Walk the walk if one feels the need to run their mouth about how people should get around right? Well maybe some people just have an easier time telling everyone else what to do. Maybe sometimes we make excuses for why we can’t keep up with our responsibilities. Maybe we have to leave at between 5:30 and 6 to get to work on time and are just bad at prioritizing. Or, perhaps, the light we needed to leave at the time was broken. That was all rhetorical and mostly truth. All of that can be solved through the application of non delayed action. That’s what I mean when I say that motivation is crap. I am really motivated to do all of this. Right now. But it’s freakin’ 10:41. What good is this?? Still though. We gotta work with that we get handed and the the ability to do that is way more broadly applicable than fickle motivation. Broken lights though? That’s easy. And recycling in this instance. So, double-whammy at minimum.
This is my second headlamp from the internet bazaar. The first died and to this day I don’t know if the battery itself gave out, or if the lamp quit. It had three lamps and was incredibly bright, which is good because my ride into work is incredibly dark. Municipalities seem to be under the impression that the responsibility of lighting falls solely on the individual that has decided to embark upon their journey like a cave person. You want to ride around exposed on a steel horse, better bring a torch because the bike paths around here are not lit. At all. Now, I haven’t raised the money to do this and I can’t imagine anyone else has bothered to either. There is no estimate I could provide for the cost of those lights, but they stick them on roads and it would certainly encourage people to jump on bicycles. At least enough to alleviate some of the traffic around here. Not everyone is going to bike, and it would be unreasonable to demand that everyone does. More of us can than are though. I certainly can so long as I have a light to get me to work. Whereas my first light gave out in a manner rendering it unusable, the second failed only to remain attached to my cranium. Plastic products on the internet bazaar are not always of the highest durability. A plastic clip that connected the strap that formed the headband snapped, leaving me with a lamp wired to a battery pack and two-thirds of the elastic I needed to wrap those around my helmet.
There was a picture of a bicycle on another website that had a remote battery pack attached to the side of the bicycle. This battery pack connected to at least the front light. Going into that search, in the back of my mind, was the idea that I needed to fix the light on my own bicycle. When I got out to the garage, my plan was to recreate the first assembly (which is a really loose use of that term) that was slapped together when the lamp originally broke. With a bungee cord that did pretty much nothing and the broken straps wrapped around the handlebars and then layered again with most of a roll of electrical tape, the light stayed attached where needed and aimed slightly to the left. Mostly optimal! However, the tape covered a bolt that allowed the handlebars to be adjusted and given that the fit on this bike is being tweaked on an entirely whimsy-based process the need to remove the light became inevitable. The reattachment of the light was not immediately subsequent and thus my morning rides and commitment to something resembling values was cast aside. Until tonight that is. Subconsciously inspired by that picture perhaps, or just presented with an opportunity to really look at a problem and let a solution come to me I realized that I was in possession of everything I needed. First, the straps needed to be slipped from the surviving plastic clips. The light itself is mounted to a hinge with a flat plate. The wire to the battery pack runs out of the right hand side and through a loop for flexibility. After reaching for the ever handy electrical tape, the thought occurred to me that having to cut the tape off every time the power cells needed swapping seemed impractical and counter to the ecological and economic purpose of the bicycle.
The bicycle was sold to me with a small black bag with a busted zipper that once pulled most of the way closed refused to open again without a spritz of penetrating lubricant and creative use of a hook on the end of the bungee cord used in the prototype attempt the first time round. That bag was located, zipper surgery performed, and with some extra looping of the primary strap and a sturdy self looping elastic bungee with a ball on the end of it for good measure, a battery pouch was fabricated.
The light itself sits perched center and pointed low on the handlebars. The lights are supposed to be angled down because as squishy cyclists its in our best interest not to blind drivers so they don’t feel the urge to run us over. They should never feel bothered to switch away from their high beams or make sure that that the buy it now halogen LED turbo lazer beam headlights are adjusted to point at the correct road angle and not straight at my clearly able to adapt to sudden light changes pupils. The hinge was a little floppy and since the town can’t be bothered to fix every single pothole simultaneously it would bob around and be less than useful overall. Electric tape wrapped around the hinge seems to have rectified that issue.
I think I just accidentally lived out that trope of the engineer’s flowchart (does it move, should it?). The graphic designer that agreed to marry me says that it looks retro. That’s pretty much all the praise I’ll ever need.
Now all that stands in my way is laziness. And a lack of sleep. At least I wrote this blog post though. Do you give yourself credit for the little battles when the little battles seem like pyrrhic victories? Might as well, right? Right. Just keep telling them it’s about code. Coding. Coding what though?