I got my latest gadget in the mail yesterday – a Niterider Mako 2 Watt light. I’ve been making do with a basic Planet Bike Beamer light that makes me visible to others, but does almost nothing to illuminate my path. This means that I needed to stick to pathways I knew VERY well to ensure I did not end up upside down in a ditch or wrapped around a tree or worse. Even with extreme caution, it was still very easy to “outrun my lights,” making me very vulnerable to unexpected obstacles in the path. There were even times when the headlights of approaching cars caused shadows in the path, meaning I could not see anything whatsoever for several seconds at a time. That is a disconcerting feeling to have – almost like vertigo – and not what you want to experience on a bike.
Most nice light sets run at or near $100. I found this one online for about a third of that. I also saw that my LBS sold Niterider lights so I checked with them. Naturally, they were out of stock and wanted $15 more than what I could get online. Oh well, I tried to support them.
The Mako 2 Watt emits 130 lumens, which is a far cry from top of the line lights which can blast 1,500 lumens and serve as an anti-aircraft search light in a pinch. It may be humble, but having been forced to ride nearly blind at night for over a year, the improvement was fantastic. It was no longer necessary to use “The Force” to navigate. I could actually see the path in front of me!
I tried some experimental night photography with my camera and got some mildly interesting results. This is a pic of Interstate 95 as it crosses Cardinal Drive. I need to do a better job of keeping the camera steady during these long exposures. That’s a little tricky when your heart rate is elevated from cycling. I may have just invented a new sport – cycling/photography biathlon!
REMINDER: Don’t forget your homework assignment this weekend. Take a pic and send it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org with a description of what you’re up to, and become part of the most amazing documentary ever conducted in the history of cycling! Well, at least on this blog.
Historical Marker Segment!
This is my first-ever night-time photo of a historical marker. Isn’t that exciting? I drive by the Neabsco Church almost every day, but this marker is far enough off Cardinal Drive that it cannot be read by anyone not standing in the church parking lot. It is impressive to me that people have been worshipping at this site for so long and many of the original parts are still intact. We’re talking about former slaves building with wood – not exactly people of means with materials meant to last 150 years. During the Civil War, one-third of the population of Prince William County were slaves. It’s interesting to see how some of them got on after the war.