Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Tis the season

After an exceedingly pleasant Summer-ish Fall, we are finally getting to that time of the year. Luckily, we don't yet "need" fat tires, studded tires, or fat studded tires, nor do we require any specialized clothing or extraordinary cold-weather toughness (by Minnesota standards). For the most part, we can still just hop on our bikes and ride. But it sure gets dark early now, and this weekend we will all set our clocks back an hour, so it's gonna be dark by 5pm next week. If you're going to keep riding, and you really should keep riding, you could do worse than investing in some good lights if you don't already have some. I see a lot of unlit cyclists out and about, and if I could think of a way to do it without creeping them out, I'd approach them and offer to provide them with free LED blinkies (they don't cost much). Honestly, riding unlit is so dangerous. If you do ride at night a lot, something better than cheap blinkies is probably in order. We like the NiteRider Lumina series lights, but you really can't go wrong with most of the lights on the market.

I used a second stem and a cut off chunk of handlebar to mount two Lumina lights (a 700 and a 750) on my bike. One is probably enough, but I work for the Department of Redundancy Department. I have a helmet mount, too, so when the situation warrants it, I can detach one of these and put it on top of my head in 2 seconds.

Here is a pic from some trail riding last week with my riding buddy. To protect his privacy, let's call him "Cheesecake Jake". Trust me, a nickname like this is how legends are born.

And here's my bike midway across the Marshall/Lake bridge a few nights ago (just one light on).

Taillights are important too, but they don't need to be fancy. We like various versions of the Planet Bike Superflash. They are inexpensive ($20-30 ish), bright with an irritating (good) flash pattern, have a sensible/sturdy mounting bracket, and the AAA batteries last a long time.


Bone said...

I am interested to know your philosophical opinions regarding the use of dynamo hubs on the Ice Cream Truck.

Jim Thill said...

It's a travesty that Schmidt and Shimano don't make 150mm TA hubs yet.

Anonymous said...

I bought a Lumina light like those but was unhappy with the shape of the beam shape so I returned it. The beam is cone shaped and on the road the light spills up into other drivers eyes. Does anyone know of a good battery powered light with a beamed properly shaped for the road and not just like a handle bar mounted flashlight? I am obviously spoiled by previously riding gen hubs powering InoLED and Bausch and Mueller with beautifully road shaped beams.