1.08.2014

Let there be (bike) Light!

I used to be super anti-light, not because I was trying to rebel but because I saw no purpose in spending $30 on a light that I would use during the day - obviously I was a poor college student at this point.
Since moving to Orange County and becoming a bike commuter I quickly realized that no matter what time of day it is how important it is to have lights on your bike. There are cars EVERYWHERE down here - people texting and talking on their phones, paying way to much attention to their GPS or the XM channel they are on. You would never think that a small blinking light could actually save you...not to mention they are obviously helpful during dusk and early in the morning.

Bike lights are a must - seriously. Now, because they are becoming ever-popular you can find them all over shops and the interweb...therefore you don't have an excuse not to throw down a few buckaroos towards a blinky-lifesaver. Just think, if you are commuting to work you are saving on gas money...with that leftover gas money you can then buy a set of bike lights (quickly followed buy a pound of two of gourmet coffee to keep you fueled during your rides..at least that is what I would do - on of my goals for this year is to drink less coffee).
KNOG - Beetle Twinpack, $39.95
I have been using KNOG lights lately, I like that they are silicone so I can easy toss them on any of my bikes - they also make phenomenal bar-bike lights because I can rip them off and toss them in my purse - thus guaranteeing that I will have lights for my 2 am rides home (oppss, yes...you read that correctly). The only problem that I have encountered is they can be a pain in the butt to turn off - most of the time I end up just popping out the battery.
KNOG - Boomer Light, $29.95
 The Boomer Light is the upscale version of the Beetle - slightly more expensive. This light can last anywhere from 3 - 12 hours on (depending on the steady v. flash mode). This light is silicone too, so that makes it easy to take on and off. Being water-resistant is a plus, and it is visible for up to 600 m.

Portland Design Works - Spaceship 3, $29.00
 Anything company that has something to do with Portland, whether it be in their name or location is bound it be a cool (or hip) product. PDW makes some really bad-ass lights for a pretty decent price. the Spaceship 3 can run for up-to 100 hours on just 2-AA batteries!  That is a long time...
PDW also has a 135 lumen output light that looks similar to the one above called the Cosmic Dreadnought for a mere $55.00....remember we are talking safety here..

Portland Design Works - Danger Zone, $38.00
Of course, PDW would make the accompanying rear light to their premium light collection. The Danger Zone light can clip on to essentially where ever, or you can mount it on your seat post. This is a great option for those who are night runners too...that is an entirely different story (which we will cover a later in a few more paragraphs). PDW offers a few twinpacks (both front and rear lights) for a reasonable price. You can also find PDW lights on Amazon, which if you are like me you I always seem to have some type of credit when it comes to their site and so I find myself scrolling the pages of bike gadgets.


Fizik - BLIN:K, $25.00
Fi'zi:k makes some really cool stuff these days. Fizik saddles have a nifty light integration system. Have you ever wondered what would happen if you popped out that little Fizik plaque on the back of  your saddle? Do it...I dare you...you will see that it acts as a clip and there are a slew of products that the company has produced that fits into that little clip section. I love how low profile this light is. It just takes one battery, which they claim is super easy to change. If you are too cool for lights like the ones I shared above, at least do yourself a favor and go with the low-profile option!

Petzel - Tikka 2 Headlamp, $29.95
Lastly, those of you who are runners/walkers/night time adventurers....you should really be out there with some type of light on and/or some reflection. Just because you are wearing a neon colored shirt in the dark - does not mean you can be seen...unless it has reflective on it. I bought the Petzel headlamp for my camping adventures, but, it has actually come in more handy for night runs during daylight savings. This also comes in tremendously helpful while walking the dog, or fixing your piece of crap car late at night, or hunting around in dark places for the misplaced _________(insert what you are looking for).

Nathan - Photon LED Vest, $34.99
 Now, since we are on the subject of reflective (kinda') Nathan makes a killer super duper reflective, flashing-lights, light-weight vest. It is breathable (obviously), it has a pocket...perfect for your key, maybe even an iPhone for Strava. You can be seen from about 1,200 feet - that is far! We are talking uber safe...the LED stripes are removable, and the battery can be easily changed.

Oakley - Intensity Vest, $180.00
Now, if you are a ninja (dressed in all back...normally Lululemon...and pop out of nowhere on the trails, roads, etc. Normally with children), and still want to maintain the fashionable aspect of working out you should check out Oakley's Intensity Vest - for a full 360 reflective breathable vest that has a competitive price-point. It has a stylish collar, and pockets big enough to fit your entire kitchen in. This is the piece that I prefer wearing when running - it makes me feel safe. It fits loosely, which is totally fantastic.

Also, please keep in mind if you are working out at night that you should try to stay off the roads. There are a lot of distractions for vehicles (especially in Southern California). If you are a person who likes to sport head phones, consider turning down the volume...or exercising with just one headphone in - this way you can hear what is going on around you. If you are a road biker and sporting headphones on a busy street...shame. You should also try to tell someone where you are going, and when you get back. I like using the iPhone Find My Friends app, that way I can be found if people start to wonder where the heck I am.

Sending Love - Be Safe!

Xx

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