Deciding to take advantage of the excellent bike path along the beach here, I strapped two Cree lights onto my Trek mountain bike using my new 2fish lockblocks. The lights? The new Cree Surefire E2L and the Fenix L2D-CE. Also on my person, for the curious: Fox Labs CS spray, McLux PD-S mizer, Surefire G2z, Spyderco Para-Military Black and an UnderArmor compression shirt (these things are awesome).
At the start of the bike path, I turned on both lights, with the L2D-CE on turbo. Both had reasonably fresh batteries (Surefire and Kirkland Signature, respectively) and it was already dark (hurrah!). Some of the bike path is unlit (at least 1/3rd), so if you ever want to ride along it at night a flashlight is practically a necessity to avoid smashing into the people walking on the path, as well as other ill-equipped bikers.
Nobody along the path had lights even close to mine in brightness, except for one rollerblader whose LED light looked about Surefire-sized. (I was speeding down the path too fast to ask.) Riding along the path, people walking in front of me would almost always turn around to see what the bright light coming up behind them was, and people coming in my direction kept doing double-takes at my photon cannons. Inside, I was smiling with joy. Outside, my mouth hung open like the air scoop of an expensive sports car, sucking in oxygen.
Homeless people live along the bike path, as well, and some rove in hoards, and my illumination tools drew a lot of attention from them. Being the wary New Yorker that I am, I was glad to have the Fox Labs on my belt. New York residents will be surprised that many homeless people here in California have bikes, socialize with others, and even have pets or play basketball on the public courts. That's right, California is a great place to live if you're homeless. Thankfully, there were no altercations with the beach-dwellers.
Halfway through the journey (as in, after I had turned around, about 45 minutes later), I noticed that the Fenix L2D-CE had gotten unacceptably dim. It was pretty warm, so I turned off the Surefire (which was cool to the touch) to check the brightness of the L2D-CE. It looked like it was running in low, so I shut it off for the remainder of the ride and turned the Surefire E2L back on.
If I weren't riding so fast, the output of the dimmed L2D-CE would have been acceptable (it was still brighter than what many other people on the path had) but being a flashaholic on a bike at top-speed, it was inadequate. Keep in mind that this was using alkalines, which are prone to extreme voltage sag when subjected to long and heavy loads. I am almost certain that had I been using NiMH, the problem I noticed would not have occurred for the duration of the ride. In retrospect, I should have also ran it on high, which, according to Chevrofreak, will run for 1 hour and 41 minutes on alkalines with plenty output.
In one of the darkened sections of the path two teenage boys were sitting on the curb. One shined a flashlight at my eyes in attempt to blind me. I wasn't fully night-adapted due to all the streetlamps I had passed, so the light didn't faze me. I figure it must have been a Maglite based on the size and focus of the reflector (that's all I saw of the light). They must have seen me reaching for my G2Z, which was sticking out of my left pocket, because they apologized immediately (perhaps they thought it was a gun or a knife?), as I unleashed my G2Z's glorious incandescent beam on them. "Arrrgh, you got us good!" as I sped away.
An hour and a half later, I turn off the E2L, my ride over. It's still cold to the touch. The new E2L's a real winner. An enthusiastic recommendation to anyone who can afford one. It put out enough light to ride with at night, to see far enough ahead to avoid hazards, and runs for an insane 9 hours without any dimming.
The L2D-CE is also great, but it would have been fairer to it if I had run it on high instead of turbo (or at least used NiMH batteries), which made it quite a bit brighter than the E2L but with much less runtime. When it was running, I really liked the amount of light it put out. The spill is plenty to see directly in front of your wheel and the hotspot allows you to see clearly in front of you. It's also quite economical because it happily uses NiMH and lets you change the level of output depending on your current needs.
Two thumbs up for Twofish lockblocks. These things are GREAT! A must-have for any flashaholic with a bike.