Further to yesterday’s post, as the “most legit city slicker in all the land,” yesterday I had the sort of sophisticated business to which we cosmopolitan types much attend. This would require me to utilize the city’s public bicycle parking infrastructure, and so naturally I engaged my urban runabout:
I also knew I’d be returning after dark, and so, at the risk of inflaming the aesthetic sensibilities of the Wankerati, I installed the Arclight pedals Redshift were kind enough to send me some time ago:
In case you don’t remember, here’s the idea behind them:
The Arclight pedals look like something you’d find on a beach cruiser or a hotel exercise bike, but they’re comfortable under foot, and while they’re not the grippiest pedals in the world they’re perfectly fine for normal riding. The lights (two per pedal) slip right into the pedal body sort of like a clip into a pistol (as a “legit city slicker” I know nothing about guns, I’m just going by what I see on TV), they’re held in place by magnets, and they’re easy to remove for charging. (The pedals come with a four-port charger so you can juice them all up at once.) You don’t have to worry about front or back or anything like that, as the light senses which direction it’s facing and lights up red or white accordingly, sort of like how your phone knows how to orient your video depending on how you hold it.
In New York City you generally don’t need bike lights to see; you need them so that people can see you. Therefore you don’t need a fancy expensive lighting setup for your city bike, you just need some simple clip-ons. However, you can’t really leave them on your bike if you plan to lock it up because people will steal them. It’s also easy to grab your bike and head out quickly, only to head home again hours later and remember you forgot to bring lights. So I liked the idea of a set of lights I could leave on the bike at all times, and that I was unlikely to ever forget. Yes, I suppose I could leave the lights on the charger and forget them, and I also suppose someone could easily snatch the lights out of the pedals while the bike’s locked up, but I’ve never heard of a pedal-related theft, even in New York City. (This is not to say it’s never happened, and if you’ve ever experienced it I’d love to hear about it!) Anyway, if you’re a commuter and you use them regularly I imagine you’d probably slip them out of the pedals and bring them to your desk so you could charge them while you’re at work. But I’m also perfectly comfortable being a guinea pig and leaving the lights in the pedals, and if anyone tampers with them at any point I’ll be sure to let you know.
Anyway, after completing my city slicker business, I started heading back home and switched the pedal lights on as the sun began to set:
Obviously I can’t see myself from a distance when I ride so I have no idea how visible these lights are, or if they’d be annoying to other cyclists. I can only go from Redshift’s video. I did wonder if the lights would be less visible to pedestrians given they’re under your feet as opposed to up on your bars and seatpost where they’re closer to eye level, but I have no idea. I should also note that some municipalities have specific requirements about where you need to place your bike lights, and that these might not meet those requirements. As far as I can tell the New York law is fairly vague, so I’m guessing these would be fine, but of course if the NYPD is determined to give you a ticket for something they’re gonna give you a ticket no matter what. However, if my foot selfies are any indication, they seem like they’d be difficult to miss, and certainly they’re better than having no lights at all:
By the way, I’m one of the very few cyclists in New York City who actually yields to pedestrians on the West Side Greenway:
There’s lots of people crossing at this particular spot, too, because they’re going to visit this cluster of giant golf tees they stuck in the middle of the river for some reason:
But yes, the pedals glowed brightly, and I even received a compliment on them from a rider who passed me on a fixie blasting electronic music from a handlebar speaker:
These do seem like the sort of thing that would appeal to someone who uses a handlebar speaker.
I was also passed by many people on ebikes, but they offered no opinion:
As it grew darker, I felt like yet another set of twinkly lights on the horizon, which made me feel at one not only with the cityscape but also the universe:
I also felt kinda like Michael Jackson:
On I rode:
The sun ducking furtively behind New Jersey as though embarrassed by what it’s seen over the course of the day:
And by the time I reached the George Washington Bridge it had disappeared completely:
So there you go. I’ll keep using them, and I’ll keep you posted on how they work:
And now, I’m pleased to present you with a quiz. As always, study the item, think, and click on your answer. If you’re right you’ll know, and if you’re wrong you’ll hear energetic cycling music.
Thanks very much for reading, ride safe, and read recklessly.
1) What is the difference between all these bikes?
2) You should invest all your money in:
3) In the National Cycling League, which team will represent the city of Miami?
4) For a brief moment in time, people who were supposed to be smart actually thought an app designed to summon cars with your phone on a whim would result in “transportation nirvanas” with better public transportation and fewer cars.
5) In the National Cycling League, which team will represent the city of Denver?
- Denver Mustangs
- Denver Disruptors
- Denver Vapid Transplants Who Are Overly Focused On Outdoor Recreation
- Denver Douchebags
6) Tom Boonen recently apologized for:
7) Tom Boonen should have stood by his comments and apologized for his “sustainable eyewear” collaboration instead.
***Special Portland-Themed Bonus Video!***