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Old 09-02-05, 11:04 AM   #1
kirkmuffin
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do mirrors help anticipate getting buzzed

For those who ride with a mirror of some sort - do you have enough time to see that you are about to get buzzed by a car, and move a foot or two right to compensate. Or does it still happen too fast? I'd rather not get one, but I'd consider it if I thought I could use it to reduce those close shaves that seem to happen (even in the middle of intersections when I'm taking the lane)
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Old 09-02-05, 11:17 AM   #2
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Kirk-

I use one, and know that my incidence of heart-stopping passes (those where I am startled by a car passing me) are fewer than without the mirror. Also, I have, on occasion, dropped my wheel into a big hole while looking over my shoulder for traffic, and don't have this problem with the mirror. As with my truck, I still shoot a glance over my shoulder when I'm about to pull out into a more vulnerable location, but I think the mirror really helps me. I'll let the naysayers speak their own piece.

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Old 09-02-05, 12:16 PM   #3
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I couldn't get by without my bar end mirror. It's great for keeping track of traffic from a distance. I still check over my shoulder when necessary, but I can't imagine turning and looking back 200 times during my commute.

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Old 09-02-05, 12:28 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kirkmuffin
For those who ride with a mirror of some sort - do you have enough time to see that you are about to get buzzed by a car, and move a foot or two right to compensate. Or does it still happen too fast? I'd rather not get one, but I'd consider it if I thought I could use it to reduce those close shaves that seem to happen (even in the middle of intersections when I'm taking the lane)
It depends on where you live. If you live in the city, I doubt it will change a thing because the size of the traffic means you'll have to ride in the door zone to avoid getting buzzed
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Old 09-02-05, 12:40 PM   #5
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For rural or low density traffic it helps as you can glance every 10-15s or so and keep an eye if something is coming, then watch it as it gets closer. For city/suburbs where you are always being passed by a constant stream of traffic I found it made no difference - you can glance, see a stream of cars, glance 3 sec later and they have already adjusted lane position as they try and pass each other. I rely 100% on motorist behind me to give suffcient passing clearance, but of course my lane position helps ensure they see me and they merge left.

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Old 09-02-05, 01:22 PM   #6
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I have ridden with a mirror and without. Passing motorists don't seem to treat me any differently either way. Their passing technique seems to be more related to my lane position than to anything else. I've had close calls while riding close to the edge of the lane and someone tried to squeeze past, but I've since changed that practice.
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Old 09-02-05, 05:13 PM   #7
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absoloutely.

Help to judge distance to cars that you can only faintly hear.
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Old 09-02-05, 06:52 PM   #8
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Used properly, surely.
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Old 09-02-05, 07:56 PM   #9
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Someone once suggested using one of those fluorescent orange flags on a stick attached to the rack and parallel to the ground. The flag should stick out about a foot. The person said people gave them wide room.

I have also noticed that using my massively bright rear blinkie that people go into the next lane to avoid me!
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Old 09-02-05, 10:46 PM   #10
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Having a mirror will increase your awareness of traffic behind you. However, moving to the right may only increase your chances of being buzzed since the driver will be tempted to pass you without encroaching the opposite lane. When I am approaching a stretch of the road with a blind curve ahead and I see traffic behind me in my mirror, I move over to take up more lane space in order to either force them to stay behind me until I pass the curve or give me enough space if they pass me before the curve.

In my opinion, the increased awareness due to a mirror is invaluable. I use a helmet-mounted one.
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Old 09-02-05, 11:15 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bsyptak
Someone once suggested using one of those fluorescent orange flags on a stick attached to the rack and parallel to the ground. The flag should stick out about a foot. The person said people gave them wide room.
I ride with one of those and I've never been buzzed, though we're only talking about three months experience on the roads here. I got it here . I also use mirrors on the bar extensions and a helmet mirror.

Here's what the flag looks like:
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Old 09-03-05, 07:25 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kirkmuffin
<snip> and move a foot or two right to compensate. <snip>
I use two mirrors, (one bar end and one on my helmet) and they do give me some warning. Usually, the cars are coming pretty fast, so I don't have a lot of time to move over.

Keep in mind that buzzing is just a driver's way of expressing their frustration with you being on the road. I've found it is pretty effective to start wobbling on my bike. My line of travel stays the same, but it looks like I'm having all kinds of trouble keeping control of the bike. Since the last thing a driver wants to do is hit someone, they give me a wide berth.
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Old 09-03-05, 07:26 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Longhorn
I ride with one of those and I've never been buzzed, though we're only talking about three months experience on the roads here. I got it here . I also use mirrors on the bar extensions and a helmet mirror.
Dude! That is sweet! I'm going to have to get one of those.
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Old 09-03-05, 10:16 PM   #14
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Here's what the flag looks like:
So where did you get that flag, Longhorn?
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Old 09-03-05, 10:26 PM   #15
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I got it here . Just click on the link. It took about ten days to two weeks, I think. I also got some reflective tape from the same place.
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Old 09-04-05, 06:15 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kirkmuffin
For those who ride with a mirror of some sort - do you have enough time to see that you are about to get buzzed by a car, and move a foot or two right to compensate. Or does it still happen too fast?
Sometimes, but not usually. Problem is you can only steal momentary glances in the mirror, so you can't really monitor things very well. I can't really tell where a car is going to go during the half-second I can look at it in the mirror before it passes me. However, general greater awareness of what's around you is good, and it helps you anticipate when it'll be clear to cross a lane. It's also good to be able to spot trucks with trailers and other wide loads.
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Old 09-04-05, 09:45 AM   #17
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I got it here . Just click on the link. It took about ten days to two weeks, I think. I also got some reflective tape from the same place.
Thanks!
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Old 09-04-05, 09:59 AM   #18
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One thing about the flag that seems less-than-ideal is when you're moving at any decent speed it flaps behind you, so that the reflective surface is generally pointed up toward the sky. I'd think it would be vastly more effective if it was rigid, so that the reflective surface faced the cars.
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Old 09-04-05, 10:36 AM   #19
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I use a helmet mounted mirror. On my way home I have to make a left turn, involving moving across two lanes of traffic on a busy road. Well before the turn I monitor the traffic in my glasses mount mirror. When I see a gap I look over my shoulder and move across. You need to look over your shoulder because that gives a visual cue to following cars that you are about to do something unexpected. There is another place when I have to move over an exit from a highway merge from the right. The glasses mount mirror works for this just moving my head a bit more to the left. Mirrors are better for monitoring traffic over a period of time.
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Old 09-04-05, 10:54 AM   #20
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A bicycle is a vehicle and as such needs to have at least one mirror to be considered safe
to drive.
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Old 09-05-05, 08:41 AM   #21
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I HAD a nice mirror, but it wore out - yup, it wore out. Well, the mirror itself didn't get worn out from looking at all those ugly SUV's but the joint that holds the mirror to the handlebar mount wore out.

I loved that mirror and I wondered how I would ever get along without it. Somehow, though, I never replaced it and ride without it and don't notice it gone.

Someday, I will replace it and wonder how or why I ever lived without it.
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