NOTE: This is a guest post by Emma Jenkin, who wrote a great post for BikingToronto back in September about making a DIY TRON LightBike, and returns to review Mini-Monkey Spokelights! Learn more about Emma at the bottom of this post.
It’s a little after 5:00pm and I’m leaving work. Mid-November. Of course it’s pitch dark outside. It’s depressing. It’s cold.
And there are cyclists out with no lights or reflective clothing. Other cyclists have a variety of red and white LEDs. It should be noted that by law you need to have a white light on the front of your bike and a red light or red reflector on the rear of your bike from at least 30 minutes before sunset until 30 minutes after sunrise in this great city of Toronto. Sunset comes before 5:00pm and sunrise after 7:00am these days.
As I’ve written before, I don’t feel comfortable enough cycling home in the dark with two sole LED lights. My TRON lights help in a huge way. Then I was lucky enough to get my hands on a Mini Monkey Electric light.
Fresh from the package, the Monkey Electric is bare bones – a wired piece of plastic, accompanied by foam spacers, zip-ties, and a battery pack. I wasn’t sure how this little thing was going to light up my wheel like the website would have me believe. But after adding three AA batteries (not included) and playing with the buttons (three of them control the intensity, colour, and pattern of the lights) I was sold.
The lights were bright. And awesome. I could even make out the different patterns if I shook it hard enough.
Installation was a breeze. The foam spacers go between the Monkey Electric and your spokes, and all is held snugly in place with the zip-ties. A metal strap is even included as a thief-proof safety feature.
Riding with them? A blast. This week alone I’ve been complimented on them by kids, parents, police officers, and fellow cyclists. And while it feels great to be told by total strangers that your bike looks cool, it just goes to show how visible you are.
No means of exaggeration, I feel like I am riding a glowing dragon. It’s that much fun.
Happy (& safe & well-lit) riding!
About the author
Emma started commuting by bike in February of this year and loves it. She always stops at red lights, and wears a helmet. She works in communications at a national arts organization and adores Toronto.Wed, Feb 24: Come to the Toronto Bike Awards!