New Princeton Tec Headlights

Yesterday we got a shipment of Princeton Tec headlights:

I’m on my second Princeton Tec EOS Bike light, and I’m perfectly happy with it. It’s bright enough for trail running in the dark, lasts a long time on three AAA batteries, and is tough enough to be occasionally dropped. Sadly, it won’t survive being run over by a car (I tested that when I left my first EOS in the Pub parking lot.)

Car smooshing aside, Princeton Tec lights are really solid. Here’s mine after two years of helping me find my tent:

This year’s models are the Remix, Fuel, and Byte.

Brightness, which is measured in lumens, is the main difference between the three. Since a lumen is a meaningless measurement for most of us, I took a couple pictures in the change room (don’t get too excited) to show the difference. The EOS (70 lumens) is on top, and the Princeton Tec Pulse key-chain light (10 lumens) is on the bottom:

Looks like I need to clean those mirrors.

Anyway, the Remix (100 lumens) is the brightest of the three, and brighter than the EOS above. I imagine that it would be bright enough to completely wash out my beautiful face in the change room mirror test.

Like the EOS, it uses a single maxbright LED for it’s main light. The maxbright is basically just a bulb that’s magnified by the shiny stuff around it. So it throws narrow, focused beam. That’s great for things like running, where you need to see far down the trail. The single maxbright also gives the Remix the longest run time (200 hours on three AAAs)

For around camp, the Remix has a cluster of three ultrabright LEDs. They aren’t focused, so they give off a soft wide beam:

The Fuel (43 lumens) uses four ultrabright LEDs.  Although it has less than half the light output of the Remix, it has a much wider beam. This little light is the best choice for digging for crap in the back of the car or hiking, where seeing far ahead isn’t as important as lighting up a big area. The downside is that the row of four LEDs sucks up battery power faster than a single maxbright.

The Byte (35 lumens) is the smallest, cheapest, and prettiest of the three. It’s like the Fiat 500 of headlights:

It uses one maxbright to put out almost as much light as the fuel, but in a much more focused beam. It also has single red ultrabright, which is about as bright as that key chain light in my change room shots. It runs on two AAAs instead of three.

We also have the EOS II and EOS Bike in stock.

And they’re all made in the US of America:

Posted by Montana

Categories: Ohiopyle, Outdoor Gear, running | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

run with the deer flies 15k

So on July25th I tried my first long trail run, the Run With the Deer Flies 25k and 15k.

On Saturday after a long, extraordinarily sweaty day of biking, working at the store, and desperately attempting to keep myself, we finally got out of Ohiopyle. After about three long hours of rolling around Western Pennsylvania’s dark, windy roads, we finally found the campsite. Too tired to investigate further than the parking lot, we pitched my new Lightpath 2 in the trees a few feet from the car, which we thought was removed enough from the drizzle. At midnight, we finally shoved our little Thermarests inside the tent and tried to go to sleep. This resulted in a long night of fretting with the rain cover, moving rocks out from underneath us, and trying to invent pillows from nothing.

Needless to say, 6:00 came early. I staggered out of the tent in the hazy morning, changed into running shorts and a top that I thought made me look sort of fast. I laced up my semi-new Vasque Velocity’s (which I’ve outfitted with some neon pink laces to accent their mossy green color) and did a couple futile stretches. Then came registration and two hours of waiting for the race to start. I listened to some of the other racers ramble about their experiences at other 100-milers and the Badwater Ultra while they cinched the straps on their fancy Camelbaks and flexed their enormous leg muscles (I have neither of these things). Needless to say, I was more than a little bit intimidated. And I was wishing that I hadn’t been too cheap to buy a little hydration pack when I was at the store.

At the starting line, the racers were still talking about all the ultraefforts they had in common (especially one particularly rangy-looking dude, who found it necessary to expound upon how many races he had done and how many pairs of shoes he had worn out). I stood quietly on the sideline with another runner from the UT.

After everyone was done adjusting their shoelaces and one-up each other, the gun finally went off. The start was a slow loop around the campsite on a gravel path. Hydration packs sloshed about, and people made some jokes about how long it would be before they started walking. I sort of smiled at this comment and thought- hey, at least I wasn’t one of those people. Then the route twisted off onto a path lined with some sort of nerdy Boyscout propaganda– large wooden signs appeared periodically along the trail that said things like THRIFT. BRAVERY. OBEDIENCE. REVERENT (I am assuming reverent to their scout masters.. or to the creator of the iron-on merit badge). KNOT SKILLS AND MERIT BADGES. Okay, those last few were a lie. But at least the signs provided some amusement. Then the trail twisted off into a long bit of singletrack and the climbs started.

The first couple hills were okay. I was following behind a few people who were moving at a good pace, hopping over some logs, avoiding rocks, and trying not to think about how dehydrated I was getting. The entire route looped around and around, switching steeply back and forth through rocks and streams. By about three miles, I was getting tired of this. I had lost my pacer, so I was now leading a group of maybe ten other people through the woods. Fantastic. I was front-running a 15k. This had to stop. I let a few obnoxiously loud breathers ahead of me and then considered sitting down on a stump. But I slogged on, finally grasping the concept of the “power hike” (a euphemism for “walking up a hill when you get too tired”) and wishing that I could see some sort of turnaround point–or anything but trees, for that matter.

 Finally, after about another mile of ridiculously steep climbing, the leaders came back through from the turnaround. As the trail opened up onto a gravel road, I realized that the water stop was a half-mile up a very steep hill. A few more people dropped me and sped away, chatting about the merits of long-distance running while I slogged on, cursing myself for slacking on hills for most of my life. I power-hiked up to the aid station and nearly burst into tears when I saw that there was no Gatorade. This wasn’t racing. This was hard and miserable.

Thankfully, the run back was actually quite nice. I had lost most of the other runners near me (or they had lost me), so I just tried to concentrate on not tripping over things. If I didn’t think about the fact that all the previous downhills had turned into uphills, the last 4.5 miles were pretty lovely. Sure, the climbs still totally sucked and my legs were hurting terribly, but it was all in good fun, right? After a distance that felt much longer on the way out, I was finally back at the campsite. I proceeded to get lost on the last part of trail and basically walked across the finish line.

 Apparently, even though I ran embarrassingly slow 9:58 mile splits, I was seventh overall and the first lady in. But that wasn’t as exciting as the fact that there was a huge bag of trail mix open on a picnic table by the finish line. Within a few minutes, the heavens opened up and rain came pouring down on all the remaining runners (the people doing the 25k still had another ten miles go). I shuffled around in a graceless daze, congratulating the other athletes and shoving food into my mouth. I yanked off my filthy shoes, which had served me quite well (my feet were hardly damp, and I hadn’t broken any toes on the trial). “Man,” said a muddy, exhausted runner sitting down on a picnic table, “Did we just pay to do that to ourselves?”

Yessir. So it goes in the world of endurance sports.

Categories: Outdoor Gear, PA, running | Leave a comment

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