19 posts • Page 1 of 1
I noticed a letter to The Editor of the Mercury on 16/2/12 calling for rear view mirrors on bicycles. I tried a mirror prior to the verge between Sorell and Forcett being widened, and found it of little use.
There are now various camera products available for bicycles, and at least one that records to the rear, and gives a rear view on a front mounted screen.
I am wondering how many people in the Hobart area are using any of this new gear?
read it. know someone who has one (basic mirror). he seems to like it. things are very small in it though and im not sure he saw the 4wd that was lining him up when we were riding the back roads near cressy with it. i much prefer to look over my shoulder regularly whenever i pull out into traffic due to say a parked car. And always try to make eye contact with drivers coming out of intersection (how many times have i saved my life doing that!!!!!)
If we are talking about improving road safety, i reckon anyone who wants to drive a car should first be forced to pedal around busy streets on a bike - nothing teaches defensive driving skills like riding a bike.
A mirror should never replace a shoulder check. So from what I recall of the letter, the whole point of seems a little moot, as I think he was suggesting that cyclists looking back is a problem? I reckon a rear view camera screen on a bike is a bit of overkill myself. Is it that hard to look back? Not like it's an SUV with no rear visibility whatsoever...
Still young enough to win the Tour de France
I have a small mirror on my RHS drop which is perfectly adequate. At my current level of skill and confidence, looking back can be as much a hazard as the potential hazard itself so I find the mirror extremely helpful, to the stage where I would no longer feel comfortable without it.
I'd have to agree that a rearview camera is a bit of an overkill...
I read that too the other day. I tried a mirror on my commuter for a while but didn't find a great deal of benefit from it. It didn't remove the need for a check over the shoulder when merging or turning. I found it just as useful using my ears to determine whether there was a car not far behind me. A turn of the head is one of the cues a bike rider can use as an early indication to those around them of an upcoming change in direction.
I thought the letter writer was also suggesting that a mirror can help a rider avoid being hit from behind. Not sure how this would work in practice, as there'd be bugger all time once you work out a collision is imminent to take action to avoid it. It was obviously writen by a well meaning person, but a non-cyclist.
LG = Low Gear
IMHO, this is a pretty dangerous. In my experience, a bike mirror has even bigger blind spots than a car mirror, so if you don't do a shoulder check I reckon you are taking a real risk. Not wanting to sound paternalistic, but I'd encourage you to practice checking behind you, say on the bike track...
Still young enough to win the Tour de France
As I said in opening this thread, I have tried a mirror, and was not happy with it. Because bike mirrors are relatively small, they are convex in shape in order to get a wider view, but this makes the details smaller. I found that some hand positions on the bars blocked my view of the mirror, and it seemed to take a few seconds to adjust my eyesight to see anything in the mirror. This seemed to be time that I felt should have been spent looking ahead for holes, puncture threats etc. At the time of dispensing with the mirror I was uncertain as to whether my age, and the fact that age has brought with it spectacles, was a factor in my dissatisfaction.
Looking around certainly has its place for me, however there are times, which are hard to explain, perhaps intuitive, where I hear something behind me, and think that the first priority is to look ahead and concentrate on riding a straight line within inches of the bitumen edge.
There are times when I get p..... off with vehicles coming too close, and I have tried most responses known to mankind; phone calls to owners of business vehicles, a projectile in one instance, a couple of referrals to panel beaters, and a couple I wont tell you about. All of my responses were useless, stupid, and could have had repercussions I would not have wanted.
This has all resulted in me taking a little interest in the thread here about "who uses a camera", and in looking at some of the material found a gadget that is a rear view camera, with built in tail light, and rear view screen on the handle bars. The price of $299 is off putting, however this sort of technology will probably get less expensive. Cameras that apparently do a good job are now as low as $40. (Jumbo808 #16)
I reckon that a small screen on the handle bars would be a lot easier to see than a mirror way down on the drops.
There you have it; the reason for my OP question.
It's interesting to note that professional driver training and even traffic safety programs recommend that motorists do not rely on their mirrors, and always perform a shoulder check.
If you are referring to the Cerevellum Hindsight 35, I think $299 is not unreasonable for a bike computer with Ant+ capability to support Hr, cadence and speed and includes rear view camera and display, and even a taillight. Future models will apparently include GPS tracking.
It will be interesting to see how competive prices will be once it is widely available in stores. It won't have to drop much to give me itchy fingers.
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Cycle touring blog and tour journals: whispering wheels...
In the age of smartphones, I would love to see a camera that streams wirelessly to my phone, whilst tracking my ride with Strava, etc.
Of course, having any kind of tracking device mounted to the handlebars can be distracting. Imagine what a distraction a camera feed would be? Not to mention the drain on the battery!
As in a car, a quick check over the shoulder (or under if you're out of the saddle) is always better than a mirror.
dont know about mounting camera to the handlebars. i already have heaps of stuff on there. u can get cameras mounted to ur helmet. seen mtb'ers recording trail runs with it. roadies wouldnt like it coz of aero effects probably.
i wouldnt mind a camera inconspiciously mounted somewhere. but not so i can see whats behind me. just so i can record and document all the idiots on the road that seem to want to try and kill me. But for 300$. nope. higher priorities.
I thought that letter was just another dig at cyclists really, thats how i initially took it. There was another letter recently calling for bikes to be registered (*yawn). Seriously, what am i supposed to do. My bike is supposed to be decked out in cameras, licence plate, mirrors, indicator lights. Im supposed to dress up like a traffic light and wear high vis. Maybe i should put a big orange flag on my bike. Ok, high vis is maybe a good idea, maybe not fluro green, but i reckon if u r riding around with a black top on u r asking for trouble. I mean, i want to see cars coming...but i also >really< want them to see me, and the best way to do that is high vis. Who knows, hopefully LEDs keep getting more efficient and cheaper, i might even consider sticking my lights on during daylight hours (id prob prefer to go that route than a camera maybe?)
'Fraid I shall have to differ with you on this. Commuting and touring in Melbourne and elsewhere, I have used a mirror (handlebar-mounted B&M Cyclestar currently) for the past 30 years.
This on the Thorn Nomad:
And I have a similar one, with no stem, on the road bike's bar-end.
I can happily ride the main roads with only occasional head-checks. A bit of neck stiffness that I've long had makes a right side head-check awkward for me, yet with the mirror, and minor movements of my head I can get a full sweep view of a 2-3 lane road behind me.
Just my experience.
Last edited by il padrone on Sat Feb 25, 2012 10:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
The most professionally-trained drivers of all, heavy vehicle operators, are trained to solely rely on their mirrors. They do of course have little option.
I have found that after a while you do become quite adept at compensating for the convex distortion, and become able to pick vehicles out and judge speed and distance well. I frequently glance in my mirror to monitor approaching vehicles, but at the same time I still have very good peripheral vision of the road ahead. In cases of heavier traffic, a clear path ahead and a need to move lanes, I may scrutinize the mirror for 10-15 secs at a time yet I'm still aware of the road ahead.
Contrast this with a head-check, which can only ever be quite momentary as you have zero forward vision while doing it. I rarely need to do the head-check because I already know what's been happening behind.
I can honestly say that I've never had the 'blind spot' scenario (which does happen to me in the car occasionally) of glancing in the mirror to see a clear lane but not realising there's a car on my rear off-side.
I'd respectfully suggest the best 'cue' to give to other road users about your planned change of direction is an arm signal
Far too few cyclists actually do this. A clear, bold arm signal, well before you actually move, makes a world of difference to the way drivers treat you IME.
I respectfully very much agree with you. For me it's a check turn of the head to see if it's going to be safe to either merge or turn then an arm signal to indicate intention. I this regard I suggest that a head turn to check a lane is clear is an "early" indication that something is going to happen well before it actually does and other signals are used. If it's not clear or merging/turning isn't safe, then another action such as a hook turn can be used.
LG = Low Gear
i still really like a head check. am guilty of not using hand signals enough and tried to rectify that. its just not always possible or safe at times and id rather keep both hands on the bars at speed.
changed my view on mirrors. i almost got cleaned up by this twat who was rallying. he zipped past me at over the speed limit and well within 1m. He pushed the 4wd coming the other way as far left as he could go, any further he woulda been down a 40m embankment. damn prick. i never saw him coming. a mirror might have given me a chance? hence the rethink.
main prob with mirrors on the roadie is finding something fashionable and aero. its always going to be small, but hell so is the blind spot mirror on my van...and thats a must. I like the look of this one:
^^has a low dork factor (unlike the bar tape)
as for high vis. im prob just going to start wearing it. My bike can look good. im just going to lap it up and start looking like a traffic light. it aint worth it!
I'm resident BNA fanboi for the IRBM Gordo
Gotta tell yer, it's a bugger to setup right, and you'll be removing the bartape too. A second pair of hands is pretty much the best way as it needs to be held in the right alignment while it's being taped down. I'd suggest a pootle around the block to check it before re taping too.
Once it's right tho', you're on a roll
Get one mate. If you find you don't like it, let me know.
...whatever the road rules, self-preservation is the absolute priority for a cyclist when mixing it with motorised traffic.
London Boy 29/12/2011
At the risk of annoying a fair number of people - I will anyway. Anyone who want to put on a mirror, multiple mirrors, cameras etc should do that if it makes you feel better or safer. Out there on the road what they do is give you an increased awareness of what is coming from behind. That is precursory to the need to act safely and that means ensuring it is safe to maintain or change direction - a head check and appropriate hand signals.
Cycling on a public road is inherently dangerous and those of us that spend a bit of time out there can tell of the many 'episodes' that occur. all I can say is that driver behaviour, as a group, has improved exponentially over the last ten years. the more riders that are out there the more that drivers see them - the more likely they are to expect them to be there - the morelikely they will act appropriately - just a reality in human response.
others have noted this behaviour as well. the road task force recently noted that drivers were ignoring zebra crossings because the number of crossings has reduced - dur - the anser they were proposing was to remove more crossings becasue the driveres didn't understand them! that's what we are up against. be out there. be visible. be safe.
This is possibly the area where we are most likely to let ourselves down.
A photo in the Mercury last week showed the proprietor at Ride Bellerive fitting a rider to a bike, and he talked about high visibility clothing.
What was the rider wearing? Some Pro team outfit predominantly black.
In a large group of riders, colour is perhaps not so important, as the sheer size of the group creates a level of visibility, however one or two riders only, dressed in dark colours, even with small brighter colours included, are not easily seen.
I long held the view that people with cameras were cranks seeking to have problems.....................................I'm changing my mind......................I think I'm not becoming a crank............................but I have no doubt that I am becoming crankY..... with the number of vehicles that come by at less than a metre.
A colleague (lets call him "Tony") once lamented the fact that bicycles do not come equipped with machine guns. Just as well "Tony". (I cant tell you his real name because he might know a dentist)
I hope "Tonys' " wish never comes to pass................I like my freedom.
For those who might seek to use this post in evidence against me, let me tell you a blatant lie and say it is all bull.!
I saw that one and I think it said he was a client. Seems like every time i go in that shop i see that client. he seems to always be on the staff side of the counter though
I gained the impression that he was a client.
In view of the fact that you and I are so generous in our appraisal of others, I guess we will assume that he is such a good client that he has full and free access to all parts of the establishment; probably calls in several times a day to use the coffee machine, and raid the frig.
On the other hand, to "assume" makes an ass of you and me.
In all seriousness, I have made a couple of small purchases in that shop, because I can ride there without going over the Tasman Bridge. Adrian and his staff have always given good service, so I will let them off on this one. We RBWR riders are well accustomed to bull s h 1 t, so no problem consuming this bit.
On another subject, I find Hobart a very pleasant experience, and would ride there frequently if it wasn't for the bridge.
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