Track your stolen bicycle with SpyLamp a hidden GPS tracker

The SpyLamp looks like an ordinary LED rear light. Inside though, is GPS technology. It works using a pay-as-you-go mobile phone SIM card and a motion sensor. The stolen bike can then be tracked online using Google Maps.

It costs £125, though it will also require the occasional top up of the pay-as-you-go SIM card.

The problem I can forsee though is that a thief may lose the light or sell it to someone else for a small financial gain. Perhaps they designers have antisipated this as they are about to launch a version that can be hidden inside the seat post or bicycle frame.

Great gadget!

Bike Hub: Turn your android phone into a route-finding Satnav for bicycles

I know it came out last year but I have just discovered BikeHub.

BikeHub is a great FREE android app (also for iPhone) that finds a cycle route for you, then gives you the option to follow it using your phone’s GPS. It will also give voice directions and vibration alerts when coming to turns.

This screenshot is from the desktop version which gives you an idea of some of it’s features.

All I need now is a handlebar holder for my Dell Streak 5. Might this be another job for duck tape?!

AA Cycle Helmet Stunt

The CTC responded to a helmet give-away for cyclists by the AA on 15 April by staging a simultaneous Highway Code give-away for drivers.

I am glad to hear of it as when I heard of the AA’s stunt I found it extremely irritating.

Cycle campaigners were concerned that the AA’s focus upon vulnerable road users risked misrepresenting the sources of road danger. I wonder if the AA would prefer to deflect the blame on to the victims. Could that have been their plan and their policy?

CTC’s Campaigns and Policy Director Roger Geffen explained:

‘If the AA wants to improve safety for cyclists it should work with groups like CTC to encourage all road users – including cyclists – to follow the Highway Code. Police data shows that the risks cyclists face come overwhelmingly from dangerous driving. The AA’s gimmick gives the impression that cycle helmets are an essential safety aid, and that cyclists who don’t wear them are to blame if they get hurt – neither of which is true.’

In Northern Ireland, meanwhile, the threat of compulsory helmets has receded for now. Good!

Compulsory Bicycle Helmets

Schools promote them, worried parents insist their children wear them and the manufacturers keep bringing out new and expensive styles of them.

I heard an interview on the radio that seemed to be a pillorying of Transport Minister Norman Baker for being a keen cyclist and yet not wearing a cycling helmet. He also refuses to wear a helmet while walking, which is also part of his ministerial brief, but that has not made the headlines.

All this is just after it has been proposed that the wearing of cycle helmets should be compulsory in Northern Island. I wonder who is behind all this, could it be the motor lobby that resent bicycles being on “their” roads and hindering “their” progress? Where else could it come from?

Almost all of the studies that promote cycle helmet use have been conducted by or for the helmet manufacturers. The road users who suffer head injuries more than any other are the front seat passengers of motor cars. I don’t notice any push to get all of them into helmets.

Recent studies show that when head, face and neck injuries are counted together, there is “no net protective effect” from wearing a cycle helmet, because cycle helmets actually increase the risk of neck injuries. Get that? It is a matter of debate whether they have any net protective effect at all! So why have so many schools been duped into thinking it is all done and dusted when it comes to proof? Beats me.

In 1991 Australia introduced mandatory bicycle helmet laws requiring all adults and children to wear a helmet at all times when riding a bike. This was despite fierce opposition from cycling groups. The result was the predicted noticiable drop in cycle use.

Just as the conversation is whether to bring in compulsory helmet wearing in this country, in Australia they are moving in the opposite direction and the conversation there is whether to repeal those laws.

Wear one if you want, but I do not think they should be compulsory.