When bike advocate Josh Zisson rides around on the city streets, he glows in the dark.
Zisson, a Boston-based bike lawyer by trade and founder of bikesafeboston.com, is the owner of one of the safest rides on two-wheels.
Using a specialized retro-reflective coating, Zisson’s entire bike—including the frame, rims, chain guard and the cranks—can be seen shining brightly even at night.
“It’s really, really fun to ride,” said Zisson.
The paint alone, Zisson said, offers better visibility and an “otherworldly glow” that is 100-percent green-friendly.
In the daytime, however, the bike looks like any other ride on the road.
While his one-of-a-kind ride is currently on display at Hub Bicycle in Cambridge, Zisson said when he does take it out for a spin he gets stopped quite a bit by curious cyclists.
“People are really into it,” he said. “I have been stopped at stop lights and other bikers catch up to me and want to know all about it.”
He said the hardest part about owning the bike is that it isn’t readily available to any rider who wants to have a safer means of transportation.
The unique formula that provides Zisson’s bicycle with that night-time glow requires certain equipment in order to apply it.
“I have to explain to people that it’s not something you can just get at a hardware store and do yourself,” he said.
But Zisson hopes to change that.
He has been working with representatives from Halo and talking about ways to get local bike shops on board to possibly ship out riders’ bicycles for the customization.
“If we could get enough people doing that, it would be great,” he said. “But what makes it tough is that it requires a good amount of customer service infrastructure.”
In a blog post about the bike, Zisson said “big companies move slowly, and this isn’t going to happen overnight.”
“But I’m hopeful that my new bike will help people see the possibilities that this technology can provide,” he said.
The technology is just one many innovative advances the bike community has seen lately.
The invention is meant to trick drivers into thinking oncoming cyclists are actually four-wheeled vehicles.
Zisson said this, along with the reflective paint, are just a few examples of ways biking is becoming safer for riders.
“You see on Kickstarter every few weeks a new project that has some innovative…scheme,” he said.