by Gus Breiland
There are big and small conveniences to riding gear. Over the past few years, we have provided reviews of things like helmets, pants, bags and bikes. What gets left behind are the hoo-has and doo-dads that are shoved in miscellaneous pockets and pouches.
Let’s start with the Formotion Spot Clock. This little battery-powered stick-on clock has been a true find for me. I hate watches and can’t stand having my cell phone on so I am usually asking others for the time or just not caring. When I do need to watch the clock, I am usually on my way to work and fully suited up, so the cell phone and wristwatch are undercover anyway. The only thing better than a well-timed bank clock is the Spot Clock. It is .85 inches in diameter and sticks nicely centered on your speedo glass or stuck to any other flat surfaces. I can easily read it, even at speed. It is waterproof up to 99 feet of water, and at that point you have other problems.
The adhesive so far has lasted on my scooter for 2 years and I just pulled the watch mechanism off of the glued on plate to replace the battery. Simple, easy, and it doesn’t clutter the cockpit of your bike like GPS and other such devices. The only downfall to this watch is it does not have back lighting or a glowing face to read at night. At $18, this is a simple little addition to your bike that adds convenience…and a gauge on whether that last cup of coffee is ok before heading into the plant.
As for seeing at night, flashlights are cumbersome and you can’t always get off the bike and stand in its headlight to see. In fact, it may be the dead bike is the very reason you can’t see.
This leads me to the Quiqlite. It is a simple, single LED button battery light that has a molded clip that slips onto the Darien jacket’s (I am sure others, too) left breast pocket and provides 40 hours of continuous use light for simple tasks of looking in your wallet for your ID, cash, or maybe a loose bolt on the ground. The head of the light is on a pivot, and slipped into a shirt pocket or riding jacket, allows for hands free use. It is about 1 inch wide, by 3 inches long and a half of an inch thick. Editor Wanchena enlighten me to this item (he claims to have changed a tire one dark and lonely winter night by the light of one) and at $18, it is a small, but very useful addition to your riding kit.
I wear mine every day without thinking about it and when I am in need of a little light; it provides visibility in a pinch.
Ah visibility. For you daily riders, you know the struggle of rain spots, bug guts, and what ever just fell off that truck and landed on your lens. You don’t want to know what it is, you just need to get it off. The Aerostich Clear View Kit is a must for anyone who rides with glasses or a helmet. This $18 dollar, mini spray bottle, micro fiber rag and pouch are always present in the right hand arm pocket of my jacket.
The pump bottle has a soft scrub pad to help remove bugs and gunk from my lens without damaging my faceshield, and a squeegee for working the extra dry stuff or wiping the lens clean. A quick wipe with the cloth, inside and out, and I can see again. The pump bottle is easily refilled with a couple drops of dishwashing fluid and water, making it a reusable item for many miles to come. This also eliminates the need for you to have to use the primordial ooze called window-washing fluid at gas stations on your nice helmet and lens. You don’t want to know what is in there.
Aerostich, yet again, can provide you with all your needs (I gotta move to Duluth) and they can be found at www.aerostich.com or 1-800-222-1994. Formotion Spot Clocks are also available in Minneapolis at Midwest Cycle Supply at 43rd and Nicollet Ave in Minneapolis. 612 825 9774 (Prices may vary between dealers)