bike helmet bows reflect their maker’s passions

Inbar Kishoni (photos below), an urban planner in New York City, learned to sew in high school home ec, and has been putting her craftiness with needle and thread to good use ever since. On the day we met, the self-described “girlie girl” wore a slip dress that she had customized with lace, and a tiny bow at the base of her ponytail.

In 2010, Kishoni turned the focus of her creativity to cycling, making pretty reflective bows to improve safety after dark and to add a hint of style to ordinary bicycle helmets. She said she was inspired by a moment of improvisation when she threaded a reflective trouser strap through the vent holes of her bicycle helmet to make herself more visible on a night ride. Thus was born One Two Three Speed, her Etsy shop. The 29-year-old, who hand-makes the bows of grosgrain ribbon, reflective fabric tape and Velcro — one of many spare-time pursuits that also includes playing keyboards in a band — has since expanded to wholesale distribution. Her bows are sold locally at Adeline Adeline and were recently featured at our Little Bike Shop pop-up at the New Amsterdam Bicycle Show.

Reflective Bicycle Helmet Bows
Both sides now: A helmeted Kishoni (left); bows are retro-reflective when light hits them (right).

Kishoni’s passion for cycling is intertwined with an interest in geography and “spacial relationships” that she traces to high school in a Denver suburb, where her first set of wheels was a mountain bike used to get to work at a local pizzeria. “I actually only road it downhill,” she laughs. “My friend with a car would give me a lift up the hill.” Kishoni honed her cycling skills on the bike path network at the University of Colorado at Boulder, “a dream town for cyclists,” on heavy yellow cruisers offered through free bike sharing for students.

The cruiser gave way a blue Fuji 10-speed, and Kishoni eventually moved to NYC for graduate studies in urban planning at Columbia University; there, a trip to Copenhagen on a foundation grant provided a new perspective. “Copenhagen is where I saw bicycling integrated into the transportation system,” says Kishoni. Although she loves riding her cream-colored Linus, Kishoni says she is ultimately a multi-modal New Yorker, choosing daily from among a variety of options, including walking, public transit and cycling. “Use the mode of transportation that is the most appropriate,” she says. But on a bicycle, don’t forget to wear your reflective bow.

photos: velojoy

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