And the next bike light is…

The Cygolite Hotshot USB 2 Watt taillight.

Cygolite Hotshot USB I heard good things about this light in some cycling groups I was reading, so I thought I’d give it a try. I spent some Discover Card cashback bonus and didn’t hurt the wallet too much. It sells in the $28 range, so even full price would not be bad.

So here’s the deal, why would I need yet another bike light?

Well, other than I have become interested in following the topic, using a very bright light, one bright enough to attract attention in bright sunlight, is the second most important thing you can do to keep safe when riding your bike on the road.

What’s the first?

Well, riding where you can be seen, in the middle of the lane, if possible. Cyclists that hide off to the edge get hit. Continue Reading…

Charlotte McGeady, Craigslist Scammer

I have been selling a recumbent trike on Craigslist and get an occasional inquiry email. The other day, I got this one:

From: Charlotte McGeady margc55@wildblue.net
Subject: Trike
My Adopted son who is computer savvy is looking to help me send money
to you through my verified PayPal Acct. Therefore, i will need your
PRICE and PayPal email to send you Money. Anxious to hear from you.
Best Wishes
Charlotte
Sent from my iPad

Continue Reading…

Solar V3.0

In case my last post about the USB dynamo didn’t tip you off, I’m working on a third version of a solar power system for bikepacking.

Solar trailer 2.0

V2.0 on the GAP Trail. Solar panel covered up.

My first and second attempts were a 12 volt system in a bike trailer that used a large 22Ah SLA battery for storage. The first version used a commercial 15 watt solar panel, and the second used a 20 watt hand made panel. These were somewhat successful in that they worked, but I never really utilized their capabilities to fully try them out. The size and weight were drawbacks and even though I did take the trailer on at least one major trip, I didn’t use it all that much. I don’t think I ever used the 120 vac inverter.

Since then things have changed a bit in terms of my requirements. I’ve given USB powered bike accessories more thought and since they seem to be the way of the future, if not totally here already, it makes a 12 volt DC system a bit of overkill. That’s why I’m looking at the dynamo charging as well as more compact solar panels. Continue Reading…

And, another bike post…

Whether I’m out riding or not, I’m thinking about it and how to do it better. In pursuit of self-sufficient power for extended overnight tours, I’ve been playing around again with generating power while on the road.

I came across a post somewhere on the internets about charging 5v USB devices off of an old style generator like used to be used for headlights on bikes. Technically, they are dynamos, but I know you’ve seen one once. I have a couple kicking around in the garage from long ago.

Bottle dynamo rescued from garage

Bottle dynamo rescued from garage

So, I cleaned one up and began thinking about building the circuitry needed to produce a 5v USB charging source.

Meanwhile, I came across a all-in-one solution, only money required.

It was a Pyle PBDNC10 and I found it on Amazon.

Well, in the interest of simplicity and cutting haywire, I decided to order it. It was only $35 and was basically a bigger “bottle” generator with all the circuitry built in. Just plug a USB cord into it and ride. Continue Reading…