Who sees the Christmas tree in your house. Why not light up your bike? Let the world see you for safety and celebration.
I retrofitted lights to the spokes. Figured out how to make them stay on and clear the frame and brakes. There are several lighting products out there that can work with a bit of tinkering. Some are even designed for spokes, if you're lucky enough to find them.
Here are some of my lighting ideas.
Retrofitted front light
Colored lights on the spokes
Youtube video of spoke lights
Dancing to the light
I don't bother patching tube with a patch kit. I just replace the whole tube. Might be wasteful, but I figure that not driving a car earns me plenty of brownie points. New inner tubes are fairly cheap and it's just more convenient. I also replace tires before they go totally bald. Might as well not make it too hard on oneself, unless one really likes fixing flats.
I do bring patch kits along on bike tours. It's a back up plan in case I run out of tubes, but I get very few flats so I don't remember last time I ran out of tubes. I carry one or two tubes. Buy a new tube at the next available bike shop or hardware store if one is used.
I use tubes with Shrader valve rather than Presta valves. Shrader is more universal. Can be filled with the air hose at a filling station if one is careful not to try and fill it too fast.
In 2008 I had no flats the entire trip. Around 900 miles.
2009 just saw one on the back wheel and one on the wheel for my trailer. Around 1,400 miles. Yes, I also carry a spare tube for the small trailer wheels.
A patch kit also comes in handy for fixing gash in tire itself. This is a rare problem, but happened to me in 2007.
Kevlar lined tires are great. Also I like Green Slime. Some bike folks don't like it, but it works. Adds a bit of rolling weight to wheel, but well worth it. Can be found at many hardware stores, if not bike shops.
My bike pages
Send questions to me.