Lights for Winter

Last year during much of the winter, my TriCross was decorated with a battery powered string of Christmas LED lights I bought when in Regina. Besides being seasonal and festive, it made me highly visible, and I believe it really helped put a smile on people’s faces. So, I’ll be doing it again this winter. Unfortunately last winter was very hard on me, my bikes, and especially the lights, which didn’t make it through the entire winter. One very cold day the cord just got too brittle and just snapped.

I’m looking for another string. They need to be LED, and run by AA batteries like the ones from last year. I’m sure I’ll find some, but I haven’t seen any as nice as last year’s.

I’m also considering some of the wheel lights I’ve seen. Very cool looking, and highly visible from the sides. They’re still pretty light, which is always a consideration on the wheels, as winter riding, though often very slow, can be quite hard pedalling through deep snow, slush, and the sand/dirt combinations. Sometimes the snow gets heavy and sticky. I don’t need any extra weight, but these should be ok. I’m thinking seriously about getting some.

This year I plan to commute in winter on my single-speed (SS) belt-drive, if I ever get it dialled in. I’ve got to admit I’ve had serious second thoughts about this bike. It’s been in the shop more than I’ve ridden it, due to problems getting the belt properly aligned, etc.

If I do get it dialled in, I’m looking to put a good quality front light on it. I may be riding the ravine in winter, and both ways are dark, so it’s important to be able to see well. There are many lights meant for night mountain biking. They can get pretty expensive. The cheaper ones I used last year won’t cut it in the ravine. They are more for being seen, so I’ll still have some of them on my bike, as secondary lights, and flashers.

But I’ll get a real good front headlight. I want to be able to still film my commutes during the dark conditions. I don’t know how well it’ll work, but I’m hoping for some pretty spectacular results.

Of course I may still end up working downtown if I get the new job I’m in the running for, which is a pretty short commute for me. Part of me is really looking forward to the Roper Road commute in winter, though I know it will likely take an hour or more each way. We’ll see.

The headlight I’m looking at is the “Light & Motion Stella 200”. It’s $400 though! So. I’m really giving it some thought, and doing my research. If I get that, and the Rohloff Hub on my Spot Longboard bike, it’ll put it well over $4000. Ouch. Still, it beats buying a car. That’s about what some people pay in insurance and parking for a year. I think it is anyway. I really don’t know, because I pay $0. (Except for the bike locker I rent downtown – $21/mo)

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