I find a lot of tail lights. Like finding change on the sidewalk or a golf ball in the brush, when I find a bike tail light, I don’t try to find the rightful owner either. Mine all mine. What goes around comes around. In the jersey pocket it goes. I think of the lights I find as the come-around for all the lights I or my wife has lost. Reverse karma. I find at least one per year. We lose at least one per year. It’s a Seinfeld breakeven. The cycling universe is in complete harmony.
On Saturday, I found a light just off the bike path in Loveland. Nothing great, it didn’t have a logo but it looks like your typical Planet Bike small 4 or 5 LED, two AAA battery clip-on type light. The batteries were still good. Woot! Must’ve been a fresh kill. Of course it was knocked loose when the owner got to close to the LED snatching zombies that hide out near the jarring railroad tracks. It was in the grass. No doubt they never even heard hit the ground. Thank you. It’s mine. Nanny nanny boo boo. I’m sorry, but in the last three weeks my wife has lost the red cover of TWO taillights. Consequently there are two riders out there right now saying, “Cool! I just found a new cover for my broken light!” There’s no way I’m leaving this newly found light on the top of the next post or bench along the path for the “rightful owner to discover.” Before you say Karma will get me, keep in mind Karma indeed is in full effect. In my book, Karma still owes me another taillight, and I’m keeping my eyes out.
To increase my chances of finding MY other light, I’m on full tail light alert. So, be warned. Hold your tail lights close. The five second rule does not apply. If yours hits the ground, there’s a guy like me right behind you waiting to snatch it up. If you’d prefer that I do not become the new owner of the tail light you possess, you can do a few things:
1) Don’t ride at night. Instead stuff your tail light in your sock drawer forever.
2) Unless foggy or riding through a forest fire, don’t put your tail light on your person or seat bag when riding during the day. If cars can’t see you in bright day light, you’re going to get run over anyway.
3) If you must chance a ride at dusk, don’t use the clip-on to affix your light to your seat bag or rear jersey pocket. We have used countless lights with the clip-on feature; none of them are any good. Instead write a check for $14.95 to “Cash” and paper clip it to your jersey and ride around for a few hours.
4) Don’t use a tail light on a mountain bike ride. Still can’t quite figure out why I found a tail light on the trail at East Fork State Park last fall, but thank you very much. It lasted until my wife rolled over some railroad tracks two weeks ago and now it’s in someone elses hands I’m sure.
5) Avoid the tail light eating Zombies that hide out alongside railroad tracks and underpasses in counties where voters turned down the street improvement tax levy.
6) Mechanically fix your light to your bike or person. Or, take it a step further. Grab your light. Go to the “hipster” side of town and have a local piecing artist implant the LED’s on the back of your neck or a few on each butt cheek. Laugh now, but they already sell LED nose rings. It’s just a matter of time.