Paceline Podcast 257

We can laugh at ourselves, yes? Robot takes aim at cycling costumes, our seriousness, ridiculousness and functionality all being poked, prodded and panned. And maybe justified, too.

This week Padraig takes on helmet mirrors. Are they a good idea? What does brain science have to say about them? He digs into that and discusses what we can do to increase the odds that a driver won’t go thump-thump over us.

Voler Drytech Short Sleeve Base Layer

G8 Performance Insoles

If you liked this, and all the other bike-cycling nonsense TCI offers, please do consider subscribing. We have an enormous Chamois Butter bill coming due.

Join the conversation
  1. johnrom719 says

    Robot’s elucidation that vision is created in the brain and projected onto the landscape provides corroboration to an Ask Doctor Science answer from about three decades ago. You may remember when NPR was a little more into journalistic pranksterism. They had a science question and answer show with a host called Doctor Science (who apparently had a masters degree in science). One of the questioners asked why the driver’s side windshield wiper always wears out first. Dr. Science explained it is because of the vision rays which emanate from our eyes. They pass through the windshield wiper when it is raining, causing premature wear. Since the driver’s side is always occupied and the passenger side is frequently vacant, it is obvious that the left wiper wears more quickly (in left-hand drive cars). Who knew quantum physics would vindicate Ask Dr. Science?

    But a more important question: How does my costume look?

    1. Emlyn Lewis says

      @John – What we learn from Einstein is that no object (e.g. your costume) has any characteristics independent of an observer. In other words all information about an object is relative. Having said that, relative to my costume, I feel certain that yours is exquisite.

    2. Padraig says

      I’m here just to read the comments.

  2. says

    I disagree about mirrors (I use a sunglass mirror not a helmet mirror, but it’s the same idea). When I started out I didn’t use one because they look dorky (not a ‘cool costume’), and I did that for several years. But when I started leading a beginner ride, I found it was much easier to keep track of who was behind me and when I was going too fast once I started using a mirror. I don’t think the examples you gave are appropriate. Of course, it’s a good idea to constantly scan traffic and to stare down drivers approaching from the side in particular, but that’s not what you do when you scan for traffic behind you. Do you really make eye contact with them? The bottom line is that once I started using a mirror for the beginner rides I never went back. I’m sure I check much more often with the mirror than I would turn to look. I would think it would be that much more helpful in Sonoma County where the roads are busier in general than the roads here on the Indiana/Michigan border (I’ve ridden in Sonoma so I have a pretty good idea). So I’ll continue looking uncool, but feel a lot safer than I would without a mirror.

    1. Padraig says

      I can totally see how in leading a beginner ride a mirror would be handy. And yes, I really do make eye contact with drivers whenever possible. It’s like using a turn signal in a car. I don’t even think about it; I just start looking for the driver’s face. I consider it fundamental to my survival.

Leave A Reply

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More