Who are you?
My name is Marta and I have been living in London for over five years. I actually started cycling because I couldn’t afford to commute by tube but it soon became clear that the benefits of cycling went far beyond just cost-efficiency. I use my bike to get everywhere and it’s generally faster (and more fun) than any other mode of transport, in addition to being greener. Cycling is also an easy way to add a bit of extra fitness and sanity into my routine. I generally feel in a better state of mind (and get better sleep!) on days I cycle.
…The main thing is when cars get too close and zoom past me quickly (usually it’s vans, black cabs and even buses) or don’t leave enough room for me to pass
Any cycling safety concerns?
I have a couple of grievances when it comes to cycling. The main thing is when cars get too close and zoom past me quickly (usually it’s vans, black cabs and even buses) or don’t leave enough room for me to pass. I don’t suffer from road rage but when it comes to my life being on the line (and potentially that of others) because of a driver trying to prove a point I can definitely show my teeth.
I also don’t appreciate when other cyclists do things like run lights or pedestrian crossings, overtake on the inside, or fail to signal when they’re making a turn. It gives us all a bad name and creates resentment against cyclists among pedestrians and drivers. This resentment often translates into poor manners on the road and can lead to really unpleasant situations.
How did RIDR help?
One of the things I most love about my light is that it has the additional laser function. When I turn this on it illuminates the space around my bike with two laser beams and helps ensure cars/cyclists don’t get too close. I have a basket behind my seat and I was concerned the light wouldn’t attach well to it but it works like a breeze and stays mounted even when I’m cycling on bumpy roads–we’ve got a lot of those in East London!
Another feature that is a lifesaver is that it’s rechargeable instead of battery-powered. I had run out of juice of my previous light and because I’m lazy I had neglected to replace the batteries and was cycling in the evenings without a light. The fact that I can just plug the Ridr light in to charge bypasses my laziness and helps me be a safer and more considerate cyclist.
There were also a moment when it was late at night and was cycling home without a light (irresponsible, I know!). A car pulled up next to me at a red light and a man started leering and shouting at me and asking me why I didn’t have a light. The streets were pretty desolate and I was by myself. I realised in that moment I had put myself in harm’s way for something as silly as not having the right level of visibility. That’s the same night I bought these lights!