Day 28: See and be seen – reflective cycling gear

31 01 2010

The New York Times reported today that Zelda Rubinstein, the actress who played Tangina the clairvoyant in the movie “Poltergeist,” died on Wednesday. I always liked her in that movie. “Don’t go into the light, Carol Ann!” R.I.P. Zelda.

Speaking of light, I realized recently that I have a fair amount of reflective gear that I use/wear while on bike rides. I have two tail-lights and two headlights. One headlight (a 1-watt Planet Bike Blaze) is my main light. One of the best inexpensively-priced lights I’ve ever owned. The other is the Sigma Micro, a small light I usually set to the blink setting.

If those lights aren’t obnoxious enough to enable crazy drivers to spot me easily, I also wear other reflective gear when I ride in the evenings or early mornings when it’s dark outside. I used to wear one of the orange mesh reflective vests over my jersey or jacket, but I got annoyed at the way it seemed to constantly ride up my chest as I rode. A few months ago I bought an Amphipod Xinglet Pocket, a suspender-type “vest” that is adjustable and seems to stay put. Supposedly it’s 40% more reflective than most running vests. It includes a 4″ x 3″ front pocket to stash your ID, keys, or a few dollars. So far, I like it much better than the vest I used to wear. It was $30 at one of our local runner’s stores.

When I ride in low-light situations, I’m always a little concerned that cars around me may not be able to see my hand signals. The Nathan reflective bands are easy-to-use snap bands that can be worn around your wrist, ankles or even around a your bike frame or a backpack strap. Pretty handy little thing.

So I’m about as geeked-out as I can get when it comes to lighting and visibility, but I’d rather be a geek than roadkill. I’ve spotted one particular cyclist here in town that has probably a hundred different lights all over his bike. I hope to get a photo of him someday. He’s quite the sight.

What kind of lights or reflective clothing do you use?

Today’s starting weight: 151

Food journal:

Breakfast:
— none (slept late today)

Lunch:
— Strawberry banana smoothie = 250 cal.

Dinner:
— 3 pieces pepperoni pizza = 1,015 (damn!)

Snacks:
— 1 fat-free pudding cup = 60

Tomorrow we start our new routine of staying home and cooking dinner (gasp!). And I need to get back into the exercising, but the physical therapy on my torn rotator cuff and tendonitis is proving to be rougher than I anticipated. No pain, no gain though, right?

Thanks for visiting. See you tomorrow.

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