So what is a lumen, anyway?
Well, Merriam-Webster defines it thusly:
lu·men noun \ˈlü-mən\
plural lumens also lu·mi·na
Definition of LUMEN
1 : the cavity of a tubular organ or part
Oh, and here's the pronunciation.
I'm now more confused than I was when I started this post.
Anyway, in addition to lumens, I also got lights. Lots of lights. Enough lights to illuminate a Broadway show, a night cricket match, or the cavity of a tubular organ or part. Check these out:
The Blinder Arc 1.7? 170 lumens.
The Blinder Arc 5.5? 550
Compare that to this rock, which has exactly zero lumens:
Not only that, but good luck mounting it on your handlebars.
In fact, I got so many lumens I may have to give some away, but one thing at a time. In fact, I haven't even tested them yet, which I'm looking forward to doing, even though I live in New York City where there are streetlights everywhere, except for certain sections of greenway, which I don't use at night anyway because I'm afraid of getting jumped.
Still, the lights should be good for a laugh, and I can't wait to mount all four lights and see how the average salmoning Citi Biker reacts to 1,440 lumen-strong blast of light to the face.
I bet I burn their faces like Richard Dreyfuss in "Close Encounters" after he sees the spaceship:
("Too many lumens!")
And that's not all. Coincidentally (and don't tell Knog), Jet Lites has also sent me their "F3," which has 1,000 freaking lumens!
I think somebody's going to be doing some after-dark mountain-style bicycling this season [indicates self with thumbs], though I'm going to have to find someone to come with me, because the only thing that scares me more than getting jumped is nocturnal animals, and I imagine my first ride with the F3 would go something like this:
Seriously though, look at this:
Now tell me that's not horrifying.
Sadly, I think it's going to be many weeks before rugged all-terrain mountain biking is an option, since all this melting snow is going to leave the area trails looser than a nonagenarian's stool. See, this is the time of year when the trunk-rack-and-full-suspension set descends upon the trails after not having touched a bike since November and proceeds to leave gigantic ruts and gouges everywhere as they make videos of themselves riding over the same small log over and over again. They wear their mud-splattered full-face helments and Monster Energy Drink jerseys like badges of honor, though to me their ensembles call to mind the protective gear worn by the mentally challenged and the seizure-prone.
I however, am more conscientious, and while I may be too lazy to help maintain the trails I at least try not to make extra work for the suckers who do.
Speaking of melting snow, I hereby withdraw every complaint I've ever made regarding New York City's clearing of greenways, because we've got nothing on our neighbors in Westchester County, where I foolishly attempted to use the South County Trailway last Sunday. I know from experience they never clear this thing, but I figured that by now all the snow would be gone. Sadly, I was mistaken, and my first indication that I was making a mistake was this disgusting pile of filthy snow blocking the entrance:
This sordid snowcone was covered in chocolate sprinkles--or, more accurately, dogshit:
You know, cyclists get a lot of crap. We're smug. We run red lights. We go too fast in the park. We block traffic, our bike lanes take away car parking, we yell "On your left!" while wearing stupid outfits, and blah blah blah.
I want to know where all the hatred is for dog owners, who are a thousand times more smug than cyclists, and whose dogs do something our bikes don't do, which is leave shit everywhere. (I mean really, even bike messengers are toilet trained.) Oh, also, dogs bite people. Sure, I could conceivably hit you with my bicycle, but at least my front wheel wasn't chewing my ass moments beforehand. (Though I guess it may have rolled through your dog's shit.) Worst of all, 100% of dog owners think they have control over their dogs, when in reality maybe 1% of them actually do. How many times have you been riding in the woods when some giant dog explodes out of the underbrush and almost takes you down? Then the distant owner calls out some command, like "Helios, come!," and Helios is like, "Save it, yuppie" and just keeps doing whatever the hell he wants, including trying to sniff your crotch. Then when the owner passes with his stupid walking stick (because you need a walking stick in a park where you're never more than half a mile from your Subaru) he shrugs and give you the "Sorry" smirk, and in turn you give him the finger because he sucks at dogs.
So anyway, I figured that apart from the filthy mound of snow the rest of the trail would be fine, so I hiked over Mount Dogshit in my dumb roadie shoes, and while I managed to avoid the dogshit I succeeded in getting iced out of my stupid roadie pedals. Then everything's fine for a mile or so, until I get to this:
Obviously on a real bike that's no problem, but on a Fred bike with skinny tires and those curved-type handlebars like they have in the Tour de France, it was a nuisance--as was this, which I encountered soon after:
Still, I kept going, and eventually got to this:
So they don't do anything about the snow and ice, which is irritating enough, but they could at least get rid of the fucking abandoned snowmobiles:
(It's been that kind of winter.)
By the way, I should point out that this is a rail trail, and while Justice Breyer is all worried about bicycles running through people's houses, maybe he should be more concerned about the freaking snowmobiles--though it would be pretty awesome if one of these flew off the trail, though a bay window, and onto someone's dining room table.
Anyway, I'd totally have taken that snowmobile home if I'd been riding a bakfiets.
At this point, I realized I'd have to give up on the trail, but before heading back to the streets I stopped to urinate, at which point I discovered the frozen corpse of the rider:
Though if it was him I'd be tempted to point out that he's not wearing a helment.
Lastly, via a reader, here's exactly where not to place a bell:
Though I guess in the absence of actually stopping you can ring it frantically and hope people get out of your way.