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Old 11-28-13, 12:57 AM   #1
WalksOn2Wheels
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I refuse.

I am a responsible guy, married, and I have a 20-month-old little girl. I'm in my last year of aerospace engineering school. I ride bikes for fun and for transport. I have been a bicycle commuter for the last 2+ years of school, but have been riding bikes of an on for about 8 years before that. How I ride, how I carry my stuff, and what type of gear I use has slowly evolved.

From the beginning, and even today, I will not ride without my helmet and a front and rear light. The helmet is it's own thread (like that overblown sticky), but I wear it because I'm interested in living and don't trust drivers. Lights just flat out make sense.

However, I REFUSE to live a life where I must don hi-vis vests at all times, wear a helmet mirror, constantly run a go-pro camera for collecting evidence, or run seven rear lights and 4 front. That would simply suck all the joy out of biking for me. It would feel like letting the terrorists win.


Not even sure why I'm posting this (or why I'm putting it in A&S), but there ya go.
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Old 11-28-13, 01:31 AM   #2
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Too bad, you refuse the best safety device of your entire list, the mirror.
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Old 11-28-13, 01:49 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by WalksOn2Wheels View Post
Not even sure why I'm posting this (or why I'm putting it in A&S), but there ya go.
Beats me, too. Helmet mirrors sure are nice once you get used to them, though.
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Old 11-28-13, 02:02 AM   #4
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When I moved to OR, I also "refused". After a short time, I found I just wasn't happy when I stayed off the bike for months at a time. All the hiking in the coast hills I did just couldn't substitute for the unbridled joy I get in the saddle. Even though no one was wearing hi viz vests, I went to the local industrial safety store and purchased one, as well as an ANSI class 3 rain jacket. I bought ridiculously expensive lights, made some reflective ankle bands and got back on the bike.

Thirteen years later, I'm so used to the barbaric behavior of Oregonian motorists that I am pleasantly surprised a couple times each year when I return to ride in NorCal and rediscover what it is like to ride without concern regarding the next car that will pass. It still bugs me that my life is put at risk for no reason at all by some suburban-dwelling moron, but I am still happier to ride not.
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Old 11-28-13, 03:05 AM   #5
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Too bad, you refuse the best safety device of your entire list, the mirror.
I agree with him about mirrors. BUT.......For an entirely different reason. My peripheral vision is constant and goes with the turn of my head. It never changes. A mirror is disconcerting for me. Because of the turn of the handlebars.

I also agree with him about not running multiple front lights.

Last edited by Chris516; 11-28-13 at 12:01 PM.
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Old 11-28-13, 03:33 AM   #6
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Mirrors really are damn useful. Although I hate my eyeglass mirror, I'm considering going helmet. But on my recumbent trike, a Mirrycle works quite well.

The rest I agree with, though, at least when on a bicycle (although my reasons for wearing a helmet on a bicycle are unrelated to car hits). Hell, I've not even bothered with my flag lately on my trike.
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Old 11-28-13, 06:25 AM   #7
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We all make decisions that we feel are right for us. No matter what you decide, just keep on enjoying riding.
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Old 11-28-13, 08:10 AM   #8
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A lot of mirror-haters will tell you that a mirror is no substitute for looking back, and that you don't need mirrors because the purpose they serve in cars does not apply to bicycles.

It's true that cars use mirrors primarily for backing and checking the blind spot before changing lanes. These things don't apply to bicycles. We normally don't back up and our peripheral vision is good enough to see our so-called blind spot.

But there is other vital information that a cyclist needs from a mirror that cars do not need. When I'm in my car, driving down a two lane road at 60 mph, I don't really care if there is a car 200 or 300 yards behind me. If there is, I'm also not too worried about how fast it's going. In my car, I'm going fast enough that even if the car overtaking me was going 90 or 100 mph, the driver would most likely see me before he rear ended me. In other words, I don't need to worry about getting out of his way any time soon.

Now, if I'm on the same two lane road riding my bicycle, I do worry about cars 200 or 300 yards behind me and how fast they are going. That is where my mirror comes in very handy. If I see a car behind me, I can keep an eye on it with my mirror and ascertain how fast it is going and how soon it will get to me. Moreover, as it approaches me, I can determine if the driver has seen me by whether or not he starts to move over to pass me or slows down due to oncoming traffic that prevents him from passing me.

A few times, I've seen a car in my helmet mirror and watched as the driver did not slow down or move over. With that information, I determined that I needed to get myself onto the unpaved shoulder because there was a good chance that the driver did not see me. In those situations my mirror probably saved my life because just "looking back" would have told me the car was there, but not given me any information about it's speed or driver's attentiveness.
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Old 11-28-13, 08:16 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WalksOn2Wheels View Post
or run seven rear lights and 4 front. That would simply suck all the joy out of biking for me.
What about 3 front and 5 rear?

Besides, collecting all the gadgets and lights and figuring out how to attach them to your bike is part of the fun! It's what gives ME joy in riding anyway.
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Old 11-28-13, 08:20 AM   #10
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I prefer to let my hearing track overtaking traffic and keep my eyes moving to dangers in front of me, grates, rocks glass and dogs require constant vigilance.

I could see the usefulness of mirrors if one had earphones and music going, then I would recommend air bags also
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Old 11-28-13, 08:24 AM   #11
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Cars can be rather quiet nowadays.

And I can scan behind AND in front of me visually quite easily with a mirror.
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Old 11-28-13, 08:34 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CB HI View Post
Too bad, you refuse the best safety device of your entire list, the mirror.
this.

Id ride without a helmet before without a mirror.

Is Texas requiring Go-Pros and Hi-Viz now? What is the point of this ?
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Old 11-28-13, 09:45 AM   #13
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Hmmm... I normally use a mirror AND look behind in heavy traffic areas. The mirror is just another tool at my disposal.
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Old 11-28-13, 10:17 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WalksOn2Wheels View Post
However, I REFUSE to live a life where I must don hi-vis vests at all times, wear a helmet mirror, constantly run a go-pro camera for collecting evidence, or run seven rear lights and 4 front. That would simply suck all the joy out of biking for me. It would feel like letting the terrorists win.
I don't put motorists in the same analogy as "terrorists", and I use a bar end mirror as well as two video cameras. If anything, the bar end mirror and video cameras have made bicycling, for me personally, far more enjoyable and less frustrating when working urban traffic. The videoing of my rides has evolved to become much more than for collecting evidence, it's become a chronological record of the ever changing urban landscape in my locale.
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Old 11-28-13, 11:23 AM   #15
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My best safety devices are my brain and experience.
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Old 11-28-13, 11:41 AM   #16
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My best safety devices are my brain and experience.
This. Plus a neck that swivels.
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Old 11-28-13, 11:45 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WalksOn2Wheels View Post
I am a responsible guy, married, and I have a 20-month-old little girl. I'm in my last year of aerospace engineering school. I ride bikes for fun and for transport. I have been a bicycle commuter for the last 2+ years of school, but have been riding bikes of an on for about 8 years before that. How I ride, how I carry my stuff, and what type of gear I use has slowly evolved.From the beginning, and even today, I will not ride without my helmet and a front and rear light. The helmet is it's own thread (like that overblown sticky), but I wear it because I'm interested in living and don't trust drivers. Lights just flat out make sense.However, I REFUSE to live a life where I must don hi-vis vests at all times, wear a helmet mirror, constantly run a go-pro camera for collecting evidence, or run seven rear lights and 4 front. That would simply suck all the joy out of biking for me. It would feel like letting the terrorists win.Not even sure why I'm posting this (or why I'm putting it in A&S), but there ya go.
You need more rear lights.
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Old 11-28-13, 12:17 PM   #18
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What about 3 front and 5 rear?

Besides, collecting all the gadgets and lights and figuring out how to attach them to your bike is part of the fun! It's what gives ME joy in riding anyway.
While don't agree on the lights, I definitely agree with you on the gadgets!!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ursle View Post
I prefer to let my hearing track overtaking traffic and keep my eyes moving to dangers in front of me, grates, rocks glass and dogs require constant vigilance.

I could see the usefulness of mirrors if one had earphones and music going, then I would recommend air bags also
I definitely agree with being vigilant looking for/hearing the dangers. I use my hearing, and move head to look behind me with my peripheral vision.
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Old 11-28-13, 12:25 PM   #19
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I use my hearing, and move head to look behind me with my peripheral vision.
In working urban traffic, I use hearing and peripheral vision when checking my mirror blind spot when I'm making a lateral movement. Riding in urban traffic has become much more enjoyable to me with the addition of a mirror, since hearing and peripheral vision tends to be overwhelmed in noisier/faster traffic.
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Old 11-28-13, 12:45 PM   #20
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The mean urban streets require powerful lights and video cameras in my opinion. There are too many intoxicated, distracted, and dangerous motorists on the road. Powerful taillights have the effect of slowing down drivers behind you. A bright helmet light in addition to a bar light can fill up the inside of the vehicle cabin. A video camera will capture license plates, the driver behind the wheel, in addition to the model. This evidence can be very useful in the event a cyclist is smashed by a 3,000 pound rolling couch. If you refuse to put the odds in your favor, this is entirely your choice.
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Old 11-28-13, 12:49 PM   #21
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My best safety devices are my brain and experience.
...the application of which leads to my using a mirror.
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Old 11-28-13, 01:22 PM   #22
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I wear a reflective vest, I have six tail lights and six headlights. I have a handlebar mirror AND a helmet mirror, I have a tripod in my handlebar-basket-aerodynamic-fairing. I have Flags on Fiberglass Poles.

My complaints ? The helmet mirror is new, and I don't like it as much as the handlebar mirror. The helmet mirror is blocked by the Flags. The Helmet Mirror is blocked by the earflaps, which I attached to the helmet for the Winter.

The motorists who cause the problems are few and far between, so it seems one of them startles me just as I am lulled into a sense of security.

Fortunately, most of the lights are run from a single 12 volt rechargeable battery, so I don't have a dozen switches to turn on and off. And they are LED, so if I go into a store, I just leave the lights on for the 5 to 8 minutes.

I am thinking of getting a new 32 Gigabyte SD card for the stupid camera. I recently upgraded from 4 gig to 8 gig. I hate deleting videos while riding the bike, to make more memory, on account I have to take my eyes off the road.

I like to photograph whole blocks at night with the flash on , it lets everyone know I have a camera.

Anyway, I haven't posted here in a while, since I got 150 bike/velomobile friends on Facebook.
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Old 11-28-13, 01:25 PM   #23
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I refuse to have an opinion about this.

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Old 11-28-13, 01:42 PM   #24
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I refuse to have an opinion about this.

ROTFLMHO!!!!!! Great picture!!!!!!
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Old 11-28-13, 01:51 PM   #25
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I refuse to have an opinion about this.

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