Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Bicycle light donation - a selfish way to give

Today's commute was as good as it gets. Warm, sunny, not too hot yet. Bit of a breeze. Streets quiet. Cars considerate and happy. A good ride for daydreams of doing good stuff.

Until one of my daydreams runs into something practical. Something like a program to donate towards $10 easy to install semi-sealed high reliability blinking red bike lights.

I could bring $200 to an interested bike shop, put up a small poster, and see how it goes.

It's the kind of low energy donation I might actually do, and, best of all, it's anonymous. So no spam!

Even better, it's selfish. I worry a bit about getting run over, but I worry a lot more about running someone else over. More blinkies, fewer nightmares. A program like this ought to appeal to people who never bike, particularly elderly drivers with good reason to fear low visibility bicycles. Unlike helmets, which some cyclists dislike (not me), just about everyone likes blinkies [1].

My next thought was that someone has to have set something up like this. Of course they have, including in Minneapolis four days ago ...
These are great programs, but I didn't see one that involved distribution at local bicycle shops like Cycles for Change, Express Bike Shop, or my local favorites. So there's room for growth.

Anyone know of other programs like this?

[1] Except for the Apocalypse flavor of libertarian. In my searches I found someone complaining about the corrupting influence of bicycle light donations.
[2] It's in the lab. Machine vision/radar to identify pedestrians, animals, and bicycles and alert drivers.

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