It seems to be working pretty well in terms of being able to adjust the position of the lights but the connection to saddle is very flimsy. I only made it out of a rear rack stabilizer! Version number two is already in the works!
For more information on the Garmin Varia Light System read about it at this post! (Garmin Varia Light System)
The climb to the Crystal Lake Cafe itself is 14 miles long with 4100 feet gained putting the average grade around 5.5%. It's a climb that I am quite familiar with as I have completed the whole climb over 20 times. My fastest time was set in 2013 when I rode the segment in 1:21:31. My most recent attempt put me in the neighborhood of +30 minutes so needless to say, I have a lot of work to do.
So how am I going to get there? Currently I am doing a power based training program via the Training Plans provided by Strava and the Carmichael Training Systems. It's a monthly program designed to increase your power output based on a desired time frame. I am working on a 60 minute power schedule which has me riding up to 10 hours over 5-6 days each week. I think that any sort of focused training will give me an advantage over "2013 Justin" because at that point I wasn't really training I was just riding A LOT. I think that was the year I logged a 400+ mile week and I was averaging close to 1000 miles each month. I don't have nearly that much time now but being smarter with my training will certainly make it more effective.
A few months ago I joined Share Mountain Bike Club (my local IMBA chapter) but have not had the time available to participate in any volunteer work until now! I'm always appreciative when I see that our local trails have been tended to and now I'll be a part of the behind-the-scenes effort to keep our trails tidy and maintained. On January 14th we will be out in Crystal Cove State Park working on Ticketron Trail. I'll have to admit that I haven't actually ridden this trail as I usually choose to come down Rattlesnake but I'm excited to learn a bit more about the trails and the community that is dedicated to volunteering their time to maintain the trails.
If you're interested in more information be sure to check out their website and the details for this event at the following link: Event: Trail Work Day – Crystal Cove State Park | Jan 14
The Varia light system consists of a few different components: The Rearview Radar, Smart Bike Lights, and a corresponding wireless remote. As a connected system it will allow your bike to turn into an actively visible vehicle.
In using the system while commuting, I've noticed that it is most useful when entering traffic for lefthand turns and when exiting the bike lane to avoid debris on the shoulder. I don't rely on the radar feature 100% when entering traffic but use it as a guide so I don't have to take my eyes off the road. Once it indicates a clear road I'll double check over my shoulder and make my move. I especially like using the signals and radar whenever I have to exit the bike lane.
While using the system on training rides, I've found that the turn signals don't play as big a role as the radar particularly in more rural/open areas. When I'm deep into an interval workout or on a long training ride I can sometimes get lost in my own head. The radar can help to give you an alert for an approaching vehicle.
There is also functionality with the turn signals when a Garmin head unit is not present. I find this is potentially most effective for ebike riders who would like the visibility of an active light system but don't want or need a dedicated head unit.
-Warns of vehicles approaching from behind up to 140meters!
-Tracks multiple objects behind the rider
-Can operate independently with a Varia head unit
-(Radar Only $199)
-Adjusts to changing light conditions as well as bike speed when paired with an Edge 1000/Varia Remote
-Varia Remote will also control pattern, intensity, and beam focus
-(Headlight Only $199)
-With two tail lights you can use them as turn indicators
-Varia Remote controls turn signals when paired with 2 tail lights(Garmin head unit not necessary)
-Has a brake light function using an accelerometer when coming to a stop
-(Taillight Only $69)