Monday, October 13, 2014

I'm Thankful For My Mirror

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.

Yer Pal,


Steve A said...

Even the few that don't care about your safety because of its importance, care because they're within the bounds of what is OK in North America. And the tiny fraction of others fear witnesses.

Pondero said...

Yes, there is gobs of good out there. We need more than an occasional reminder. As you said so well, we need to focus on it. Like every day. Go, Rantwick!

cafiend said...

Good reminder.

rlove2bike said...

Excellent!! I have been reading a lot of bicycle tour books lately. Most seem to have the same thing to say about people being in the vast majority of doing good things. It is the rare bad apple that grabs a lot of attention.

GreenComotion said...

I still like having a mirror and I am pleased to note that you have added one to your ride.
I have still kept mine on the helmet. I have one of those mirrors in the shop. I think I put the other one on the my wife's bike.

How is the new bike working for you?

Are you carrying a lot of stuff now that you have rack and panniers? Or, did you have panniers before too? Sorry, I forget.

Have you read the Power of NOW?

Peace :)

GreenComotion said...

In the winter, will the mirror be usable? Won't you have ice and such on it? Will it be possible to melt the ice on the mirror or at least scrape it off? I haven't been in a cold climate recently. Atlanta gets cold, but if it freezes here, getting around is challenge, unless you had a sleigh (too many hills and not much infrastructure for ice and snow).

Just curious, that's all.

Take care.

Peace :)

John said...

My video camera is rear facing mounted to the seat post. I've tried to use a mirror, without success on both, my helmet and on my bars but I seem to be lacking that particular superpower. lol Glad to hear it's a glass half-full kinda day. =)

babble on said...

Yes! Eckhart rocks!

Thanks for the reminder, for the happy rant.

RANTWICK said...

Thanks everybody!

Chandra - I've been a rack and pannier guy for a long time, no real changes with this bike. So far the new bike has been awesome. I have not read the Power of NOW... I'll check it out. The mirror works fine most of the time in cold weather, since here in London it rarely gets TOO cold. I do have to give it a wipe with a gloved hand once in a while, but mostly its good.

Anonymous said...

A mirror is a great thing to have on a bike. You don't have to crane your neck around so much. (It can still have blind spots though.)
This is the best bike mirror I've used. And cheap too. Six bucks at Canadian Tire.
Supercycle Bike Rear-View Mirror

e-bikes said...

good sharing!

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