Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Commuting with Planet Bike Lights

I just started a new job requiring me to work 5 , 8 hr+ days a week instead of 3 12 hr days. I feared this would cut into my cycling time, so I decided to purchase some lights for hopeful commuting. My commute is 16mi each way in a fairly rural area. In hopes of commuting I purchased some inexpensive lights. Instead of spending a lot of money on intensity lights. I decided to try economical Planet Bike lights. I started with the Beamer 3 headlight. Not much better than my old Cateye. The biggest advantage to the Beamer is it's small size and long battery life. I also added the Blaze 1/2 watt tail light. Tiny, also only 2 AA batteries and is extremely visible. I then added the Blaze 1/2 watt front light and another 1/2 watt blaze tail light.
With this setup I did my 1st commute to work on my ICE T Trike. I left at 5am for a 6:30 start. I had to carry my work clothes and work paraphernalia. I decided to also stop for bagels for the staff. My Pod bags weighted 30lbs. I must say I was very impressed with the lights. Being a slow rider at 11mph, the lights provided plenty of visibility. As the day broke I changed over the front lights to flashing mode. I was amazed how far they flashed at signs. There was a person from work who passed me and commented how visible I was.
All in all I am happy with this set up.
On another note, people at work asked me if I was tired and how I would fair on the way back. 16 miles is a walk in the park and the ride back is even easier. It's a time to reflect on the day and take your time getting home. I have done work commutes before, but not as pleasurable as this. Not sure how often I will do this, as I am mgt and require to stay as needed.

All in all a great experience with lots of potential.


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