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Did you find new lights on your bicycle Wednesday afternoon?

If so, these people probably put them there
20170927 Wike Bicycle Light University KA
A tag and LED light are left behind on a bike parked near University Centre. Kenneth Armstrong/GuelphToday

Two men from Guelph are taking the safety of university cyclists into their own hands by installing 1000 sets of lights to every bicycle they see on campus.

Bob Bell and Harry Oussoren spent Wednesday afternoon to distribute and install 1000 sets of LED lights — a white one for the front and a red one for the back.

In the spring, the pair stood at the foot of Gordon Street to hand out a set of LED bike lights to every cyclist who passed them.

On Wednesday they took a more guerrilla approach, with the help of their wives, by attaching the lights to every bike they could find parked in the racks at the University of Guelph campus.

“This is a lot faster," said Oussoren.

The pair said they had the university’s blessing and contacted police to let them know what they were doing with the light installations on school property.

Bell, a sitting city councillor, is owner of Wike, a local company that manufactures and sells bicycle trailers.

“When you're in the bicycling industry, you are sensitive to the criticism people have of bicycles and the people who ride them. We really don't want cyclists to get a bad name for riding without a light," said Bell.

Most of the bikes Bell came across Wednesday had no lights at all, while some had lights without working batteries.

"If we can't get the kid to put the light on the bicycle, that isn't an excuse to hit them,” said Bell.

Oussoren is owner of Insitu Groundwater Contractors which, along with Wike, funded the purchasing of the 1000 sets of lights.

"We have a common interest, that is I drive around in the evenings and I see people cycling up and down the roads without any lights, with black clothes and I wonder what kind of risk they are taking," Oussoren.

A tag is left behind on each bike to let the owners know where the lights came from.

"We're trying to set an example. Cycling safety starts with the cyclist," said Oussoren.

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Kenneth Armstrong

About the Author: Kenneth Armstrong

Kenneth Armstrong is a news reporter and photojournalist who regularly covers municipal government, business and politics and photographs events, sports and features.
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