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CycleAware Reflex Flexible Helmet Mirror

Cycling snobs beware: I ride with a helmet mirror. Yes, I know they look dorky, but I have finally reached that point in life where I value my life more than I fear the disdain of bike snobs. I’ve purchased several different brands of helmet mirrors, but my favorite is the CycleAware Reflex Flexible Helmet Mirror.

CycleAware Reflex Helmet Mirror

CycleAware Reflex Helmet Mirror

This mirror mounts securely to your helmet with double-sided tape (included with the mirror). I own four cycling helmets and I use this mirror on three of them. There is no way to mount a mirror on my winter cycling helmet since my snow goggles have to slide up on top of the helmet when not in use. My oldest helmet is four years old and is about to be replaced, but the CycleAware Reflex Flexible Helmet Mirror has hung on for every mile, both on the road and on the trails.

When riding into a headwind of over 30 MPH you might see the mirror vibrating a bit, but other than that it is very stable. CycleAware claims the mirror is removable, but I have never even tried. It is much easier to just buy a mirror for every helmet you own. The flexible shaft between the mount and the mirror itself is very easy to adjust. The large oval shape of the mirror provides a great field of view with a fantastic depth of field.

I have purchased several of these mirrors from a nearby Performance Bicycle store for around $20.00 each. You can also buy the mirror from CycleAware’s Website or Amazon.com.

 

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Planet Bike Blinky 3H Tail Light

I do not think it is possible to be too well seen at night. In my opinion, being seen falls into two categories: passive (reflective gear) and active (lighting). I am amazed that so many cyclists are willing to put their lives at risk by not making a better effort to be seen by motor vehicles at night.

Planet Bike Blinky 3H Tail Light

Planet Bike Blinky 3H Tail Light

In addition a good tail light on my saddle bag (and a lot of reflective clothing) I also use a Planet Bike Blinky 3H Tail Light mounted on my helmet. The helmet mount is self-leveling which means it will always be visible to traffic directly behind you, regardless of whether you (and your helmet) are looking up or down. This light has three bright LEDs and a built-in parabolic reflector. In flash mode the light should run for about 100 hours on a single AAA battery. You can also run the light in continuous mode, but I think a blinking light draws a lot more attention. The Planet Bike web site claims the Blinky 3H can be seen from up to a mile away.

The Blinky 3H comes with both a helmet mount and a seat post mount. The helmet mount is Velcro and you can attach it to your helmet in under a minute. The list price is $23.00, but I got mine from Amazon.com for $18.00.

 

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Halt! Dog Repellent

You will never know how fast you can really go on your bike until you are chased by an angry Rottweiler who thinks he is defending his territory. From personal experience I can tell that having a dog chase you is the highest form of motivation.

I always carry Halt! Dog Repellent with me on night rides, off-road trails, and when I am checking out a new route for the first time. I started carrying Halt! several years ago after two small dogs refused to allow me to get past them on a bike trail. It finally took a well-placed stone the size of a softball for the mutts to back off and let me pass.

Halt! Dog Repellent

Halt! Dog Repellent

Halt! contains capsaicin (chili-peppers) and shoots out a pressurized spray that has an effective range of about 10 feet. This product has been used by the U.S. Postal Service for 35 years and works well.

A couple of years ago I was on a bike trail when a dog came out of nowhere and was very intent on sinking his teeth into my right ankle. I pulled out the Halt! and just as I was about to spray it the dog apparently recognized the can and ran away. I can only imagine that somewhere along the way that dog had a mailman introduce him to Halt! and he decided not to try it again.

On off-road night rides I run into a lot of varmints (both four-legged and two-legged) and I always feel safer knowing I have a can of Halt! in my jersey. I purchased Halt! off of Amazon.com for under $4.50 a can.

 

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