Monday, October 24, 2011

Lights Are On But I’m Not Home

My bike this morning, with battery-powered flashing light shining. The other light would be on at night, but in the dim morning sunshine, I think one light is enough.

We’re at the awkward few weeks of the year. The equinox has passed and the solstice is still in our future, but the Northern Hemisphere is tilting away from Sol, so the days are closing in.

So, I have an odd sensation in the morning—riding with my lights on.

Lights are a key tool for CR Biker. I can’t commute without them.

In my biking time, I’ve used a variety of lights. Back in the day, years ago, when I purchased my first 10 speed, I also bought a generator-activated set of lights, which of course would shine only when the bike was in motion, and were a bit of a pain due to noise and drag.

Signs that technology can deteriorate—that generator set, purchased around 1975 or so, lasted for most of the rest of the 20th Century. In the 21st Century, when I started biking to MMU a few years ago, I was riding a Trek and purchased another generator set for that bike. It was a hunk of junk and lasted for less than a year.

So it goes. That’s not the only bike “thing” that has gone down in quality, by the way. My first frame pump, again from the disco era, lasted for several decades and was a fairly reliable little metal tube that could, with some effort and time, fully inflate a tire. My current frame pump is a rather silly plastic thingie that can barely puff more air into a tire than I could just exhaling into it.

Yeah, I’m sure quality lights and frame pumps are available. Just being a crotchety old biker, pining for the days when lights were lights and pumps were pumps and toasters were all metal, too.

Anyway, now, I’m a battery man, although my battery lights are not always as reliable as I would like. I’ve long had redundant front lights, and wanted redundant back lights, too, so Audrey bought me what looked like a sturdy bike light set. But the back lights, the most important ones since I already have more than one front light, failed within a few weeks.


Well, I don’t mind riding with lights. It was cool and slightly frosty this morning, and those slightly frosty mornings are the best biking weather there is. Better than summer, when it’s just hot and you have to drink, drink, drink to stay alive. Better than winter, with its long-john underwear, multiple socks and chilled nose.

So I’ll run with my lights on, but be glad when we can turn the clock back so there’s more light to ride in!

Speaking of lights are on, an ear worm for your Monday:

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