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30th October 2018

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Backflips and Babies: My Highlights from the NEC Cycle Show

30th October 2018

I loved being at the cycle show with free2cycle last month. We had not one, but two stands, as were sponsoring the ‘New2Cycling Hub’ with @cycleshow so were able to catch up with loads of show attendees. In case you weren’t able to visit the show (or make it round the huge array of stands, displays and presentations), here’s my picks of the bunch:

  • @jenisanderson, our Wellbeing Expert and Positive Psychology Practitioner, giving us the science behind ‘Why Does Cycling Feel So Damn Good?’ as well as her top tips on how to improve your ride.
  • @WeAreCyclingUK’s Close Pass Campaign.*

Excellently hosted by @nedboulting, they and West Midlands Police Road Harm Reduction Team showcased the incredible 360-degree virtual reality headset, depicting an all too typical close pass by a (stunt) driver, from the cyclist’s point of view. Police forces can then use the headset as a roadside tool to educate drivers identified as having made a close pass.

@WMPHRT Officers gave a fascinating insight into their frontline experience of using this life-saving tool, as they have successfully reduced the number of cyclists killed or seriously injured in their area by 20% since using this vital piece of kit. I’m very pleased to report that @WeAreCyclingUK have now issued a headset to all 45 police forces in the UK. This ties in very nicely to the news last week that the #Government has announced a review of the @HighwayCodeGBto “empower cyclists and pedestrians” by introducing the “#DutchReach” and guidelines around safe passing distances for cyclists.

"It was brilliant to see the focus on children @cycleshow"
  • Extreme Bike Battle were making their debut @cycleshow this year and it was incredible. I’ve been lucky enough to have seen them before at the Bike Show ExCel and they knocked it right out of the park again here, showcasing their skills and providing an amazing spectacle to entertain kids of all ages (including this kid of 40+!) See them in action for yourself here.
  • Slightly more sedate for this big kid, but no less fun, was trying out the electric mountain bike on the Cube* dirt track within the arena. Their company motto is “Top quality, high-tech, biking fun” and based on this experience, it definitely hit all three: the surge of power you get from even a quarter turn on the pedals was incredible (that’s my excuse for it looking like this whole clip’sin slow mo!). It was also great fun to try out a fat bike on the one-mile long mountain bike trail outside the arena. Find out more about these monster machines here.
  • It was brilliant to see the focus on children at @cycleshow, as bringing them along is a great way of introducing them to the joys and wonders of cycling. @KarenGee3, of CycleSprog* gave a great presentation about how to cycle as a family. @Cube set up a kids track at the New2Cycling Hub so the youngsters could ride around to their heart’s content. @emmaiyoung summed up the experience of bringing her two children along to the @cycleshow in her blog.

My favourite stands

One of the most interesting stands and certainly the most innovative, was the wearable, airbag helmet from Hövding.*

@hovdinguk consider cyclists to be everyday heroes and see it as their mission to keep them safe, because they, like me and free2cycle, believe the world will become a better place if more people choose to cycle. It was fascinating to see a demonstration of a deployment, something that has helped protect more than 2,600 cyclists involved in accidents.

Another new treasure found buried in the aisles of the show, was wearable indicators from @useeme_bike.*

I tried them out and, as described, they did start flashing when I brought my arms up. I wish them well – innovation in the area of cycling safety is key.

As always, I found it great fun to speak to so many cyclists: new, veteran and future. Check out this videoof the people I caught up with sharing why they cycle. We’d love to hear your story too, no matter where you are on your cycling journey. Please share your cycle storyby clicking here.

At free2cycle we’re passionate about improving the health and wellbeing of people and our planet. We make it easy to get more people cycling and motivate them to keep at it. To find out more, check out our website, or drop us a line on

In the meantime,



blogger & communicator for free2cycle



*Fusing multiple cycling disciplines together for the ultimate adrenaline fuelled show, they perform utterly jaw dropping stunts, including high speed BMX Flatland spins, mountain bike leaps and BMX backflips.

*Cube is a German bike manufacturer, founded and developed by its owner, Marcus Puerner 25 years ago.

*The idea was born in 2005, by two students of Industrial Design wanting to develop a helmet people would be happy to wear. The concept of their Master’s Thesis took seven years to transform into an approved and certified product that according to tests conducted at Stanford University in 2016, provides up to eight times better protection compared to traditional helmets.

*The inventor, László Nyirádi started working on the idea of bike turn signals in 2010, with three different engineering teams and continued to improve and tweak the product for another four years after making the first prototype. They have now managed to develop an extremely reliable algorithm to make sure hand movements are always properly detected and work “automagically” and the flashing lights are impossible to ignore, even in daylight.

*Cycling UK is a charity that wants people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities to be able to cycle safely, easily and enjoyably.

*CycleSprog is a family cycling website, set up by husband and wife team Chris Jones and Karen Gee in 2012, to provide an online ‘handbook’ for parents wanting to get cycling with their families