Thursday, 22 January 2015

blazing the path

Testing Little Willy, the new bike headlight (all the neat names like Blinder and Predator were already taken)

Here at Gert Macky (publishers, bicycles fettled, a song a dance a merry quip), we always have our eye on what's going down on Teh Street. And this winter, what's been going down a lot on both the street and on the towpaths and roads near us has been intrepid cyclists striving for ever brighter headlights. Now, auntie Vera was in the ATS during the war, operating a searchlight on a hill near Bristol, and she happened to mention a disused hangar Somewhere In The West Of England that was stuffed with the things at the end of the war. 

Reasoning that a light intended to pick out a Heinkel 111 flying at 15,000 feet would be perfect for sticking on your bicycle when riding on the Bristol to Bath cycle path, we hot-footed it down there and blew away the cobwebs. Result! They are quite bulky, but with a bit of tweaking we got them to fit on the handlebars of some test bikes, and sent out our researchers to road test them.

Results have been extremely positive. Of course, there have been objections from some antisocial fuddy-duddies, suggesting that things were already bad enough when cyclists used lights more suitable for blazing a trail through the uncharted wastes of the Rockies or Carpathians, than for a gentle commute on a well-defined path through suburbia. As our testers pointed out:

You can always look away
Of course we can't dip the lights, that's how they're set up
I'd fall off my bike laughing if some self-appointed warden told me to dip my light
It's just light envy
F***ing wanker
There's always someone complaining*


*all these points were made by cyclists on a couple of Facebook posts discussing this very topic