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New bike lights make cyclists stand out

New bike lights make cyclists stand out

Friday, October 21, 2011, 13:09 GMT+7


Look at the title and predict the main ideas of the article. Then, write down three wh-questions about the text.

Ex: What makes the new bicycle lights effective?


Set a time limit to read this article. An average reader can read at the speed of 250 words per minute. Note down your reading speed regularly to check your progress.


Within the time limit, read and summarize the main ideas of the paragraphs in your own words. Do not worry about unfamiliar vocabulary.


Riding a bicycle around the city at night can be a perilous pastime with traditional bike lights providing a rather dim reminder of a cyclist's presence on the roads.

But a new prototype light system called Revolights could soon make life in the cycle lane a good deal safer and leave bike enthusiasts beaming. The wheel-mounted LED lights not only provide greater illumination of the rider's path, say its San Francisco-based creators, but also make a bike far more visible from the front, back and the side.

When stationary, as their promotional video shows, the lights flash in a simple sequence. But as soon as you start peddling they form a solid arc of white and red light.

This dazzling effect is created with the aid of a magnet (attached to the fork) and an algorithm. Together, they measure the wheel speed and tell the lights when and where to flash.

The system is powered by a rechargeable lithium battery housed in the wheel hub.

Revolights' founders – inventor Kent Frankovich, Adam Pettler and Jim Houk – are using the online fundraising platform Kickstarter in a bid to turn their eye-catching patent pending prototype into a finished product.

Backers pledging $200 or more will receive the finalized design prior to its public release which is scheduled to take place in spring 2012.

Word count: 229 words



Use your notes to identify where you can find the answers to the questions you made in the pre-reading stage.


Decide if the following sentences are true or false according to the article.

1. Traditional lights are safe.

2. Revolights provide more light than conventional bike lights.

3. The lights stop flashing when the bicycle stops.

4. The lights run off a battery.

5. The creators are trying to raise money to produce their product.



Pay attention to how the word is combined with other words in context. Do not learn the meaning of the word without sentences. Vietnamese should be the last resort after you have tried all the learning strategies.

• A perilous pastime = a dangerous activity: thú tiêu khiển nguy hiểm

• A new prototype light system = the original or first model of light system: hệ thống ánh sáng mẫu

• Bike enthusiasts = people who enjoy cycling as a pastime: người say mê đạp xe

• Wheel-mounted lights = light system placed on the wheels: hệ thống ánh sáng gắn trên bánh xe

• In a bid (to) = in an attempt (to): nỗ lực nhằm làm gì đó


Without looking back at the article, put the conjunctions in the sentences below. Then look back at the article to check. Can you match the function with the conjunction used?

and        as soon as        but        not only…but also        or

6. Revolights could make life in the cycle lane a good deal safer _____ leave bike enthusiasts beaming.

7. The lights ________ provide greater illumination, __________ make a bike more visible.

8. __________ as soon as you start peddling, they form a solid arc of white and red light.

9. Backers pledging $200 ________ more will receive the finalized design in spring 2012.

10. ______________ you start peddling, they form a solid arc of white and red light.

Now match the conjunctions to their uses: a. To show something different that is possibly unexpected

b. To show two possibilities, either of which may be true

c. To indicate an action happening immediately after another action has happened

d. To show two things that are both true

e. To emphasise that both things are true

Discussion: Ask and answer the following questions with a speaking partner. 1. Are bicycles common in your country?

2. What are the good and bad points of riding a bicycle?

3. How safe or unsafe is cycling around the city in Vietnam?


Detailed Reading:

1. F (cycling at night is perilous (=dangerous) because traditional lights are dim)

2. T

3. F (When stationary, the lights flash)

4. T

5. T

6. D (and)

7. E (not only / but also)

8. A (But)

9. B (or)

10. C (As soon as)

This material is provided by the Australian Centre for Education and Training (ACET).






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