The clock has been set back, the leaves have fallen and it’s dark and cold mornings in many places. I ride for fitness so I ride my bike instead of walking on a treadmill or using an elliptical trainer in at a health club.
I’m fortunate that the part of Northern California that I call home allows me to ride year round. Barring rain, I’ll get out if I can. I don’t have to deal with the real nasty winter weather of snow, ice and sleet, that type of stuff.
But the darkness is another matter. Being out on a bike in early morning without proper visibility is a recipe for disaster.
Last year when I was out riding before sunrise, I scraped by with a rudimentary headlight. I purchased this Cateye headlight because it was affordable and I didn’t know anything about cycling lights. I thought a light was a light.
And quite frankly I couldn’t get my mind wrapped around paying $200 for a bicycle light. That was the cost of a light that a cyclist friend recommended to me.
I quickly learned the difference among lights. I discovered the Cateye was best suited for riding in lighted areas, meaning it’s a light you use that was best for being seen but not to help you see, at least if you’re riding in areas that aren’t well lit.
Well this year I replaced it with a Cyglolite dual LED headlight with a rechargeable battery. This puppy enables me to see in darkened areas where I wouldn’t have thought of going with the Cateye. It has a number of different settings – high, medium and low beams. It also has a flash setting, a setting for walking, although it’s awkward to carry on a walk because of the battery pack and an SOS flash setting.
Recently I started a ride with it on high and ended the ride with it on low as the sun rose. The separate battery pack, which I attach to the front of my bike, keeps the light going for several hours. I like this light, it does everything that I want it to. I guess it should as even on sale and with an additional discount it was about 10 times the cost of the Cateye.
On the back of my bike I have a flashing taillight and I make sure to wear plenty of reflective clothing. I have a vest similar to what crossing guards or outdoor workers wear, a “screaming yellow” jacket, reflective bands and also reflective logos on my shorts and other clothing.
Afterall, being seen is a step toward being safe.