.

June 27, 2014
I've done the whole sliding-over-the-bonet thing when out riding, although in my case I can barely remember it and I managed to hang onto my bike when it happened. The car owner launched into a tyrade about kids on bikes after seeing the damage that my pedal had caused to his car's paintwork, only adding to the anger of a 15 year old who'd just ridden into someone who hadn't seen me and didn't much care.
I was only shaken up and most importantly the bike was OK but for some ripped up bar tape, but it was a lesson that probably was long overdue for me at the time. "Never Second Guess" has saved me from similar incidents on multiple occasions through my cycling life, but at some stage it WILL happen no matter how much attention you're paying to everyone else around you.
The problem with cyclists is - apart from the shrinking skill set of so many motorists - that we simply don't have the same physical presence on the road, it's too easy for others to look through us, around us, or to not hear us.
I've been running my Blaze Laserlight for a month now  and I can tell you I've never felt more protected. On my second outing not only did I get noticed by literally everyone, but a car full of young lads even sat through a green light to look at it. The Blaze is such a conversation piece that I can guarantee it will see you stopping at some point to explain not only what it is, but just  how cool it is. Granted it's no "single man with a cute toddler in a pram at Woolworths on a Thursday night", but it's right up there.
The Blaze is the brain child of Emily Brooke, a product design graduate of Brighton University. Emily realised after having caught the biking bug that one of the greatest risks associated with road riding was in vehicles turning in cyclists without having seen them. Her solution was to project the image of a bicycle ahead of the rider to warn others of their presence, and it surely outperforms even her initial expectations when she began the project in 2011.
The UK has similar laws to Australia in that cyclists are required to use a forward facing white light at night, so the Blaze not only projects the laser image ahead of the rider, but it also serves as a very effective light provided you're not currently riding with some 50,000 lumen car battery powered monstrosity on your bars. The light has three separate modes which include flashing, and steady 100lm or 300lm settings. In flashing mode battery life is estimated at thirteen hours, this obviously drops at 300lm to around 6.5 which is still more than enough to get you out and back again. Run the laser with the light and the run time varies between 4.5 to 6 hours.
When you first pick up the Blaze you realise that this is one very solid solid and incredibly beautiful bit of gear. From the diamond cut casing to the clamp and binder you're instantly taken back to ye olden days when quality was paramount and things were built to last. I don't know about the lifespan of the internals, but if it doesn't stop running I can see the Blaze being passed onto my great great grandchildren.
It took me all of a minute to pull the contents out and grab the bike. The Blaze comes with 3 different thickness rubber shims to account for varying bars, but with beefy diameter of today's controls the only shim even worth considering is the thinnest in the box. Never having run a front light before I found that my preference for the older Campagnolo over Shimano brifters is now even more justifiable. The shiter cables on my old Ultegra dictated the placement of the bracket hard up against the stem which is one of my preferred hand positions when climbing. This won't be a factor next year when I upgrade the bike to Chorus, but the projected laser image is cut neatly in half by the current setup. 
The bracket binder bolt does look as though it will simply slip off the clamp when tightened which was at first a little disconcerting, but the quality of construction is again second to none and Blaze have previously assured everyone that the bracket will stay put. With our local roads being some of the worst in Brisbane I can vouch for it's willingness to stay put. Once you've sorted the bracket positioning out, the unit attaches via a post and trigger style clamping system. You can run the Blaze as a torch when off the bike, but until you've secured it to the bracket you will not be able to turn the laser on for obvious reasons. I had hoped to be able to use it on the cat and I can, but having to pick up the entire bike and twirl it around like a circus act is awkward and a lot less fun. Please sort this out Emily. Cats are owned by two types of people, those that love them, and those that love playing with lasers.
Adjusting the Blaze to a good a good distance ahead of the bike is simple enough, but do not be tempted to grab the whole thing and move it without loosening  the bracket bolt first, The mount is solid but not indestructible. Blaze recommend that you aim the laser onto the road surface between 5-6 meters ahead of you, but I run mine at about 7 metres because I live in South east Queensland and well, you know what it's like. Even when projected further ahead the image suffers no deterioration and can still be seen when riding under street lights. The light can also be easily adjusted side to side to psition the image just so via another smaller bolt under the bracket.

 

What have the Romans ever done for us?

June 23, 2014
Tell this small org (or more importantly, tell others) that what it's doing is counterproductive, and we'll always beg to differ. 
SCA is currently working with the Brisbane City Council on improved conditions for cyclists as an integral partner in the Cycling Brisbane program. 
Involving ourselves in the community is what we do

We've played a vital role in moving an Australian state towards implimenting a minimum safe passing distance rule that is now being discussed nationally. 
We introduced t...

Continue reading...
 

Fly6 Roadtest

June 23, 2014
I hadn’t planned on the very first post being a product review when we decided to start the blogging thing, but when Andrew from Fly6 contacted us in November asking if I was keen to road test their new rear view camera incorporating taillight function, a plan came together and here we are. Hello. Fly6 have a few of these units currently being put through their paces around Oz, and Andrew was able to squeeze SCA in at the last minute prior to them shipping the units out. I’m very glad we ...
Continue reading...
 

Safe Cycling ireland and Phil Skelton.

June 23, 2014
Phil and I have been talking for a while now, and I love his passion and commitment to safer cycling on the other side of the planet. Thanks to Phil, the Irish cycling campaign has succeeded in achieving so much in such a short timeframe that I’m envious and chuffed as hell. I thought I’d post Phil’s story not knowing that he’d already done the favour for Andy Lahey at Bikepure, so rather than me waxing lyrical. I’ll let him explain it all over again for our benefit.

By way of introd...
Continue reading...
 

Open letter to the Australian press - Friday 20 June 2014

June 23, 2014
*An open letter to the editors of every major newspaper tonight.

To whom it will almost certainly concern,

Because of your increasingly skewed collective behaviour and attitude towards cyclists as a group, I feel compelled to write this strong letter of objection. I have repeatedly been asked by cyclists why you to all intents and purposes feel inclined to vilify them collectively, and the only answer I can ever provide them with is that I honestly don’t know. I cannot fathom why so many are ...
Continue reading...
 

Categories

Blog Archive