Saturday, October 9, 2010

I FOUND IT… WELL, SORT OF…

As I mentioned in my last post, a mysterious crashing sound behind me turned out to be my Planet Bike Superflash as it achieved separation from my seat bag. On Friday, I realized that I knew exactly where the light came off my bike on Thursday’s ride so I decided to return to the scene of the loss and determine the light’s condition. I’ve had the light come off before when hitting a pothole or other bump in the road and it has survived each time. I was hoping it would be the case once again. Upon returning to the bridge crossing the Pigeon River, I found…

my light, sort of… My optimistic dreams were that the light would be snuggled up against the concrete abutment of the bridge happily blinking away warning drivers of its presence. What I found was this…

Trashed Plant Bike Superflash!

(The remnants of my Planet Bike Superflash – the Humpty Dumpty model!)

It may just be my “the glass is half empty” take on life but, I don’t think this particular “egg” will be put back together again. I briefly contemplated sending the pieces back to Planet Bike with a query as to the warranty condition of the light. I decided this would be pretty useless in the long run so I set out to get a replacement.

I made my way to my LBS only to discover that they don’t stock the Planet Bike brand. I’ve been pretty happy with this model and it has always received good reviews so I opted to do some internet searching for the replacement. In doing so, a faint memory of friend and “blogger extraordinaire”  Kent “Mountain Turtle” Peterson having written a review on a light he had tested began to make its way to my consciousness. Sure enough, a short Google search “Kent Peterson cycling light” returned this review.

Apparently, not only can this light be seen 10 gazillion miles away by oncoming traffic, it is SO BRIGHT, it can be used for intergalactic communications. (O.K., that may be an overstatement. I understand NASA has not yet certified it for intergalactic correspondence…) Still, if the Mountain Turtle says it’s so, then  by golly, it’s so! I quickly clicked on the link for Amazon on Kent’s Bike Blog and was presented with the opportunity to purchase the Portland Design Works Radbot 1000.

Portland Design Works Radbot1000

(The beacon to be!)

It is now winging its way to me on an accelerated delivery schedule. So, Bro Dave, that bright red light in the eastern sky will probably be me making it home safely once again..

Speaking of which…

I reported on the increased numbers of yells and horns on Thursday’s ride after a summer pretty much free of harassment. Since that time, I’ve had conversations with two other cyclists, who rode in two separate efforts at two separate times on the same day. They both reported being yelled at and told to “get off the road” for the first time in several months. There must have been something in the air Thursday. It wasn’t a full moon to explain this odd behavior.

Back to the rear blinky topic…

 

Bethel Half Marathon Motorcycle Escort Squad

(Bethel Half Marathon Motorcycle Escort Squadron)

This morning I discovered another use for a cycling rear blinky. Today was the Bethel Half Marathon in my home community in Haywood County. I, along with 4 other riders, provided motorcycle support for the event. One of my co-riders had pulled his rear blinky from his bicycle and mounted it on his rear motorcycle rack to provide additional safety lights in the early morning fog. It worked quite nicely once he resolved an apparent short in the wiring. I’ll have to remember that little trick next time I’m running escort. Of course, I’d also have to be careful not to blind all the runners. That would not look good having 400 runners start out with excellent vision only to have it zapped because they stared to long into my Radbot 1000.

(Please note: Neither Planet Bike nor Portland Design Works have provided any remuneration to this author for reviews of their product.  Any factual error or assertion, i.e., intergalactic communication made possible by PDW Radbot 1000 is my error and my error alone. Just wanted you to be clear on that point…)

Observations from the Bethel Half Marathon…

1) 7:30 a.m. is darned early to be out running!

2) If you’re gonna run the 5k course on a 5k pace, it’s best that you NOT make the wrong turn onto the half-marathon course. It didn’t seem to work too well for the lead runner in today’s event. He set out a blistering pace and had opened a 1/8th mile lead before he had gone the first full mile. The 5 of us providing motorcycle escort were standing nearby at the Bethel Grocery Store in our black leathers drinking coffee and staying warm. We remarked, as he passed our location, on his amazing early lead. We predicted he wouldn’t last. Sure enough, as I caught up to the lead police escort vehicle at the 3 mile mark, I noticed the Officer had a passenger. It was our lead runner. He finally realized he took the wrong turn!

3) A certain NC DOT paint crew doesn’t slow down for anyone or anything! Just as the largest cluster of half marathon runners were entering the next to last mile, a NC DOT paint crew of three large trucks approached the surviving runners. The lead driver apparently recognized that he was the bigger fish and didn’t bother to reduce his speed for the oncoming runners on the narrow 2 lane, no shoulder road that was today’s course. I expected at any moment to see runners with a reflective white stripe down their middle laying alongside the road. The two following NC DOT trucks were much more considerate of the runners and took a more leisurely pace. One even rolled down his window to say thanks for the traffic direction.

It’s time to remove fingers from keyboard and place them on my Fuji CCR3. Today’s task is to remove my wheels and get them to the Wood-man, who has graciously agreed to “true them up” for me. I’ll probably also do a good cleaning of the chain and re-lube it. Next up, is to plant myself in front of the TV for my beloved Appalachian State University football team’s homecoming game against the Elon Phoenix. Today would be a great day to be in Boone, NC.

Until later,

- Zeke

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