December 21 2010
As London cyclists will know – and we are a rapidly growing category – you simply cannot be too visible, especially in the capital’s ill-lit pockets such as the Outer Circle of Regent’s Park, which I navigate regularly. Then there is that irksome summer experience when you get stuck late in the office or head out for an impromptu drink and it grows dark but you’re without cycle lights.
A solution, though, is imminent. One night, a couple of months ago, I spotted a brilliant device that gives cyclists instant visibility: a woman was speeding along The Mall wearing a helmet that flashed vividly. Fascinated, I took off in hot pursuit. Alas when I finally caught up with her underneath the statute of Boadicea at Duke of Wellington Place, she told me that her helmet had been a gift from a friend and she had no idea where it came from.
After weeks of searching, I finally found a supplier of the flashing helmet at The London Cycle Show at Earls Court. I tried it on: not only is the Angel helmet comfortable and stylish, it’s 100 per cent waterproof. Also, cleverly, it uses fibre optic technology with no batteries: you simply plug the helmet into a computer’s USB port to re-charge.
The downside is that the model I tried on was only for show; the Angel illuminated cycle helmet won’t be available until January. But I imagine that soon after it goes on sale, the streets of London will be lit up by the flashing heads of canny cyclists.
£49.99 plus p&p, available from January 2011.