Last night’s ride was a therapeutic/stress relief/fitness excursion with some exploration to boot. I wasn’t planning a longish ride, but I eventually took off before dusk to clear my head of a bunch of goings-on. I took the regular “modified Pinchot loop”, but instead of turning directly onto Pinetown Road, I stayed on Rt.177 until Mt. Airy Road, and then pedalled over to Pinetown. Mt. Airy is a nice winding backroad with not too many hills. It was fun to check it out.
I also continue to break in the new Brooks, although sometimes it seems it’s not happening fast enough. From what I’ve read, it could take anywhere from 200 to 600 miles given my 180 pounds. I did find a site that provides some advice for speeding up the process without damaging the leather, so I might give that a try. In the meantime, I can go about 10 miles, and then I have to periodically stand out of the saddle to relieve my sit bones. It does not yet have that “hammocky” look that a properly worn Brooks should have. But another testimony for the springs – the other night I was zoning out somewhere and rode over one of those road cut speed bumps. I could note a marked difference in the intensity of the vibration coming up through the bars, compared to the seat, where the springs ate the cuts up. Amazing.
With all of these night rides, there really isn’t anything to photograph – sorry. But as for night rides, I’m learning more about the Ixon and its peculiarities. First, its surprising how much ambient light there is out in the country, even well after dusk. At 40 lux, I have no qualms about moving along at good speed, even down some hills. I notice the ambient light mainly when it disappears. That occurs when I get under a canopy of trees. At that point, I have a pretty well defined beam in front of me, but I can see very little else. I have to slow considerably for fear of needing to turn out of the beam without warning.
I’m also figuring out the batteries and the warning lights. On full beam, when the batteries start getting low, the indicator alternates between red and green. According to the instructions, you should switch to low, which then gives you 15 lux for “quite a bit longer.” After three nights of riding, my red indicator came on, but rather than switching to low right away, I kept on going, thinking that it would switch automatically at some point.
Nope. After a bit it shut off completely. Fortunately, I was able to power it up and finish the ride on low. 15 lux is equivalent to the Lumotecs, so it wasn’t too bad, but not nearly bright enough for country riding.
As for the Superflash, I constantly hear cars slowing down as they come up behind me, so I know that’s doing it’s job. Also, it’s cool when you can see the reflective strips on guiderails and signs light up in the mirror. That little sucker is putting out some serious rays.
Finally, there are two German Shepherds at the corner of Imanuel and Silver Lake Roads that are a grand endorsement for pepper spray. Twice now they have come out after me.
This morning my legs are rather sore, so I must have been pushing the hills. As for the therapy, the issues have not gone away, but at least now I don’t mind them as much. Ride on.
Distance: 25.9 miles 2009: 1032.1 (I’m now 4 miles short of my totals miles for 2007!)