Me and my blinky
Yesterday I bought a PlanetBike rear blinky-light. I bought it on a whim—a sort of “huh the sun sure is setting early” whim—and didn’t really do any research beforehand, so I don’t have much of a basis for comparing this particular blinky with other assuredly excellent blinkies.
But. This thing is really friggin bright, and I completely love it. It also comes with a) two batteries, good for roughly 100 hrs (if the box is to be believed), b) a seatpost clamp with some sweet rubber shims, c) a mini clamp which I presume would be for mounting it on your seat stays, and d) an armband. It’s easy to remove the light itself from the clamp so as to prevent theft, and the clip that mounts the light to the clamp can be used to clip it onto your bag/jacket/whatever.
I will say it again: as far as I’m concerned, it is very good at the things that it really needs to do, namely, be really friggin bright, and blink like crazy. There are seven sweet LEDs, and while most of the light goes straight backwards into the eyes of your fellow-travelers, a couple on the side provide full one-hundred-eighty degree visibility. Awesome. I feel so much safer, if slightly less bike-ninja-esque, with this thing strapped to my seatpost.
The newly-opened Bikestation DC (right by the Metro escalators at Union Station), where I bought the blinky, is also awesome. For a nominal sum they’ll lock up your bike inside their futuristic space capsule on a day-to-day basis. They also have rental bikes, a small repair shop, lots of little tools and parts (like the aforementioned blinky), changing rooms/lockers, and sell 24-hour-a-day indoor parking memberships which add up to less than $0.50 a day if you pay by the month. Having all these things in one place, alongside public transportation, makes the city a lot more bike-friendly; there should be one of these at every metro station.