Sunday, November 18, 2012

Let There Be Light

The first thing I noticed on waking the morning after we arrived back from our KVR adventure was that our city had installed new street lights in our absence.  It was easy to see that the new lights were brighter and gave off a blue light rather than the salmon - coloured mercury vapour instruments that had been used for so long.
My blue heaven

In the winter, the covering of snow that blankets every surface acts as a reflector and bounces any ambient light into the surrounding atmosphere.  So when you're cycling, it is not all that dark.  Oh sure there are spots that are dim - like the service road that I come across about at the halfway mark of my commute.  It is so dark along that road that one must pay close attention to avoid the hundreds of potholes and the lake that forms every time there is a melt.  As you may remember dear reader, I took an ice cold bath in that lake on my way home one evening and since I was at the halfway point of my commute - did I continue home or go back to work and find another means of transport?

I went home shivering and at every stop light I bent my arms straight to break the glossy sweater of ice that threatened to freeze my arms into a permanent handlebar position which would mean I couldn't turn left or right.  In theory, with our city's grid system, that would work, except my commute is not a straight line and besides - what about the continual alterations to avoid pedestrians, cars, busses, ice, cats, snowplows, errant rabbits and other bicycle commuters?
My friend Molly

My friend Molly contends that if you have a light on your bike and you set it to flashing, the strobing of your light can catch the attention of motorists and cause them to actually steer toward you. I like that idea.  Maybe then they would see me and avoid a collision.  Upon sight of me, they's have to steer clear of me - I might have taken a frigid bath and not be able to move my ice covered limbs in time to prevent a auto/cycle incident.

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