Featured Features


Time, we thought, for Cyclo to do a little campaigning… Ice (as a pack) can help reduce swelling, ICE (as an acronym) might just help save a life. Standing for ‘In Case of Emergency’ the idea of ICE is to encourage everyone not only to carry next of kin details – stats suggest that more than 80% of us head out without them – but to store them under the entry ‘ICE’ in our mobile phone where they can be readily identified by the emergency services. Such an obviously brilliant and simple idea, it’s odd to think that despite having surfaced in the mid-2000s it hasn’t universally caught on.


The original ‘eureka moment’ came to Bob Brotchie, a clinical team leader for the East Anglian Ambulance NHS Trust in 2004 when he found himself continually confounded by the seemingly simple task of contacting relatives of patients. ‘I asked myself,’ Bob says, ‘how can I create a uniform way for the public to accept, and emergency responders to adopt a method of accessing the relevant info – fast. I thought of an acronym, so that I would know where to go, in the phones contact list straightaway. My earlier experiences had demonstrated that simply searching the contact list was haphazard…and time consuming! I didn’t know who to call and often got no answer anyway. Worst was when I had to give up, so as to continue with immediate care. I thought of ICE – In Case of Emergency and felt that if phone owners prefixed the ‘agreed’ ICE contact with ICE, then responders could go instantly to ‘I’ for ICE!!… Simple!’


The campaign gained initial traction and was strongly supported at the time by numerous other ambulance services, ramblers clubs and even the Welsh Assembly with Deputy Health Minister John Griffiths commenting: “Spending time trying to contact the next of kin can delay the start of treatment… If everyone follows this advice and puts an ICE number into their mobile phones any such problems can be overcome.’


One of the problems today is the almost universal adoption of smart phones; ironically – given their usefulness for communicating in terms of text, calls, SMS, email, social media and more – when it comes to ICE they can be disastrous for one simple reason: to protect their all-encompassing content, we PIN protect them, locking out the paramedics at the most crucial time.


If that mean’s the mobile’s time has passed in usefulness for ICE (still worth entering those details in case) what are the alternatives?


The full article will feature in issue 3 of Cyclo for iPad coming soon. For issues 1 and 2 take a look at Cyclo in the iTunes Store – issue 1 is free, issue 2 just £1.49


Featured News

Light Headed

Dutch designer Wouter Walmink had never even considered wearing, let alone designing, a helmet in the cycle-centric Netherlands; but a move to the busier streets of Melbourne, Australia changed all that. As a researcher at RMIT University, Walmink began to experiment with helmets fitted with LEDs and the result is the prototype LumaHelm fitted with over 100 tiny lights, the flow and pattern of which can be controlled by built-in gyroscopic sensors. Extending the applications the helmet has already been tested to become a visual representation of the wearer’s heart rate, which the designer hopes might help to remind car drivers and other road users that beneath the device sits a flesh and bones rider. Perhaps more practically a tilt to the left or right acts as an indicator, whilst a gentle backwards tip becomes an effective break light. Cyclo is keen to see where this might go and we always love it when a thing of perfect function is wrapped up in such beauty and originality. Please send us one Wouter…



Oz App for Balckspots

Australia’s Green party have continued to roll out their Bike Blackspot campaign and interactive map with the extended launch to Melbourne of their increasingly popular Bike Blackspot App. It gives cyclists armed with smartphones a tool to warn other riders of a variety of risks from continuing road dangers to cycle path potholes whilst also sending the information to Transport and Roads Minister Terry Mulder and his federal counterpart, Anthony Albanese.


A potentially powerful lobbying tool (in a time when cycling projects are facing severe cutbacks) the app also allows users to ‘dob in’ dangerous drivers and even nominate ‘cycling utopia areas’. The earlier Perth version of the app, established by Greens transport spokesman Senator Scott Ludlam back in March, has already identified 250 black spots in the West Australia capital and it is hoped that the Melbourne initiative will prove similarly popular. Feedback either from the app or via email is all forwarded to the Victorian Transport Minister and Greens MP Greg Barber, who is campaigning to reverse the Victorian Governments bike funding cuts.



Felony Death by Cycling

US statistics suggest that between 1999 and 2009 (the last year for which figures are available) 4,834 cyclists and 59,925 pedestrians were killed by motor vehicles, whilst in the same period cyclists were responsible for the deaths of 63 pedestrians.


On March 29 in San Francisco (which ranks fourth behind Portland, Minneapolis and Seattle for cycling commuters) 36-year-old Chris Bucchere, travelling at an estimated 35mph, ran a red light and hit 71-year-old Sutchi Hui, leaving him with injuries that would kill him just a few days later. What makes this latest tragedy – the third such death in the city within a year despite the low national statistics – is that last week the San Francisco district attorney, George Gascón, announced plans to charge Bucchere with ‘felony vehicular manslaughter for reckless riding that resulted in the death of a pedestrian.’ Although there appears to be no data on the precedent for this, it does appear that this may be the first such felony charge.


Despite its challenging terrain San Francisco has seen a 71% increase in cycling in just five years and the case has clearly sent ripples through a community that has taken two wheels to heart. Whilst Bucchere’s lawyers issued a statement making clear that he had voluntarily turned himself in to the police and ‘…is cooperating with the investigation,’ the DA has said that a sentence of up to six years is not out of the question, adding, ‘I’m hoping this case serves to raise awareness for everyone that the rules of the road apply to everyone…’



Swedish Inflation

Swedish design company Hövding have developed something of a unique solution to cycling safety with the launch of their airbag helmet designed to deploy in case of collision. International studies, say the company, show that bicycle helmets reduce injuries by at least 60%. 40% of people who die in bicycling accidents would have survived if they had been wearing a helmet. Worn around the neck, the device which looks like a collar, contains a folded airbag made from an ultra-strong nylon fabric that won’t rip when scraped against asphalt. Using sensors – a combination of accelerometers and gyros – the device detects a fall or impact and uses a tiny cold gas inflator to inflate the hood in 0.1 seconds completely encasing the sides, back and top of the head. The system also contains a unique ‘black box’ which records a rolling 10 seconds of data which can be analysed following an accident. Being Swedish there’s a fashion element too – the visible shell which covers the collar can be interchanged to match your cycling outfit…


Further information at




Cyclists See Red?

Guardian journalist Peter Walker has written passionately in his Bike Blog about this week’s press release from the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) which raised eyebrows in the cycling community with its attention-grabbing ‘More than half of cyclists jump red lights’ headline. Like many Walker questioned the validity of such a wild-sounding claim, but unlike most he also did something about it and dug a little deeper (Cyclo will have you know that most journalists are dedicated, diligent and right-minded). Walker realised that the ‘results’ were compiled from a self-selecting online survey (i.e. completed by those who a: were already on the IAM website, b: felt like clicking on and filling in a survey); further the headline statistic itself didn’t stack up fully and that the quoted 57% of bike riders who admitted to jumping red lights was made up from 1.9% ‘regular offenders’, 11.8% who did so ‘sometimes’, 24.6% ‘rarely’, and 19.1% admitting to having done so once or twice.


When pressed, predominantly by Walker, the IAM did release a further press notice quantifying the statistics and attempting to contextualise to a greater degree, but not, of course, before numerous news outlets (including BBC Breakfast) had jumped on and reported the doom and gloom scaremongering version. Cyclo agrees with Walker that cyclists are far from saints and inarguably a degree of lawbreaking happens, but ill-advised and poorly constructed ‘statistics’ do nothing to further anyone’s cause.


Take a look at Walker’s full blog and make up your own mind:



News Flash

Last night (February 22) saw upwards of 2000 cyclists taking to London’s early-evening streets in an organised and much anticipated ‘flash ride’ which involved a nearly half-mile long stream of riders heading down The Mall and past Parliament before splitting in two to cover both banks of the Thames. All this, of course, to highlight the perilous plight of cyclists on the capitals streets ahead of today’s House of Commons debate on cycling safety – shockingly, though rather unsurprisingly – the first such debate since 1996.


It is thought that less than 70 of the 650 MPs have signed the Early Day Motion to be discussed and of those only 8 are Conservatives, despite the fact that PM David Cameron is a keen and vocal cyclist himself. The Early Day Motion states:


‘That this House believes that cycling is an extremely efficient form of transport which is good for health and the environment; supports successive governments’ commitment to encourage the use of bikes and reduce the number of cyclist-related accidents; notes with concern that the number of cyclists killed on Britain’s roads rose by 7 per cent. between 2009 and 2010; further notes that a disproportionate number of cycling accidents involve vans and lorries; supports The Times’ Cities Fit for Cycling campaign; and calls on the Government to take further action to improve cycling infrastructure and reduce the number of casualties on roads.’

Cyclo will keep you posted.


Photo courtesy of Moritz Waldemeyer. For more information on the “Joy Rider”, an exercise in pure minimalism that mounts two LEDs on spokes to paint a smiling face, and his other extraordinary light projects visit



Commuter Cam

Cyclo loves road safety! So we salute Marilyn Johnson, a Research Fellow at Monash University in Melbourne who has produced not only some interesting (and useful) statistics but some cracking video footage too. In order to analysis causes of accidents,  Johnson attached helmet cams to a group of 13 commuter cyclists for a four week period and watched (at times we assume in horror) as the drama unfolded.


Over 127 hours, 54 ‘events’ were identified – two crashes, six near-crashes and 46 ‘incidents’ (an ‘incident’ being similar to a near-crash, but less severe, where one road user needed to take some evasive action.) In 87% of the events captured, the driver was discovered to be responsible and in 74% of those events, the driver cut the cyclist off, turning in front of the cyclist without either providing enough space, indicating effectively or performing a ‘head check’. Watch the amazing footage below or see for more information about the research (and more incredible footage too.)

Naturalised cycling study (clip 2) from conversationEDU on Vimeo.