Sunday, August 21, 2022

Inexpensive Biomotion Taillighting

The other day I read an article on BikeRumor! about a Kickstarter project for a biomotion taillight. Basically, studies have shown that if you highlight the motion of a cyclist's leg motion, drivers identify the object ahead of them and register it as human faster than if they are just seeing a conventional bike taillight. This makes sense to me, and for years companies have made pedal reflectors and reflective ankle bands with this idea in mind. The new element is active illumination of the cyclist's legs.

While I am in favor of any innovation that will decrease my chance of being run over, the Kickstarter light is a bit beyond my price range and it won't ship until September/October of 2023. "I bet I could build something," I thought.

It turns out that I didn't have to build anything, I already had what I needed in my pile of parts. Back in March I'd seen a really good deal on USB rechargeable bike taillights on Amazon. I've gradually been replacing my lights that use disposable batteries with USB rechargeable ones. and these lights were very inexpensive in a batch of six:

They can be toggled to either flash or constant lighting of red or white LEDs and they come with a little rubber mounting strap. They are quite small and I mounted one on the back of my helmet and a couple of more on the back of a couple of my bikes. And I still had a couple left over.

All I had to do was cut a small rubber shim and I mounted one of these lights on each of my fixies two seat stays, pointing forward and just under the brake. It looks like this:

The white lights shine forward and down, illuminating my rotating calves and reflective ankle bands. I think the effect is quite eye-catching.

Kent Peterson

Superior WI USA

P.S. My typed posts on a wide range of subjects show up daily on my blog at

Monday, August 01, 2022

2010 Tour Divide Call-Ins

Back in 2010, I was a rider in the Tour Divide Mountain Bike Race. I blogged about it extensively at the time and you can read my blog entries on this blog from June of 2010, you can pretty much get the whole story. The story actually starts in 2005 with The Way of the Mountain Turtle and concludes with The Return of the Mountain Turtle which I wrote at the end of 2011.

While the blog posts, write-ups, and pictures captured much of the experience, another part of the story was told in the racer call-ins, which, through link-rot have disappeared from the internet. I was unaware that all the audio was lost until yesterday, when prompted by a query from someone who had been quite moved by my final race call in and was looking for the audio, I started hunting around and realised that I didn't have those files either.

But, I am very fortunate to have a meticulous friend in Mark Canizaro who, together with my wife Christine, served as "Mission Control" for my 2010 ride. And Mark did still have audio copies of my ride call-ins and he sent them to me.

Blogger doesn't like MP3 files, so I spent this morning converting them to MP4 files, which appear below as seven pictureless videos. So now, in the interest of historical completeness, you can here a younger me dispensing advice I still stand by: Get out there and ride.

Kent "still answers to Mountain Turtle" Peterson
Superior WI USA