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Friday, January 1, 2016

Icycle Bicycle 2016; Cyclops Bike Headlight

mtd:10 ytd:10
If it's New Year's Day it's also Icycle Bicycle time. This year the ride started at 1100, which I think is a bit later than previous years. It was a good weather day: 30F, dry, light blowing snow. It was a bit windy.

Although this is an "obey the law, stop at red lights until they turn green" event, this is also an uber-casual ride as far as route and distances go. I love the way Jim Logan described it on Facebook:
The basic concept is we are riding down to the west end bridge and loop back. We are all adults, so pick your own ride. As soon as you turn around it will feel warmer. So turn around if you get too cold. The course is to the 16th st bridge up the Allegheny. If you want to get back faster, use the Fort Duquesne walkway through Point State Park. If you are faster want to go farther, go to the 35th st bridge. Or the 40th. Or so on.

Photo by Lance Letterio

The nice folks at REI put out some cookies and hot chocolate. My wife Karen and I met RC at Big Dog Coffee before the ride. After the start, we rode northwest along Carson Street and crossed the West End bridge. Karen and I deviated from the route to cross the Roberto Clemente bridge. Market Square, Blvd of the Allies, Jail Trail, back to base. A great ride as it always is, a chance to see a lot of compagnon de route (which is to say, fellow travelers) and exchange good will at a time some folks are still recovering from the previous night.

Got into surfing some FaceBook, got into a discussion of front-fork mounts for lights. Ended up looking at this 1900 US patent, for a rig that turns the front headlight left-or-right when the bike turns, so that the beam slightly inside the curve and illuminates where you're going rather than where you're pointed now.

I think I could implement this on my bike, it would be pretty cool.

This is, I think, the same function as the center Cyclops headlight specified in the Tucker car design, which had the adjusting/dynamic headlamp at the center of a three-bulb array:

Kind of interesting that a revolutionary and ahead-of-its-time 1950 innovation comes from the bicycle realm in 1900.

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