York Cycle Alert Scheme

York Cycle Alert SchemeAs of October York will become the first city in the world to fit their inner city buses with Cycle Alert, a cycle specific detection system, with the launch of a partnership between the system’s developers, The University of York, City of York Council and Transdev Unibus. The Cycle Alert comprises of three elements: a tag fitted to the bike (or worn by the rider), sensors that are fitted to the HGV, bus or other vehicle, and a cab-mounted device to alert the driver of the cyclist’s proximity.


York already has some of the best cycling infrastructure in the country, with Sustran cycle routes replacing old train tracks and an extensive network of off-road cycle paths and on-road cycle lanes. Fiona Macey, Travel Plan co-ordinator, University of York, commented on the partnership: ‘We are thrilled to be working in partnership with Transdev Unibus and the City of York Council to be the first UK city to pioneer the use of Cycle Alert on our University bus fleet. The University is committed to promoting sustainable modes of travel and Cycle Alert will be a huge benefit to our cyclists and city wide.’


When the system goes live on October 10, Cycle Alert cyclist tags will be available at £25 from both the York Students Union Store and


Find out more about Cycle Alert at


Extras Featured Reviews

Nite Ize LED

In poor visibility and, of course, the dark good cycle lights are essential (a legal requirement in fact) but there are plenty of other ways to maximise your visibility and stay as safe as possible on the bike. Cyclo took a look at just some of the LED solutions available from the Nite Ize range…


Nite Ize Helmet MarkerFirst up for test was the Nite Ize Helmet Marker Plus. Weighing an unobtrusive 19g the Helmet Marker Plus is a thin, durable polymer strip encased in weather-resistant nylon fabric, which can be attached to helmets via hook-and-loop strips or with the rubberised twist tie to pretty much any part of the bike – seat post, baskets, panniers, etc. The replaceable (and included) lithium battery powers either a continuous glow or strobe option with a maximum battery life of 75hours. Cyclo really liked the (literal) flexibility of this product, being easy to attach and remove it proved equally useful for mounting on the back of the helmet as it did attached to straps on a commuter day pack; the fact that the nylon cover also featured passive hi-viz reflective markings was a bonus, adding an extra dash of safety. RRP £11.95.


Nite Ize SpokeLitThe Nite Ize SpokeLit is a commendable way of adding illumination from the side of the bike – something so often neglected. Press the unit between the spokes and slide it towards to rim until a tight fit is achieved (we found it stayed perfectly put once in place), press once for a continuous glow or twice for flashing mode and the supplied and replaceable battery gives up to 20hours of added side-on safety. Weather and shock resistant the Nite Ize SpokeLit retails at £7.95 with a choice of colours – green, amber, red, blue – or a ‘Disc-O’ option that cycles through a spectrum of colours in solid mode. A neat alternative, or indeed addition, to the SpokeLit is the button sized Nite Ize See’Ems, which come in packs of two (blue, purple, pink £6.95) and clip directly to the spokes to provide a continuous glow. Like the SpokeLit the See Ems produce an interesting, and attention grabbing, solid circle of light once you start pedaling.


Nite Ize Sport VestFinally, Cyclo took a look at the Nite Ize LED Sports Vest a lightweight black mesh vest made with 3M Scotchlite reflective material, which features two illuminated flexible polymer strips (one to the front and one rear) that can be set to either a solid illumination or strobe effect mode. The universal fit uses an elastic side strap with adjustable hook & loop closure, but regrettably is likely to still prove too big for most children – a missed trick as this lightweight vest would be perfect for tucking into a schoolbag for use on those school afternoons where the light is drawing in. Still, an excellent option for commuters that combines well advised reflective strips with the added benefit of flashing LEDs. The Nite Ize LED Sports Vest retails at £24.95.


Full details and online purchase of these (and other Nite Ize LED products) at


Cyclo is supporting the Child Brain Injury Trust’s Child Safety and Awareness Campaign to get kids clearly visible on their bikes – find out more here.




Extras Featured Reviews

Children’s Cycle Helmets

Who knows what word today’s kids are using to describe things that are ‘cool’ (sick? phat?) – it’s entirely possible Cyclo has just made itself deeply ‘uncool’ by even posing the questions. Either way we agree with the Child Brain Injury Trust that ‘wearing a helmet is a lot cooler than getting a brain injury’ – and they should know as they help over 5,000 people a year affected by injuries that are often the result of road and cycle accidents. But how do you pick out children’s cycle helmets that are cool/sick/phat? Cyclo took a look at two of the latest brands to arrive in the UK.


Raskullz & KrashFirst up for test was the Raskullz & Krash range. At heart these are traditional cycle helmets (also suitable for skating, etc.), which feature a shock-absorbing EPS inner shell for protection, aerodynamic cooling vents and adjustable nylon retention straps for easy adjustment. What sets them apart from the norm is their adornments – for the younger children (4+) the Raskullz range features everything from dinosaurs to pink cat creatures and ladybirds, whilst for the older (7+) kids the Krash range keeps things exciting with mohawks, skulls, psychedelic swirls. All helmets feature substantial rubber 3D elements (cute ears and noses or blood tipped horns for example) that will certainly have the offspring standing out in the peloton.


The straps adjusted well and stayed put once fitted and our young Cyclo testers found them comfortable and light despite the additions, which on paper we had feared would add too much weight. They also found them ‘fun’ to wear (so we guess ‘cool’ wasn’t the word we were looking for.) Regardless, these proved hugely popular and Cyclo was suitable impressed by the amount of fitting and safety instructions included too. The only further addition we might consider useful would be a foam chin guard around the strap clip because we’ve lost count of the amount of times our children have curtailed an otherwise enjoyable ride by pinching skin when putting on their helmets. Though it’s possible we just have clumsy children around Cyclo HQ…


EGG HelmetsAn alternative when it comes to ‘fun’ (as that’s the word we’ve settled on) children’s cycle helmets comes from EGG. Suitable not only for cycle and skate but also snow and water sports, the EGG is an incredibly solid piece of kit that allows for almost infinite configuration and personalisation. Pick a helmet – small at 48-52cm or medium 52-56cm, add a ‘skin’ – anything from union jacks (or union flags for the pedants amongst you) to daredevil ‘dante’ flames or Cath Kidston-style flowers then add 3D adornments such as horns, fruit stalks or mini-mohawks, which can be snapped onto the helmet even once on. With an ABS outer shell, a flexible EPP safety core, and an EVA comfort core the sandwich design offers maximum protection, whilst an integrated finger-press air pump adjusts everything for ultimate comfort.


Cyclo’s mini testers adored EGG not only for their comfort (arguably they might suit slightly older kids as they are undeniably heavier than traditional helmets), but because of the amount of personalisation they offered. The only downside we experienced was trying to get children out of the door and onto the saddle when they just wanted to add ‘one more’ adornment… For adults that feel they are missing out on the fun, the manufacturers promise adult sizes coming soon too.


Raskullz & Krash helmets are widely available (RRP £19.99 – ££22.99) including from Argos, for further details and other product information see


EGG helmets are available online from (amongst other places), helmets £59.95, skins £12.95 and add-ons from £7.95 – further details at


For further information about the Child Brain Injury Trust (Registered Charity No. 1113326) see


Featured Features

Child Brain Injury Trust

Child Brain Injury TrustThe Child Brain Injury Trust is a national charity, registered in 1991, providing information, support and training to anyone living in the UK who is affected by a child’s brain injury. In the lead up to the end of British Summer Time, they will be running a Child Safety and Awareness Campaign to encourage school children to embrace the use of helmets, lights and reflectives – Cyclo will be supporting the campaign with a series of features and reviews – but first we spoke to Andrew Tee, the Community Fundraiser at CBIT behind the campaign, to find out what they had planned…


Cyclo: Firstly, can you tell us a little more about what the Child Brain Injury Trust does…


Andrew Tee: We currently work with over 5,000 people each year – not just injured children but their family (both immediate and extended), and any professionals who come into contact with the child from teachers to healthcare and social care workers. We ensure that we are accessible at every stage to provide practical support and solutions to the many complex issues surrounding a child with an acquired brain injury


Cyclo: And the campaign?


AT: The Child Brain Injury Trust is committed to providing practical and up to date advice on road safety and the prevention of head injury. So we are planning a week-long child safety and awareness campaign to launch on October 21, which is the week leading up to when the clocks go back. It’s a time of year when suddenly children can find themselves traveling to and from school not necessarily in the dark, but certainly in worsening weather and lower lighting conditions. The campaign will be aimed at school-age children, and will focus on staying safe on the roads whilst cycling, scooting, and skating, and to encourage children to wear a helmet and hi-vis clothing. We really want to get the message across that wearing a helmet is a lot cooler than getting a brain injury!


Cyclo: What activities are planned for the week?


AT: Our Child and Family Support Officers and Fundraisers across the country will be visiting schools to spread the safety message, and handing out reflective ‘slap wraps’ with the slogan ‘Be seen not hurt’ to children to really encourage them to think about being seen and staying safe during the winter months.


We’ve also developed a wide range of National Curriculum based activities and worksheets all based around education and awareness of brain injury, child safety and injury/accident prevention. These school packs will be used in conjunction with the school visits. The campaign will culminate with a sponsored cycle ride from the Charity’s head office in Bicester on Sunday October 27, along with other rides from our offices in Belfast and Glasgow. The campaign aims to engage as many groups and individuals as possible during the week, and we are already getting offers of support from people involved in the sporting/cycling world, and companies who design safety equipment.


Cyclo: And how else are you planning on getting your message across?


AT: We’re planning to post blogs each day throughout the campaign week, from people who can inspire young people to get active, but do it safely. We have a number of seasoned adventurers who have completed amazing journeys by bike and skateboard already signed up to support the campaign and write these for us; they will help us to spread the message via their social media channels.


We will also be dedicating pages on our website to promote the campaign, with safety/prevention information and regular updates from our guest bloggers. We aim to run competitions throughout the week, with prizes from UK cycle and safety companies. Social media will certainly play a big role in this campaign, driving traffic to the website and encouraging our followers to share our activities with their friends and followers.


Cyclo: So your key messages would be?


AT: Wear a helmet! – Our mantra really is that wearing a helmet (and also using lights and reflectives) is a lot cooler than getting a brain injury… We absolutely want to promote that enthusiasm for children to be active, but equally to be safe; so to encourage more children to wear a helmet is fundamental. As a charity we certainly want to raise awareness of childhood brain injuries and highlight the common sense approaches to avoiding them when it comes to road safety.


For further information about the Child Brain Injury Trust (Registered Charity No. 1113326) and the latest on the campaign (check back regularly for updates) see: and take a look at their video below.


Read Cyclo’s latest reviews of children’s cycling helmets here and our reviews of the Nite Ize LED range here.



Featured Features

Lightrider – A Bright Future

LightriderCyclo always applauds attempts to make cyclists safer and more visible. Tudor Davies, a sound engineer, mainly working on TV programmes in and around London, would, it seems, agree. Having dreamed up various products over the years, he has now developed Lightrider, a unique approach to cycle lighting, which he feels has ‘big enough potential’ to devote the time and effort to bring to market. Currently seeking further backing via the crowd-funding network Kickstarter, Cyclo caught up with the inventor to talk about his latest ‘bright’ idea…


Cyclo: Tell us about the Lightrider? What makes it unique?


Tudor Davies: Lightrider is the only bike light in the world to illuminate the rider as well as the road ahead. Most cyclists these days are concerned with being seen at night, and yet all they can do about it is shine a light forward, that actually does a good job of making you, the cyclist, disappearing. A hi-vis jacket in the dark is black, it needs a source of light to reflect, so the best solution is to provide your own source.


Cyclo: The idea came from personal experience?


TD: Yes, I was driving home from work one night and waiting at a t-junction to pull out. I was just about to move when a bike flashed in front of me, I nearly hit it. As I carried on my way I was surprised to realise that this cyclist had both lights on, and a hi-vis jacket, but I didn’t see him… Why?


Cyclo: So, a true inventor’s ‘Eureka’ moment?


TD: Indeed, I realised they needed their own source of light, so at that critical moment when another road user is looking out for you they see the form of a cyclist, rather than another small light on the road. I went home that night and wrapped some tin foil round a torch, to create the all-important hood, which protects your night vision. I taped it on my bike facing back towards me and switched it on. My chest was illuminated, but I was completely unaware of the light myself because of the tin foil hood. Eureka!


Cyclo: What research did you do?


TD: I got a survey from the department of transport that confirmed that 80% of bike accidents are from the front or side of a bike. This proved to me that most of the time drivers didn’t see the cyclist coming towards them.


Cyclo: What stage of development are you currently at?


TD: It’s taken 2 years to make this design. It’s currently in the final stages of tooling in China and the packaging is being completed.


Cyclo: Why turn to Kickstarter rather than more traditional means of funding?


TD: Kickstarter is also a good way of getting your product noticed and launched, it’s a win/win for everyone, although we still need more fund to reach our goal!


Cyclo: Would you look to partner with an established manufacturer – either at this stage or further down the road?

TD: That’s actually what we have done. We realised we needed some experience in getting the light made, so we have employed Oxford Products to help bring Lightrider to market. Their experience and contacts have been invaluable.


Cyclo: When this goes into production are you looking to market and retail this yourself?


TD: Yes, we have a sales manager who will be dealing with sales and Lightrider will appear on a number of Internet sites. We will also start looking into finding various distributors in the UK and Europe.


Cyclo: What’s the next step for the Lightrider?


TD: We will be launching with two models, an AA battery and USB rechargeable version; both also available as a rear set. We then plan to extend the range with accompanying hi-vis Lightrider jackets and other accessories.


Cyclo: So other products are already in development?


TD: Oh yes! Our patent covers the whole concept of illuminating the front torso of a rider- so watch this space!


For further information on Lightrider see and for funding opportunities and to get involved see




First Boris Bike Death

boris_bikes2_largeA female cyclist, believed to be 17-year-old, has been hit and killed by a lorry on Barclays Cycle Superhighway 2 – which currently runs from Bow to Aldgate – tragically making her the first cyclist killed whilst riding a ‘Boris Bike’. The London Ambulance Service was called to the incident at around 6.30pm yesterday (Friday, July 6) and the woman was taken to hospital, but pronounced dead on arrival. The driver of the lorry has not been arrested and the Metropolitan Police say investigations into the exact circumstances are ongoing.


Leon Daniels, Managing Director of Surface Transport for Transport for London told the BBC: ‘Our thoughts go out to the friends and family of the female cyclist who tragically died following a collision with a heavy goods vehicle on Whitechapel High Street. We understand she was riding a Barclays Cycle Hire bike… Transport for London has a range of measures already underway to further reduce the number of collisions involving cyclists across London and we will be assisting the Metropolitan Police with their investigation into this tragic incident.



Kirsten Scott Memorial Trust Cyclist Deaths

Kirsten Scott Memorial Trust Cyclist DeathsThe two cyclists killed on the A30 in Cornwall on Tuesday have been named as Andrew McMenigall, aged 47, and Toby Wallace, 36. The two, who worked for Aberdeen Asset Management, were on a charity ride from Land’s End to John O’Groats raising money for the Kirsten Scott Memorial Trust, which was set up in memory of a colleague who died of cancer two years ago, when they were involved in a crash with a lorry near Summercourt. The 31-year-old lorry driver was arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving and has been bailed until October.


An official press release from Aberdeen Asset Management read, ‘It is with great sadness that Aberdeen Asset Management confirms the passing of Andrew McMenigall and Toby Wallace, two much loved and valued colleagues who were yesterday involved in a fatal cycling accident in Cornwall.’ Martin Gilbert, chief executive of the company, added: ‘I knew both Andrew and Toby well. They were dedicated and popular members of our senior team. The fact that they died in such tragic circumstances while trying to help others less fortunate tells you much about their selflessness and humanity. This is a terrible time for the company. More importantly our thoughts are with the families of Andrew and Toby. We will be doing everything we can to support them.’


The aim of the Kirsten Scott Memorial Trust is to provide grants to young people under the age of 26 in order for them to fulfill ambitions, enhance their personal development, and make a positive contribution, either at home or overseas. The Trust say they have been ‘overwhelmed by the response on the donation page’, adding: ‘The figure raised is a testament to the esteem in which Andrew and Toby were held… The trustees will ensure that the generous donations will be used to help young people in a way that is a fitting tribute to these inspirational men and for a purpose which Andrew, Toby and Kirsten would be proud of.’


McMenigall and Wallace had hoped to raise £10,000, but the tragic events mean that the total already stands well above £18,000 (as of July 4). To donate please see


For more information on the Kirsten Scott Memorial Trust see


Extras Featured Reviews

Aura Belts

Aura BeltsThere is much to be said about adding as much visibility as possible on the bike – especially in poor visibility and low light. The Aura Belt is an interesting solution from a new Brit start-up, which looks to address the issue of 360degree visibility; whilst traditional lights (regardless of how many you add) broadly provide illumination front and back, the Aura Belt delivers all-round light and resolves the problem of side-on illumination and protection.


Constructed from high-wearing ‘ballistic’ nylon, the Aura features an integrated LED strip (powered by a replaceable CR2032 battery) beneath coloured, weather-proof, fabric which switches on via a button next to the clip fastener. Available in six colours – pink, yellow, orange, blue, red, green – the belt can deliver either a fixed ‘on’ glow or two speeds of pulsing flash. Construction is substantial and it feels built to last, it might not quite be a thing of beauty but in terms of functionality it’s spot on.


The Aura Belt currently comes as one-size-fits all, adjustable from ‘Women’s size UK 4 to men’s size 38inch’, a good starting point but smaller sizes – specifically for children – would be an excellent addition as would, perhaps, larger ones to accommodate rainy-weather commuters fully layered-up against the elements.


At £25 the Aura Belts are pretty much on the money. There are very few other products on the market that address the 360degree and side-on safety issue (the Nathan LightBender at £20 perhaps or the Fibre Flare Shorty at £27.99 – Cyclo review here) but Aura Belts do it with some style. Expect to see theses in shops soon, but for now they can be ordered at with the addition of £3.50 P&P which covers any number of belts ordered and world-wide delivery.


Cyclo highly recommends Aura Belts – light up and be seen…