bike lights – bright cheap bike light that runs off a powerbank. What is a good commuter bike light?

I've been looking for a good solution for lighting during night rides. Choices abound, and lumens are not a reliable way to judge brightness. Furthermore, reviews are pretty difficult. One person says they ride at night all winter, and they have some little flashlight they use. Only to realize that they are riding on city streets and the winter temps don't drop below 40F.
Pretty different if you are riding in 10F with ice and snow on unlit roads.
Or if you are riding in those conditions on singletrack.

If you want just a quick way to go, I would go with the knog microchip. For $50, you get a bright light, in a compact format, that works for nighttime commuting. Or a cygolite 600, also for about $50. These are widely available and so can be purchased from a local bike shop (preferable) or online, and likely returned if not functioning

Another way to go is what I did: tape your backpacking headlamp to your helmet.

Having found that I want something on my handlebars for the winter, I entered research mode again for something that was better and cheaper.

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How do you develop a good and happy life? Good life, path, and goals. Developing a system for doing what you like that seems robust and happy.

So you have many drives and they are not essentially good or bad. Then you have living a life, which involves practical and universal questions of how to feed, clothe, and where to live? How to make friends and find a partner? How to contribute to society? How to be happy yourself? I think, like many have, that contributing to society should come from being happy yourself.
What is being happy, then? Well that's a good start, there are lots of different things that society has described as happiness. Beyond that discussion though ...

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What does Aristotle miss? Cons of Aristotle. Where do Plato and Aristotle agree or overlap?

I understand that the Aristotelian end is something like the goodness of overall society and humanity for everyone, everywhere. And that it judges morality of an action, in relation to this grand 'end'. However, I think it misses something.

Does it imply that someone devoted to some grand end, would then be okay committing smaller transgressions? Given that they serve an end?

This whole line of questioning, of whether the ends justify the means, could be solved by going back to where Plato and Aristotle overlap.

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What do Ira Glass, Plato, and Aristotle have to do with living a good life? Build a good life with taste and production.

What should a person do to build a good life?
Well that is the thing, you can accidentally put together a good life. It does involve hard work. But the experimenting wasn't working for me, so I decided to take a huge step back and drop what I knew, and try to build something from the ground-up...which, I was hoping, would still leave me enough time and resources to actually produce a good life =) I think it takes on average about 5 years to start having external indicators (financial support, recognition), but internally it can start almost instantly, and for larger world impact, probably 15-20 years.
Here's my approach below.
What a practitioner should know is that there are two parts: identifying and/or developing good taste, and being able to produce that yourself. It is like Ira Glass says about taste and producing a volume of work...but now applied to your life. As a practitioner of philosophy, you get a sense of what is good, then you have a sense of what is good from a financial and (for lack of a better word) "real world" life. With that, now you produce it. The taste is the killer. If you don't know where you're going, you can only get so far, but it is stumbling. That's where I was before, just stumbling around through successful accolades, hard work, and various fits and starts.
Self awareness comes into play. And also why people say you spend your life, not finding yourself, but making yourself.

How do you develop good taste?
So good taste, I mean you could randomly come upon a path from all the various things in media, from your family, from friends, and be directed or go after something that is good. Lots of people do. And then you may not need to know all the bad things, but just know this is good. But then again, there are plenty of poor emotional drivers or patterns out there. Good taste can come from hanging out with people with good lives, studying good lives, but you need exposure, and you need a sense of what is good. Philosophy can give you a sense of the emotional, moral, internal good, but like religion is incomplete without study.
For real world, you do the same thing, take a look at how people structure their time investment, their relationships, how they deploy financial resources, how it affects emotional state, and what they end up doing and experiences they have. Develop a sense. It can be harder because you need exposure to whole lives, up close. I gained that through interesting happenstance.

What are the tools of production?
Most people talk about hustle, hard work, grit, etc. but that doesn't apply to me. I know those tools already. I was raised on those tools of achievement.
That's why I'm talking about self-awareness.
I think this generation is the first to embrace therapy in the United States in a long time. We have the ability and desire to look for an edge, and the edge is in emotional state.
You can't produce really excellent work, long term, in a healthy state without emotional tools.

The next tool is identification of your problem solving method.

The next is embarking on a path devoted to increasing that method and also testing that method.

Then having done somethings with that method, your emotional goodness should drive something good to do with that method. The method is called a path or goal.

Then there is something like life work, but that's a whole other progression.

How to get started in the productively in the morning?

Try reading in the morning
I have trouble getting to my first task in the morning. Here are things I consider wasted time: social media, reading outdoors articles, watching TV, even listening to the sacred podcast in the morning. It would be great if I my morning routine started me off and then just went straight into the things I tell myself I want to get done.

When I get to work, I'd like to start doing the things I said are important.

My working theory for the past few months has been to do whatever it is that my brain / body / system is asking for. What could those things be?

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different approaches to achieving a goal, like playing monopoly

various methods of problem solving
let's say you want to play a game, let's say monopoly

someone created the game of monopoly
some make 40 versions of the game and sell it to people
some buy a game called monopoly
some buy multiple versions of the game

someone wanted to play the game
some buy it
some invented it
some would see the game and make their own pieces out of paper and objects at home
some tweak the existing game to make it more exciting
some would find a friend who has it and ask them to play
some would assemble a group of compelling people, then invite someone who has it
some would have it suggested to them
some would steal it from a friend
some would steal it from the store
some would create a business selling them and keep a couple for themselves
some would assemble funds to start a business, keep a couple, and close the business

many ways to get to the same stated outcome, but with different externalities and conditions and consequences and benefits

this example also relates to the idea of using a goal to motivate the path, but the path is the reward

actually how to play:
get monopolies, obviously it is literally the name of the game
orange and yellow properties, but you can win with anything
negotiate deals like free rent
institute the rule of auctioning - it is in the official rules
buy when you land on something - especially when no one owns it, you get two or three, you block someone

early in the game, pay to get out of jail
late in the game, hang out in jail

Frugal displays of wealth

The common displays of wealth are things like a nice house, a car, and Veblen goods. The next displays of wealth are things like careers. I want to come up with a better vision of what matters. Of the things of value.

healthy body
the pursuit of your calling
mobility of time
comfortable in your own skin

purchase your freedom

these are available, but do require work.

the minimal bike corral

I have an idea of the bikes I want.

Well, I really want a steel bike that can ride fixed or geared. I would likely leave it fixed most of the time.

Well, what I am saying is that I would like a fixed gear bicycle. One in a road geometry. Or cyclocross.

Then I would want a mountain bike. And frankly, if that mountain bike could take 3 inch tires it could do all the snow.

So now that means a surly crosscheck as one bike and a troll/ogre/karate monkey. And just be done with it.

The other thing I want is well, what do I have and what can I do with what I have?

Now I also have a fat bike.
I have a fixed gear sole that my friend gave to me.
I have a fixed gear track bike that I bought.
I have a raleigh grand sports that I am fixing up.
I have a specialized rockhopper mountain bike that I bought.
I have a diamond back rigid mountain bike singlespeed.

Now for the other bikes
There is a specialized frame that is too small for my wife.
There is a bridgestone kabuki which is really cool and too small.

For reasonable weather (above 20F) I think two bikes would be a good compromise. A road style bike for the good weather and summer. And a mountain bike style bike for the crud in the winter.

You could expand from this framework or tweak it. For example: a road style bike could be a full on race bike, a fixed gear bike, a cyclocross bike, or even a touring bike. These would depend on your needs: go fast, extremely low maintenance, a little off road ability and versatility, or ultimate in hauling ability. For the mountain bike it could range from a proper fat bike with 26x4+ tires, a 29er, or even a 26inch steel hardtail. This could be riding in mostly fresh snow, taking the trade-off of lots of fresh snow for lighter and faster, or even a mountain bike for extra fun times during the summer.

Right now, I have too many bikes, for doing too many things, and frankly, I could just have an extra wheelset and cover it, but they 1) work well and 2) were acquired for low prices and 3) would sell for low prices as well. The studded, 26er, rigid mtb is the epitome of that approach in that, well, it was $25 at a university bike sale, and purpose built it to be a winter bike. It has studded tires, cantilever brakes with tons of clearance for muck, is fully rigid and single speed for low maintenance in the winter. Fewer parts for salt, mud, muck, and snow to mess up. For a few months out of the year, some of the parts are encased in ice. The fat bike is something that could potentially sell for a good price, but I get use out of it still and for snowy days or when the road is sketchy, there isn't much that it can't do. Now that there are 29er bikes, I might go with a 29+ bike, but I do not know that market currently. The true fat bike does allow me to ride all around and I have done a few races where only fat bikes are allowed. The downside is that I cannot put it on a bus, but other than that, I can bring it on the train no problem.
The fixed gear is my favorite for summer and actually most general commuting...with a front brake. My current fixed gear does not have a front brake and that makes me not want to ride it as much.
The raleigh could replace that bike if I converted it...which I might do this afternoon.

Thoughts on bike fit

Sure, bike fit is important, and I do not want anyone to get hurt. I just mean, I have seen little kids learning on adult bikes and they get along fine. I mean there weren’t even really children’s bikes. Kids would ride just whatever bikes were available. But I am not asking a kid to ride a bike for 24 hours in a Day across Minnesota. Bike fit can be important in preventing injury and increasing enjoyment, but there are the questions of how much knowledge do you need, how do you go about getting a fit, and how else can you prevent injury and increase enjoyment.

What is the concise summary?
Go to a bike shop, get a basic bike sizing, get on a bike that works for you, and then buy the bike from the bike shop. Done, a good shop will get you sorted. The Walmart that my parents bought my first bike at got us sorted. A real bike shop will do better and have better quality stuff, but hey, I want everyone to ride bikes, not just people who think that $200 is not enough money to buy a first bike.

The other way to go is to learn. This is the path I chose and bike fit necessitates being on the bike and feeling what a bike that fits feels like. Often in life there are trade-offs: spend money or time, spend time or be more skilled, gain knowledge or hire experience. I spent time and less money figuring it out on my own by riding different bikes, all kinds of geometries and sizes and set ups, reading everything I could, researching in my special way, and seeing what I liked, what feels good, why a 120mm stem on a bike can feel weird, or can be useful for a roadie on mountain descents riding an intentionally undersized frame, why a quill stem is can be both beautiful and cumbersome, why they should make step thru men’s frames.

If you are riding enough and listening to your body and paying attention, I mean a bike is almost the opposite of a black box. It is all there for you to see.

How should you approach bike fit?
So you could spend in a few different ways, up front by hiring expertise, or with your time and effort. I think that long term, the experience is an investment if you want to eventually be able to buy used, save money, and figure things out yourself. If you are just starting out, just get something that feels kind of right, at a lower price and ride that a lot, until you decide, hey I want something nice and from all that riding, I have an idea what I want. Then go to a bike shop for a sweet, sweet ride.

The main thing is to ride bikes. They are freedom. They are health. And one or two should really cover it. Sell the rest.

One bike life

First off, I have too many bikes. Like actually. At least I can recognize the problem?

10 bikes for 2 people...
Well it's 2 bikes for one person (reasonable), 5 bikes for me (ehhhh), 2 bikes that are to be sold. So I'm the glutton.

How did it come to this? What happened to my glorious one-bike life?

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how to live a good life series: how to recognize a good life? what do you do with your life?

look at yourself and ask yourself, what do you want to do every day for the rest of your life and do that. you can do an 'easy way out' or 'makes a lot of money for not much effort' to give you time and resources, but you should not get distracted thinking that is the way you want to live your life. what you want, is to live your life doing something that helps you grow, that in the doing renews, and that, well you can put your whole self into. and because in the doing it renews, well, you have an abundance to share with your family as well.

almanzo gear list – what to bring

When I first started backpacking, I tried reading all the different blogs and websites, and what really helped was asking people online about their experiences. I would message people who had hiked before me and ask about their gear.

Reading distilled philosophies of people who had hiked from Canada to Mexico, built their own tents, or had been hiking for 20+ years, was a big game changer for me. As I applied those lightweight philosophies, my gear list changed and I started to understand I valued. Values are the core importance.

The problem is, I do not have an idea of what to bring on a gravel race. Or a bike race in general. When I run, I just bring, well, I might bring a layer. I might bring a buff or vv (very very) rarely gloves (if it is like below 25F). But adding a bike...I mean there's a bunch of other stuff.

Does this look right to you?
(P.S. I'll update the list as my strategy develops)

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how do you live a good life?

so how do you decide what is your best life? work towards growth and fulfilling a motivation in a good way. something is good for you, if it comes from those motivations.

motivation is an aspect people mention a lot. it is a magical fairy dragon which solves all problems. to find motivation, sometimes people refer to energy, and that it comes in a can of coffee, online e-course, or new computer eye glasses.

the reason 'following passion' or 'being more motivated' has not solved peoples' problems is because it is conflating and confusing multiple drives.

it is like looking for a partner that is supposed to be beautiful, smart, funny, your coach, your mentor, your best friend, your social circle, your fitness instructor, your personal body guard, your cook, your psychologist, your advocate, your ... you see what i mean?

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the almanzo 100 and pursuing real things

the almanzo seems like a big thing to me. a real thing. that feeling of something really pushing your limits. it is an untoward thing to say it is a feat. a feat is something like working two jobs, six days a week to support your family, and doing it while keeping yourself true. i would say the almanzo is a good training tool. the real reward of something like the almanzo is the training that it drives.

a real thing impels you to get over those little bumps in motivation.

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road to almanzo bike race series

last night i spoke with my cousin on the phone and he put the fear of god in me. i thought i was doing okay with my training. he asked how many miles i was up to. i told him 165. he said, no, what is the longest ride you have done? i said, like 8 miles? silence. i said i was on track to have a few hundred miles done before the actual race. a heavy silence. "i kind of feel like i'm behind?" i said.

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