Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Let There Be Light

To start things off I need to tell you of another one of my super powers. This one I believe was handed down from my father like from Jorel (Superman’s Father) to Superman. My super power is the ability to be a tightwad. You might not think this is a superpower but on occasion I’ve even been known stretch dollar bills to their limit without breaking them in the smallest of purchases.

Last summer I went on a number of rides that ended up being races against the sun in order to get home before it got dark. Although it’s always fun riding my bike I really don’t like getting caught on a dark trail not being able to see. That really messes up your average miles per hour stats. In all my years of riding a bike I’ve never owned a bike light.

I’ve always put off getting a light for my bike because I just couldn’t justify spending ~$150 for something I would only use occasionally. A couple of months ago I ran across one of the most brilliant blog posts I’ve ever read. It explained where to find a cheap, super bright flashlight and how to hook it up to your helmet without springing for an expensive attachment device. Here’s the original blog post I’m referring to.

Well, using my tightwad superpowers I put off making this purchase until I had some stray money lying around. OK, there’s virtually never any stray money around our house but as luck would have it I got some money from my parents for Christmas. This being the case I struck while the iron was hot and ordered this Flashlight via the web on Christmas night. Obviously, the stray money wasn’t safe for long.

It turns out that the flashlight, batteries, and charger actually came from Hong Kong so it took a couple of weeks to arrive. Last week as I was vacuuming out one of our cars the mail carrier walked up to me and asked me to sign for a package. Once I figured out what was in the package I wanted to give him a hug but I resisted. Let’s just say I was pretty darn excited to check out my new light.

I was really surprised to see how small the flashlight really was. Here’s a shot of it in my hand.

I was also thinking that the batteries were AA size but they are quite a bit larger than AA. Here’s a shot of the battery.

When I put the flashlight together and turned it on it seemed pretty bright but it was hard to tell since I was standing inside our house during the day. So I did what any flashlight novice would do. I quickly shined it in my eyes to see how powerful it was. That’s something I’ll never do again. Holy Cow, I saw stars for a good 10 minutes and I got an immediate headache. Yep, it passed the brightness test. I looked online and the flashlight is rated at 230 lumens. I really don’t know what the heck a lumen is but 230 is about enough to blind you.

Next for the mounting. Kanyon Kris had a brilliant idea on how to mount the flashlight to a helmet and what makes it so cool is the attachment device didn’t cost anything. He must have superpowers also. All you do is take a LiveStrong type wrist band (we’ve got tons of those around the house) and loop it through the holes in your helmet. Then, use the ends of the wrist band to connect the flashlight. Here’s what the attachment looks like. This attachment is so simple even I could figure out how to do it on my first attempt.

I haven’t gone for a ride with this new light yet but I’ll let you know when I do. So, if you’ve got the tightwad super power like I do you might want to check out this light. The whole set up cost me $40 for the flashlight, rechargeable batteries, and battery charger. I plan on packing this light in my seat wedge pack this summer for night rides just in case I lose track of time and find my self far from home in the dark. No more races against the sun for me.


Anonymous said...

You were a ninja!!! For shame. Glad you like your light. I'll have to try that livestrong band idea for one of mine.

As far as I know, lumens is a measure of candle power (but I don't know how many lumens equals how many candles). What I am sure of though, the more lights the better.

GenghisKhan said...

It seems like that super power runs rampant in non-Michael Ball sponsored bike rides for I, too, have done similar, but with not as nice of a light and using those great broccoli rubberbands! Of course, I strapped it to my handlebar, so it "auto-adjusted" from time to time...
Single Speed
Ride One or Ride None!

Bike Buddy said...

Great post. I can't wait to hear about your first night ride. i love the way you attach it

LVP said...

Holy smoke. This "super power" guy who won't buy a flashlight is my son-in-law. I'm wondering if my daughter is safe with him. Help me. Do you think I should send money, care packages or something?

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