Lights

So it’s mid November again.  We all know what that brings..  chilly mornings, dark commutes home, and G.I. bugs.  I used to get GI bugs maybe once every 3 years.  Ever since I had kids, I seem to catch them all the time now.  I’ve often joked to myself that if I only rode on days when I didn’t have a mild GI bug, I would never ride between November and April.  Anyhow, I’ve got my first one of the season now, and was seriously dragging for this morning’s ride.  Still glad I did it, though, and glad I’m able to resist taking the car even on days when I’m not feeling 100%.  After awhile it just becomes routine.

I’ve had two commutes home in the dark now with my new headlights.  I have a Planet Bike Blaze 2w and Blaze 1w mounted on the bars on either side of the stem, and a Blaze ½w on my helmet.  So far, I’m liking the setup.  The bar-mounted lights illuminate the road out to a pretty good distance.  They light up reflective signs that are several hundred feet ahead.  They have a low setting for twilight, high for full darkness, and flashing mode for visibility during the day.  The helmet light does a great job lighting up the road closer to the bike, or wherever I happen to point it.  This is my first time riding with a helmet-mounted headlight, and I think it’s a good addition.  Without it, I was constantly adjusting my bar-mounted headlight up or down to illuminate farther out or closer in, depending on conditions.  With the helmet light, I have the best of both worlds.  I can also use it to read my cyclecomputer in the dark.  If there’s a drawback, it’s that the light dances around as I move my head, which can be a little distracting, particularly when climbing hills out of the saddle.  But all in all, I’m happy having one.  Other great things about these lights: they take standard AA batteries, they’re self contained, and their mounting brackets allow for easy removal to move them between different bikes.  What remains to be seen, is how well they will stand up to bad weather.  I’ve taken them out for a couple of rides in light rain and drizzle, with no problems, but I’ve yet to test them in a downpour or a soaking mist, so the jury is still out.  I’ll report back on them later in the season.

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