A Nurse with a Gun

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

A Lost Light

Riding the bike to work has become routine now. Several of my co-workers are in amazement and awe that I would do such a thing. They ask where I lock up my bike, and I laugh and say it's the $30 bike in the parking garage with a $70 chain around it.

Today, however, when I got home and rolled the commuter bike up the porch stairs I noticed one of the Planet Bike Super Flash blinkies had separated from it's base and fallen off somewhere along my route. Crap........ I had paid eighteen bucks each for those. There was nothing to do but retrace my route.

I ran a strip of Scotch tape around the seam of the remaining blinkie, climbed back on my bike and began to pedal back to the hospital. I scanned the pavement along the way where I had just ridden the bicycle thirty minutes previously. Would the light be lying crushed by a car's tires? Would it be picked up by a curious bum? At each intersection, especially the ones with a rough bump, I scoured the tarmac. Thankfully, the sun was still out.

As I neared the train tracks that intersect my route, a freight train was thundering through. I had to wait in the sun, bathed in the rushing clackety clack the speeding train pounded out on the rails. Then.... Between the wheels, I spotted the Super Flash. It was still blinking brightly among the ballast.

As the freight train's horn wailed in the distance, the last car passed, and I rescued my blinkie. I placed it in the bag inside my rear basket. When I got home, it too received a strip of Scotch tape around the seam.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy endings always choke me up.

10:44 PM  
Anonymous Eric Shelton said...

Since the post opened up with a talk about commuting... I was just looking at a single speed the other day. Much thinner tire than my mountain bike, no rolling resistance, more upright riding geometry, etc.

Got any suggestions for stuff I'm not considering? Brands or models? Do you suggest a locally owned place versus Performance Cycle?

12:15 AM  
Blogger nature223 said...

dummy cord them on or run a zip tie around them Xav..you got lucky..once

12:58 AM  
Blogger phlegmfatale said...

wow- those blinkies are so cute I almost want to get a bike of my own!

1:06 AM  
Blogger Xavier said...

Eric, a hybrid bike is a good new bike choice for most commuters. I'd recommend a bike shop for a new bike. Much better quality and better service. For a single speed, look at the cruisers. I like the Raleigh Special. Trek makes a similar single speed cruiser.

If you want to roll your own, scour pawn shops and garage sales for a good quality used bike.

For urban riding I've found a mountain bike set up with street tires to be the cat's meow IF the handlebars are swapped up for BMX riser style bars. I got my BMX style riser bars off a discarded little girl's bike. The wider tires can take a greater pounding over the cracks and bumps in the pavement, and the street tread gives less rolling resistance and better traction. I'm looking at Specialized Hemisphere Armadillos as my next purchase for mine.

The gears of a mountain bike do help if you have hills, and you don't have to use them if you don't want to.

Here's a link to my $30 Commuter Bike.

1:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This story have this point for me.
Chinese* guys are great at keeping they production standards as low as possible. Semi funny thing is they mastered their quality control to the level their products fall apart just after delivered to customer :) For me bike lamps are a never ending story of failed products. They are just not designed to be used at all.

Anyway with the pace you ghetto mod your bike, someone prickly may post your bike on his blog's "ugly bike" section :)

few modding ideas:


*willd guess

2:20 AM  
Anonymous Kristopher said...

Those MTB gears can be corrected with a Surly Singulator and a one-gear freewheel.

Add fat street tires FTW.

12:04 PM  
Anonymous Kristopher said...

Xav ... you might want to look at CatEye brand blinkers ... mine looks just about bulletproof, and it is very bright.

The Planet Bike blinkies are cheap, but a bit fragile.

12:12 PM  
Blogger Montie said...


OK, you have convinced me and my girlfriend to take up bikng again (after many years away from it).

Last weekend I hit the garage sale bonanza of my life just a couple of blocks from my house. Tons of reloading stuff which I bought nearly all up (except the loaded rounds, not knowing the old fellow who passed away and whose nephew inherited the house and contents). I also bought a pristine 1967 Schwinn Breeze 26" 2-speed woman's bike and a 1973 Schwinn Speedster 2-speed men's bike. The original two-tone seats even look new.

I have ordered the same headlight and taillights you have on your commuter bike. Glad to know the Blinkies have this problem, I will take the same precautions.

1:17 AM  

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