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psycholist 08-04-02 03:10 PM

moonstroke anyone?
Thank god for halogen bulbs and sealed lead acid batteries because I am steadily morphing into a Creature of the Night (dammit, Janet!). The mercury right now is perched at a precarious 102 F and with the H.I. added to the rest, that should make it...what, 110-115? That's like riding in a crock pot!! It doesn't begin to cool down until shortly before dark and then THEY emerge...these hordes of little miniscule beetles. I swear, if they get in your eyes they must pi$$ acid or something, it hurts that badly. And it's not just the eyes, but the ears, the nose--the CLEAVAGE! AARRRRGGHHH. An entymologist at SIU, Carbondale informed me that they were a type of rove beetle --a beneficial species--but the reality of 25+ bugs per square inch of sweating human skin fails to evoke beneficial feelings on my part!! This, combined with the added insult of road oil that is cooking its way to the surface and spattering all over my coolmax (any home remedies for getting that crap out, folks?), has driven me to the Other Hours!!! I will have to change my username to "Possumbane".
Sorry about this raving...must be the heat. And to think this is only the first of August.

mechBgon 08-04-02 03:36 PM

So the Beetles of Doom settle down for the night, then? That's good news :) Do you sometimes run into rain and/or thunderstorms during your night rides? Of course, if it's still 80F+, then I suppose rain is not necessarily a problem...

hillyman 08-04-02 04:58 PM

I was thinking about getting a headlight and doing some night riding.Now that I hear about acid whizzing bugs I may pass! I used to complain about the hot tar on hot days but not anymore.One time out on a ride I came upon road constuction.When they had my lane pass through I was flying on brand new pavement.As we rounded a curve they had us going through freshly sprayed tar were the 'new' pavement ended.It was like riding on fly paper.The constuction workers got a kick watching this fool pedal on.Ruined my new cross tread tires and gave my legs,hair and all,a nice coating. I had to use kerosene to clean me and my bike.

psycholist 08-04-02 08:29 PM

It seems if you can wait til around 11:00 or midnight then the bugs are really thinned down some , not to mention the traffic. Now the argument goes, only the mother-stabbers and father-rapers (thank you, Mr. Guthrie!) are out on the back roads at that hour and you wouldn't want to meet up with any of point is that the headlights from cars are visible a LONG way off, and if you get a bad feeling you should have plenty of time to either take cover or take a side road.
There are no street lights where I ride, just miles of country road. If that's your situation as well, you need to remember a back-up light, plus don't go so far that you can't walk home or at least to help if need be. I carry my pepper spray more at night, mostly because the few dogs that give me grief are out in the cooler temps too. In rural areas where I ride a lot, I also make a point of stopping and chatting with the people who see me most and let them know those flashing red chasers they see out in the boonies at night are not UFO's, swamp gas, or Jimmy Hoffa's ghost.

My first few rides out were nervous affairs...everything including how your bike handles and your perception of speed is different. You have to be even more vigilant for road hazards than you are during daylight hours since you can only see so far ahead.
Now I love it...a good light system makes all the difference in the world!

Scooby Snax 08-05-02 06:11 PM

What lighting system are you running? Watts, battery size bar or helmet mount?

PS I ride at 5am or earlier, so it is cooler and there are less ppl around than at 11 pm

psycholist 08-06-02 12:15 PM

I have a Cygolite 6 volt sealed lead acid system, which is the water-bottle type. I can't imagine anything being handier--you just slip the battery into your spare cage, insert the plug into the receptor on the light and you're off. On a full charge (10 hours will get you there but I like to leave it charging for about 11-15) you can ride on lo-beam about 1 1/2 hours , hi-beam for 45min to 1 hour, or both for about 45. The lights themselves are sealed in a single unit with a toggle switch on the back for either/or hi lo beams and the base has a swivel feature to let you pan left or right if you need to. If you need to, you can slip the light off its base for off-the-bike lighting, which is handy if you have a breakdown.
The one complaint I have is that the all-weather o-ring does a rather poor job of keeping moisture out--have had a little corrosion on the contacts but nothing serious. still, I guess I shouldn't complain. I keep the light mounted 24-7 and haven't blown a bulb to moisture yet. Come to think of it, I have been running the same bulbs for close to 4 years now and have NEVER changed a bulb. You'd think the constant jarring would work on them.
Never tried a helmet mount system...probably has its advantages but wearing a wire sounds restrictive somehow.

Stor Mand 08-06-02 12:46 PM

I'm sorry but the only thing a caught from the original post was "blah blah blah CLEAVAGE". It doesn't make me a bad person, just distracted, I guess. :D

1oldRoadie 08-06-02 01:57 PM


Originally posted by psycholist
......This, combined with the added insult of road oil that is cooking its way to the surface and spattering all over my coolmax (any home remedies for getting that crap out, folks
That why we wear black shorts!

1oldRoadie 08-06-02 02:00 PM


Originally posted by Stor Mand
I'm sorry but the only thing a caught from the original post was "blah blah blah CLEAVAGE". It doesn't make me a bad person, just distracted, I guess. :D

Jean Beetham Smith 08-06-02 07:07 PM

Try a helmet mounted light as well. Most have very small battery packs that fit in your jersey pocket, or slightly more awkwardly in an underseat bag. I pass the wire under one of the straps on the back of my helmet. The great advantage of headlights is that they let you light up things to the side of the road and look around the cornor when you are turning so you don't have to ride into a "black hole" that is full of road hazards. Having 2 lights is a good strategy, if something goes wrong with 1, you still have something to limp home with.

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