Cycling Safety With A Rearview Radar

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I love cycling and most things associated with it but surely I’m not the only one who feels unsafe on the road sometimes?


You can be as careful as you like but if you ever encounter a dipstick (this is the name my family and I give to certain people behind the car wheel!) then you can’t do a great deal about it. We also refer to cyclists who don’t wear helmets as ‘dipsticks’ too. Not that I want to start a debate about that of course!


I was delighted to sample the new Garmin Varia Rearview Radar recently and I was really impressed. Research suggests that one quarter of accidents resulting in serious injury to a cyclist involved an HGV, bus or coach ‘passing too close’ to the rider. Here’s a quick video explaining the whole concept.



What I love about this device is that you don’t need to take your eyes off the road. A quick glance behind you can be enough to lose focus and balance. If you’re old school like me then you’re probably thinking why not just use mirrors. Arguments for and against bike mirrors are a hot topic these days. I personally find them to be too distracting.


The Varia was really easy to setup – this includes actually attaching the radar to my bike. It’s the world’s first cycling radar and is helping create a safer cycling environment by warning cyclists of vehicles approaching from behind up to 140 meters (153 yards). It also warns approaching vehicles of a cyclist ahead with a light that brightens and flashes as the vehicle approaches.


Currently retailing at £137.99 via Cycle Republic, it’s the perfect choice for the cyclist who wants to be safe and seen. It operates in solid or flashing mode with a battery life of four hours in high power mode. Personally, I’d like to see this battery life increased much more in the future.


It works independently and integrates seamlessly with the Garmin Edge 1000 cycling computer. The edge computer or Varia head unit indicates the relative speed of approach and distance of one or more vehicles at a time. It really is impressive stuff!


What do you think about cycling safety in general and would you consider the Garmin Varia Rearview Radar?


*Disclaimer: This was a collaborative post with Cycle Republic and I was given the Garmin Varia Rearview Radar in order to give an honest review. All words and opinions are my own.

About The Author

Following the birth of his son in 2009, Paul was unfit and sluggish. Since then he's been training using a range of exercise techniques and gained some valuable information over the years. Events he has completed to date are Total Warrior, Pier To Pier, Bamburgh 10k, Hamsterley 10k, Blaydon Races, Newcastle Stampede and over 50 parkruns. In 2012 he created his own challenge called the '12 Days of Christmas.' He raised over £1000 for Percy Hedley by running 60 miles to celebrate their 60 years. In 2013 he ran the '12 parkruns of Christmas' with friend Lee Nyland. The pair raised over £1400 for the Tiny Lives Fund.

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