I recently added a mirror to my new, uber-functional bike. I've used a mirror on my flat bar bikes for years, but didn't really miss it much on other bikes.
The Mirrycle flat bar mirror, for my money, is the best around. Round and geeky looking, it adjusts position so well and displays so much that I have trouble believing there's anything better out there. Note that I haven't linked to any source for it; you'll find it easily online or in bike shops if you try, and I have given up on making money on recommending anything here on the blog.
I hadn't used a mirror since last winter. What I saw in my mirror this time around is what prompted this post. That mirror showed me that most of the drivers behind me were giving me lots of space, sitting back patiently to make their right turn behind me; waiting until there was sufficient room to pass.
That mirror was showing me all the good drivers that a cyclist doesn't notice because they're good. People love to focus on the bad. That waiter copped an attitude. That driver was an aggressive dick. That dude cut in line at the movies.
Why is it that we all love to focus so much upon the ways in which we have been wronged? I am a person who is lucky enough to have been born in Canada. Most of my readers live or were born in similarly great places. I am sick and tired of reading and watching people rage against small injustices, seemingly oblivious while they enjoy the best of everything.
I'm not saying that people shouldn't be invested in making their communities more safe and better for all who live in them. I strongly believe that bikes and their expanded use can only improve the world, no matter where in the world they are. Cycling advocacy, the debates surrounding it and the people engrossed in it are all trying to help. Awesome work everybody, and thank you.
I am saying that many of us need to take a deep breath and look around at how good things are. When I ride my bike, I run into a bad or mean driver once in a while. My bike and my riding of it remain great things. Most drivers, annoyed or not, don't mess with my safety because they know it is important. That is a great thing too. There's a ton of great stuff going on, every day, woven so well into our societal fabrics that we don't even notice. Today, spurred on by what my bicycle mirror has shown me, that's what I am thankful for.
R A N T W I C K