London cycling is enjoying a renaissance – it has never been so popular. But even the loudest raving fans of the pursuit won’t deny the potential safety issues surrounding cycling, particularly in a city as big and full of motor traffic as the UK capital. Many parties are of course making an ongoing concerted effort to improve safety for our cyclists, and one of the leading lights (if you’ll pardon the pun) in this movement is a London start up company that has reimagined the bicycle light.
Shoreditch based Blaze started as a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign by Emily Brooke in 2012, reaching its target just before Christmas of that year and with initial backers receiving their Laserlights in 2013. More are set to ship in May of this year. The Blaze Laserlight has captured attention not just in London, where the Evening Standard has eagerly followed the product’s journey, but in publications ranging from Brooke’s home town publication The Bath Chronicle to international awareness in The New York Times.
So what sets the Laserlight apart from other bicycle lights that generates this worldwide interest? It features a more traditional, torch-like light that can be set to high beam, low beam or flashing, but it’s another feature that has everyone talking…
On their website Blaze point to a 2011 report by the Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) which states that a startling 79% of cycle accidents occur when the bicycle is travelling straight ahead and a vehicle manoeuvres into them – the classic blind spot scenario, as Blaze put it. This is where the Laserlight’s unique selling point comes in to play.
The light is capable of projecting a green laser image of a bike five to six metres on to the road ahead, alerting drivers to unseen cyclists and preventing them from turning across their path. It is a revolutionary idea that is effectively a portable form of road signage that could save many lives.
Besides the key light and laser features of the Laserlight, the product has much more to offer the modern cyclist: it can be charged by USB, meaning you can connect it to your office computer and leave work at the end of the day safe in the knowledge that it will last the journey home; it is waterproof – always a good idea in the British climate; it has a safety switch that deactivates the laser when it’s not attached to the bike. On top of all this it looks good too – made with aircraft aluminium and with a bracket of marine-grade steel.
The Laserlight may just make a cycle in London a much safer thing to do, and consequently as Blaze aspire to in their mission statement “liberating, easy, open to all”.
Is Sean “Puff” Daddy Combs About To Buy The Carolina Panthers?
With President Trump in the hot seat, it isn’t rare to wake up to news which no longer takes you by surprise. But, even the most battle-hardened cynic would have had to blink twice when they read the headline “P Diddy to buy Panthers.” Wait there a minute: what?! Yep, apparently the rumors are true and the three-time Grammy winner confirmed them on Twitter of all places. Very Presidential. But, underneath the hype and gossip, is it realistic or is it another “Oprah wants LA Clippers scenario?” Let’s take a look and find out.
Normally, sports franchises in the US are like hen’s teeth and even rarer in some cases. The Donald Sterling example is case and point as a racist still sold his empire for one billion dollars. So, finding an owner willing to listen to offers is not going to be easy, unless you have personal injury lawyers scratching at the door. According to news reports, Mr Richardson has been a very naughty boy and tried to cover up all kinds of workplace misconduct. As a result, he looks set to bow to pressure and sell the Panthers amid a worsening scandal. Puffy can tick opportunity off the list, then.
To knock a man for only being worth a reported $800 billion is a little rich (get it?). However, this is the world of professional sports where owners dismiss people who don’t have bank accounts with ten number figures. Again, Sterling’s Clippers went for a cool $1.2 billion which is more than Diddy’s entire wealth. Some people think he’s worth more, but Forbes won’t be out by as much as $500 million. There is a twist in the tail, though, and he’s called Steph Curry. The Golden State Warriors MVP has announced he wants in and could front the cash, as could a consortium of Sean’s other business associates. Two down, two more to go.
Even if Puffy’s offer were accepted, he wouldn’t be in the clear. Like most sports organization, the league would have to ratify the deal. For the most part, that includes ensuring he has the finances and can pass a fit and proper person’s test. But, if the Premier League’s standards are anything to go by, this won’t be hard. After all, Thaksin Shinawatra as the owner of Manchester City Football Club lives long in the memory. The only blocking point could be the other owners. Mainly white, Republican and not hip-hop producers, they may not like the idea of Combs being in charge.
Combs may be the media’s choice, but he’s by no means the only player in the game. Indeed, billionaires will crawl out of the woodwork to get a piece of the action. As a result, he may be a small fish in a big pond when push comes to shove. Steve Ballmer wasn’t the darling of the media yet ended up usurping Winfrey and Co. in 2014.
There’s a long way to go, but there’s no doubt he has the money to lodge a successful bid. Still, he may not be in pole position in a few weeks’ time.
Five Thrills to Experience At Least Once (And the Best Places in the U.S. to Try Them)
Seemingly cheating death is fun – emphasis on seemingly. A rush of adrenaline meant to help us stay alive can be manipulated to make us feel alive through fast speeds, high drops, and exotic environments. If you like that feeling you get when going over a hill at high speed in a moving vehicle, then consider taking your thrill seeking to the next level. The following options can be sought almost everywhere but have “capitals” throughout the United States:
The most accessible and least-physically intensive option on the list, rollercoasters can be found anywhere and can be enjoyed by just about anyone able to fit in the seat. They also come in a wide variety so those with a fear of going upside down or who prefer smaller drops can still have a good heart-racing time. If an assortment of coasters is the goal, then Ohio is where you need to go. Cedar Point along Lake Erie has a record 17 roller coasters while Kings Island near the Kentucky border is the largest theme park in the Midwest.
By “experience at least once” we don’t always mean a half day-long excursion. Surfing, for example, is a thrill which takes some serious practice to successfully pull off. A few days out of a vacation by the ocean ought to do it – if you’re down. The Southern California surfer culture is widespread but there is no better place to give it a try. Beginners are recommended to head to La Jolla, where the local surfers are a little more tolerant of the interloper. For safety reasons, it’s important to get a gauge on the waves. Consult the San Diego surf report before heading to the beach. It may seem safe at first sight but the surfers out there may be especially skilled and thus the waves look deceptively doable.
Jumping out of a plane strapped to a parachute hoping it works is what most people think of when they think of a death-defying experience. Few rushes will ever beat it, but beginners are never going to be going out alone. For your first several jumps you’re tied to an experienced skydiver. For the best places to go, the obvious choice is the plain states of the Midwest. To worry less about the weather, head for Texas. These regions of the U.S. have more options as far as skydiving schools and centers.
I can’t officially endorse trespassing or reckless personal endangerment, but if you’re in a major city in the U.S., such as Chicago or New York then parkour is something which ought to be tried out. It can actually be done just about anywhere even in a suburban setting so long as there are obstacles to leap over and climb up. Just be careful – it’s best to get started as close to the ground as possible and work your way up for obvious reasons.
Some people are born to play it safe their whole lives. Others, however, crave a thrill now and then, if not regularly. Whether riding a rollercoaster or a big wave, jumping out of an airplane or across an alley, increased danger in our lives provides a level of excitement that can be addictive.
Introducing the new Alfa Romeo MiTo Junior
The lines between sports cars and hatchbacks has been blurred in recent years. Not since the introduction of the hot hatch in the 1980s has the innovation in sporty hatchbacks been greater. That trend looks set to continue with the introduction of the new Alfa Romeo MiTo Junior, a sporty small hatchback with an attitude that Alfa claims was inherited from the GT 1300 Junior.
Indeed, the MiTo Junior comes with a 1.3L diesel engine as well as a smaller 875cc TwinAir petrol engine, giving you plenty of power and punch in this compact car. It’s a great introduction to the world of Alfa Romeo and includes all of the driving fun and style of a larger Alfa without having to break the bank to get there. Usually, you’ll have to compromise on performance in a smaller car or emissions and price in a larger car. With the MiTo Junior, though, there’s no such need. It balances performance and low emissions perfectly, giving you the ultimate sporty hot hatch without breaking the bank.
Back in the mid-1960s, the GT 1300 Junior gave many young drivers their first taste of Alfa Romeo, being an affordable but legendary Alfa Romeo car. It’s a much loved car which has become an icon, and Alfa hope that the MiTo Junior will carry the GT 1300’s DNA through to the modern age, giving today’s young drivers that glimpse of the Alfa style without breaking the bank.
It’s not just the outside with its decals and chrome finishes which has the sporty looks. No stone has been left unturned in the cabin, either, with white stitched handbrake levers and gear gaiters giving a nice touch with a leather steering wheel, sports instrument panel and stunning white graphics harking back to the great days of British motorsport. It’s a bold look, but it’s one which works beautifully and evokes the sensations of a summer’s day spent nipping around Britain’s country lanes with the wind rushing through your hair.
Put simply, this could be the greatest new innovation in hot hatches in this country since the introduction of the first VW Golf in the 80s, and if Alfa manage to market it to their target audience properly then it could mark the start of something really rather special. Either way, the new young drivers of today really do have something to look forward to.
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