So the nights have started to draw in again, not immediately obvious perhaps given that’s it’s only mid August, until you try to get out on the bike in the evenings. Starting at 7:30 it doesn’t take more than an hour before there’s an obvious need for lights out on the trails.
Dave, myself and Nicola were out last night and despite it being a clear evening we were grateful for the use of our homemade halogens as the night wore on. The trails were great, dry and very fast and we managed to experiment with the route a bit to keep us on our toes but by the time we were returning via the wooded Denbies hillside it was decidedly gloomy indeed.
Very soon I expect to see numerous postings on forums like Singletrack about lights, bulbs, batteries, technology etc. as riders come to the same conclusion as us. It’s not without some anticipation it must be said as the lack of light focusses the vision and the mind on what’s immediately ahead, transforming a familiar route into literally a stab in the dark.
My current (pardon the pun) set up is a 4.3Ah 12v NiMH battery powering a barely adequate 12w halogen. Housed in a Cateye lamp body with the battery in a bag under the saddle it’s a serviceable setup that needs a few minor tweaks to optimise it for the winter ahead. This probably means replacing the 12w bulb with a 20w 10° halogen and resoldering / upgrading the cable that connects the battery to the bulb.
That’s almost no money at all – can that be right in the world of bikes? Of course not, I’m already dreaming of a helmet lamp as well and there’s always Lupine if you want some light porn. In comparison to that, Dave convincingly managed to make the Hope set up sound like a fantastic budget option at only £300!
If you haven’t yet dipped your toes in the world of night riding, I highly recommend it.