- Genesis 1:3
Ever been riding against the law - i.e. without proper safety lights? Tired of those pretty much useless knee and arm lamps which always turn into the wrong direction after a while and are only visible from one side?
Well, here's my solution, for approx. USD 10.
Get the following:
The lighting is *very well* visible for oncoming traffic, you won't be bothered during riding and you emit the correct colour into both directions.
Here's a video clip (1 MB) of the lamps in action:
The Night Rider Cap - v2.0
When I got my new riding helmet with a smooth surface the blinking lamp from version 1.0 turned out to be unusable (too slippery). For such smooth surfaces I have now come up with a new and stable construction which does not need any drilling or glueing. However the riding helmet must have vents such as can be found on cycling helmets. The construction presented here can therefore be easy used on bicycle helmets, too.
It is not advisable to drill into such helmets or to stick adhesives onto them because their construction will be weakened by holes and/or the solvents in the glue.
Parts needed for the Night Rider Cap v2.0:
Putting together the contraption
Use a nail polisher or a thin screwdriver to prod carefully for the openings of the air vents. Pull 4 pieces of string on each side of the traverse parts ("bridges") under the air vents without damaging the cap body. Move the inner lining temporarily to the side as needed. Make 4 loops, one with each piece of string. Fasten quite tight knots and move them into the empty space between the inner lining and the actual protective layer (see image) because otherwise the knots could be felt uncomfortably on your head.
Punch holes with a diameter of approx. 4 mm into each end of the short Velcro "female" strip. Fix this strip with the bolt and nut belonging to one of the lamps tightly over the hinge which holds the two lamps together and use two washers to hold and protect the strip.
Connect the two lamps in an angle of approximately 20°. The white lamp should be pointing somewhat downward in order to get a better view of the road from high up in the saddle.
Without the lighting contraption being attached to the helmet practically nothing can be seen of the cord loops. They remain quite well hidden in the air vents (see image above with the 4 green markings)
Attaching the lighting
Pull the 42 cm long female Velcro strip with the "active" side downward through the 4 loops and leave the same amount of strip hanging loosely on both sides. Using a female strip here instead of a male one the shiny surface of the helmet will protect it against scratches.
Connect the male Velcro strip with one of the loose female strips on a side over the total free length of approximately 10 cm (see image).
Hold the hinged lamp combination on the envisaged spot in the middle of the helmet between the two cord loops. The side of the hinge covered with the female Velcro strip must point upward.
Now pull the loose ends of the male Velcro strip (which is now attached along a length of 10 cm to a female strip) tightly over the small female Velcro on top of the hinge of the combined lamps and attached the end of the male strip very tightly to the other loose end of the female strip i.e. beyond the last cord loop. The lamp combination is now well attached fixed and will not budge.
Ready! Switch off the lights and turn on the limelight!
In Germany and Holland blinking lights are forbidden on public roads, they have to be on continuously. On riding trails (there) you are allowed to use blinking lights as long as the horse or the rider behind you does not get utterly psychotic. On public roads horses/riders must use lighting (for your own safety!).
Last not least a hint concerning good batteries: GP Recyko rechargeable NiMH batteries are excellent and will lose only 15% of their charge in the course of a year when not in use. You can shop for them at www.conrad.com and in well-stocked electronics outlets.
The Night Rider Cap - v3.0
For those who do not need or want the size of version 2.0 and who do not want have the first few meters of their path lit (but still want to be seen by others) the following simplified version will suffice. You only need two strings but a broader pair of velcro strip and two small and flat bicycle LED lights. Mind you, in some cases such lights do not have replacable and/or rechargable batteries.
I wish you a safe ride!