Clichés and song lyrics aside, we all look back. In fact, we have to look back. We have to look back to the past in order to have clarity about where we are in the present.
Philosophical meanderings aside too, we have to look back in order to be safe, especially when we ride our bicycles. As essential as tires, brakes, and a helmet, bicycle mirror supplies are a must for safe, enjoyable cycling.
Many cyclists ride on bike paths that run parallel to major streets, and even highways. As careful and conscientious as the rider might be, nothing she or he does can control what the drivers of heavy vehicles might do.
Bicycle mirrors give bicyclists far greater safety than riding without mirrors. In fact, it’s not hyperbole to say that riding without bicycle mirrors is akin to riding blind. Without those mirrors, the cyclist has no idea what is happening right behind them. What is happening right behind them could endanger them. What is happening behind them could require them to take evasive maneuvers.
Bicycle mirrors are needed not just for a cyclist’s safety around motor vehicles. They are also important to help the rider maintain safety against possible stalkers, aggressive riders, muggers, and anyone with ill motives lurking, stalking, or racing from behind.
We would never think of driving a car that wasn’t equipped with rearview and sideview mirrors. In fact, cars without those mirrors would never pass inspection. They would be illegal to drive. Why can’t we take that same reasonable, intelligent outlook when it comes to cycling? Why can’t we insist on always riding bikes with good mirrors that will keep us safe?
Cliché and song lyrics tell us not to look back. Common sense says sometimes we have to.