Every year I get the chance to do some volunteer work for a camp up in Millville for kids with ventilator dependencies. Basically I set up my tent and then run around building sets/props/taking out trash/running errands/etc… for a few days until I’m about to fall over, then go home and work the next day. This year was pretty much the same except I had enough vacation saved up that I could take an extra day off to recuperate. Had hoped to do a long ride, but all the conversations and shouting across the camp to others left my throat completely torn up and I almost ended up with some sort of infection. Tenting in the rain for 3 nights probably didn’t help much either. Physically I felt good all weekend, but did think it would be best to take it easy for 1 day and limit myself to cleaning up around the house.
On the bike front, I took my old commuter as the forecast called for copious amounts of rain. With kickstand and all the other extras bolted on this thing weighs a ton. Baskets look wonky, but try carrying a bucket of ice in panniers! I put in about 18 miles in a 500 yard radius. My small toolbox ties down on top of the panniers in the back quite nicely.
2 months or so ago the ixon lamp started to do strange stuff partly due to my hacky fix from dropping it this winter, and partly because of how it senses power levels in its rechargeable batteries. It would just shut off while I was riding along without warning. I replaced it with a Planet Bike Superspot 2 watt headlamp because regardless of how bright a beam it has, reliability is paramount for me when it comes to casting out a beam for safety purposes. For urban use, I’ve been very pleased with it, but this was the first time I’ve ever taken it out in an unlit country setting. Compared to the ixon, the beam is more focused, with less spillover, but equal if not brighter head on! This was a big surprise for me because it takes only 2 AA batteries opposed to the 4 for the ixon. Also superior for my uses are the facts that it has a ‘superflash mode’ when you’re only concerned about visibility, and continues to flash or cast a beam (albeit dimmer) once the batteries get almost completely run down. I would have taken a picture, but without a comparison beam from the ixon it would have been a useless frame of reference.
(below, click for big…) A shot of my friends ‘Orange Krate’ I promise myself I’m going to take a picture of every year and never get around to. Even the tires are original! She also has a fixie she takes which makes me supremely jealous…