I’m a firm believer in adequate illumination for night-time cycling. My personal set up for the last several years has been: A 7 LED red “blinky” light mounted to the seatpost and a 12W Cygolite halogen (I know, I need to get with times) mounted to the handlebars (henceforth: “headlight“). I’ve heard various people rave about head-mounted lights (henceforth: “headlamps“) over the years, but have resisted their pull, at least partly because of the perceived (on my part) dork-factor.
Tonight I finally strapped the headlamp on and went for a ride. Oh, my God! Why did I not do that sooner. My old trusty headlight does a fine job of illuminating the road, especially the road right in front of me, but what an incredible addition the headlamp was. Its tightly focused beam allowed me to see well beyond where I could have otherwise (a real blessing when descending at speed) and the fact that it went where I was looking was most helpful, particularly when cornering and turning. It would also be quite helpful for the game of “skunk or kitty-cat” I sometimes play.
I wouldn’t want to ride with just the headlamp as its beam is too tightly focused for general illumination, but I can’t imagine riding at night without it now.
Now I just need to make the jump to an LED headlight, too. Boy, am I glad I didn’t drop several hundred dollars on an HID system a few years ago! LED’s are so vastly superior (for bicycle applications) in every significant way (more efficient, less heat, no mega-expensive short-lived bulbs to replace).