Friday morning came with the rain and a forecast of dry weather by 7pm, just on time for the start of the ride. All I had was a possible two riders for that evening, which was not surprising due to the weather condition. Unfortunately things went a little wrong for me and was running very late. I texted my riders to let them know that I was running behind schedule and to go up cardiac at a leisurely pace and that I would be meeting them there. I was not the only one having problems that night as I had a text from Gus (3c) telling me that he was having brake problems and could not make it.
Got finally to Friston by 7.20, only to discover that in a rush, i had picked up the wrong handle bar clamp for my bar light. Will be braking my own safety guide line of always MTBing at night with two lights in case one did packed up. So I went out with an helmet mounted prototype 3 LED light from Ituo, the light had been only tested at home and I got over an hour run time on high 2200+ true lux under fan cooling, sufficient run time for that time of the year. (I had spare helmet light head and battery in my ruck) I went on family trail and up cardiac hopping to met my riders. Towards the top of Cardiac, I meet with Elisabeth Coleman, one of my regular riders. On this miserable wet day, she was the only one out apart from another rider from the 3C ride, who also was cycling. We took Doris and Bert and half the way down we were over taken by another rider Jim Wells (3C ). We went up cardiac and took what we call the bomb crater run/tron/fairy trail (does come up on Strava as Geronimo, in blue on the map). The new XP3 prototype from Ituo was giving me plenty of very use able light. The angle adjustment of the light on my helmet was quite critical so that I had enough reach but enough light on the trail One light had to do the job of two lights, bar/helmet. After a couple of stops and adjustments, I got it right. Regarding the hot spot that you often see in the video, this is not seen by the human eye and the light beam is a lot more gradual with out the bright hot spot. The camera lens is a lot more sensitive! About mid run, I took my gloves off and checked the light to see how hot it was (this was a trail untested light). This certainly was hot but no more than the Solarstorm X2 or the Yinding YD, so I did carry on full blast, with over 2000 true lumens. The trails were very muddy in places and it did remind me of some of my last winter rides. A few minutes before getting to the end of Tron/Fairytrail where it meets with Snake&ladders, the light step down to about half power than about 4s later to a miserable dim safe mode of about 70 lumens, good as a road marker but a little scary when you are on a dark forest trail! Once I stopped, I tried the other modes and nothing else would work. I tried a fresh battery pack, still the same! I had been told by Ituo over a month ago that they were still working on the light as they were not happy with its behaviour. I had obviously found the reason why they were still developing it! 🙂
A day later the light is back to its former output, so nothing damaged, just need some more tuning. You can see the Stava screen print, we had a fairly short ride but a lot of Fun. I understand from Elisabeth that she is loving her new Giant hard tail, not surprising as she use to ride am old rigid hybrid steel bike, good for learning MTB skills but very tiring and less forgiving that bikes with suspension. Hope next Friday will be dry and sunny and hope to see many of you. Luc