I've almost convinced myself to sign up for my first winter endurance bike race, the Actif Epica, up here in Manitoba Canada.
Since I've never done this before, I have a few questions.
What do guys on the Iditarod Trail invitational and Arrowhead 135 use for lights? Ordinary AA and AAA lights don't seem like they'd be up to the task. I've used a friend's Night Sun Dual light with a rechargable "water bottle" battery, but that doesn't seem to last very long either.
The Actif Epica is 130km (80-90 miles I think), 28 hours total. Darkness will last approximately 14 hours. Most of the bike lights that I've tried or seen, seem to have a lot of plastic, especially with the mounts, so would seem awfully brittle in the cold.
I'm thinking the ideal light right now would be a less-than $100 system (due to budget constraints), be bright enough to light up the trail up to 50m (150ft) in front of me (race directors recommend minimum 100 lumen and I have no idea what that really means...), have a separate battery compartment, and be able to be augmented with ordinary AA batteries if required.
What are some of the strategies that folks are using?
Thanks for any info.