The Mirror Man: Looking Forward

August 22, 2012

When I arrived at work Monday morning I learned that Chuck Harris, the Mirror Man, had passed away. Without thinking about it I immediately raised my hand to touch the glasses-mounted rearview mirror that I wore. Chuck made that mirror for me many years ago, one of more than 88,000 that he made by hand over five decades.

Since 1972 I’ve worn one of Chuck’s mirrors on my glasses almost every day whether topping a pass in Peru, riding a quiet backroad in England, or making the short commute to the office here in Missoula, Montana. I’ll continue to use my Chuck Harris mirror in the years ahead.

Chuck won’t be up there looking down on us. No, he will be gazing up into the firmament looking for ways to improve things with his quirky innovations. But he’ll be keeping an eye on us with his mirror.

A story about Chuck, called The Mirror Man of Gambier, appeared in the April 2011 issue of Adventure Cyclist. 

Facebook Memorial page for Chuck Harris has been set up in his honor.

Photo by Greg Siple. Chuck Harris outside his workshop.


GREG SIPLE is our art director and a co-founder of Adventure Cycling Association.


Driver Larry December 20, 2016, 2:31 PM

Still use his mirror that I purchased from CH at the Hilly 100 in Bloomington,IN in 1969-1970. I now make similar mirrors for sale in my LBS.

Also have 1 of his helmet mount mirrors with "Hilly '94" on the back side.

Chuck August 23, 2012, 11:57 PM

The entire Ohio cycling community will miss Chuck Harris. I understand that Chuck invented the helmet mounted mirror, a major plus for bicycle safety! I remember seeing Chuck at many TOSRV registration nights, manning his display while I was at the Ohio Bicycle Federation display. Chuck used bottle tops to frame mirrors and melted-2 liter containers to make into bike fenders. We can all learn from him, as we move from a throw-away society to a sustainable society! - Chuck Smith, Ohio Bicycle Federation

Bill August 23, 2012, 9:31 PM

Chuck did not have email, so I would call him... he was fun to talk with. Something about the voice connection that beats the social network any time.

Chuck made 100 custom mirrors for me... provided mostly to the Cleveland Touring Club in 2007. The mirrors were top notch, and as usual, he was a joy to work with. Although my order took six months, he came through and even replaced a few that had problems.

I consider Chuck's mirrors to be the number one piece of safety equipment when cycling (of course my helmet is important, but I avoid using it by keeping an eye on what is going on behind me with a Chuck Harris mirror).

Chuck was a great guy and provided a valuable product to the cycling community in the Midwest. He was a fixture at TOSRV, Hilly Hundred, Hanckcock Hundred and Horsey Hundred. I already miss him.

John August 22, 2012, 8:46 PM

Very sad to hear this. I didn't see him at TOSRV this year and was worried about him. Wouldn't you know it I lost my CH mirror that day on my way to the state house. RIP Chuck.

ProfDevGEA August 22, 2012, 6:58 PM

I remember first meeting Mr. Harris at a bike rally in the 70's. I bought a mirror from him and he wouldn't let me leave until he had been assured it was correctly mounted and working correctly. Quite the gentleman!

Ray in CT

Log in to post a comment

Forgot Password?

Enter your email address and we'll send you an email that will allow you to reset it. If you no longer have access to the email address call our memberships department at (800) 755-2453 or email us at

Not Registered? Create Account Now.