I started off the week right with Utilitaire 12 #3. This time I went to the grocery store. I was going to save the store controls for later in the challenge, but I needed top-secret ingredients for my annual “Home-Cooked Valentines-Day Dinner Challenge” tomorrow, so I figured what better reason to throw on my lights and knock out a ride…
Being after dark, I also fulfilled one of my nighttime ride requirements. For my main headlamp I used my trusty B&M Ixon IQ I picked up second-hand years ago. It isn’t as bright as all the fancy new systems out there today, but it has an EXCELLENT beam pattern. With 4 fully-charged Sanyo Eneloop AA batteries, I can run it all day on low tilted up a bit for visibility and then switch it to high for a few hours once the sun sets. If the batteries DO die on me, it isn’t that much of a problem because I can just pop in some fresh AA’s to get me home and if desperate I can even stop in a convenience store to buy more. If that didn’t make it cool enough, it uses the same mounts as the $25 Planet Bike lights have been using for years, so somehow I ended up with enough brackets for all my bikes without even trying. I’m looking forward to riding with a dedicated dyno system in the near future, but this light has and will continue to serve me very well. I’ve abused the living-daylights out of it. Rear light is the venerable Planet Bike Blinky Superflash on steady. Again, it’s not the brightest light out there, but I’ll run it on solid all day long with a second on flash for backup. It’s gone low on me, but never died out. More likely is that I forget to turn one or the other on after a rest stop which is the real reason I run 2. Not shown, but just as important are the reflective accents on the fenders. Reflexite Trouser band on the left and bright yellow Novara jacket with reflective accents (admittedly covered up somewhat by my backpack tonight, but that has reflective accents too). The only thing I don’t like about my studded tires is that they lack a reflective sidewall. I think EVERY tire should have that.
The helmet has Superflash #2 in the back and a mini-led flashlight (fenix E-01 with aaa battery) in the front. The fenix is great for quickly turning on during longer rides to check out cues at night and in busy city traffic it’s awesome for ‘staring down’ cars coming out of side streets. It weighs next to nothing on the helmet.
‘Blinking’ Blinky goes on the back of the helmet. White Reflective tape in snazzy ‘batwing’ pattern on back & sides adds a little more visibility.
Control# | Type: 3 | Grocery Store
Date | Week: 2/13/2012 | week 3
Distance: 8 miles – out and back route up Roland Avenue and down/up Bellemore.
Where: Mt. Washington Whole Foods
Night Ride Requirement #1 met.
What did I learn? I can climb the hill on Bellemore with my 1 speed and 10 lbs of groceries on my back. It wasn’t pretty, and I think I dislocated my right wrist pulling up on the bars, but I can do it. Kudos to Bob for leading us on all the hill climbing rides that finally made the concept of taking a hilly route to the store on a Monday evening in street clothes and not lugging a geared bike w/o studded tires out of the basement in order to do it not seem insane. How’s that for a run-on sentence? I ended up going to the Giant afterwards for yet a few more miles because the chicken was ridiculously expensive at Whole Foods. (I do like their cheese section, but I’ve already said too much…)