Originally Posted by Grinnin
When someone assigns a motivation to anyone else's actions the discussion often is not about the subject anymore. "You're not man enough to ride a 'real' bike." "You hate America." "You're scared so you wear those crash pads and ugly jacket."
I didn't hear your conversation but you probably shortened it to fit it into a post. It's possible that assigning you the ugliest motivation is an attempt to shame you into conforming to what the cool kids do. Happens on this forum with everything from the cool dual-sport to the most authentic experience.
People can wear hi-viz without being scared or believing in magic. But those two accusations can put you on the defensive. Once you start trying to defend yourself from the false motivation you've half lost the argument.
There's something to what he's saying,
Some riders let their lack of skill and/or confidence influence them to make poor decisions such as riders who ride with excessively bright high beams, or HIDs in reflector housings because it "may help" without thought for how it effects others.
Obviously it's highly unlikely high-viz will have any negative impact under most conditions, but when you see a rider covered head to toe in it, their bike covered in reflective tape, and running crazy bright lights, it does raise the question.
And its a question we should all ask, is what I'm doing to communicate with drivers who are paying attention, or am I doing it in the vain hope it "may help" an inattentive driver see me. The problem with "may help" is you don't know if it does or not.
It may be harsh, but IMO, if high-viz or any other visibility enhancement has a noticeable effect, its adressing a rider issue, not a gear issue.
The real question isn't if you believe in it or not, its the why and what. Why you're using it, and what you expect it to do.
A tool is only as good as the person using it.