Tuesday, 18 October 2011

How much is too much?

Now the nights and indeed mornings that look like nights are getting darker and darker it is time to arm up in the annual LED light wars that is taking place on a highway near you.

It's a constant battle to know how much light you need on the bike and it depends on loads of factors like, where you are riding, how dangerous the driving skills or lack of are in your area, do you need to see or just be seen... and of course there is the eternal worry of how other cyclists will perceive you.

Occassionally to mix up the route to work a bit, I take the canal or the woods or Edinburghs cyclepaths to get to the shop.  The only time trouble comes my way because of lights seems to be on one of these non road routes.  Shouts of 'you'll blind someone' or 'dip your lights' seem to resound in my ears when I take one of these off road routes.

So. I decide just to go on the road.  People cannot be heard shouting at you cause they are in a lump of glass and metal! Bingo.

This week I thought it would be a great idea to really tool up and popped on 2 NiteRider Stingers.  I also decided it would be an amazing idea to attach my spare (in case of emergency) Petzl Zipka to the seatpost just below the Mighty B17 Arse Cushion on my bike.   Stupid idea ahoy.  The Petzl jumped around daft and decided that 1 of the Stingers would be better off on the Lauriston Place tarmac than on my bike. Clatter, bash, bang CRUNCH as the taxi behind me finished off the Stinger. 

That left one course of action, Cherry Bomb.  This beast was engaged and pressed into action along with a Mako 5 front light.

Now I know how amazing a Cherry Bomb is but the Mako 5 is a new entity so I had my usual 'it's just another front light' hat on.  BOOM! what a monster. 2 AA batteries give off a light that is quite something and makes you wonder how efficient LED's must be getting to squeeze so much light out of something that is so cheap as a power source. (presuming you buy your AA cells at the local Pound Shop).  The Cree LED's really pump it out there. 

I mounted the Mako on the right hand side drop of my road bars and angled it down such that it was facing head on to traffic but slightly down so I could monitor Edinburgh's amazing complex and bedazzling collection of potholes and 'Bus Wounds' as I call them that live on the surface of the roads.

A great beam pattern greeted me and I went on my way a happy boy.

Next time I am taking it off road more as the unlit section I tried wasn't that long so more trialling needs to be done. But so far I am impressed.

Get armed with some bright lights people - they don't cost a lot and you really shouldn't leave it to chance like many of the people you see meandering around without illumination. It could just make you a pile safer than before.

More news soon!