I was riding laps around the Veloway a few days ago, when I closed on another cyclist. I was about to call, “On your left,” when he glanced up, and moved over on his own. As I drew even with him, I saw that he had a rear-view mirror mounted on his helmet. He obviously saw me coming, and knew when he would have to make way for me.
I’ve never used a mirror. On a typical group ride, I see only a few. Most appear to be helmet mirrors, but occasionally I see a mirror attached to a bar end.
I wonder — would a mirror make a difference?
I always try to be aware of my surroundings when I ride, and I scan behind me frequently. There’s no doubt in my mind that a mirror would make the scanning a little easier, since I wouldn’t have to worry about keeping the bike on a straight line while looking back. But it’s the looking back that I think keeps me aware and on my guard.
Besides, a helmet mirror looks a bit dorky, doesn’t it?
The bar end mirrors are less so.
Like most of us, I also drive a lot. I have a rear-view mirror and two side-view mirrors on my car. I use them constantly. I suppose I should consider doing the same when I ride my bike.
I guess the real question I’ve been considering lately is — are mirrors a biking necessity? Should we all be using them? And if so, what arguments are there in favor of one type over another?
I’d like to hear about your experiences.