Close shave gives Jack a bright idea
Cyclist comes up with VeloHalo idea after near miss with car
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.”