|Light and Motion Urban 500 illuminates pitch-dark bike paths.|
|Hogging the bike rack at my workplace.|
- I do not like driving a car. Never have and never will. End of story.
- It takes 5 minutes longer to ride my bike than driving, plus an additional 5 minutes to change clothes, not to mention all the health benefits, self reliance, etc.—if you are an avid bike rider then you know that 10 extra minutes is a small price to pay for peace of mind.
- Bus service takes twice as long as driving.
|One of the perks of riding at night during the holidays: enjoying the decorations|
at human powered speed. I love this simple 20 foot high framework with sparse lights.
What did I learn?
- Buying a good light paved the way. Mounting the light on my handle bars was adequate for my needs, which has transformed my thinking about feeling safe.
- Riding in the dark lends the illusion of traveling faster. I started slowly to get my bearings on several rides homeward until I became accustomed to the route, the blind spots, and where I was most likely to encounter other path users.
- I had to relearn to shift without looking at the drive-train. With non-indexed thumb shifters, I realized I'd relied on visually inspecting the freewheel to determine which gear I was in. With my hilly route, I continually switch gears so I had to readjust my shifting technique and pay attention to which gear was adequate for what type of terrain. I also learned to listen closely to the chain rubbing on the front derailleur and adjust when needed.
- I take advantage of lit areas to tackle problems, etc. Midway home there are a couple of well lighted store fronts that I can duck into and inspect my bicycle. In one instance, I discovered I had a slow leak in my rear tire. I pulled over and inflated the tube, which allowed me to get home.
- I love the peacefulness of night. I expected to only tolerate the transition to night riding, but in fact I have come to embrace and enjoy my journey homeward, sometimes with friendly moonlight. I dread when I will need to switch gears (ha ha) at some point and take a bus to work.
- I am heartier than I thought. So far, I can handle temperatures to 15F. On recent excursions I wore a balaclava and winter boots. The footwear didn't fit properly inside the toe clips, but I made do, and more importantly, arrived at my workplace with warm feet.
- Make contact with other path users. I've always enjoyed greeting path users in the daylight, but in the darkness connecting with people takes on more significance. Politeness means sharing the space, alerting someone to your presence, even though you may be blinding them with a super bright light. There are many regular walkers, joggers, and riders. I'd like to think we're a community. If I was in danger or had somehow fallen, I would appreciate help and, conversely, I would gladly stop and assist others.
|50 foot high lit tree in a yard. How did the owners decorate the monstrous evergreen?|
|An amazingly decorated home, complete with nearly life-sized nativity scene.|