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Daylight savings time, one of the  goofiest ideas ever to roll out of Ben the F’s industriously fevered brain, has hit once again.  I’ll refrain from the trite bitching about what an artificial pain in the ass it is, because it gives me a good excuse to play with my new, super-cool, kickass headlight.

Last winter I rode with a loaner HID Niterider until the bulb gave up the ghost.  This fall, as the days began to get shorter I socked aside some money and placed an order through a local bike shop for a Tri-Newt, which is darn near as bright as an HID, about half the price, lighter, and will run longer on a charge.  Given that I don’t ride very fast offroad, it will be more than adequate for any nighttime mountain-biking I undertake, and it will be ideal for winter commuting, when seeing and being seen are that much more critical.

Of course I’ll still be running my trusty Planet Bike clear blinky on the handlebars and the red blinky on the seatpost, but it’s nice to have another bright and shiny thing in my bag of tricks.

In other news, this morning was nearly balaclava weather, and I busted out the Huge Red-And-Purple Cannondale Jacket this morning.  So far it doesn’t feel that bad out, but it was colder than just an extra sweater would handle and I know that worse is forthcoming.

I am designing myself some super-cold-weather pants involving an extra fleece butt-panel, because my buttcheeks are pretty much permafrost from November through April.  My ass is cold at this very moment.  I’m also retrofitting a fleece vest that I own with a windstopper front, because icicle-nipples are an enduringly unpleasant experience.

3 Responses to “Now is the time to ride home in the dark”

  1. B says:

    Long time reader, first time comment-er (heh).

    Last year was the first year I rode solidly all through winter, training a group of tri-newbies for Team in Training. I’m still working out the kinks involved with riding in the dark, but lights are the biggest problem for me. I haven’t found a local bike shop that actually gives good advice on the subject either. I either end up with super light, super sleek and super weak lights (what i have now, see below) or the clunky giant rechargable floodlights that I can’t afford.

    I limped through last year with two Cateye compact LED lamps, but they’re fairly weak and if I’m going more than 18MPH I’ve outpaced my visibility. I loved your post on about the Tri-Newt, and generally take your bike advice as gold since you’re hard core and out there every day. Any other advice you might have would be welcome!

  2. meetzorp says:

    Well, the Tri-Newt is of the floodlight variety, and not super-cheap, but I think it is good value for the money, because it runs a long time off a charge, LED-based bulbs tend to last a very long time, and you certainly won’t outrun your beam. It’s like having a motorcycle headlight attached to your bars or helmet.

    My other suggestion is probably pretty obvious, but reflecty things are good. My foul weather tights (Sugoi Sub-Zeros) have reflecty stuff on the backs of the ankles, I have a reflecty ribbon on the back of my bag, and my gloves have a reflective stripe on the outside seam (which makes my “turn signals” more visible at night). I like being reflective from the sides, too, and have found that clipping 1cm strips of Scotchbrite reflective tape and adhering them to the insides of my rims, between the spokes, makes a cool-looking and very visible wheel at night.

  3. craigdurkee says:

    riding in the cold harshness of winter can be a struggle, the effort has paid off though so great work

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