A Short Dark Ride Down Memory Lane
Remember the common battery-powered bicycle lights of the late 1970s to mid 80s? Perhaps you are not old enough to have experienced them, or maybe you are too old to remember, or maybe you have mercifully erased them from your mind. Yes, they were that bad. Here’s a few:
Plastic was big then…
Here’s a Wonder light (a French brand, but this one was made in the USA.) One tiny bulb, powered by a couple of C cell batteries, is used to simultaneously light both the front and back. The light was strapped to your upper arm, or to your leg, or to the seat tube of your bike. No velcro, just a strap with a buckle.
This was the little bulb expected to do it all. As I recall, the rider was encouraged to wear the light strapped to his ankle, so that when viewed from the side, it would appear some sort of giant demon-eyed, demented rabbit was hopping down the road as you pedaled past.
Or you could strap this on your upper arm. It had a proprietary, sealed, arched lighting element that produced a blinding white strobe. It was attention-getting, but highly annoying. I found it awful for cycling, so used it to light jack-o-lanterns at Halloween, to good effect.
The local Schwinn dealer sold the batteries, and they were fairly expensive, so you didn’t want to use your light for very long at a time. You would ride in the dark unless absolutely necessary to supplement with the feeble rays of this gizmo.
It did have a fairly creative mounting system for attaching to the handlebars or perhaps the stem or head tube.
If you ever are foolish enough to long for the “good old days” remember how lucky you are to have LEDs.