As an avid cyclist (well, in an urban sense) I'm fully aware of the pressure on those of us who use bikes to get around to make ourselves visible. The dreaded SMIDSY accident (Sorry, Mate, I Didn't See You) becomes a little more unlikely if you're lit up like a Christmas tree. At this time of year especially, light is right.
The thing is, why should you have to look either like a workman in hi-vis or a lycra warrior when you're on your bike? Surely there's a third way, for those of us that like to keep a sense of style about them even when they're on the cycle path.
Well, the good news is that a British company called Lumo have the answer. They design jackets and bags with cleverly integrated LEDs, that are visible up to 400 meters when you need them to be, and completely invisible when you don't.
Lumo's neat take on a classic Harrington is treated for water-resistance, and features bike-friendly notions like a dropped back hem (to keep your bum covered when you're standing on the pedals) and fully weather-proofed closures. The LEDs in the front placket and back hem are similarly weather-proofed, USB chargable and machine washable.
There's also a backpack that takes design cues from British military knapsacks, a cool Fred Perry-style pique polo with reflective strips, and even a classic cycling cap. All Lumo's apparel has been put together with a close eye to detail, fit and finish. They're unisex, filled with thoughtful design touches and look good on or off the bike.
Their Kickstarter campaign, has, I'm glad to say, just reached its first target. They're teasing a great-looking parka if they hit the stretch goal of £70, 000. The campaign has just under a week to go, and it wouldn't surprise me if the Regent makes it to market.
The conflation of technology and fashion remains an obsession here at the Pier, and Lumo's cool take on a knotty problem as one we admire deeply. A British company taking steps to keep cyclists both safe and looking good? We're all over that!