Close shave gives Jack a bright idea

Cy­clist comes up with VeloHalo idea af­ter near miss with car

Uxbridge 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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