I use a mirror on my road bike, a Roadie to be exact, and I’ve become quite accustomed to having it there. Originally when I picked it up I did so knowing that I was breaking a cardinal sin of cool, installing a mirror on my bike. While plenty of folks in the cycling club use them, the real hard core guys don’t – and I was even notified of this, just to make sure I understood. I’ve even commented on this blog before that I’d rather not see it coming as my justification for not using a mirror.
Eventually, what I see as better judgment prevailed and I purchased a mirror. The reality is, I still don’t want to see my demise coming, however if I can see it, there is a chance that I can actually do something about it (however wishful that thinking may be). After a few rides on the fat tire bike, sans mirror, I came to find out that I really prefer having a mirror. It’s not perfect, unless the approaching vehicle has its headlights on I can still hear it before I can see it, but it does provide a good idea of where the car is in relation to the lane and me – and I have a much better chance of running into the ditch, rather than being rear-ended by a dumb driver who isn’t paying attention to what they’re doing.
My wife opted for the helmet mounted mirror so that she will be able to see what’s coming no mater which bike she will be using and she likes that one just fine, though I tried it out for a minute and I have to say, I prefer mine. I’d have to guess that this would depend greatly on what you start off using.
In the end, it comes down to one simple principle. My wife and kids need me alive and fully functional. Unfortunately, my one true fitness passion involves sharing the road with vehicles that have the occasional poor driver in them. Rather than foresake road riding, I’ve opted to make it as safe as is humanly possible. I owe at least that much to my girls and my wife.
I won’t be winning any style points, but my glory days of living like a kid with no responsibilities are long behind me (at least until I retire).