Thursday, October 15

Mirror Crack'd

Originally, I'd planned to call this post "Mirror Mirror," but the title of an Agatha Christie novel turned out to be more apropos.

I got a bar-end mirror for Christmas from my mom, and I finally got around to trying it out Thursday. As you might guess, I'm somewhat ambivalent on the subject of mirrors, unlike some that swear by them, and others that think they're worse than useless. I do not have side mirrors on my Jaguar E-type. They spoil the lines. They're also not required on a 1967 car (before anyone claims I'm breaking any law by their absence).

The mirror at left is a "Third Eye." I mounted it at the end of my drop bar. It wasn't mounted solidly enough (it was much more solid than in the picture). On the way home, rounding a high speed corner paved in bricks, it departed from the bike. That, however, did not cause the deviation from the original design you may have noticed. Unfortunately, I didn't notice its absence until a couple of blocks later. Ignoring an initial impulse to abandon the mirror, I recollected that the stick I thought I'd run over must have been the mirror hitting the pavement. I returned to the site, where I arrived just in the nick of time to see a car running over it. I was close enough to hear the "crunch."
I don't think I've given this mirror a fair test, but it did seem to have positive points. One amongst them is it allows some added traffic confirmation without actually doing a head check. I often encounter situations where I figure a car will be approaching from the rear, only to have it never arrive due to a turn before it reached me. The mirror seems useful in confirming that the rearward bogey has left the radar screen. Not that it would change any actions I might be taking, but it's still nice to know without going to the trouble of a full "to the rear" turn when there's possibly stuff that's IMPORTANT up ahead. It also seemed easier to use than I'd imagined without being microscopic like helmet mirrors. On the other hand, on a drop bar bike, I kept hitting it with my knee when waiting for traffic lights. This threw it out of alignment. Perhaps that explains why so many cyclists run lights - their mirrors would get misaligned. None of this would be a problem on a bike with tourist-type bars.

First order of business - figure out how to mount the thing so this isn't repeated if I get a new one or devise a repair. If my mom asks; yes, I DID use her Christmas present. Anybody know if it's possible to replace the mirror on a "Third Eye" with something less breakable?


Rantwick said...

I went through a serious mirror faze, and those who like 'em, like 'em a lot. I sure did. They just got crusty in winter, however, so I stopped bothering with them. I think head checks are among the most communicative things on the road, and if a few go to waste, better than not doing them because you can see stuff in your mirror... just my 2 cents, and I welcome some argument on this.

Anonymous said...

I would agree with Rantwick, if I wasn't so nearsighted.
When I head check I mostly get just the blur in the perifery where my glasses don't cover. So for me...mirrors are the shiznit. :)

Keri said...

You know, I never put that together before! I was horribly nearsighted since childhood until 4 years ago when I had lasik. Perhaps that contributed to reducing my reliance on a mirror even as my neck has become less flexible.

Steve A said...

When it comes to cycling, being far sighted seems like the vision problem of choice! Its amazing the insights one picks up on the Internet that OUGHT to be obvious. I guess I can thank my lucky stars I need my glasses to read this...

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