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Four of us went out for a ride last night, pushing on into the dark. Some really nice paths but also some really nasty nettles (and our fair share of mud in places). We didn't get rained on, so I count that a brilliant success overall! Just over 15 miles, 2h30m. The map is at http://www.sportstracklive.com/track/map#antonpiatek/Mountain-Biking/742981/full but has a bit of a bad chunk in the middle where my phone died and we couldn't be bothered to wait for a reboot.

When we do night rides, and even in the middle of summer past about 9:30pm, a decent set of lights is essential.

Back lights

Back lights are pretty simple - a bright Smart one is good (maybe the Lunar R1), or the Cateye TL-LD600 provides a lot of light. For front lights, things are a bit trickier. Decent units can cost £100s of pounds.

Budget front lights

A few of the guys in the club have bought lights from dealextreme.com. They're a far eastern website and shipping takes a few weeks. There have been a few instances, if you google, of DoA units but they seem quite good at replacing. The build quality (and the mounts in particular) aren't up to the same standard as the big money lights, but they're very good value.

This is a snapshot of the kind of units that were available in Jan 2012 - you might need to do some poking round. Magicshine are the "premium" budget ones - these'll cost you £70-£100. You can get copies down as low as £40 or so.

  • http://www.dealextreme.com/p/ssc-p7-3-mode-900-lumen-led-headlamp-bike-light-set-4-18650-50947 - budget option, basically a magicshine copy
  • http://www.dealextreme.com/p/ha-iii-cree-ssc-p7-c-sxo-5-mode-900-lumen-led-bike-light-set-4-18650-included-30864 - similar to the above but with a cree LED instead of p7

following are "MagicShine" models:

  • http://www.dealextreme.com/p/mj-808e-ha-iii-cree-xm-lt60-3-mode-1000-lumen-led-bike-light-set-4x18650-57100
  • http://www.dealextreme.com/p/mj-808-ha-iii-ssc-p7-c-sxo-3-mode-900-lumen-led-bike-light-set-44459

I would take their claims of lumens with a pinch of salt, if you are comparing with "proper" lights, but they're pretty bloomin' bright enough! ;-)

You can get similar, once you've identified the keywords to search for, from ebay and amazon UK, e.g.
http://www.amazon.co.uk/iaMOutdoor-Lumen-Rechargeable-Waterproof-Torch/dp/B006RHB41Y/

Backup (get-me-home) front lights

...?

We're planning a day trip to Afan in South Wales on 18th April 2012.

Some details about Afan. You can hire bikes there (and some of us will be doing so).

We will probably leave Hursley at around 8am and be back around 8pm. This will give us about 5 hours of cycling. There is a good cafe half way round one of the routes.

We will be organising the trip, lift shares etc, via the cycling club mailing list, if you are not on this list and would like to come along please get in touch with Kathleen Sharp or, if you're not within the IBM firewall, email us at admin@cycling.ibmhursleyclub.org.uk.
We held our 2012 AGM on 1st March. You can read the minutes here.
We'll be in the canteen on Tuesday with information about the club and what we get up to. It's You* election time so there will be Bike2Work information too, as well as representatives from local cycling shops.

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