A Bike Mirror Can Help You See Yourself Riding More Confidently

Facebook Tweet us @BikeArlington

I always still glance over my shoulder before merging or turning, but I love being able to do a quick check in my mirror first.

For many years, I did most of my biking on Arlington trails. When I first started bike commuting more than ten years ago, I could hop on the Custis Trail in my neighborhood and ride most of the way to my office in Rosslyn without getting on the road until the last quarter mile. I am a cautious, careful rider, and it’s taken me a while to embrace the idea of sharing the road with cars.

But eventually, my desire to bike to more places than my office prompted me to detour off my safe, protected trail and venture onto the roads. At first, I didn’t hesitate to move onto the sidewalk when I felt hemmed in by cars and traffic. After doing that for a while, though, I realized that while riding on the sidewalk is legal and sometimes a good choice, it can also create conflicts with pedestrians.

Then, it occurred to me that modifying my route wasn’t the only way to improve my biking confidence.

I realized that I could modify my bike instead, and that a simple, low-cost accessory could make a difference. So, I tried a handlebar bike mirror. Almost immediately, this low-tech add-on increased my biking confidence in nearly all riding conditions, but especially when riding on the roads in traffic. In fact, as a true testimonial, I’ve purchased a mirror for each of my kids, as well.

I feel like there’s a lot to process when I’m on my bike, and it’s a huge help to be able to simply glance in a mirror to see what’s coming instead of having to turn and look over my shoulder, which requires a bit more balance and coordination. My mirror has been helpful when I’m changing lanes, turning, or merging into traffic, or when I’m riding downhill and want to get a sense of what’s going on behind me. I always still glance over my shoulder before merging or turning, but I love being able to do a quick check in my mirror first.

At this year’s Bike to Work Day, we’ll have free bicycle mirrors as our giveaway item at all three BikeArlington-hosted pit stops (Rosslyn, Ballston, and Shirlington).

The bike mirrors were ordered because we wanted other cyclists to benefit from having a mirror as much as I have. It may not be something you’ve thought of adding to your bike! These mirrors attach to standard hybrid-bike handlebars without tools. Our team tested them by confirming that they were easy to attach. Then, we simply rode with them to see how they held up. We felt they were easy to install, useful, and durable.

If you’re like me and love riding your bike but want an additional tool to build your confidence and feelings of safety on the road, I hope you’ll register for Bike to Work Day and visit the Rosslyn, Ballston, or Shirlington pit stop to pick up your free BikeArlington bike mirror. And if you don’t need a mirror, we hope you’ll still register and drop by. We’ll also have other great giveaways, breakfast fare, music, and lots of interesting vendors to check out!


Comments are closed here.

To prevent spam, comments will be approved before appearing on the post. If you have a comment or question, but do not want it to be published, please email BikeArlington.