October 3rd, 2006

Arcadia

On the importance of being well lit

In addition to the fixed lights on the trike I also use a helmet light (a NiteFlux Vision Stick) when riding at night.

The helmet light lets me "lead" the path and light up where I'm going as opposed to where the trike is pointing. 

On curvy cycle paths there is a very significant difference between the two and without the helmet light my safety at speed would be somewhat compromised. Especially given that many of these paths are not particularly well lit.

[Aside: I could slow down, but hey, what are the chances of that? :D]

Tonight whilst riding along Lake Burley Griffin I discovered another important use for the helmet light: it scares the stupid rabbits away from the path.

OK, rabbits are a pest and eco-menace in Australia. The amount of money and effort spent in Australia in (mostly unsuccessful) attempts to keep the things under control, or at least a bit restrained, over the decades is mind boggling. 

[Aside: Try googling "Calicivirus rabbit", I got about 78000 hits and thats only one of the things thats been tried]

So turning one or two into roadkill is hardly likely to be frowned upon here in OZ.

But...ewwwwww! I just had the trike serviced I don't want to be cleaning that off it. 

Better to just scare them away, especially if I can scan for them by turning my head slightly.

And yes, I'm reasonably confident that I would turn one into roadkill on a direct hit: 100+ Kgs at over 25KPH on the flat hitting something a lot smaller than that.

I am not however certain that I would turn a rabbit into roadkill at that speed since I've yet to come closer than about 3 metres to one. And thanks to the helmet light I'm confident that I can keep them that far away. :)



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