Tuesday, 29 November 2011

What a revelation....

Be seen, Be seen....Thats all that matters.

Hmmn not anymore. When I started commuting all I literally cared about was that cars could see me. It was late March and summer would be upon us shortly so why worry about the dying light. Ow how things have changed. It starts getting dark now at 4pm, 4PM!! I start my journey home at around 17:45 daily so by this ungodly hour its pitch black.

I've never been concerned with powerful lights and being able to actually see on the road but then I've never rode this distance before in my life, I've simply been using these lights so that I can be seen when on the road. Don't get me wrong, they've done a job and the rear light still remains on my bike but part of my route is unlit and the front light is worse than useless in that scenario, more so now that it seems to flicker when I go over a bump. Time to invest......

So I bought me one of these and Damn what a difference it makes. On the right of this blog you'll see a link titled 'light comparison' check it out to see the incredible beam of this light for this bargain price. All of the lights with comparible beam are £100 plus. 300 lumens, not sure what they are, hell I'm not even sure I spelt that right but damn they are bright when put together. I used this light for the first time last night and when I came to the part of my route that is unlit I was amazed. I could now see all the pothole's I usually have to dodge with partial vision and you know when you have crap lights on your bike and the last car passes you and you're dropped into complete darkness? Well not anymore! I'd even argue my little light delivers as much power as a cars headlights in a concentrated spot. And I got 10% discount so the light was even more of a bargain at £71!!

A big plus of me buying this light was that it charges via a USB connection, no more poxy AA batteries.....joy.

For serious road commuters, this light is Essential and there is NOTHING out there better for the price.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

The star for going so far....

This Idea came to me one day when reminiscing on Mark Cavendish's 2009 Tour De France Scott Addict, you know the one all painted to look like a WWII bomber. Well to signify each stage win Cav would place a single sticker, a set of wings with '1st' on it to mark his victories in battle, along his top tube. That year he won six stages.

Now this is a very cool bike with a brilliant paint scheme and the stickers are genius, as far as I'm aware WWII bombers wore a similar decal for raids run as a badge of honour. Hero's indeed. Now lets not get silly here, I'm no WWII hero (far from it) and neither am I the fastest man in the world in his choosen sport but this is a cool idea and although earning money to feed the family should be motivation enough I thought it would be nice to have some sort of mark to keep me motivated and show my achievement.

I realised the likelyhood of me actually getting a set of Cav's stickers to put on my bike were fairly slim (missing a trick there Cav, cause obviously you're reading), especially when you take into account how much I was actually willing to pay for stickers.

Needless to say I ended up on that famous auction site. I found all sorts of random stickers some fairly cool some pretty shit but aware that I needed something waterproof I searched for airfix model decals. I couldn't find anything nearly as cool as miniture sets of wings but I did find some quality useable decals from these guys

I went for the red stars as I wanted something that would stand out, I think it looks pretty cool.

So as you may have guessed I haven't actually won any Tour De France stages, in fact I've never even ridden a bike in France. This was for me to signify the number of days I've spent in the saddle, well the number or days I've commuted to work. I haven't driven to work since the 28th of March 2011, to do so would feel like defeat. This red star marks a 'century' of days riding. Quite an achievement I thought.

Century achieved 09/09/2011. 133 days completed YTD. Mileage 3025.4 YTD.

Just a little bit of motivation on those shit mornings when the rain is harder than the tarmac. Ow and as a friend keeps reminding me very similar to rewarding a small child for doing something good. Young at heart, I'll take that......