Rained overnight, but forecast was for only chance of showers this AM - and as I couldn't hear rain running down the gutters, I dressed early and hit the road with the new headlamp that came in yesterday.
I've had J-J's hatlamp directions sitting around for most of the year, but hadn't yet managed to scrounge all the requisite surplus parts (notably the Li-Ion cells). And then I figured if I was going to purchase materials, I might as well purchase a well-made lamp that could serve multiple purposes. I'm all for quick & dirty (and cheap), but I also need reliability for commuting in the dark.
I wound up getting a 3W LED headlamp made by Dinotte
- runs 2-3 hours on NiMH rechargeable AA's - it was fairly expensive based purely on wattage and/or run-time. But the thing is super tiny, super light and the mounting system uses rubber o-rings - I can swap it from helmet to handlebars (and eventually a hat) in like 15 seconds. AA NiMH are cheap and readily available so having a spare pair in my pocket won't weigh me down.
The thing is really bright - fairly tight spot out to about 30 feet (which is about as far as I need for my normal riding pace), being helmet mounted I can easily point it at drivers at intersections to make sure they know I'm there and the battery pack sits nicely in my jersey pocket.
I thought that riding in the dark with the light I'd be a bit slower, but even on wet, leaf covered roads (with more than a few acorns as well) I still covered the direct route in 45 minutes..
Now that I have the light, I'll start going in even a bit earlier to beat the early commuters and have the roads mostly to myself in the dark... that'll be really nice...
New panniers coming in today (so I can carry more clothing now that we're into fall - up until now everything has been jammed into my fanny pack (and strapped to the outside of it) but my lower back has been quite sore with all that crap hanging there. The bike has full set of racks, about time I made use of them (my former panniers disintegrated years ago...)