We are busy getting ready for this years show. As Lightrider is most popular with commuters this is a very important show for us.
This year we will be positioned at the new Innovation Lab, sponsored by BikeBiz.
I have just seen the design for the stands and it's going to look good.
Please come along and say Hi, we will have a video to show the light in action and a tent where you can look into the dark and see how it performs.
Well, what a week that was!
I had a crazy idea to not book a hotel for the show, and drive to and from Birmingham and London every day- never again, but did mean I could see the family for a short time each day.
Thursday was a great day on our stand, we met with many interested trade contact's with about 10 serious orders and enquiries, from both the UK and abroad. Mechelle has been busy following them up today.
Friday-Sunday was open to the public, and we had a fun time, but had to send out for more sweets by the end of Saturday.
By the end of this week, Lightrider should start appearing in 46 of Halfords largest stores, it's going to be a proud moment when I see one in there- may even take a photo and will post it up!
Over the last few months we have been finalizing the details of the large batch of lights to be made in China. I am now please to say that they are all finished and currently on a long ocean cruise heading our way!
We have had a few hundred lights flown in to meet a back-log of orders and meet our first order to Halfords. We also needed a full range of lights for The Cycle Show at the NEC in a few weeks.
Over the next few weeks you will see a fair few adverts and reviews for Lightrider, as we are keen for people to know that we finally have the full range of 4 lights available. It will be very interesting to see which is the best seller.
We have been working for nearly 3 years to release Lightrider, with many highs and lows!
After the first year of work we had to switch factories, as they just weren't getting things done to the standard we wanted.
I never realised that factories in China used Agents, so all your instructions go through them first, then onto the factory.
I think this is where the phrase “Chinese Whispers” came from!
Our first USB design was quite basic, and I wasn't happy that there were enough safeguards to protect 3rd party equipment when charging. And to my amazement, this is common with most designs. So I made the difficult decision to start again on the PCB (Printed Circuit Board) design- delaying things a further 6 months.
We employed a superb UK based electronics engineer that based the new PCB design around a microprocessor. This meant we could basically programme Lightrider to do what we like, including a very sophisticated charging system. Also, future changes will be pretty simple.
More on the design process another time.
The thing about getting ready for our first exhibition is we have to do everything for the first time. I keep telling myself that things will get easier!
New website, photos, leaflets, branding, credit card payments.... I could go on.
So, let the games commence.
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you... Lightrider!
In July we spent some time to talk to Cyclo about the Lightrider product that will be coming to market at the London Bike Show in 2014. With Cyclo always looking to applauds attempts to make cyclists safer and more visible, Cyclo enjoyed learning more about our 'bright' idea.
Here are a few of our favourite snippets:
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: 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!