I appear to suffer much misfortune when it comes to bike lights, particularly my rear light.
Over the past three years I have gone through at least two per winter, invariably losing them at some undetermined point in a ride in the middle of night with no chance to ever finding them again. I believe they may be secretly hoarded by a particular type of nocturnal trail pixie that’s running a pixie brothel and needs the red lights to drum up business.
I’ve had crappy old ones die on me, shaken to bits by the effect of the rough terrain, I’ve had lamp brackets shear off and I’ve had semi-decent lamps just fall off my Mountain Bike at the whim of some natural law I have no means of discovering or ever comprehending.
I’ve tried fixing lamps to my Camelbak, only to find they are frustratingly pointing downward, which clearly misses the point of using one in the first place. I’ve tried fixing them to the bike with and without screws to attach them to lamps brackets but for the last three months I’ve had one shoved into the lamp loop on my Topeak saddle bag which houses the battery for my front lights.
This last position seemed to offer some hope, since the Topeak loop was tough and very tight and the Cateye belt clip I was using appeared to be far longer than was strictly necessary to keep the lamp fixed to the bag. What a misguided thought.
Last night, we were out on the Surrey Hills as usual, despite the inclement weather. Coming down the descent off Ranmore toward Westcott with its exposed chalk faces was a test of nerve, which in deference to the tricky conditions I took more slowly than usual. Despite this, by the time I reached the bottom, my lamp had made a leap for freedom, I can only suppose seizing its opportunity on a suitably rough section where my attention was elsewhere.
Vowing not to literally throw away another £15 on a rear light without first making an effort to get the old one back (and hoping that the trail pixie I mentioned before hadn’t showed up), I then had to turn round and ride three quarters of the way back up, trying to find my light. Which fortunately I did, in its constituent parts. A quick reassembly and remarkably it actually worked.
Result! So now I have to find another method of keeping my rear light where I want it. Since people have complained that it is really distracting following me with my light on, I figure its in just the right place now, so I’ll probably find some wire to loop through it and hold it in position on the saddle bag.
Oh, and that rain last night? Nothing to it, certainly not as bad as some people experienced, even if it did reduce our number to just three intrepid (stupid) souls that made it out. It did make the conditions very slippery though, reminding me that with such a dry winter as well we really haven’t had to cope with tricky trails for a while.
If conditions are similar when we go to Afan, it could get very interesting indeed!