Monday, February 29, 2016

Finding Enlightenment - Exposure Lights

I’m writing several posts about the main pieces of equipment that powered me through my first 24 Hours Solo. Leading into the race, probably the biggest gulf in my experience was riding when the sun ain’t shining - although I would have night ridden many years ago in the Dublin and Wicklow Mountains, it had been at least six years since my last time riding off-road at any sort of pace at night (it was Bontrager 24/12 where Mel and I raced in the 12 hour pairs race - two to three hours total at night between us).

In 2008 we had both raced in the UK, and Mel being who she is (always seemingly super fast) won the “Queen of the Night” competition in a 12 hour race we paired up in (basically, fastest female night lap) - the prize - a shiny new engraved Exposure Maxx-D light which to this day she cherishes. We played with it, experimented with some other lighting systems and decided to go all in with Exposure Lights. For the next while (and any time we were on the road at night ) a Maxx-D and Joystick was on our bars and helmets - indeed, many of our friends loaned those same lights as they did 12 and 24 hour races themselves. Those lights from 2008 are still “on the go”!

Middle of the night
For the Worlds, I wanted to upgrade to the latest and greatest - everything I could reasonably optimise I would - for me (due to also working in the real world) I don’t believe in being “sponsored” by a company unless that company would be the thing I would have bought anyway - saving a few hundred Euro is nothing in comparison to the personal investment I have put into the sport - I will always go for the best equipment whether sponsored or bought. 

That is where Exposure came in - for the race I had two 6 Pack (2000+ lumen on full) and four Axis (bigger brother of the Joystick) for the race. They all fitted into one 6 Pack carry case and safely into my hand luggage for the flights to New Zealand.

My setup was simple - I ran the 6 Packs on the six hour mode and changed every four hours (never cutting it fine, although in fairness, I could turn them down to twelve hour mode and it was still enough light for the tight single track). With the Axis, I changed their program from the standard 1.5 hours on high to 2 hours and switched them out every two laps as lap times were around the hour mark during the night.

Early morning
The mountings I left on the bike and helmet from start to finish as at only a few grams, it wasn’t worth switching them on later (and I only had one helmet/bike with me anyway) to save weight.

Throughout the race, there is not a thing that I could fault with the lights - worked exactly as expected with no surprises. Now I can’t wait to get home and do some night riding before the nights get too short :)


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