I had someone come up on my left without warning last year and crash into me. We (fortunately, for my sake) locked wheels for a few seconds, giving me just enough time to regain control by repeatedly bouncing my front tire off of his rear wheel. He continued on in a very dangerous and nebulous fog. It was terrifying since I had cracked ribs the year before in a solo accident related to poor road conditions.
My solution to this is mirrors, but I have not found a satisfactory solution. The ones that mount on my eyeglasses or helmet vibrate too much to be of value. I am afraid that the ones that mount on the handlebars may do the same, will not provide an adequate field of vision, and will also be in an inconvenient spot on the handlebars.
I’ve used Take a Look mirror, compact version, on my prescription, progressive lens eyeglasses for two years. I have not had a problem with vibration. They also have a helmet adaptor but have not tried that. Depending on your vision you may do better with the original length mirror. Mirror costs about $15 and helmet mount an additional $5.
I wear a mirror that’s made out of a BEER BOTTLE CAP from a comp. called Beer View Mirrors there email is firstname.lastname@example.org they cost $15. They hook to your glasses. They got about any cap you can think of, if not the guy will make a cap you send him. I’ve wore them for about 10 years now and our whole club uses them.
You didn’t mention who (in your run in) was riding a straight line and who changed their line. If you changed your line by not riding a constant straight line with respect to the edge of the road then the contact was initiated by you. It is always the responsibility of any rider to check to see if the line (lane) being moved into is clear before moving into it. It would be no different then driving down a freeway without mirrors and suddenly moving into the next lane without checking. Either check 1st by turning your head back or check by using a mirror. I always use a mirror despite how geeky they look. If the other rider was passing you, you likely moved into his lane of travel without checking as he obviously could see you easily enough. People not looking for passing traffic can change their lines without realizing it also.
Mirrycle Mountain mirror on the left handlebar and a Take-A-Look mirror on the right side (temple) of my eyeglasses. Yeah, that is odd but I like to be able to see back around a right-hand curve and to check the right lane when moving back after passing.
I’ve been cut off while holding a straight line by faster riders often enough on RAGBRAI and other rides that I don’t think we need to discuss if the OP was holding a straight line in this case. No matter how straight you ride you will be cut off so the question is a good one regardless of the circumstances that motivated it. I nearly had an accident caused by a faster rider driven to pass someone else and straight line or not I just happened to be in his way. We missed by a few mm at best and after he went by me I had a short while to admire the back of his jersey which proclaimed “Share The D**N Road!!” Sigh….
In my experience bar end mirrors work well. The bigger they are the better view they give you but the more likely they are to snag that faster rider. You may have to modify them with tape or something to get them to hold their position against road vibrations. In the end though they only work when you look at them and fast riders have an uncanny knack for evading your radar by appearing just as you look away and passing long before you would have taken another look.
I have one of the beer cap mirrors, Arrogant Bastard, and I’m starting to use it on my local rides. Don’t know if I’ll take it on RAGBRAI or not. Would be a good conversation starter. Have never felt the need for one in Iowa.
A mirror is a must have item. Don’t know how other cyclists go without them. Safety first! Mirrors are part of your safety. However, it sounds to me like Ragbrai is a tougher situation…mirror or not. Hopefully, the riders around me will adhere to the 3C Rule: be Cautious, be Courteous, and Communicate properly.
The post also brings up the Ride Right situation on RAGBRAI. After 7 years I still don’t know why folks riding at a walking pace insist on riding the left side of the lane or even in the oncoming lane. In previous posts I have read lots of complaints about folks riding too fast and putting slower riders in danger. If we all Ride Right to begin with, this would be minimized. But, I agree, a mirror is a must.
I use a mirrycle mirror that attaches to my sti road brake shifter lever. Unfortunately it will not work on the new sti shifters which I have found with my new bike but on the old bike it is great. Sometimes it does move but it doesn’t take much adjustment to get it into place. I am not good at turning to see what is behind me. I feel more secure with my mirror.
The out look of “straight line of not” is not correct. Always ride a straight line. Always look to your left and back a little to may sure the line (lane) you are moving to is clear. On RAGBRAI I have had many slow riders suddenly break into my lane of travel without looking (or signaling) leaving me little room to maneuver around them without putting riders on my left in danger. The faster rider Ken mentions may have been trying to get around a similar situation and actually sounded like they did and prevented any crashes.
Most of the riders breaking suddenly left I can predict if they are coming up on a slower rider themselves but some break left far earlier then others making it impossible to predict.
Where a mirror and check it before moving left. Don’t blame the faster rider for managing to get around you even if it is close. How many drive a car or motorcycle without a mirror or checking the mirror it before a lane change….