Night Running (and the Petzl Nao)

Finally – and yes, in keeping with the spirit of cycles to call home, this is a “finally” – it is that time of year again when the exploratory running becomes more challenging, and  circles often run become more unusual again, all thanks to winter’s lack of sunlight. (And strictly speaking, this is not even winter yet…)

So, I headed out recently into the fading glimmers of the day’s last sunlight, looking to see if skill still matched speed even when the light came from right on my own head, and the trails were technical…

As you can see – also from my still writing and not complaining about frailty – things went well. Which is all the nicer because this run was also the first on which I seriously tried out the new (certainly among my equipment) Petzl Nao headlamp, which is quite the unusual beast: it’s expensive, it’s a newer LED headlamp (meaning, the light is stronger and draws out shadows rather better than earlier LED lights did), but most of all, it’s “reactive.”

Thanks to a light sensor, it measures brightness and adjusts its own output accordingly (with the battery recharged and the programming adjustable via USB). What can I say?… I’m a Luddite Geek; I think technology needs to take the backseat to technique, but good – well-made, carefully chosen – tech that truly helps in the pursuit of a passion and is not just hunted after because of its empty promises of ‘better’ absolutely has its place.

We’ll have to see how it holds up over time, but after just a few runs, I really like what I’ve seen of – or should I say, with? – the NAO. There’s quite enough light to see rocks and roots at one’s feet while running down a trail, quite enough light to look for trail markers in the distance, and not so much light as to be blinded when turning the light onto the training watch or getting its beam reflecting off a puff of breath, all automatically adjusted accordingly.

It contributes nicely. The pleasure, of course, is still in the moving…

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  1. walker

    just out of curiosity ;). who takes the picture?

    greetings from a next-door-neighbour (FVG)

    • Self-portrait by 10 sec timer. Makes for interesting GPS profiles, when the tracks are looked at in detail :-p

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