There is one day a year that brings a tear to my eye. It’s the day when I lose a precious hour of sunlight every fall. As a top ranked trail runner, I live for the warm bright months of training on some of the best trails in the world. So naturally I dread the day when I have to turn back the clock and loose a much needed hour of sunlight. However, this fall I came across two things that are saving my sanity, and my relationship. First, my discovery of randonee race gear. Superlight ski racing equipment which allows me to skin up the mountain after work. Secondly, my new Light and Motion Solite 250EX, which provides me with the much needed light to play outside and stay fit for the upcoming race season.
Don’t get me wrong, I really love training in the sun. I am solar powered. I spend hours running, hiking, biking and anything else I can come up with to keep my mind and body fit. However, in the winter months, by the time I actually hit the trail, the sun always seems to be setting over the horizon. This is where my newest love comes in, the Solite 250EX. I have always loved my Light and Motion Urban and Taz lights to aid all of my snow biking adventures. I love the compact size, the light weight, the lack of any wires, and most of all the USB rechargeable feature! However, my annual switching of sports from riding to trail running, skimo racing and nordic skiing has required that I get a hands free set up. The Solite 250EX foots the bill perfectly.
The Solite 250EX's light weight and compact size makes it great for running. Sometime I even forget I am wearing it, which is bad when you walk into a store and blind someone with your light. Trust me, I have done it. The wide band is easy to adjust and disperses the minimal weight of the battery pack. I also love the easily adjustable front light. As the trail steepness changes, I am always making micro adjustments to the angle to fit the trail grade. Once I adjust the angle it always stays in place and never moves around. The light output mode is also very easy to change. The big button on top makes is easy to change my lumens even when wearing my heavy duty ice climbing mittens. And yes, I do often wear my ice climbing mittens, even in the middle of summer.
It gets cold in the mountains and this girl is only 100 pounds. Which is the other thing I have noticed. Wind nor rain and snow or the cold of winter has managed to kill my trusty little Solite. Even more importantly, nor has the daily coffee spill, the periodic drop into the snow, or the occasional toss into the washer. Not that I would recommend any of these things. No no no!
One of my favorite activities is trail running up Hanging Lake in Glenwood Canyon. In the winter it's a fully packed trail with steep inclines that often require me to "army crawl" up sections and make head adjustments as necessary for the ever changing grade. More importantly, it gives me the free hands I need to push my fiance out of the way when we are near the top racing for our fastest time. Some of the time, I do let him win though. It’s just good relationship management :)
My other favorite winter activity to ward away the crazy voices in my head ( a natural side effect of long winters) is the aforementioned skinning up the mountain. For the skin up, this light is perfect. The band is adjustable enough that it fits over my helmet, the side safety lights makes me visible to all the grooming operation vehicles, and again, I barely notice it on. Under a full moon or clear night, this light is bright enough to ski down at 45+ miles an hour with plenty of visibility to the ever changing terrain, or the occasional early season rock. However, if the storm clouds are out, I would suggest a few more lumens. I did find that at lower speeds and a little more caution, the 250 lumens will do the job. However, as a former ski racer, controlling my speed is not my strong point.
My favorite features of the light are the little things. The USB is a MUST have for me! The battery life also allows me to go several days without recharging it. And oh yes, it’s Shawnie-proof durable. I am always tossing it in my bottomless pit gear bag, in my car, and wherever else I find convenient at the moment. I look forward to seeing how it holds up through the rest of the winter. But based on my other Light and Motion products, I have faith that it will hold up to everything I can throw at it! Until we chat again, don’t forget to run off the crazy!