19 November, 2010

Semi Legal - end of day 2

Odo 90

It's pouring with rain, typical.  New bike, desperate to ride it, day off, Blah.  Still there was some progress.  I want to charge at work, I also want to blag charges along the road.  WorkCover in NSW demands that all plug in electrical devices used in workplaces be tested and tagged.  I wasn't super keen on having my new bike plugged into some sort of "machine" that would test it's resistance to earth and breakdown voltages or something.  Anyway yesterday I blagged a new cord (IEC C13 if you're interested) from Harvey Norman for nix.  What cool dudes!  It's only 3 metres long but it doesn't have the AUS to US 3 pin adaptor so it fits in a pocket of my bike jacket.

Today I drove the dinoburner down to the local tool repair shop.  For $4.50 they tested and tagged the new cord.  I asked them about testing the bike and they said that for plug in equipment (as opposed to corded gear) the only requirement is to test the cord.  How cool (and absurd) is that!  I can have the bike glowing in the dark with misdirected electricity but as long as the cord has a tag I'm good to go.  So I'll be charging at work as well from now on.  I've found a place that sells 10 metre ones so I'm going to buy one for on the road charges.  I also need to figure out some sort of megga impressive locking thing.  I park in a garage at home and in secure parking at work, but I'm not sure about parking it anywhere else.  Leaving it for 4 hours to charge up alone makes my hair (or the bits where I used to have hair) stand on end.

The other small win is that the headlight is wired to be on all the time.  Apart from drawing 75 watts all the time (it runs the 55 watt headlight, plus the parking light at the front, plus the tail light) it's dangerous in late afternoon and early morning when the sun is behind you.  Car drivers just can't judge the distance away that you are.  I was having a moan about it to a friend who's also a mechanic and he said, "why don't you just pull the fuse".  So I did.  It's easy to get to without tools while sitting on the bike.  There's a spare fuse holder right next to it, so I just pulled it out and put it in the spare spot.  Job done.  If I want to ride at night it's 10 seconds to put it back.  So I'm safer and I get an extra 2% range.  Sure it's only about one km extra, but that's one km that I won't have to push it when the time comes!

I don't know if there will be an entry tomorrow as it's predicted to pour for 2 days.


  1. Interesting - why do you feel that it's safer to ride without a headlight? All bikes ridden in the states have been required to have the headlight on at all times for about 40 years now.

  2. My feeling is that the car driver not only has to see, but also notice me. Headlights make it easier to see a bike. Noticing me depends on picking out my outline from all the clutter. Anything that breaks up my outline makes me harder to notice. That's the principle on which the Ghillie suit works. They make you much more conspicuous (you're nearly twice the size) but they also break up your outline and help you blend into the clutter.


    In a town full of reflective surfaces there are lots of highlights that you can blend into.

    Humans also tend to look away from bright lights.

    Just consider, no advertiser will try to attract your attention to their message by shining a single bright light straight at you from the middle of the sign.

    But I've got no proof and haven't done any testing.