Monday, March 17, 2008

You may already be a winner!

Now that Daylight Savings Time is officially upon us, I have to try to ride in the dark. Oh, sure, I need lights on the first half of my commute in, but usually I use them in flashing mode any more. I'm sure that many/most of you are the same--unless you work the night shift, in which case I feel your pain... I really do.

Now, I want to help you, dear reader, in your endeavor to commute by bicycle and I happened to have a brand new, never used, removed from the packaging for photo taking only Knog BullFrog. This light is very similar to the Toad we previously took a look at. The main difference is that it is mounted horizontally, rather than vertically.

Now, here's what you need to do to bring this baby home. In the comments section, leave a message telling us why you need this light--how much it'll change your life. Jon and I will pick the best tale and this bright little sucker could be winging it's way to your abode--shipping on us, naturally.

Now the caveat: Open those residing in the United States only. Sorry guys, gotta keep the shipping cost down.

Edit: We'll announce the winner in one week, Monday, March 24th.


Alan said...

My employer is relocating their offices to the core of downtown Sacramento near the Capitol. Frankly, I’m not excited about moving from the historic brick schoolhouse that I’ve worked in for the past eight years to a modern high-rise cube farm in the city center. But there is a silver lining; I’m using the move as a catalyst to shift from a combination of telecommuting and driving, to multimodal commuting via bus, train, and bike. In the process we’re eliminating a car (we’ll now be a 1-car family of 5). Besides being the right thing to do in regards to the environment and our dependence on foreign oil, it’s the equivalent of giving myself an $8,000-$10,000 a year raise.

A major issue with many mass transit systems is what is called the “Last Mile Problem”. As Bike Friday’s Alan Scholz describes it, “In personal transit terms, it’s the problem of getting from your house to your bus or train stop, and from there to the office and vice versa - twice a day, when it’s just that little too far to walk.”

My new 60-mile round-trip commute will involve around 12 “last miles”. My plan is to cover those transit gaps on either end by bicycle. I’d like to use a recumbent, but our trains and buses have only limited space for bikes and there’s no guarantee of getting a slot on the racks. Plus, the bike parking at my company’s new location is only marginally secure in a fairly high-crime neighborhood. The solution? A folding bike to carry on the bus and store under my desk during the workday.

The way I see it, a folding bike for regularly carrying on-and-off of buses and in-and-out of elevators needs to collapse down to a clean package no larger than a small suitcase, do it in under 30 seconds, and weigh no more than 25lbs. After much research and hand-wringing I ended up with a Brompton S3L. It’s a compact folder with 16″ (349mm) wheels and a quick fold, that rides very much like a full-sized upright bike (albeit on the “twitchy” side due to the small wheels and compact wheelbase). The most impressive aspect of the Brompton is the folded package; at 22″x22″x10″, it’s the most compact of the conventional folders. With a nylon slip cover pulled over the bike, the package looks more like a musical instrument or suitcase, a good thing when transit or building rules bar the entrance of bicycles.

Based upon your excellent LED light review at, I recently purchased a DiNotte 200L headlight and DiNotte 140L tail light. I'm also running a Princeton Tec EOS and Planet Bike Super Flash on my helmet. I'm feeling pretty good about my light set-up, but since I'll be commuting year-round in all sorts of weather conditions, an extra blinkie might just be enough to save my skin some late night on a dark, cold, and wet commute. :-)

The Recumbent Blog

Craig said...

As the owner of Dinotte lights myself, I cannot imagine why I need more lights. I thought of writing some clever limerick about how space aliens were going to take my first born if I didn't get the lights, etc. However, I realized that someone in my condo complex, her name is Susan R, could really use the light and she couldn't possibly justify buying lights as extravagant as Dinotte's. She is a single mom who commutes on her bike, rain or shine, every day to her job on the other side of town (she usually rides to the train station, rides the MAX train through Portland, then rides the rest of the way to work).

Why does she ride her bike everywhere? Susan, for numerous reasons including the environmental impact, chooses not to have a car, which means her and her now 6 year old son spend a lot of time biking or taking public transit.

If you send the light my way, I'll be sure she gets it - a gift I am confident she will really appreciate and may even save her life some day. I'll even send you a picture of her with the light on her bike when she gets it installed.

Craig (on behalf of Susan R) in Portland Oregon.

Alan said...

Take me out of the runnnig - I like Craig's idea of gifting it to his well-deserving neighbor.

The Recumbent Blog

Brandon said...

I saw this post, and thought great, I commute 17 miles each way to work, and it's starting to get warm enough for me to venture out in the salt lake city morning, the only problem, it's still to dark, and I don't want to get crushed by some sleepy eyed motorist in the mornings. A light would definitely allow me, and give me motivation to start my commute a few weeks earlier in the year, instead of having to wait until it gets light enough to safely ride. But upon reading Craig's post, I think he has a great idea. His friend sounds very deserving, and I think it's great he first thought of someone else and their safety.

Sean said...

Why do I need the.......I really don't need it. I'm so happy with my Dinotte 600L and Tail Light. Rides to work at 4a.m. are easy with this thing. Mtn biking at night is heavenly. No, I don't need the light, SUSAN does.
I just want to know if Craig has other motives. Besides keeping Susan safe.
Give the light to Craig to give to Susan.