eBent Recumbent Cycling

A Bent Look at Self Contained Touring

Bike Lights Tests and Lights in My Eyes

with 7 comments

headlights-at-night.jpg

I try not to ride at night but even if you aren’t a bicycle commuter you occasionally have to ride at night. Last Monday, I got a late start on my ride home from the White Mountains and spent the last two hours riding in the dark. It had been a very overcast and dark day so the night was very dark, no stars or moonlight. This was a perfect night to test my new headlight and taillight before I leave for the Northwest in July. We’ll be riding on rail trails there with long unlit tunnels through the mountains and I’ll need good lights.

catseye_ld-500.gifMy new taillight worked great. It is a Catseye LD-1000 and the brightest LED light I’ve ever seen. It is speced to run for a 100 hours on two AA batteries. This light is so bright you can see the LEDs flashing in daylight.

The new headlight worked acceptablably. It is a Catseye EL-500. It is speced to run for 30 hours on four AA batteries. It doesn’t throw a lot of light but enough to ride safely at low speed on the darkest of nights. I know that doesn’t sound very good but this level of performance is a real break through for small, low cost bike lights. It is the best sub $100 light I have seen.

catseye_el-500.gifWith my lights working fine I thought I was set for a comfortable ride home. But I had forgotten about the real night riding problem, car headlights.

Cars approaching me would turn on their high beams as they got close completely wiping out my view of the road. I had to ride with my hand in front of my eyes to stay on the road. Waving my hand seemed to get through to some drivers that their high beams were blinding me but most just drove on clueless.

I don’t have much hope that educating drivers will help much. Today young drivers claim they have no idea what hand signals are and cops don’t seem to know that bikes aren’t allowed on the sidewalk (see New Haven Article).

I believe the best way to help bicyclist is to increase the number of people bicycling. Promote bicycle commuting (gas prices are helping here) and bicycle tourism. When I ride in a city like Montreal, I see what bicycling could be here. Bicyclist aren’t wackos in Montreal, every reasonably fit person bicycles because it is easier than driving and they are fitter because they bicycle.

Advertisements

Written by Roland

June 14, 2006 at 8:49 am

7 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. I couldn’t agree more about bicycling in Montreal, Roland. I had the pleasure of living there for 14 years. The various bicycle paths were fantastic. The only shortcoming there as in many other cities, was getting off the Island of Montreal on the bridges. For the most part, that can be a nerve-wracking experience.

    Longfellow

    June 14, 2006 at 10:56 am

  2. I couldn’t agree more about bicycling in Montreal, Roland. I had the pleasure of living there for 14 years. The various bicycle paths were fantastic. The only shortcoming was getting off the Island of Montreal on the bridges. For the most part, that can be a nerve-wracking experience especially if you are headed south. Although you can ride across an ice boom beside the Champlain Bridge, the approaches to it were rather poor and it was far from a direct route once you were on the south side of the river.

    Longfellow

    June 14, 2006 at 10:59 am

  3. Longfellow

    I usually stay in Longueuil when I visit Montreal becaue of the bicyling options. I can take the Ferry or Pedestrian Bridge to the City or I can ride the bike paths to the East.

    My only regret is that beer and wine don’t mix well with bicyling so I usuaally have to drive to dinner. However, since Le Tour de Ile de Montreal a few weeks ago, I am reconsidering and looking for a bike friendly place to stay on the Montreal side of the river. Somewhere, where I could walk to dinner. If you have any suggestions they will be appreciated.

    Thanks …. Roland

    ebent

    June 14, 2006 at 3:32 pm

  4. There is a great story in the Arkansas Democrat Gazette about Montreal and cycling. I didn’t want to post the story but here is a link, Roland.

    http://www.nwanews.com/adg/Travel/157406/

    Longfellow

    June 14, 2006 at 5:59 pm

  5. Longfellow

    Thanks that is a nice article. It amazes me everytime I’m in Montreal the cross section of people who bike.

    Enjoy the Ride … Roland

    ebent

    June 14, 2006 at 9:53 pm

  6. I have been away from Montreal for 13 years now and many things have changed. Great Quebec hospitality is still the same though. I am sending you the Velo-Quebec site where “Bienvenue Cyclistes” (Cyclists Welcome)-certified accommodations can be found. You will easily discover how you can search for hotels, Bed & Breakfasts, Inns, etc.

    http://www.routeverte.com/ang/accommodations.lasso

    Just cut and paste into your address bar.

    Anywhere close to Old Montreal or Rue St. Denis close to de Maisonneuve is great. As you know…good food and drink are never far in Montreal.

    Longfellow

    June 14, 2006 at 10:55 pm

  7. […] Post: Bike Light Tests and Lights in my Eyes. This posts shows what lights I use and the reason why brighter lights don’t help me […]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: