Up in Halifax, Steve commutes all winter. Halifax is colder, darker, and mountainous compared to Boston. In these conditions, anything to get noticed on your bike is worth trying, and so I’ve been curious about his recent experiments with Tire Sparx.
After a couple weeks of looking, I finally found a pair at Back Bay Bicycles as I was walking from work to pick up the new Madonna cd on Tuesday night. Admittedly, the tingling homosexual in me was a bit excited for the hyped all-dance album, just like the old days. Vic, the man who won’t let me use his Madonna “Re-Invention Tour” mug, even if every other coffee mug in the house is dirty, was postively jumpy, or should we say ‘a bit light in his loafers’? It was a bit surprising then, that when the CD ended and the player cued up Death Cab for Cutie, Vic didn’t make a move to switch it back. He looked at me and said flatly, “That was rather disappointing.” Hell, we’ve been giving the new Paul McCartney more play, and he’s nearly as old as my grandparents and does not have orange hair or good dance moves.
I am not exactly sure how Tire Sparx work. Small, cheap, and plastic, they screw on your Schrader valves. They are extremely senstive to motion and often start blinking if I walk by my bike. I am curious how the batteries will hold up in the cold, if at all. I think they are cute, and yes, a few people have looked rather askew at me, but I’ve not ridden enough at night to decide if the notoriously vicious Boston drivers will pay more attention to me and my bike.
I’m a bit too much of a snob to want these on my “official” bike, but having Tire Sparx is like throwing yourself a disco party when you are twelve. It’s a damn giddy lo-fi good time and was the “way funner” purchase of the two.