I did a little night cycling last season, but various life commitments and problems stopped me from doing all I wanted to, then. Now, I'm in a better position and hoping to log some good nighttime miles this Winter. To do so, I've expanded my collection of lights.
After a very frustrating name-brand light failure, I bought several eBay specials - like $6 each with shipping. They're tactical light knock-offs, powered by 3 AAA batts each. Two are mounted on my trekking bars, one on each side.
The third is attached to my helmet with industrial velcro and stabilized with zip-ties. This is my first time using a helmet-mounted light, and it introduces some interesting problems. Think carving one turn with your bike and a completely different one with your head and eyes as you look at the path to come. Very different from daylight cycling. Nevertheless, I love it.
Finally, I have a Planet Bike taillight attached to one of my rack's supports. It transfers to the pannier in the event I'm running loaded.
More pics to come; I also run a 3-led blinkey on a swivel on the back of my helmet, and a 5-led Bell light on my Camelbak. You might say I'm lit up like a Christmas tree, fore and aft. My philosophy is that more visibility is pretty much always better
I'll get pics of that, and, hopefully, of the whole setup in action. I'm considering ways to try to get shots of the throw of my headlights out on the trail, but it'll take some effort to do so in a meaningful way.
The twin lights on my bars give a great throw forward and to either side. Makes for easier turns and less of a feeling like you're cycling through a tunnel. The lights' throw is adjustable, and will take more tuning. I ended up with one at its widest setting, the other a bit tighter for better distance. Nice.
The helmet-mounted light, focused a bit more tightly yet, gave me nice throw to look into and through curves, also spot things off-trail - like a deer I startled out of some willows.
I rode toward her for a couple of minutes, looking at the bright reflection of her eyes and wondering if it was an animal or a MUP sign through the bushes. Then I got closer and she moved. Amazing how the eye picks out movement in low light where it can't identify the same object while still.
It's wonderful to spin your way through the dark with 3 lights and enough batteries to replenish all of them. My charger will be getting a workout in days to come. Hopefully, with a little further validation of my rig, I'll be pushing out a bit further in terms of mileage.
Do you cycle after dark? How do you roll in terms of lights?