Next week, we'll be instructed to turn back our clocks for the start of Daylight Savings Time. Or is it the end of Daylight Savings Time??? I can never remember...actually, I'm not sure I ever knew....
Anyway, as I was saying, or writing, or blogging....or well...you know what I mean. Next week, it will be dark an hour earlier than it was this week. Ok, actually a little more than an hour since the days will be getting progressively shorter....but I digress....anyway it will be dark at the beginning of our rides and not part way through our rides like it was last night.
But I'll be ready for it. I think that after several years of riding at night, I've finally come up with bike light nirvana.....Last night, I put together what is sure to be the best night riding setup I've fielded so far. (and believe me, the pile of not so great efforts is large on my workbench)
I've combined last year's MagicShine MJ 808 900 lumen light on my bars with this year's Gemini Xera 750 lumen light on my helmet. And boy does it work! The 900 lumen light on the bar casts a nice beam waaaaay down the trail and offers a decent amount of spill lighting up the edges of the trail. Then if you add the Gemini light on my helmet, which allows me to put light wherever my head is pointing, you end up with a package that allowed me to ride last night at the same pace as I do in the daylight.
Never once, did I outrun the beam of the lamps and never once did I feel like I couldn't see exactly what was going on down the trail.
The Gemini light is amazingly small and light too. It and the 2 cell battery both mount with velcro to the helmet so there are no wires hanging down in to the camelback and never once did I feel like it tilted my helmet forward as my old niterider did back in the old days (3 years ago)
When I was younger, my brother and I used to really enjoy night skiing. We'd ski all day at Squaw Valley, then on the way back to the bay area, we'd stop and hit Boreal under the lights. There was just something about skiing at night that made us a little bolder and a little more adventurous off the little jumps they used to have on the mountain.
Night riding on the bicycle is very similar. Although I'm older and supposedly wiser so I don't go off jumps, riding at night just seems a little more adventurous. I was a little slower in grabbing for my brakes, I carried a little more speed though the corners and I tended to let the bike run a little looser on the one long fast section near the golf course.....
There's just something about riding at night that brings a completely different dynamic to our regular Chabot loop and turns it in to a whole different experience.