Because it is now dark when I leave work, and because my bike is a beautiful matte black, and because I don't wish to disrupt its beautiful matte blackness with peel'n'stick reflective patches, I must take other measures to be visible on the streets.
Reflective jacket, yes, reflective strip on backpack, yes, reflectors on spokes, yes. A front light which has only three settings and is thus more expensive. A rear light with something like seven settings which is extremely cheap.
Under which circumstances would one need seven different types of blinking? Answers on a postcard to this address.
But what else can I do to be visible? This is the exciting part. At Capitol Iron, the ship's chandlery, I found an assortment of strange blinky-lights to attach to spokes, all of them motion-activated.
One is an oval the size of a child's hand, looking much like a reflector. Two catches to slip over spokes horizontally. It has 4 bulbs? in it, and glows in a range from pink to blue.
Two are narrow plastic tubes with bubbles inside and a flat disk at one end. A screw-down and a snap to fit over the spokes. The tubes light up in the blue-green range.
Two screw into the tire-valve. They are plastic bulbs with a protruding tube, looking very much like those invaluable Mad Scientist accessories that show that Science! is going on. They flash pink, green and blue.
I can't see the full glory of this display while I'm in motion, unless I twist around and fall off. But I'm quite sure it's glorious and that I'm visible not only to other vehicles, but to the mothership when it arrives.
Why weren't these sparkling things around when I was a child? All we had was plastic tassels to hang from the handlebar grips, and a folded playing-card to jam between the spokes.