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Kiss Kiss

Kiss, the acronym of ‘keep it simple, stupid’ drifted across from the U.S. in the sixties and, despite being too often quoted, is still relevant. The game ‘Mousetrap’ may be a perfect example of the theory that the end result is best achieved by the simplest method.

But then, I never played Mousetrap, I just assembled the parts to enjoy watching it work.

So, back to designing stuff. I wanted to fit a pair of non-standard foot boards to my Harley, my mate, Al, who is a metalworking genius, was sketching the brackets we’d need to make when I suggested that shoving a long bolt through the existing bracket and fitting a spacer might be easiest. My way worked but wasn’t as elegant as the brackets Al would have crafted.

When we’re really involved in something it’s easy to over-complicate solutions. I’ve been trying to come up with a way for Sue to see behind her when she’s riding so she’s not surprised by vehicles suddenly passing or causing a queue because she’s blocking the road. As I’ve previously said, she has ‘Deaf Rider’ on the back of her Hi Viz vest but that’s just to alert people. I came up with an idea that would be perfect –a rear-facing camera on her shoulder or riding helmet wired to a screen strapped to her wrist. Costs were prohibitive, and I mean a lot of money.

Then I came up with lots of impractical ideas for mounting mirrors, most of which prompted comments along the line of “oh, that’s so sweet, thank you but I’m okay as I am.” I still think one of those small wide-view mirrors drivers use when towing a caravan would be fine, Sue just didn’t think sticking them to both knees of her riding trousers was a good idea. No appreciation.

But I never gave up, I kept dreaming up more ridiculous methods to allow Sue to have eyes in the back of her head. Until I searched for ‘small removable round mirror’ when Al mentioned he’d like to see more when riding his custom Harley than his budgie mirror presently allows – yes, it is the size you’d see in a birdcage. What came up surprised me, a mirror that slips over cyclists’ hands.

They wouldn’t work for horse riders but knowing that there were such things got me searching more and I found the solution on It looks like an oversized wristwatch and fits like one, a non-glass mirror on an arm to folds out to provide a view of what’s behind, Sue’s found it a great help and I wish I hadn’t overthought things.

I assure you all, I’ve no reason to mention this product apart from it being a great idea that could help anyone who might be unaware of anything approaching from behind due to hearing impairment. Can’t see it being much use for swimmers wanting to avoid the sharks which are presently enjoying our heated seaside though.