The promotion of active travel and the campaign against road danger are issues as serious as they come, but that doesn’t mean it’s not possible to have fun while delivering serious messages. Here are a just a few examples of our work from the last few years.
Pop-up zebra crossing
Countless schools struggle to keep their children protected from road danger. We designed an inflatable zebra crossing to take into schools. The bollards are 2.5 metres tall and can be erected in less than a minute. Crucially, they are popular with teachers, parents, kids and drivers alike so they are ideal for starting conversations about road danger talking points as well as more traditional road safety messages. They’re also jolly useful for schools who have been refused a real crossing and wishing to mount a protest.
We wanted to engage with cyclists about the risk posed to them in urban areas by HGVs, so we built a bicycle fitted with a train horn that was so loud, it was awarded a Guinness World Record. The idea was to highlight how important it was that HGV drivers noticed cyclists on the road. We got a huge amount of media coverage as a result.
DIY cargo bike
Inspired by the scores of cargo bikes that deliver kids to each school in the Netherlands we wanted to have some fun and see if we could build one ourselves. We love cargo bikes, but they’re expensive and can be tricky to store if you’re short on space so we set ourselves a challenge to boost a conventional bicycle’s carry capacity to 240 litres on a budget of £50 (and make sure it remained easy to store).
With our £50 we bought a new 240-litre wheelie bin for £37, a length of 22 mm copper pipe for £11, a pipe fitting and a handful of nuts and bolts. The only tools required are a hacksaw and a drill. Watch our short film to see how we did it.
In response to the estimated 800 bicycles stolen every single day in Britain, we designed the Biskiple; a flat-pack skip that offers secure storage for bikes. We like to call it an ‘urban cloaking device for cyclists’. Entirely anonymous in the urban environment, the Biskiple can be erected in less than five minutes on any street or drive. The design is of particular use to urban cyclists who often have a challenge finding somewhere to store their bicycles.
Cyclists around the country are often left disappointed in winter by the failure of their local authorities to grit cycle paths in treacherous icy conditions.
While road gritting machines go out in force, cycle paths are neglected. In an attempt to keep cyclists moving however cold it gets, we developed the world’s first pedal-powered gritter.
Self-laying cycle lane
In response to those critics who say they see unused infrastructure, we built a self-laying cycle lane.
“Having already established a reputation as the Pope who takes the bus, Pope Francis will take another step towards cementing his image as the people’s pontiff when he takes delivery of the first ever pedal-powered Popemobile.” So read our press release dated 1 April.
Bike theft countermeasures: Booby trap your water bottle
As the theft of bicycles in some urban areas nears epidemic proportions, so continued our quest to thwart thieves. Using little more than a standard water bottle, a retractable lanyard and a smoke grenade of the sort used in military reenactments, we built an effective – but safe – booby trap to dissuade bicycle thieves.
Bicycles are already the quickest way to get around town, but the chronic shortage of oil following a zombie apocalypse will render cars all but useless, so bikes will be the only way for survivors to travel. And just in case the average mountain bike is not up to the task, we built a zombie-proof bicycle in time for Halloween.
Oh, and we built this bike for every cyclist who has ever been pestered by a pothole…
Ethical cycle insurance
On the face of it, one cycle insurance provider is much like another, but by now you may have notice we are different. As well as the viral content to promote cycling you’ve seen above, we have worked hard to develop excellent cover for you and your bike. For example, how much excess you will be charged is just one of the things that varies wildly between providers. Another is so called ‘new-for-old’ replacement – many insurers use this term, but if your bicycle is more than a few years old, devalue it severely. This means you are left out of pocket when you come to replace it.
With ETA cycle insurance, however old the bike, if it’s stolen you get enough to buy a new model.
For over 29 years we have been providing this kind of straightforward, affordable bicycle insurance. Little wonder The Good Shopping Guide judges us to be ethical.