by Kevin Rogerson
Whitley Bay Station
Northumbria Police (UK)
IPMBA has been established in the US for well over a decade and over that period of time, numerous links have been established with industry. These links are to the advantage of both sides. In short:
1. Emergency service personnel are provided with a list of tried, tested and trusted companies that we know are committed to supplying quality products to our niche market. We can be reasonably confident that the products recommended by our colleagues will be well-suited to serve our unique needs.
2. Companies are afforded the opportunity to trial their products in the field, with some going so far as to involve emergency services personnel in the product development process. They also benefit from word-of-mouth advertising and enjoy the prestige of their products being used by emergency services personnel in a very public manner.
Working the trade shows is one of the best methods of introducing the commercial sector to the emergency services cycling market. Therefore, PC Steve Harvey of North Yorkshire Police and I headed down to the International Cycle Show in London. The Metropolitan Police stand, hosted by Sgt Charlie Irvine, was our sanctuary during our visit. The stand was well decked out with information, including literature about IPMBA.
As you’d expect the major players occupied the centre stages with some fantastic new bikes, gadgets and paraphernalia. But there were lots of little gems lying ‘round the lesser-tread side corridors. Here a few of my favourites.
U.S.E. - Ultimate Sports Engineering
U.S.E. is a British company specialising in high-quality bike products. One such product that they had been busy all summer testing and were about to release onto the market was their “Exposure Light.” Take a look at this picture (above left).
What you are seeing is £265 worth of state-of-the-art lighting system. The light is produced from 2 x 5W super bright LEDs, which is the equivalent of 32W worth of halogen power. The battery can last for 2.5 hours at a higher race setting or for 8.5 hours in ride mode. The weight of this unit, including the bracket is 185g (one hundred and eight-five grams!). I’m currently awaiting one of these units to trial; if all goes well, I’ll have the full lowdown on it in the next edition of IPMBA News.
Another LED light, but this one is squarely aimed at the commuter and designed to improve rider safety. The inventor, Tudor Davies, was available to explain how he came to invent this innovative light which boasts three separate beams of light, one of which points backwards and illuminates the rider’s chest area.
Condor is a London-based cycle company with 60 years of experience who have the expertise and facilities to build their own bikes, from the frame up. The company have a shop in the heart of London and service all of the City of London’s cycles. As a bit of a pet project, they designed a steel frame police spec cycle, and then mimicked the colour scheme adopted by the majority of British police vehicles – yellow & blue battenburg squares on the side profile with the yellow and red diagonal stripes across the rear. The City of London Police Cyclists trialled the bike and liked it so much that they have already placed an order. The gentlemen from Condor seemed enthusiastic for the bike to be the subject of an IPMBA Product Review. Having attended the Emergency Services Cycling seminar these past two years and seen many different police cycles, in my opinion, the Condor has to take the prize for most aesthetically pleasing.
This quarterly magazine, started just over four years ago, caters for specialised bikes, cycling as transport, and human power. Visit the website and see what you think. The editor was very interested in distributing the magazine to IPMBA members at a much discounted rate. We will continue to try to make progress on this and enrol them into the IPMBA Product Purchase Program.
During our visit we made contact with a few other companies and we tried to jam as much into the five hours we had to work with as possible. More information will follow in subsequent issues of IPMBA News.
I am pleased to report that Demand Technology, the maker of Lightrider have become the very first UK-based company to enrol in the IPMBA Product Purchase Program. The IPMBA UK committee is well aware of the need to recruit additional participants to serve IPMBA members in the UK, especially since not all listed companies are able to offer their discounts outside of the US. I have personally set myself a target of getting six (one down, five to go) companies to sign up to the PPP come this year’s IPMBA Emergency Services Cycling Seminar (June 25-26, 2005, in York).
Speaking of York, we have begun working on the agenda and welcome your input. If there is a topic which you would like to see included, or you would like to present, please contact Maureen at Maureen@ipmba.org and she will forward your suggestion to the appropriate person. We will also be doing our best to attract additional suppliers to our portion of the trade show.
See you there!
Kevin is a member of the IPMBA UK Steering Committee. He is a keen mountain biker in his spare time (with the emphasis being on fun) and is committed to expanding the use of mountain bike patrol in the UK. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
© 2005 IPMBA. This review appeared in the Winter 2005 issue of IPMBA News.