Tristan’s Monkey Light Experience

Goldstream’s Sales Floor Manager, Tristan, wanted to share with you his experience with a new bicycle lighting product, the “Monkey Light”. Here are his first impressions of the product, for those interested.

I purchased a Monkey Light 232 from the shop yesterday, and wow.  I’ve been looking forward to having one of these for months, but had several experiences I hadn’t expected.  I love the science; the gizmo factor: the reason I’ve been drooling over this light is for the impressive array of images it projects from my wheels, and I certainly wasn’t disappointed.  What I hadn’t expected was how much difference I would notice in overall safety, and in the reception the light would get with other people.

For those who don’t know: this light mounts in your spokes, and has 32 full-colour LEDs that flash one of 48 pre-programmed patterns.  These include a variety of wavy, psychedelic patterns as well as many recognizable shapes (rocket ships, space invaders, skull & crossbones, flowers, etc…), visible when the tire is spinning.

There I was, riding my bike home, relishing in the glory of the “spider” theme I had selected, cycling through the full colour range.  I approached a particular intersection that always bugs me: the right turn off from the cross street feeds the on-ramp for Highway 1.  Most drivers are already starting to build up speed, and rarely notice me with my front- and rear-mounted lights.  Most days, I have to come to a full stop, and wait for a gap in traffic.  Not last night, though: the first car approaching the right merge/turn came to a complete stop.  Not only did this rarity occur, but the driver smiled at me and gave me a “thumbs-up” as I rode across the crosswalk (part of our mixed-use commuter trail).  During my 13k ride, I had two other, similar, experiences with the interaction of my bike in relation to traffic around me.  I give full credit to the spectacular profile of light I was displaying.   It makes sense: bright, flickering light patterns would draw the eye of drivers, as would the unusual.  My philosophy with sharing the road with cars has always been “be seen”.  And, boy, the Monkey Light does that!

The other thing I noticed was smiles.  They seemed to be everywhere.  The ride home usually consists of dog-walkers, joggers, and fellow dyed-in-the-wool winter bike commuters.  Most of the users of the trail at this time of day are focused on their own thing: getting home after a day of work; their workout; exercising the family pooch.  To top it off, the light is fading, and the weather is typically grey-to-gloomy.  There’s generally not a great deal of “friendly” going on (not unfriendly, either, mind you).  Well, yesterday, most everyone smiled at me as we passed, I had several people comment on the lights, and one cyclist stopped me to ask where he could get one.  It was a joy to not feel part of the faceless mass, and rather, feel a part of a community.


Yes, I know the people in this video aren’t wearing helmets. We actually brought up our concerns about this with MoneyLectric.