So here’s my bicycle light story. Most of my commute is on back roads in a rural area during day light hours. The total trip is between 12 and 15 miles depending on my destination and stops. For about 2 miles I am forced to ride on a 2-lane hightway with all traffic going in the same direction. My biggest safety concern is being hit from behind on this highway, so I ride with a tail light and no headlight.
At the time I had about 4 different sets of lights from department stores like Walmart, and I would pick from this set of lights and choose the brightest taillight for my rides. During one of these rides a friend of mine drove by, than later in the day mentioned they had trouble seeing my taillight. This got me thinking about upgrading my lights. During another ride I was going 25 mph down a back road and a car in front of me, in the opposite lane, was stopped and signaling to make a left turn. I thought the person knew I was there, but they proceeded to turn and forced me to swerve off the road. The cars front bumper skimmed my rear pannier bag, but I was lucky enough to make it back on the road without falling off the bike, or being hit by the car. These two events convinced me I needed to upgrade my lights and start riding with a headlight during the day.
I was set on buying a Serfas CP-R2 Combo kit which included a 505 lumens headlight and a 60 lumens tail light, but no bike shops or stores in my area carried this brand. Ordering the combo pack online was an option, but I was too impatient and decided to purchase Bontrager lights from my local Trek dealer. I settled on the Bontrager Ion 700 R headlight and Bontrager Flare R taillight, and I am glad I did. The headlight is 700 lumens in its highest mode. It has 5 different modes to choose from, and the taillight has 4 different modes. The tail lights brightest setting is 65 lumens. I operate both lights in flashing mode during the day. What I like most about both lights is they are very bright. The headlights highest mode does a great job of lighting the area in front of me, and the taillight is so bright you can’t stare at it for any length of time. My second favorite feature is both lights will remember which mode you were last using. No more clicking through all the different modes to find the one you want. All I do now is press the button once, and I am in the mode the light was in when it was last turned off. This feature extends the life of the lights by extending the life of the mechanical switch, since there are less clicks involved in finding your favorite mode. My third favorite feature is both lights are USB rechargeable. No more buying AAA or AA batteries, or even worse, the flat round watch batteries to keep my lights working. Now I just plug the light into my computer USB port to recharge it.
The other day I was riding and using the Bontrager lights, and this Audi driving toward me started flashing their lights repeatedly from low beam to high beam. They were mimicking my Bontrager 700 Ion R headlight. The headlight in flashing mode is 50 lumens, and I point the light down so the main light beam is hitting approximately 10 feet in front of me. I can’t imagine the brightness of the light bothering other drivers, so the blinking must have annoyed the Audi driver, but so what. Its better that other drivers know your there, even if it means some of them get annoyed for a few seconds at the blinking lights. I am very happy with these lights.
John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.“