BY NATALIE O’NEILL
This Brooklyn inventor has a bright idea that could make the streets safer for cyclists.
Prospect Heights entrepreneur Marvin Tyson says he has come up with an illuminated bike helmet that will make two-wheelers more visible to motorists while simultaneously protecting valuable brain cells thanks to its two blinking solar-powered lights.
“It will save lives,” Tyson said. “I’ve seen a lot of accidents on my block; this can help.”
His patented creation — aptly titled “Bicycle Safety Helmet” — features rectangular lights on the front and back that are powered by a small battery that recharges using energy from the sun.
The energy-efficient lights blink when pushed twice, offering bright beacons that alert night drivers and pedestrians that a cyclist is near.
Tyson, who bikes occasionally, said he came up with the idea after witnessing a crash near his home on Vanderbilt and Atlantic avenues, in which a bus driver collided with a cyclist two years ago.
The collision inspired him to help make streets safer — so he spent a year and a half with partner Mary Sanders perfecting a prototype that includes an interior padded with memory foam
He’s not the first Brooklyn inventor to tap into the illuminated bike safety market. A Red Hook designer recently created RydeSafe, a stick-on armor that turns bikes into glow-in-the-dark rides at night.
Tyson’s invention — which also features reflective chin straps — might be the perfect accessory to that. He said he hopes the helmets will retail for between $70 and $80 by Christmas and he wants to market them to kids and serious bike commuters alike.
“It not a fly-by-night idea,” he said. “It works!”Reach reporter Natalie O'Neill at noneill@cn