Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Bob Dylan To The Rescue?

I have mentioned several times about the danger, when walking along the roadside (especially when you are on the "correct" side of the road), from vehicles which are overtaking other vehicles and therefore come dangerously close to the poor walker who is unaware of their approach.

I thought I had found the solution with the idea of a bicycle helmet mirror, to be fixed onto the peak of my walking hat instead of the bike helmet for which it is intended. I tried it, my eyes focus beyond it, so it is no good for me (but it may work for others).

Another thought I had was inspired by Bob Dylan and other buskers, who wear a contraption around their necks to hold a harmonica. Surprisingly, these things are readily available and do not have to be specially made. But they are a bit flimsy for my purposes. I imagine something similar, but with a bicycle mirror (the one which is designed to be clamped onto the handlebars) attached.

I have thought for some time that, if I could find a willing metalworker, he might make a Bob Dylan contraption for me, made of more robust tubing, hopefully in aluminium for lightness, so that the mirror could be clamped to it, giving a good rear view. Last Friday, on our trip to Brantome, we met a very nice man called Mike, who is an artisan in metal and who offered to make me such a device. The difficult bit is that I now have to draw it so he can make it.

I am sure there would be a market for this, with other walkers, as long as it is not too cumbersome. But somebody else can make a fortune from it - I just want the one. But before I put Mike to all that trouble, I need to try an experiment. I have so far resisted the idea of carrying a stick. Just something to get in the way, as far as I can see, and to prevent me swinging my arms properly. I know they have their uses, for bashing nettles down, fending off dogs, and snake charming, but they do seem a nuisance. But if I attached the bike mirror to the stick ...?


chrisgod said...

Vic, just [popped in to say HELLO and think you are a VERY brave man doing this! I wouldn't attempt something at MY age (52) but then again walking is NOT one of my strong points! But to business it is with this in mind I reply. I was browsing in Skipton the other week several "Walking Sticks" as mine has had it and did see JUST such a contraption as you mention! A stick with a rear view mirror attached! So perhaps NOT so far fetched an idea!
Good luck in your endeavour and the walk as well! :-)


Vic Heaney said...

Hello Chris

That is very interesting. Funnily enough I was in Skipton myself quite recently, but that doesn't happen very often.

Can you please e-mail me at:


I hope to persuade you to get hold of one of these for me, or at least tell me where I can get one.

Thanks for the kind words.

cajunsis said...

Actually, I have seen them in the Hallmark stores by the over the hill gag gifts. I thought they were a cool idea, this coming from someone that was hit from behind by a car. It was a cane with a mirror. You may be able to find it in a party store as well. Good luck finding it.