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NiteRider BlowTorch -- my wife's new friend (Isobel related)(4 posts)

NiteRider BlowTorch -- my wife's new friend (Isobel related)ms
Sep 21, 2003 10:08 AM
Like many people in Maryland, my house has been without power since Thursday as a consequence of Hurricane/Tropical Storm Isobel. When the power went, so did my sump pump. The basement flooded and had to be pumped out. I now have a generator for the sole purpose of running the sump pump. The generator, which is outside (I would have assumed that everyone would know that, but one family in Baltimore has died because they kept their running generator in the house) has to be filled with gasoline every two hours and the pump, which is in a dark basement, has to be checked frequently, too. Notwithstanding our best preparations, all of our batteries have died (and there are no new ones in stores near us) EXCEPT, FOR MY NIGHTRIDER BLOWTORCH. I have two batteries, each of which lasts four hours. The spare one I have charging at my mother's house, which is about 10 miles away and has power. The Blow Torch now is our only good source of light for nighttime checking of the generator and pump. My wife had thought that the cost of the BlowTorch was outrageous when I bought it last year. Now it is her best friend.

Does anyone else have any good stories of bike equipment coming to the rescue in this storm (or any others)?

We may not have power until Friday. The riding weather was good yeaterday and is OK today. But, the downed power lines, trees and work crews have closed many good riding roads near my house. I have been able to ride between my house and my mother's house (which is where my daughters are staying and where my wife and I are eating and showering). I am at the office now -- my wife and I plan to alternate days at our respective offices -- one of us has to tend to the generator and the pump. The storm was not very severe, but there are hundreds of thousands of homes in Maryland and Virginia without power. I'll be interested to hears how other RBRers fared in the storm.
I too had my bike headlight at the ready during the storm...Gregory Taylor
Sep 21, 2003 6:01 PM
Turned out that I didn't need it. We lost power about bedtime on Thursday, it was back on Friday afternoon.

We faired very well, except for the drinking water thing. We're in Alexandria/Fairfax County, and we have to boil our water until further notice. A small price, based on how lightly our neighborhood was hit. Plus, the obvious solution is to drink beer.

I live just up the hill from the poor folks in Belle View, the neighborhood South of Alexandria that was evacuated on Thursday night. The water has gone down, but it is a mess. I took a contingent of the neighborhood kids over on foot on Friday (a five mile round trip) to the Belle View Shopping Center to look at the flood waters. There is an Indian restaurant in the basement of the Shopping Center that was completely under water -- the water was up to the ceiling. The kids had the most fun, however, watching the 4X4's that were driving through the water. There were a number of cars that got stranded in the high water, most notably an abandonded BWM convertible with, yes, the windows open. The game was to see which 4X4 would create a splash or wake big enough to blow river water and muck in through the BMW's windows. This entertained them for about an hour. Who says that today's kids only like video games?

The Mount Vernon Bike Trail, which is on the banks of the Potomac river, is a complete war zone. South of Alexandria there are tons of trees down, the bridges are out, and debris is everywhere. The Lardbutts did a Fat Tire Road Raid down the Parkway this morning, coming up from Mt. Vernon, through Old Town Alexandria (they are digging out), and up to Hains Point. We now have the commuter thing all figured out. Until they fix the path, I'll be commuting on the mountain bike.
Power is back, time to stop drinking . . .ms
Sep 22, 2003 6:37 AM
Our power came back last night. You are right about the obvious solution to your water problem. Until our power returned, we had no water at all. In order to conserve out bottled water, my wife and I had to break into the beer and wine stocks. Now it is time to stop drinking and start cleaning up the house.
I've used my lights in power outages too...biknben
Sep 22, 2003 8:14 AM
I get lots of attention when I bring them to the fireworks shows around July 4th. Picture a few hundred people trying to find their way out of a dark field after the fireworks. I light up the Blow Torch and give my little one another NR light. The entire place turns to see the source of the light. My wife can't decide if it's cool or embarissing. :-)