Be safe … Be seen

I regularly ride at night with a group called the Fort Worth Night Riders. We use lights, of course, front and rear. But it’s always good to be more visible to motorists.
There’s enough ambient light on most city streets — from streetlamps, shop windows and auto headlights — to navigate a bicycle safely without a monster headlight. So the purpose of most lights on a bike is not so much to see, but to be seen.
I’ve come across a couple of videos on innovative ways to make cyclists more visible at night.
The first video (click on the link below) is about a line of reflective clothing developed by Alex Vessels and collaborator Mindy Tchieu of Brooklyn, N.Y.

We Flashy reflective clothing

Vessels, a graduate student in New York University’s Interactive Telecommunications Program, came up with the idea for the reflective streetwear, called We Flashy, for a course in wearable technology. “Myself and many of my classmates are cyclists, and everyone wanted one,” he says.
“The great thing about We Flashy items is that it reflects light on busy streets, but is barely noticed in normal indoor environments,” Vessels says. “It’s versatile enough to wear to school, work, or out for a drink.”
We Flashy uses industrial-grade reflective material, like that used by crossing guards, police and firefighters.
The second video is about a bicycle lighting system called Project Aura, which aims to make a cyclist visible from the side, not always possible with front and rear lights.
Project Aura was developed by Ethan Frier and Jonathan Ota, industrial design students at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.
The system consists of LED lights embedded in the rims of a bicycle’s wheels. The LEDs are powered by a dynamo in the hub of the front wheel and they change colors with the cyclist’s speed — white while cruising and red when slowing down.

Project Aura: Bicycle Safety Lighting System from Project AURA on Vimeo.



Filed under Cool stuff, Products, Urban cycling

2 responses to “Be safe … Be seen

  1. John Vandevelde

    Whew! My Texan friends have told me that Dallas is where New York City ends, and Ft. Worth is where the South, or is it the West, begins. So I was a little worried that Ft. Worth Night Riders wore long white robes with pointed hats. I should have known better. Great ideas for being seen at night, even better than white cotton and torches.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s