cyclofiend.com - peripheral thoughts & notes

May 2024
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Honestly, Sometimes…
Filed under: general, bike tech
Posted by: The Cyclofiend @ 12:58 am

Just wondering if that comedienne I remember from many years ago was correct. 

“Is blond hair a mild form of congenital retardation?”

Just to clarify for those (many) of you whom I’ve never met face to face, I’m wondering about my own hair and mental acuity.

Lights had been tormenting me this week.  My lightweight, just pre-LED era Niterider with the small NiMH battery grew cantankerous lately, doing the disco ball light show instead of decrementing properly. Then on the ride home last week, I hit a little ripple in the road and it just clicked off.  Not a dangerous problem as I had a secondary light on the bars and a helmet-mounted LED.  Plus, I was only a couple miles from home, and nipped around a different way which kept me mostly under street lights. Got home and put everything through a recharge cycle, because it could have simply been a drained battery (since I can’t tell, because the “fuel gauge” doesn’t do anything useful).  

That worked not at all. Then I got distracted, put off digging out the bigger, backup  light and setting that up for Monday. (”The sloth is strong in this one…”)  Ended up working from home in the morning, another hour or so after lunch, then jumped up in a flurry to get to work when I needed to. The other light was (get ready lighting history buffs) my old NiteRider Digital Pro, a the first microprocessor switched light they made.  It’s actually been upgraded to a new connector system, with a NiMH battery.  At the time that made some sense, and it’s still an excellent trail/mtb light.  It’s a bit bulky for commuting, as it uses a waterbottle-shaped battery.

I put the waterbottle battery into the forward cage on the Quickbeam, dug out a phillips head screwdriver to attach the mount, set up the control on the stem (kinda like a stem shifter…) strung the connector toward the bottle, then went to attach the lead. 

And damn if that sucker wasn’t about 3 inches too short.

Hmmm…now feeling that I should’ve been out the door 10 minutes ago, I dug through boxes in search of perhaps a connector.  None. Finally, I pulled the battery out of the cage, wedged it into the Nigel Smythe front bag, looped stray and now excess cable through itself so it couldn’t snag and shoved off to work.

Spent the ride in and the ride home thinking how stupid it was for the battery to have such a short cord, gnashing my teeth and wondering just what the heck was so different about the placement of bottle cages between road and mountain bikes. 

Left everything set up for Tuesday’s run. Noticed that other than when I lifted the front wheel skyward to walk it in and out of the back room at work that having a small Kryptonite lock and a full-sized bottle battery, the added weight didn’t seem to matter much. But, still, I didn’t much like having to give up space in the front bag, just because NiteRider was too cheap to put a full-sized cable on the battery. Grumpy, grumpy, grumpy.

Today, as I gathered my gear to get going, it occurred to me in a head-tilting moment that there really was no difference between the placement of my waterbottle cages on my mtb or on the QB. Checking email a last time, that thought gained a little more momentum.  Then, I went back to the bike and looked at it for second. Took the battery out of the bag. Pondered the chord. Grasped the chord firmly and pulled steadily.  The chord magically lengthened.  My snorts of laughter brought my wife into the room, and garnered a complete roll of the eyes when I explained.

I am, at times, a complete idiot.

Nothing like using your gear enough to keep familiar with it.

So, into the water bottle cage went the battery.  Pulled enough chord to connect, then trimmed it back into the bottle so that it had just the right amount of slack. Rode to work in a much better mood.  Then, with the light on, looped around the long way south to pick up some cheap night miles on a gorgeous Wednesday evening.

Now, in my defense, I can only offer this:

Q: Why are most blond jokes one-liners?

A: So brunettes can remember them.

Oh, sure.  It’s funny.  It just rings a little hollow for me tonight.

3 Responses to “Honestly, Sometimes…”

  1. Jim G Says:
    I can’t promise when, but I’ll build ya a light…
  2. The Cyclofiend Says:
    Ha! Thanks for that offer. I would be honored to use your illumination. Currently, I’m dreaming of SON hubs and eDelux’s.
  3. beth h Says:
    I hafta say — I DID laugh, heartily. But at some point I hope I will be laughing WITH you…