Ride Report: 11.15.07

Last night I ventured out onto the roads for a short ride.  I wanted to get some exercise, but my hands were a little sore, so that ruled out the rowing machine.  I also wanted to guage what to wear based on temperature, and the thermometer on my Planet Bike computer accomodated that.  Plus I’m still researching lights and I wanted to take a really hard look at what I’m getting with the Cygolite.

As for clothing, I overdid it.  I had a layer of Polartec under a pair of wind pants and a pullover windbreaker.  At 40 degrees, the pants were definitely too warm and I had a light sweat running down my back.  That get-up might be suitable for below freezing.  I also had a light balaclava and cotton work gloves (they were laying on the work bench), both of which worked well.  I think for 40 degrees I can get away with an Underarmor shirt and a pair of lighter weight tights under the wind suit.  Perhaps I’ll try that tomorrow.  I know that I should probably invest in some silk and Smartwool, but I have a closet full of sports clothing as it is.  At the most, I might get a decent pair of gl0ves for riding.

A few observations on lighting:  My night vision isn’t that great.  It’s particularly bad with an oncoming car that just seems to wash out the road in front of me with glare.  I now know what they are talking about with having a dispersed beam to help with turns.  It was a cloudy and very dark night, and I had some trouble seeing things outside of the Cygolite beam.  There was one turn in particular where I realized that I couldn’t see, and another time where I came right up on a guy walking his dog before I realized they were there.  I could clearly tell that something like an E6, with its focused beam, would be a problem; and I now understand the logic behind helmet mounted lights.

The Cygolite is not bright enough.  I can see the road in front of me, but can’t really make out potholes and obstructions.  I felt confident riding at around 13 mph, but I probably should have slowed down to 10 to be safe.  At one point, I had to jet up to 24 to get through a bermless section with traffic, but that section also has a slight turn as well as rough road – not good.  The light is rated at 12 watts, but that doesn’t translate to lumens or lux.  It also has only a 90 minute run time (new).

So it comes down to brightness, run time, and price; which presents some options.  I could go with a generator hub, which would most likely be a Shimano and a B&M Fly IQ.  I could go with a pre-built wheel, which I could swap out with the one I have now as a spare or for strictly daylight riding.  Or I could order the hub and have my current wheel rebuilt, which might cost as much as the pre-built.  The Fly IQ seems to be the best generator light available, with a standlight/capacitor and 40 lux of light.  Plus its LED, which appears to be much more robust.  Peter White will have them in for around $100.

There also appear to be home built LED lights that put out alot more and cost a bit less, but I don’t think I have it in me to successfully build one.  Here is one that I found that folks seem pretty excited about: http://joegross.net/2007/08/14/schmidt-hub-dual-cree-xr-e-led-light/

The other option is to go with a battery light.  For that, most seem to be pretty excited about the Dinotte: either the 200 0r 600.  The downside is the need to charge the batteries, but the upside is that they put out a lot of light, are very compact, and appear to hold up well.  If you can catch them on sale, a complete setup would run anywhere from $150 to $300.  I already have a smart charger for our camera so I could save a few bucks there.  Apparently you can get 6-8 hours run time with them.

I probably won’t be making a purchase too soon, but I’m just doing the research at this point.

Distance: 6.8 miles, 2007: 1019.6

Followed by some heavy weight work: arms and shoulders.

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One response to “Ride Report: 11.15.07

  1. That night vision may be a sign of age. Those signs get worse you know.

    As an example, at my fitness class a young high school girls asked me if I was the coach at a local high school and my name. When I told her she responded in front the the class of thirty (mostly women), “you used to date my grandmother”.

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