The cellist starts putting pressure on me this time of year to quit cycling and start driving because of the darkness. Eventually I heed, but a really good light system still makes sense.
I had fiddled around with my 1982-vintage generator light system a few times over the years, but its performance did not seem to be worth the complication of mounting it. Technology really has improved in some areas. Dynamo lighting releases the night rider from concerns about battery life and dead battery disposal. Systems that include a standlight keep the light on at short stops. My old system used a battery pack to provide the standlight. It weighed about a pound and occupied a box mounted on the down tube. The new systems incorporate the circuitry into the light itself.
After seeing the setup on my brother's Trice, I knew I would get myself another dynamo light set. As the days shorten, I have just ordered a Busch & Mueller system from Peter White Cycles in Hillsborough, NH.
Peter seems like my kind of cyclist. He also builds wheels. It's another case of parallel evolution, in which different forms of the same organism develop in different places. Peter obviously stuck with the cycling thing more closely than I did. Even so, we developed similar opinions about bling versus substance and realistic wheels as opposed to impressive-looking dispo-a-wheels. Everyone read his Wheel Rant.
This stuff is not cheap. I did not buy anywhere near the top end, and I laid out just over $200 US. But a really hot rechargeable battery set would cost at least that much and has limited life.
Some of the systems on Peter's site include battery chargers for NiMH batteries in the lights themselves or for powering and charging the batteries of other devices. If you get out more than I do, you probably already know about all this. It only makes sense, considering how many electronic types are out there innovating like crazy.
I will still use the Beamers for supplemental lighting and unplanned dusk and dark riding on the bikes not equipped with the new system. The helmet light and blinkies complete the array.
Because Hillsborough is so close, I hope to receive my new lights tomorrow. UPS doesn't usually show up until late in the day, so I may not get them installed right away.