Yeah, I Rock a Helmet Mirror When I Ride!
How former pro Tom Soladay learned to love the one piece of gear he never thought he’d wear
I was a professional bike racer for 10 years before I retired at the end of 2017, so I’ve done my share of long training rides. I’d been noticing that more and more drivers are paying attention to their phones instead of the road. And it feels like it’s getting worse. I’ve had side mirrors hit me, I’ve had cars slam the brakes right in front of me. My wife and I are expecting our first kid this March, so my priorities are shifting and I feel less inclined to take risks. Last year I stayed with a family in Austin, Texas, to train. The dad is in his 50s and rides with a mirror on his helmet. Mirrors of any kind are not something you find in the bike-racing crowd. It’s not “pro.” In professional cycling, it’s like, your bar tape is white, your shoes are white, you have to have shaved legs. But it was a revelation to ride with someone who knew that a car was about to pass without having to crane his neck to look—we could anticipate traffic with almost no effort, and it felt much safer. Suddenly, I was curious: Could I rock a mirror?
I added three options to my Amazon cart…and let them sit for two weeks. Part of me wasn’t ready to publicly display my apprehension of riding on open roads. And part of me still wanted to preserve my vanity. But practicality finally won out, and I clicked “buy.” (Get the Peddler’s Take a Look Mirror Soladay wears for $13 at Amazon.)