Why the internet is not a good thing …

sometimes, and why it is for other things.

I’m crackers – I ride my bike every morning at 6am.  These days it’s no longer training for cyclo-cross – my X bike is hanging up now 😦 casuality of working Sundays in the woods, all the X races were on Sundays.  So, to resume, I still go out at 6am for a good brisk thrash, these days it’s up Netherghyll out of Cononley weekdays and a longer ride Saturdays.  At 6am here it’s dark (and surprisingly often pretty cold too, but that’s another pair of long johns) so my bike needs lights.  I’ve had lots of lights over the years, many pretty bad as I tend to be a cheap skate in most things and expensive lights I’ve always avoided.  Avoided until two years and two months ago that is.  I decided when the last front light died last time that I’d upgrade myself a bit and bought a moderately expensive Cateye LED front light.  One attraction was the onboard rechargeable battery, and the lower power beam with a high power that gobbles the battery power.  The light also has a flashing function and the battery lasts for ages in that mode.. I tend to use the flasher where there are street lights and the low beam where there aren’t any.  There was an added bonus – when the battery is running low a red LED lights up at the die of the lamp.  What luxury, many a time I’ve set off with a bright light that was clap dead 10 minutes later (I devised various strategies for dealing with this).

OK.  With me so far?  This autumn as the nights drew out (Do you mean dawn was later and later? -Ed) I started using the LED light again, I must have left it fully charged as recommended, as it worked fine for a while.  In due course the red LEDs started showing so I plugged the charger in.  Hrumph, next morning the red was still showing. Changed the fuse etc, and finally decided the charger was bust.  It had a two year warranty, you guessed – it ran out a month before I found it wasn’t working (probably because I’ll have dropped it on the floor at some stage during the Summer (remember those days?)).  I contacted the Big Bike Shop on the Internet from where I purchased same and asked if they di a service or replacement service.  This is the reply:

Hello Thank you for your email.Unfortunately we don’t stock spares for this item, however we could replace it if any of our customers sends a faulty unit back with a charger. At the moment we don’t have any at the returns office, please come back to us in a couple of weeks should the situation changes.Apologies for the inconvenience.RegardsPaula

Well, I don’t know, not really what I call customer service.  I checked out the importer’s website and the charger is a spare, I also found that there’s a supplier 5 miles away.  Contacted them, yes they would get a spare in for me.  Then a couple of days later they said they had these lights in stock and I could have a charger from one of them to get me going again without delay.  That’s more like it.  I collected the charger today, and gave them my complements and told them I would have bought the light from them in the first place if I’d know how poor the other lot (Southerners!) were.

So buying from the big fab old Internet does has some advantages (like price), but I worry that local shops like the one in Keighley that gave me excellent service suffer.  Anyway back out before dawn tomorrow with hot flashing light.

On the other hand I made a fresh sheath for my everyday knife today:

These instructions were very helpful.  My stitching would be a little improved by an awl of the correct shape (I used a round one!) but at least I am no longer in danger of the knife tip digging into my leg through the hole at bottom right of the old one.

4 thoughts on “Why the internet is not a good thing …

    • Hi Tico!

      My everyday knife is my friend, I use it for tidying up after turning, cutting string, carving, etc, etc. It’s a cheap little Swedish Mora 137, it has a laminated steel blade that really cuts the mustard. In this picture you can make out the join between the steel sandwich if you use the zoom function that comes with the site: http://www.mora-of-sweden.co.uk/morakniv-classic-137.html . The blade on mine has shrunk somewhat now though, through constant use and sharpening over two years, it is shorter and narrower now.

      Erik, Eat more carrots so you can see in the dark, or try the Cateye HL-EL610RC Single Shot, the red LED warning is really useful.



  1. The light situation is complicated, I commute around 40 km a day, and since I work in shifts, a whole lot in the dark (trough field and forest). After some mistakes and near misses, I ended up having two USB rechargeable lights from BBB. I ended up having two because the batteries seem to die out all of a sudden, instead of slowly giving less light, pretty dangerous in the middle of the woods.

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