Saturday, November 15, 2008

Night riding rocks!

It's getting dark here in England around 4.30pm, which means for those of us who work shop or office hourse...the Winter shuts the door on post-work riding sessions :(

Unless you pony up, and get some proper off-road lights!

My last experience with bike lights (a heavy, weak and badly designed Cateye system) was less than stellar, but a couple of years later, the technology has really moved on

I picked up Light & Motion's new Stella 200L from Freeborn, which is a 200 Lumen LED light powered off a tiny lithium-ion battery which gives 5 hours run time on max. power off a sub 2 hour charge

The system also has 2 lower power settings and an awesome full-power flashing mode for urban commuting safety which literally lights up the entire street - the Stella 200L weighs only 300gm for both lamp and battery

I fitted this to my Mythic Rampant in seconds using the provided strap / velcro kit, and headed away from the bright lights of Camden Town, NW London, up into the pitch black of Hampstead Heath (an ancient woodland above London) for a night ride

As regular night riders know, the trails you can blast through in the daytime with confidence, become much more technical and unknown during dark, even with a good light system

Its the first proper off-road ride I've had on my "new" lightened-up Rampant since busting myself up on my BMX nearly a month back, and I came back from my night ride with a huge grin on my face, and feeling the stoke of a proper ride

The Rampant made short work of some steep off-road climbs without resorting to using the "firm" pro-pedal setting on the Fox RP2 shock, and provided very-sure grip and security during some slippery, night time singletrack descents

Now my Rampant and lighting system is sorted, there is no excuse to not get out riding after work as much as possible ;)

My advice, if you are missing regular riding due to the Winter, invest in a good light system, its the best investment I have made in a long time


Rob C