Get a Strobe Light
Nothing dampens the mood like getting pinned by a vehicle whilst you are out riding. As some of you know I was hit whilst training, just 5 weeks before the Ironman World Championships in Kona.
I was very lucky, nothing broken, a few scrapes and a hefty bump on my hip, a bump that effectively dismantled an entire year of training as I was unable to run well in Kona.
I had been reasonably lucky throughout the year. I train in San Diego for the winter, and vehicles there pull out on me so often that I was motivated to ‘be as visible as possible’. A trip to REI had me unboxing lights and running around their parking lot, placing lights further and further away so prove their daylight visibility claims. One in particular seemed like the perfect package. It was super easy to attach to the bike, recharged via USB, had a decent run time and a strobe flash so bright it could almost give you a tan.
It was a Cygolite Dash 460, rechargeable via USB. They don’t even make this one any more, they have brighter ones. A link to the Cygolite Website is below. There are plenty of options out there so do a little research. Do yourself a favour, go bright on the front and back if you can.
Not only was it visible in daylight, the persistent and random flash was blindingly bight close up and visible from well, visible from a significant distance even with the direct California sunshine beating down on it. In short, you don’t ‘not see’ this light.
The effect of adding this light to my bars was instant. Vehicles became transfixed when I approached them whilst they waited at junctions. The drivers were locked onto to this flashing strobe coming towards them down the road. It really does make that much difference.
I took the strobe off to race Ironman Canada. I didn’t put it back on for that ill fated journey when Mrs Senior and her silver sedan decided to wreck me, my bike and my Kona dreams. I remain absolutely convinced that I would not have been hit if I had the strobe attached to my bike.
I now believe this is the most important piece of kit I own and would like to pester everyone I know to get one. It’s relatively cheap , easy to use, makes riding more fun and safer and it could save your life.