Bike Lights

I do a lot of my riding after work and most of the time I end up finishing my rides after the sun sets. Safety is important to me as I do not fancy getting hit by a motor vehicle. To help to be seen, I have both rear and front lights on my bike. The lights in the rear are the Cateye TL-LD 600 taillight and the Portland Design Works Radbot 1000 1W LED taillight. The Radbot alone is great, but together they provide excellent visibility. The Radbot puts out an extremely bright light with three different settings, a constant on, flashing and a long pulse. I use the flashing mode and the same goes for the Cateye. What’s neat about the Radbot, is that it uses a clip on to mount the light. So, you can use it on the bike seat post, clip it to your belt or your back pack. I love the flexibility it provides. With the combination of flashing lights, there is no way I cannot be seen from behind.

Up front I use the Cygolite MityCross 350 dual beam system. The first thing that surprised me about the unit was how small it was, I thought to myself, “No way this can do the job”. Was I ever wrong, this little beast can put out 350 lumen’s of white light that just lights up the road. It has multiple lighting patterns to choose from low, medium to high beams. With a push of a button, you can switch to a strobe pattern for those dusk and dawn rides. I have read that other cyclist do not like the strobe pattern as there is a brief pause between cycles. And because of the pause, they sometimes do not get seen by other drivers. From my experience, I haven’t had any problems of drivers not noticing me on the road or approaching an intersection. Check out their website as it has demonstrations of well it lights up the road.

Battery life is just outstanding. It uses a Li-Ion batter that you can mount under the handle bar stem. The light itself can be mounted either on the handle bar or on your helmet and comes with all the necessary hardware to do both. The power button on unit also doubles as a battery life indicator and the quick charger can recharge the battery in four hours. Most of the time I use the strobe feature with the last 15 – 30 minutes I switch over to the high beam. Cygolites has other models that can put out up to 1000 lumens! Wow.

The cost breakdown is as follows:

Cateye – $20-$25
Radbot 1000 – $26
CygoLite – $180

So there you have it. Some pretty powerful technology  that can help you be visible and safer on the road.

Weekly Totals ending March 13th, 2011

Despite a failed trip to Corpus Christi, Texas, windy conditions, a flat tire, and all sorts of grief over an iPad, I still managed to get my riding time in. I did double up on Saturday to catch up and I made it 🙂 Time to get something to eat and catch a movie. Here is the data:

McAllen Area

Routes that start in McAllen and venture out to the surrounding areas. McAllen is landlocked with Pharr to the East, Mission to the West and Edinburg to the North so you have to go further to get out of the city. Still, Mcallen as a lot of North-South corridors that are great for cycling.
RouteDistanceNotes
Bicycle World Ride21.9 milesRide starts and ends at Bicycle World-McAllen. Route is flat that loops out to Old Military road and returns on Brian & Bentsen roads. check with Bicycle World for scheduled dates and times.
Bicycle World Alternate Route19.5 milesRide starts and ends at Bicycle World-McAllen. Route is flat that loops out to Old Military road and returns on Shary road. check with Bicycle World for scheduled dates and times.

This includes the 1.5 miles that got left out when I forgot to start the bike computer during the Edinburg to Stewart road loop.