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A brief update -- the Hertz people at the Austin airport did recover my CD's. I'll have to pay to have the CD's shipped back to me, but I'd consider that getting off pretty easily for gross stupidity.

I should have spent some of the evening in lab, as I got in very late this morning after my late arrival at home last night, or else done some practicing at home, but I decided to go to Scottish class to see what Alex Gray would be like. I didn't really talk to him, but did dance in a set he was in during the social hour. He is a lot more jovial and friendly than what I would have expected the chairman of the RSCDS to be like. I'm glad I went, as now I'll be more at ease about Thursday, and with the amount of playing I've been doing of late it has been ages since I actually danced a full class and social hour.

On the way home, alas, I heard a clatter behind me shortly after coming through the pothole-riddled section of Main St near the Rt 16 overpass. The bracket for my bike tail-light had failed, and while the LED's are intact the unit was effectively destroyed by the fall from my bike, and by the traffic that passed before I had a chance to recover the pieces from the middle of the road. I started to walk my bike towards home as biking with fast-moving traffic without a functioning tail-light scares me a bit. Fortunately, a fellow Scottish dancer who also routinely bikes to class came by shortly after, and he kindly gave me an escort home.

This is the third tail-light I've lost in less than a year. My first one was a Cat-Eye removable clip-on; its bracket was sufficiently weakened by the crash I had in November that a few days afterwards the light fell off while I was biking, without me noticing. I replaced that light with a cheaper clip-on, but due most likely to jarring from potholes that light also fell out of its bracket several days after I installed it. I finally replaced that one with another Cat-Eye, but one that bolted on to my rear rack via an L-bracket. The bracket failed right where it was bolted on, which is also right where it bends, which in hindsight is not too surprising.

I'm not sure what I want to replace this light with. I kind of liked the bolt-on bracket; maybe it's OK if I plan on replacing the bracket every six months or so. Nothing else I have encountered stands up as well to the constant jarring of riding the pothole-riddled streets of Somerville and Medford. Any cyclists out there have any opinions?

Date: 2010-05-25 03:49 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rose_garden.livejournal.com
One time I was biking to campus and I saw the bus so I decided to take the bus the rest of the way. The bus stopped for me and I put my bike on the bus's bike rack then I climbed on the bus. It was only a mile or two but I watched as my bike headlight loosened and swung freely then fell off into the street.

I think the trick is to make a point of tightening the screws every so often.

Date: 2010-05-25 01:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] playfulfordian.livejournal.com
I'm glad you decided to walk instead of biking in traffic without a light!

Here's what I do:

I have a headlight and rear blinky mounted on my helmet (that way I always have something). I also carry a headlight that mounts on the front of the bike and keep a rear blinky light on my backpack or fiddle case, or whatever I'm wearing on my back (it used to get mounted on a bracket... but that never worked well for me).

During the winter, when I know I'll be biking a lot in the dark, I have these rod-like blinky lights my mom gave me that I attach to my backpack (2 red ones in the back, 1 yellow one on each side, 1 white one in the front). That last one is kind of overkill, but was necessary when I was routinely biking home after class around 9pm.

I like having the helmet lights and the bike-mounted lights because I know that even if one fails, there's a back-up already on. (It's also useful to have one light on the road and the other wherever you are looking.)

Date: 2010-05-25 06:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] http://users.livejournal.com/_meej_/
Hmmm... a heavier bracket might do the trick. Mostly, this makes me glad that my commute is relatively low-pothole, so it hasn't caused things to fall off.

Agreed that a bolt-on bracket is a nice thing, though. My rear light is attached to my rear rack with a kludged-on heavier bracket than it came with, since the bracket it came with wouldn't fit the spots I needed it to, so I scavenged one off an old unused reflector.

Also, the suggestion of an extra light is a good call, especially if this has been a recurring problem. Even if it's just a spare clip one that lives in an on-bike storage or in your bag or something.

Date: 2010-05-26 01:04 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] qianian.livejournal.com
My planet bike tail light has never failed, but the design makes it easy to switch on and run out the battery by accident.

I never felt like I had to have lights to be visible in the East Bay, but in Philadelphia I feel the need to wear a reflective orange vest anytime it's not 100% sunny. I think that's better than flashing tail lights, actually.

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