Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Night Rider

Overcast, Pitch Black, Raining, Cold and my lights shorted out and turned off.....but I still had a blast.

I am somewhat new to night riding, but I needed to get some time in the dark under my belt so that I am ready to go for next season's 24 hour races. In the past the expensive nature of good bike lights had prevented me from bothering with night riding. I found a deal on a Blackburn X8 system that had pretty good reviews.

X8 - Sketchy when wet

The ride kicked off just before 6pm and we still had a tiny bit of light to work with and it looked like the X8 was gonna work just fine. We rode the new trail we just cut last weekend and things were good. Then during a regroup, the lights just cut out on me. Not really sure what happened, they just shut off and I couldn't get them to turn back on. In retrospect I think it may have been a combination of a loose connection and some moisture getting where it shouldn't have gotten. The system has a feature that when it detects a short it shuts itself down to avoid damage to the battery. A good feature I guess, but I was left in the dark...kinda.

I still had my jerry rigged headlamp mounted to my helmet with zipties. This isn't my permanent helmet light solution...I will probably supplement my X8 with a better, lightweight option, possibly a Danolight.

This is an okay headlamp but not quite adequate for tearing through dark woods at speed. Needless to say the ride was interesting. I was having fun though, no doubt about it. Riding at night can turn a seemingly 'boring' trail you have ridden 1000 times into something new and challenging. Not to mention it extends your riding season quite a bit. I can get rides in after work now until the snow hits.

I got the X8 working again after getting home, drying things out and making sure connections were secure. Hopefully I can avoid further issues in the future.


  1. have you used it again? send it back if that happens again, obviously

  2. that setup is epic...and its way better than moonlight....remember the time when......

  3. That danolight sounds like a good backup for the $. I need one of those... I have had mine die on me once while riding solo with no back up. Luckily I wasn't too far from my car. Every time I ride without a back-up i feel like I am pushing my luck.

    Just this Tuesday 3 of us were chased by a dog on the way out of the woods, not seeing how close or how big the dog is makes it extra exciting - night riding is fun.