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Old 08-24-12, 06:13 PM   #1
eja_ bottecchia
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Assault on the 1000 miles month personal record

Last month I posted about riding 901 miles in the month of July.

Most responses were congratulatory on riding 900 miles in a single month. Others, however, mentioned that as long as I had already ridden 900 miles in one month, why not ride 1000 miles in a month?

Well, I took to the challenge like a bull to a red cape.

So far this month I have 860 miles on the clock. With seven whole days left in the month, it looks like I may be able to ride 1000+ for the month of August.

I have a lighting question though.

With shorter days ahead, I am doing a lot of my riding in the dark. I have a Lezyne light for the front and a Planet Bike Blinky light on the back. Is it better, for the sake of visibility, to use both lights in flashing mode? Or the front in flashing and the rear in steady mode? Or both lights on steady mode? Most of my riding, during dark hours, is in dimly lit suburban and semi-rural areas. Suggestions?

Thaks for reading and wish me luck as I go for 1000 miles.
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Old 08-25-12, 03:45 AM   #2
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I generally ride with 4 lights - 2 front and 2 rear. Some call it overkill/I don't - read on.

Main front light/Bright and Steady - Riding with a flashing main front light would in any kind of darkness would drive ME crazy, so I don't do it. A flashing front light during the day, I don't see if it's mine. If it's someone else's, then it might attract my attention.

Helmet-mounted front light - allows me to look to the side, light up streets signs, investigate noises, stare down dogs coming at me in the darkness, etc. Dimmer than the main and on steady at night - but I often turn it off when I don't think it'll be needed.

When riding solo and trying to "be seen" from the rear in the dark, I use 2 lights - one on steady and one flashing. Riding in a group or with a partner, if I am the rear-guard, I run both lights. If I am not, I run only 1 - on steady. In the daytime, a single, rearward-facing flashing red light might get you noticed/avoided; no guarantees.

A flashing red light could attract unwanted police attention depending on local laws. In some areas, only steady red lights are legal for bicycles. If you're riding with someone/a group, you could annoy him/her with a flashing red light - try it yourself sometime in the backyard at night. Turn it on, sit down and look 15-20 degrees to the right or left of it ... how long can you last before you get annoyed?

Addendum - I have considered adding 2 amber side "marker" lights like tractor trailer trucks. Haven't "appropriate" ones yet. Otoh, I HAVE tried a downward pointing flashlight with some good results - I've gotten positive comments when stopped at lights in suburban areas.

All my lights use rechargeable batteries. Coordinating the battery-tyepes they use minimizes the number of spares I carry. But ALWAYS carry spares if you're not using dynamo hub-powered lights.

Last edited by drmweaver2; 08-25-12 at 03:58 AM.
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Old 08-25-12, 06:09 AM   #3
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I'm rooting for you.
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Old 08-25-12, 06:12 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drmweaver2 View Post
I generally ride with 4 lights - 2 front and 2 rear. Some call it overkill/I don't - read on.

Main front light/Bright and Steady - Riding with a flashing main front light would in any kind of darkness would drive ME crazy, so I don't do it. A flashing front light during the day, I don't see if it's mine. If it's someone else's, then it might attract my attention.

Helmet-mounted front light - allows me to look to the side, light up streets signs, investigate noises, stare down dogs coming at me in the darkness, etc. Dimmer than the main and on steady at night - but I often turn it off when I don't think it'll be needed.

When riding solo and trying to "be seen" from the rear in the dark, I use 2 lights - one on steady and one flashing. Riding in a group or with a partner, if I am the rear-guard, I run both lights. If I am not, I run only 1 - on steady. In the daytime, a single, rearward-facing flashing red light might get you noticed/avoided; no guarantees.

A flashing red light could attract unwanted police attention depending on local laws. In some areas, only steady red lights are legal for bicycles. If you're riding with someone/a group, you could annoy him/her with a flashing red light - try it yourself sometime in the backyard at night. Turn it on, sit down and look 15-20 degrees to the right or left of it ... how long can you last before you get annoyed?

Addendum - I have considered adding 2 amber side "marker" lights like tractor trailer trucks. Haven't "appropriate" ones yet. Otoh, I HAVE tried a downward pointing flashlight with some good results - I've gotten positive comments when stopped at lights in suburban areas.

All my lights use rechargeable batteries. Coordinating the battery-tyepes they use minimizes the number of spares I carry. But ALWAYS carry spares if you're not using dynamo hub-powered lights.
Good info. Thanks.


What brand of helmet mount light are you using?
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Old 08-25-12, 06:13 AM   #5
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Thanks!!!
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Old 08-25-12, 06:26 AM   #6
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i do alot of pre-dawn riding and use a minewt 600 on steady for the front ... use 2 lights on the rear, one flashing and one on steady. so far so good.
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Old 08-25-12, 03:14 PM   #7
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I'm in. I used to ride 1000 mile months 4 or more times a year. Since turning 60, zero last year and zed so far this year. I've got great lights, new chain and cluster and the time to do it if I move it higher up the pareto.
2640 miles ytd.
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Old 08-25-12, 03:38 PM   #8
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1900 miles in less than 9 weeks is huge. Keep it going!
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Old 08-25-12, 05:05 PM   #9
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What brand of helmet mount light are you using?
I alternate between a very small, AAA 3-LED "tactical" light I got for free from Harbor Freight and a 300lumen tactical light I got off eBay for $5.00/free shipping from China. (Yeah, I know.. I'm cheap).

I mount either/both lights using a velcro strap fed thru the helmet's air holes and a rubber block mount I actually carved from an old rubber eraser I had lying around. (I stole the mount's design from an eBay sale item.. sorry, can't find a pic of the original ad/item.) Nothing fancy, it just works.

Oh, I should have said this in the earlier post - congrats with your mileage. Keep it up.
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Old 08-25-12, 05:08 PM   #10
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Congrats! I have done 1000 miles in a month and gained weight. What's up with that???
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Old 08-26-12, 09:29 PM   #11
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Today (August 26) I hit the 1004 miles mark--with still 5 days left in August.

This is a picture of my Colnago C59 stopped at Neptune's Net on our way to the 1000 miles mark.



@JPPE, I have not gained weight, but I have not lost much either. I don't get it either.

You want a red bike...take a look at this (but you can't have it )



Everyone else, thank you for your kind words. It has been an interesting month==my butt is a tad sore but my spirits feels great. To be able to cover that distance, under your own power is a great feeling.

September is going to be tough for me, I have a few work projects that will take up a lot of my time, so no 1000 miles month. But there is always October.
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Old 08-27-12, 05:28 AM   #12
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Good for you Botty, glad you made your goal with days to spare. Nice Bottecchia there, I owned a Bottecchia in 72-73, should have hung on to it, regret that loss to this day.

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Old 08-27-12, 06:36 AM   #13
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As may have already been pointed out, blinking lights are good for conspicuity, but it's easier for motorists to judge the distance and speed of steady lights. For max safety, especially in more congested areas, I suggest running steady and blinking both front and rear. It also provides a degree of redundancy should one fail.
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Old 08-27-12, 06:57 AM   #14
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Predawn rides I run 4 lights. A 5 led blinky at the back, a 3 led blinky on the front, 1 150 lumen light on wide beam and another 150 lumens on spot on the handlebars. The bike stands out from a long way off and I have plenty of light to ride at about 32km/h on the road 3 hours before the sun rises. Works great on un lighted bike paths as well. Spots joggers and bikes from a long way off.

I'll get to about 900 miles this month, but for the last 4 months I've ridden 800 miles plus without fail. It gets kind of addicting. 1000 miles is an achievement. Great work pulling it off. I wish I could but with a young family 900 miles is a challenge.
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Old 08-27-12, 10:55 AM   #15
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There are two issues with lighting. One is visibility. The other is illumination that is seeing things you might want to avoid. Illumination is speed dependent. It takes a pretty high powered lighting system for you not to "outrun" it at about 20 mph. Now visibility is a different issue. It is about motorists seeing you and hopefully not running you over. For this, blinking lights are my preferred system. I like going with multiples and the more the merrier. I like running at least one on the front and two on the rear. If I am riding on a busy road, I like going for 3 on the rear.
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Old 09-03-12, 12:33 PM   #16
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Well, to cap off my 1060 miles month of August, I took a litlte ride up to Mt. Baldy Village, in Southern California.

It was a tough day for climbing because air temperature was 97 degrees plus--temperastures off the tarmac were a lot higher.

In fact, it was so hot and dry that the entire road from base camp to the Village (approximately 22.5 miles) was closed due to high fire risk. (Sunday afternoon a fire broke out int he area, it has now spread to close to 10,000 acres).

I am taking it easy for the next day or so and then it is back on the bike.

Thanks for reading this and thanks for your advice and encouragement.



Last edited by eja_ bottecchia; 09-04-12 at 07:20 AM. Reason: Link photo
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Old 09-03-12, 12:53 PM   #17
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Great stuff! Thanks for the reports and the pictures!
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Old 09-04-12, 05:55 AM   #18
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...

Seems you have an image missing or wrongly linked. You can upload images here BTW.

Edit: I see it's now working

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Old 09-04-12, 07:21 AM   #19
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Seems you have an image missing or wrongly linked. You can upload images here BTW.
Thanks...fixed it.
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Old 09-04-12, 07:31 AM   #20
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The Camp Williams fire, which began on Sunday September 2, is burning on parts of the mountain very close to the route I took from Glendora to the Village at Mt. Baldy.

On the attached map the original location of the fire is shown by the three red circles.

The Glendora Mountain Road (GMR) is pointed out by the red arrows.


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