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December 14, 2007

How Mountain Bike Riding At Night Taught Me About Business Planning – Part 1

Filed under: Business — Tags: , , — Greg Larkin @ 8:00 am

Hello everyone and welcome to the first posting! I plan to use this forum to dive into various topics of interest to folks who are involved in entrepreneurship, software development and methodology and/or release engineering. I hope you like it, and please feel free to post comments and suggestions.

And so we begin…

Some of you may have noticed that it is getting dark very early these days, especially here in the frozen wilds of New Hampshire. I believe that it’s pitch black around 4:40pm. For a dedicated endurance athlete like me, this does not leave a lot of time to go outside for a nice workout during the day, so as a resourceful sort, I’ve been using the after-dark hours as an acceptable time for recreation.

To give you some context, in the mid-90s several of my friends and I stumbled across the idea of combining mountain biking with darkness. One problem with that idea turned out to be that none of the lighting systems we had at the time (flashlights, laser pointers, matches, jar of fireflies, etc.) were very good at illuminating a narrow dirt track in the woods that was rife with roots, rocks and various eye-poking branches. As dedicated geeks and unable to find affordable illumination options in the market, we each created our own homebrew lighting system, typically consisting of the following:

  • PVC plumbing tubes of various sizes and shapes
  • 12V halogen bulbs, typically 20W each
  • Silicone caulk to hold bulbs in place
  • Lots of wire and solder
  • 12V lead acid motorcycle battery (4+ Ah preferable)
  • Bicycle seat bag with reinforcements to hold a 5lb+ battery in place while bouncing over aforementioned roots and rocks

It was generally difficult to get through a ride without laughing our heads off due to the novelty of riding in the woods at night. It was also difficult to get through a ride without one or more systems breaking down, forcing the unlucky cyclist to ride at the front of a group of folks with enough light to make up for the loss.

To be continued…

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Greg, LLC

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