23 June 2007

Cycle-light-o-mania

I read Michael “crash” Carden’s blog entry about lights for his bike in Canberra. Luxury!
Canberra gets cold and dark for much of the time that I’m crossing town
Owe... kaye... how much black ice does Crash have to cross? Snow? Does he get hit by a truck, or some drunk/looney in a 4WD ute if anyone makes a mistake?

The nearest town to me is 15km away over Black Mountain, which has a well-earned reputation as being the most lethal section of the Murchison Highway.

As I’ve mentioned before, some Gummint bright sparks want to take that town’s hospital away for economic reasons. The next hospital is 56km away, over road which is at least as lethal — and might get taken away as well — & the next is 120km away in the opposite direction or ~230km round trip.

Hello, politicians, is there anybody home in there? Reality calling? Which of you will ride — injured & bleeding — in an ambulance run by overworked volunteers for three hours over steep & slippery roads because some bureaucrat couldn’t quite balance his books?

Oh, hang on, the ambulance might evapourate as well. 56km to get an ambo here if one is ready at the time, plus another 56km to hospital, or a 230km round trip if Town Q’s cut-back hospital can’t make the grade. Four hours to treatment. Nice.

But I digress. My cycle lighting system is the cheapest one I could buy from KMart at the time, & consists of a LED headlight fed by 4xAA, plus a blinky LED tail-light fed by 2xAAA.

It needs new Alkaline cells after about 30 days’ riding, or a new set of rechargeables in roughly a week or so. That’s a low enough requirement that I can simply tote the small spare cells under the seat. No engineering required.

Yes, that’s boring, but it’s a practical solution for me, & if it breaks I can toss it in a bin to glue on a new one.

The other practicality is that it’s essentially impact proof (at least, the kinds of impacts I’m prone to surviving) & doesn’t give much of a rat’s backside about mere rain or snow (soft-sealed snap-together packages).

A third practicality is that it weighs diddly-squat & can be conveniently unclipped for security purposes. Or for shoving into a canoe for crossing about 6-8km of smooth water rather than 15km of steep, slippery road.

A fourth practicality is that the unclipped headlight works jess fahn as a torch.

Oh, yes, & it’s still high-tech enough to catch attention.

Sorry, was this post a tad stressed-out? Ain’t nuttin’ compared with what you’ll read if the politicians do get to play clown in earnest.

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