Call me a Cinderella cyclist. Im happy to gear up and ride anywhere, anytime -- until the clock strikes a certain witching hour. Then Im pedaling home hard to beat the sinking sun. Riding at night is an activity Ive avoided since I picked up road biking a decade ago. Id sooner hop on an indoor stationary bike to train for triathlons and even longer races, like centuries and gran fondos, than hit the road when the streetlights come on.Why am I so afraid of the dark? For starters, I dont trust drivers partly because, as a native New Yorker, I never got my license. I worry that I dont understand how folks behind the wheel think. These four-wheeled beasts feel foreign to me and my two-wheeled steed. It doesnt help knowing that more than 800 people lost their lives in a bicycle and motor vehicle collision in 2015, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. One in five of these fatal crashes happened between 6 p.m. and 8:59 p.m., reports the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center.Bottom line: I love my life, and putting it on the line for an evening ride never seemed worthwhile to me. I know that sounds dramatic, especially to some of my daring friends who think Im being overly cautious. Theyve long told me how peaceful and fun night riding can be. I dont doubt it. I know this bustling city, particularly Brooklyn where I live, can feel calmer in the darkness when everyones winding down from their workday. And frankly, as an anxious person, a little calm would do me good. In those ways, I realize Im missing out. This is why I was open to the idea of getting the right safety gear to finally give this a go.The detailsWhen I received an opportunity to test the new Visijax LED Cycling Jacket with Turn Signals from Sharper Image ($154.99, sharperimage.com), I initially wrote it off for the aforementioned reasons. But it stayed with me. Truth is, the best story ideas scare me a little. And I really do wish I were brave enough to bike at night for fun. A few days later, I returned to the website to watch the video on how it works and then read reviews on Visijax.com. One customer comment in particular gave me some hope: The lights are really, really bright and even when theyre not on, the yellow is unmissable. So I ordered one.Unlike my other cycling jackets, this unisex model had 23 built-in LED lights and reflectors strategically placed throughout, including the chest, arms and back. It comes with a small, lightweight, rechargeable Lithium-ion battery pack that lasts roughly 30 hours. It discreetly plugs into the jacket via an inside pocket and hidden cable.Flicking the lights on or off is easy. You just push the power button sticker on the front of the jacket, which connects to the battery, and choose from three operating modes: one tap to switch on front and rear lights (slow flash), a second tap for quick flashing mode, and a third to display all lights with no flashing. A fourth tap turns it all off and youre back to just a regular, no-frills neon jacket.The coolest part: Motion-activated turn signals in the sleeves (on the front and back, just below the shoulders) flash for about 5 to 10 seconds when you indicate youre heading left or right. This way, youre better able to communicate your riding intentions to others at all times.The testOn an unusually warm night this fall, my friend Tishon met me outside my Brooklyn apartment at 7:15 p.m. to bike about eight miles round-trip, heading north towards Williamsburg. I felt good about this little adventure because its a route Ive done many times in daylight and Tishons one of my badass friends who enjoys pedaling after hours. The minute I walked outside and switched on the jacket, I lit up like a Christmas tree. From the look of surprise on Tishons face, it really felt like Xmas, too.We laughed over my light show, then hit the road, down the highly trafficked street of Vanderbilt Ave. Using the well-marked bike lanes helped ease my nerves. My jacket was so bright that I didnt even use my standard mounted bike lights. When it was time to make a right turn, I happily flung my arms out to signal my plans. So far, so good.Once in Williamsburg, we veered to the left (arm up!) to this hidden little park overlooking the East River and Manhattans twinkling skyline. Then, after about 20 minutes of star and skyscraper gazing, we headed back south, toward home, but first we stopped for tacos. This afforded me another half-dozen brilliant turns onto main roads and side streets. By the time we got to my apartment around 10 p.m., I felt like a bonafide night rider. The cherry on top was when my neighbor Pepper, who was standing outside the building, looked at my shining armor with envy and asked where she could get one.What I likedFull disclosure: I love bright things. I own a fluorescent pink bike helmet and snazzy white sneakers. So I was kinda excited to wear this highlighter-yellow number out in public. That said, even I was a little self-conscious (see cons below), but I did feel very hard-to-miss. Knowing that my fashion statement would stop traffic did make me feel extra safe. This ultimately allowed me to enjoy stepping outside my comfort zone and expand my little world.What I didnt likeAs much as I love all that glitters and glows, I still felt a little shy in this hello-high-beams number. Its hard not to feel geeky in safety apparel in general (looking at you, knee pads), especially something this eye-catching. Also, I was pretty warm under all of these lights. The rainproof fabric, coated with Teflon to keep you dry, is breathable thanks to air vents, but on this temperate night it felt toasty. I had to roll up the sleeves to my elbows to let in the cool breeze as we rode, and that seemed to do the trick.Another concern: The motion sensors didnt always pick up on my turn signals. As the night wore on, my gestures became a bit more elaborate to set off the flashing. That could be because I only charged the battery for an hour beforehand. It probably needed a few more hours to be fully charged.Worth it?Yes, though I havent completely gone to the dark side. Riding on a cool, sunny day in a car-free zone will always be my preference. But with this jacket, I feel less vulnerable, more protected and truly open to opportunities to experience my favorite activity in a new way. In fact, I already have evening plans with another friend to hit the town on two wheels next week. Yup, Im officially taking this dazzling show on the road, and would recommend it if visibility is one of the key reasons holding you back from riding at night too. Nike Roshe Two
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. -- Brandon Jennings made the most of his first game with the Detroit Pistons on Sunday night. New Zealand kicked off their 2016 international campaign in the best possible way, pasting Australias womens rugby team 67-3 at Eden Park on Saturday.The Black Ferns strolled to victory over their trans-Tasman opponents, scoring 11 unanswered tries and proving to be a fitter, stronger and faster outfit in claiming their largest ever margin over the Wallaroos.?New Zealand have one hand on the two-Test Laurie OReilly trophy, with the second leg to be played in Albany on Wednesday.They will then head to Europe for Tests against England, Ireland and Canada.The Black Ferns wasted no time getting on top of the Wallaroos, opening the scoring when skipper Fiaoo Faamausili arrived first to a Victoria Subritzky-Nafatali kick.Australia hit back with an Ash Hewson penalty goal, but they struggled to contain the speedy Black Ferns attack and turned the ball over too easily.New Zealand nabbed their second try in the 15th minute when winger Renee Wickliffe broke through the middle of the field and passed to second five-eighth Chelsea Alley to score.Star halfback Kendra Cocksedge stretched the lead further when she took a quick-tap penalty and squeezed over the line in the 20th minute.The Black Ferns werre carving open the Wallaroos defence at will, and they scored again when fullback Selica Winiata finished off a line break from centre Portia Woodman.ddddddddddddYet the worst of the first half was yet to come for Australia, as loosehead prop Louise Burrows went to the sin bin and New Zealand lock Eloise Blackwell barged over from the following play as the hosts went to the break 31-3 ahead.The Black Ferns kept their foot on the gas in the second half, pushing further ahead less than 10 minutes after half-time as Cocksedge laid off for Subritzky-Natatali to snare a five-pointer.Winiata then secured a hat-trick with two quick-fire tries, the latter of which involving a superb dummy to break open Australias defence in the 66th minute.Burrows then earned her marching orders in the 72nd minute with a second yellow card before Faamausili posted her second try with four minutes remaining.Winiata rubbed salt in the Wallaroos wounds with a lunging effort in the corner in the 79th minute, earning her fourth try, before winger Honey Hireme scored another on the buzzer. Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Jerseys From China Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys
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