’ attention because we instinctively look for movement. Getting more attention — in a good way — when I’m on the road is one of my standing goals.
  3. It’s reflective. Duh, right? Well, in low-light or downright dark situations, I firmly believe that there’s no such thing as too much reflectivity. I like to imagine that it’s a pretty eye-catching thing for motorists to see flying reflective flashes in the dark.

Here’s how it turned out:
Helmet Reflectivity
No, this is clearly not the same helmet as the winged helmet, although you’ll probably notice my predilection for adding reflective tape to helmets. But the reflectivity leaves nothing to be desired. It’s fabulous.

On top of that, Deborah and I found a nice wide, tough strap and a couple of hooks to turn into a shoulder strap for one of my panniers, which has D-rings specifically for attaching a shoulder strap. We repaired to Deborah’s place for some on-the-spot sewing and voila! I now have a sturdy shoulder strap that’s completed with my Timbuk2 strap pad. I’m pretty jazzed about how it all turned out.

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