So, today began commuting with the Bike Peddler's "Take A Look Mirror" after a short ride yesterday to set it up. I have been commuting more and more to work, which is a simple 3-mile ride for me. As I head across the city, I run into some really rough stretches of traffic on Main, Amherst, Bailey, and Suffolk before getting to the school where I teach.
There is just a lot of traffic, and it is often heavy even at 7 am. Cars and school buses drive rather recklessly, and I would be remiss if I didn't say that the dogs scare me even worse. Last week, I was chased by a pit bull for almost a full block before he gave up. I had not seen him until he was almost on me, and I really only noticed him after I heard the nails and pads of his feet on the pavement as he ran after me full steam ahead. Luckily, I had my race bike that day, and I just speed away.
So today was the maiden "real" voyage of the Take a Looks, and I have to say I found a few more issues than positives. The mirror does offer one the ability to look back without turning one's head, and for that, it does exactly as advertised. It is easily adjustable and can twist and turn to give you a snug fit, and you can dial in the perspective you want. I mounted the mirror on my helmet after feeling this was a better place to have it than on my Oakley's. I added a tiny strip of Gorilla Tape to keep it secure, even though the adjustable press fit mount seemed snug.
So here are the issues...First, the mirror is mounted up and to the left. If the sun is up and to the left, you are looking into it as you glance up at the mirror. The first half of my ride consisted of me looking up and into the sun to glance at the mirror. Annoying, and no fault of the mirror, just stating an issue.
The second issue is that the mirror does not jibe well with hoods or billowing jackets. As I glanced rearwards, the hood of my rain jacket completely obstructed my view. When I tucked the hood in, the billowing backside of the jacket blocked the view. Obviously, this is not a problem with the mirror, but it was annoying. Most often, I wear a regular jacket and forego my tight and expensive Castelli rain jacket. My plan to wear normal and inconspicuous clothing may be compromised!
Third, my aging eyes make focusing on the close mirror a bit difficult. I realize that I am nearing the time when I may need some assistance with my up-close eyesight which brings me to the thought that maybe it would just be easier to turn my head. I also feel a tad uneasy as I glance too long to pick up what is behind me. I can see myself getting into trouble up ahead as I look back. Maybe success will come with more practice.
So, tomorrow's plan will be to not wear the loose jacket as I try to practice quick glances.