Close shave gives Jack a bright idea

Cy­clist comes up with VeloHalo idea after near miss with car

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS - By Alexan­der Ballinger alexan­der.ballinger@trin­i­tymir­

IT is not ex­actly a se­cret, but cy­cling through Lon­don is not some­thing you could de­scribe as a walk in the park.

The con­sis­tent lev­els of dense traf­fic and the sheer num­ber of pedes­tri­ans can leave you with­out much of a share of the road on your com­mutes through the cap­i­tal.

While the is­sues with cy­cling can at best be an in­con­ve­nience – get­ting caught up in rush hour queues on the roads or bat­tered in win­ter weather con­di­tions – there is also a more haz­ardous el­e­ment to push­ing the ped­als around one of the most con­gested cities in the world.

Jack Bruce faced this dan­ger head on last year, when he was al­most in a col­li­sion with a black cab that made him re­think cy­cling in the cap­i­tal.

Rather than put down the bike and opt for the safer Oys­ter Card, the 23-year-old de­cided to re­think an age old in­ven­tion – the hum­ble bike light – and the VeloHalo was born.

Jack, who works for a so­cial me­dia site, told the Gazette: “Some­time last year I had a re­ally close near col­li­sion.

“I’ve spo­ken to a lot of cy­clists and they have that one ex­pe­ri­ence that stops them cy­cling for a week or even a year.

“I didn’t think it would hap­pen to me.

“I was think­ing there must be a fun and safe way to light up your bike.”

After the near-crash, where the car did not see the bike from the side de­spite the lights, Jack said he was left shak­ing and afraid to get on the bike, but after try­ing a few vari­a­tions of tra­di­tional bike lights he ex­per­i­mented with ‘bright spin­ning gems’ that wrap around the rim of the wheel and are at­tached to the spokes.

The LED ca­bles come in white for the front and red for the rear wheel and are rain­proof.

With a bat­tery pack that straps onto the hub of the wheel, the USB charge­able VeloHalo lights prom­ise to light you up from all an­gles so other road users will not miss you.

Jack, who lives in Angel in cen­tral Lon­don, said: “The first time I took them out cy­cling I had two pedes­tri­ans and a cy­clist stop me and say they loved the lights.

“If there’s a car com­ing to­wards you its much more vis­i­ble. They stop quicker.”

Jack says he has sold more than 100 pairs of lights since they first went in the mar­ket in April this year.

Now the dark days have re­turned and win­ter cy­cling in full swing, com­muters might be look­ing for a new way to keep them­selves safe in some­times treach­er­ous con­di­tions.

Jack is hop­ing Lon­don is just the start and that cy­cling cities across the UK will start gear­ing up with the unique and quirky lights.

He said: “I’m work­ing to see all around Lon­don bikes lit up in this way.

“Then mov­ing on to other cities and maybe even places like Copen­hagen.”

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