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Advertised in the recent edition of the Hammacher Schlemmer catalog, is a nifty little gadget called a bicycle rearview camera.

This rear-facing camera mounts to a bicycle's seat post just under the saddle and a cable connects it to 3.5-inch color monitor mounted on the handlebars. This allows the rider to see traffic coming up behind him/her without having to glance rearward. I wonder how effective this monitor would be on a bright South Texas sunny day.

This camera sells for $179.95, but I have a better idea.Go to any store that sells bicycle supplies and buy a small mirror about the size and shape of a half-dollar coin and attach it to your helmet. This mirror costs about $11.99. There, I've just saved you at least $167.96.

Other items that would make a long distance ride more enjoyable include, but are not limited to:

Helmet - from $14 to $44

Bike gloves - from $10 to $26

Water bottle cage - $5 to $10

Water bottle - $8 to $12 (some sponsored rides give them away)

Camelback water container - $24 to $67

Bike computer - $12 to $27

Saddle - $30 on up

And don't forget to carry some cash and a cellphone in case of accidents or emergencies.

Happy trails!