Tuesday, November 23, 2010

It's been slow...

.... as far as riding and adventures go. There was a cool article in Dirt Rag one or two issues back about how you have to "grow up" and be responsible @ some point in your life (really? Bummer!!!). It was pretty spot on, and so I'm taking the advice of the author and am going to be doing a lot more riding, but at a time that will not negatively impact my family or work obligations... yes, we're talking night riding! I've been night riding since the mid 90's. My first light was a mini mag light forced into one of the vent holes of my helmet (brilliant I know, nothing like an aluminum pipe inches from my skull while I ride in the dark and wait for an endo). I soon moved on to a night rider that required 4 D-cell batteries (I spent about $500 on batteries before I clued in and bought rechargeable). The light output was awesome and gave me a solid hour of ride time. I then graduated to my first NiCad Night Rider. I bought it used from one of the guys at the shop, this was so much better than my other light and came with a helmet mount and had a high and low mode... I believe it still only gave me about an hour of ride time, but between the two lights I could do some serious riding! By the early 2000's my rechargeable D cell had bitten the dust, and I only had the NiCad and a new cheap, but bright 12w Marwi light. The Marwi gave me 1.5 hours of solid ride time, and I still have that set up handing around in the parts bin. When I finally stepped up a few years ago, I went full bore and bought an HID Nightrider, this thing is silly bright compared to my 10w and 12w halogens, it also doesn't burn as hot (those halogens would burn the snot out of your fingers if you weren't thinking about what you were doing and touched the lens) and has a 3 hour run time, but this brought up a dilemma.... how do I justify spending another couple of hundred $ on another bike light "when you have a perfectly good light" in the bike barn? Welcome to global trading and cheap Chinese crap. I picked up what has to be the brightest least expensive light ever! I have no clue what the company name is, they sell to just about anyone. The biggest US distributor is GEOMAN Gear the light itself is called Magic Shine, and the sucker burns 900 Lumens (whatever a Lumen is) of LED goodness for a solid 3 hours. Couple that with my HID Nightrider and it's like riding during the day!

So, with days getting shorter and night lasting longer, I'm now on a solid diet of night rides! To begin, I'm doing 2 nights a week with plenty of others. The idea is that when I ride with others I tend to push myself a little harder. When I solo, I tend to stop and smell the flowers. I need to push myself... winter is upon S. Texas and my Eastern European genetics tell me to eat lots of carbs and sleep as much as I can.... perhaps I'm part bear and beginning to hibernate (this could also explain the mystery hair sprouting from my back... I'm like freaking teen wolf!).

Nothing great pixel wise, I really need to charge up the battery on the little camera and start taking it with me on the night rides. The only ride picture I have as of late is from an urban ride with fellow ex-pat Michael... his keen eyes spotted this little guy on our ride Saturday.


erin said...

a scorpion??! i love the night. and i agree; you gotta do it when it least impacts-- such is the life an an adult, a parent... a husband. sigh. enjoy those rides!

DT said...

Just FYI -

I was disappointed to see this since I was thinking about getting one myself, now that most of my riding will also be at night.