Friday, May 13, 2011

A Return from Paranoia

I've ranted before about concerns from behind. I spend a lot of time scanning my mirrors and tucking my elbows into my body so I can see who's following me, and how closely. While I think this can be a healthy habit, it can quickly become obsessive. You can't look ahead while you're looking behind, so this can be a delicate trade-off. But is it a trade-off worth making at all?

I installed a set of's mirrors a few weeks ago. On a recent trip to work, I realized something was different - I was not looking behind me. I mean, unless I was preparing to change lanes or merge, I was not looking behind me at all. These bar-end mirrors do not land if my field of view unless I deliberately look through them. This is a serious departure from what I'm used to, where stock motorcycle mirrors seem to be visible while looking forward (even if only enough to remind you of their presence).

So I've been thinking. For quite some time now, I've strived to be all-knowing - to maximize my situational awareness on the road and cover as large a radius as my limited organic RAM allows. I believe I used the word obsessive earlier? But what's it buy me? I know I have the training to deal with what's ahead. But what am I going to do about the potential actions of the vehicles behind me?

I've had trouble answering these questions, so I'm left considering these sentiments: what's in front of me is paramount and the rest may simply be distraction.

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