I’m all about trying to find the silver lining in a crappy situation—making Limoncello from lemonade, to borrow another cliché. Consider it my New Year’s Resolution. So when winter still refuses to rear its beautiful head, do I bitch about the ridiculously warm temperatures? Do I wallow in booze because the moisture in the air is rain and not snow? Do I complain about buying an expensive season pass to my local ski resort that I’ve only be able to use once so far?

Yes. I absolutely bitch about the weather and drink more; I can’t help but imagine how awesome this winter would be if all this freaking rain were snow. What can I say? I’m only human.

But I also take advantage of the bounty at hand. A warm winter means more opportunities for night riding. So instead of shredding the local hill on carving skis, we’re at the local trailhead week after week, riding bikes in the darkness, drinking beers in the parking lot, and bitching about not being able to shred the local hill on carving skis.

I know, life could be worse.

The warm winter and prevalence of night rides also gave me the opportunity to upgrade my bike light. Enter Light and Motion’s Urban Trail 850 FC . To call this torch an upgrade doesn’t do the thing justice. My old light weighed roughly 48 pounds. The battery pack I had to tote along with it added another 57 pounds. I basically had to tow a trailer to carry the whole thing on a ride. It was pretty bright (600 lumens, I think) but it took a full 12 hours to charge. And it cost a fortune, more than $600 when I got it.light 2The Urban Trail 850 FC packs an amazing 850 lumens in a package that weighs just 121 grams. There’s no external battery pack and it charges via a USB port in under two hours. That charge gives you more than two hours of full brightness. Oh, and it’s fully waterproof.

Damn.

The thing is so bright, I hesitate to call what I’m doing “night riding.” There are no shadows in front of my tire—just a warm glow showing the way. And yeah, it’s light, coming in at about the same weight as a Clif Bar. Put it on your helmet, and you don’t even know it’s there.

Put it all together—the super fast charge time, the lightweight package, the powerful beam—and you have something that other trail lights can’t offer: versatility. Yes, the Urban Trail is powerful enough to light my way through singletrack, but it’s also  compact enough to work as my commuting light too. It’s so small, I can just put it in my pocket when I get to town. The torch is so light, I’m even planning to use it for mid-night cross country ski sessions. If it ever snows.

Light and Trail Urban Trail 850 FC

Weight: 121 grams

Lumens: 850

MSRP: $179

Lightandmotion.com

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