What this blog is about

Bicycle commuting, bicycle touring, bicycle racing; bicycle ADVENTURING.
To the grocery store, up a mountain, across the country or to the finish line--
it's all an adventure.

Monday, October 6, 2008

And now for some controversy..

Living in the U.S, it is easy to assume that promoting helmet use while riding bicycles is a good thing..

..until you consider that promoting helmets has been shown to reduce the number of cyclists on the road..
..and less cyclists on the road has been shown to decrease cyclists' safety.

Sort of ironic, isn't it?

There's also research out there that helmets don't really help (except in high speed situations such as racing where they are quite helpful). I have to admit that I don't know anything about this research. I'll read it and get back to you.

I personally wear a helmet both while training (riding faster) and commuting (riding slower in traffic). I wear it for a variety of reasons, including a self-awareness that I am a "cycling role model" in Walla Walla and I coach a junior cycling team and.. well, I could even lose my job if I refused to wear a helmet. I also have other reasons why I wear my helmet that I won't list here- but I don't bother anyone about wearing theirs (except my juniors).

For now, though- let's bring up the subject with some satire from the folks over at Copenhagenize.

Read their full post HERE.

Did you know that their bicycle accident rates are a tiny fraction of ours and practically no one wears a helmet over there? (And we're obsessed with them!) Hmm. Seems to me that the solution isn't in the helmets so much (which enter a bicycle accident equation during the accident) as it is in smart street design (preventing the accidents from happening in the first place).

Instead of giving us foam hats as we navigate the battlefield- why not make the battlefield less dangerous to begin with?
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