[HONK! HONK!] Hey Frank! How's it going, buddy?
Still biking, I see!
Hi, Fred. Sure, I'm still biking. How's your Rambler
running these days?
Hey, she's good as ever. Oh, I gotta put a new layer
of duct tape on these windshield cracks, and I probably ought to fix
my left headlight, but you just can't beat the Rambler, you know?
She just runs all year long. Heh! Too bad you can't say that about
your bike there!
What do you mean? My bike's fine, Fred!
Yeah, but you're going to have to put it up for the
winter. It's getting dark too early, buddy! Hmm - is that why you
left the reflectors on your bike 'cause you're such a safety freak
and all? See, I took my reflectors off to save weight.
Well, yes, I've got reflectors on this commuting
bike. But I'd never rely on just those! I've got a headlight and
taillight for riding after dark. See?
Are you kidding me? Bike's don't need lights! Shoot,
man, what do you think a back reflector's for? It's so you don't
need a taillight! And the front reflector's so you don't need a
headlight, and then you got reflectors on your wheels and pedals.
You're wasting money on lights, buddy!
Hold on, Fred, hold on. Don't you know the laws?
It's illegal to ride a bike after dark without a headlight. In some
states, you also need a taillight to be legal, but I always use one
anyway. Besides, it would be really dumb to ride in the dark
without a headlight! How would you see where you're going?
You keep calling me dumb.
Um... no, I'm sorry, Fred, that was just a figure of
speech. But really, you've got to have lights! What if you
were riding along and there was a pothole you didn't see? You'd be
down in a flash! But worse, drivers of cars might not see you.
Yeah, but that's what reflectors are for. They show
up in the Rambler's headlights - or I mean, her headlight. I
probably ought to get that other one fixed...
Well, reflectors help, but you can't trust your life
to them. They can get bent or cracked or dirty, and you can't tell
they're not working. And sometimes a car's lights won't hit them in
time - like when you're riding north, and a car's coming on a side
street from the east. By the time he sees your reflectors, it's too
Besides, some cars' headlights might not be perfect,
you know. Bikes need their own lights! It's common sense, and it's
Well shoot, I didn't even know there were
lights for bikes. But don't they weigh you down? Don't you spend big
bucks on batteries?
Not necessarily. There are three kinds of bike
headlights. First, there are small handlebar lights that run off
flashlight batteries. They're inexpensive and they're way better
than nothing, but they're kind of weak.
Second, you can spend over a hundred dollars for a
A HUNDRED DOLLARS???
Yeah, I know, Fred. But some super-bright lights
with big rechargeable batteries cost that much. Lots of people
really like them, even though they're pretty heavy.
YOU KIDDING ME??? Sheesh, why not just buy a motor
for your bike!
And the third kind is a generator light. They're
pretty hard to find these days, but I really like mine. It gives
better light than a handlebar light, and it's always ready when I
need it. No batteries to worry about!
Yeah, I had one of those when I was a kid. But it
slows you down, you know? And mine broke anyway.
Oh, it doesn't slow you down much - maybe a mile per
hour or so. And sure, you have to take care of it, but you have to
take care of any light! If you choose a light with an expensive
rechargeable battery, you have to make sure it's correctly charged,
or you can ruin it. If you choose one with disposable batteries, you
should carry spare batteries.
Wow, that's going to cost even more. Hah! Are you
going to carry a spare headlight too? Hey, get it? A spare
headlight? Pretty funny, huh?
Not at all, Fred, sometimes I do that. Bulbs do burn
out, so it's nice to have a cheap headlight as a backup. And that's
what reflectors are, too - just a backup for the lights.
When you think about it, most cars have a
spare headlight, don't they? Except for, oh, the occasional
Yeah, maybe I ought to get that fixed. Maybe next
week, after I tape my windshield. Well, I gotta get going before it
gets too dark for me to see where I'm going. Wow - headlights for
bikes! What next?
Drive carefully, Fred. And hey - watch out for
bicyclists at night, OK?
- © Frank Krygowski