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on bicycle helmets

December 25, 2009

people ask why i don’t always wear them. this gets at the heart of my philosophy toward cycling.

  1. cycling is transportation, not recreation
  2. helmet laws reduce cycling rates
  3. helmet use proliferates the idea that cyclists are the problem, as opposed to the infrastructure and the attitudes of society
  4. helmets give a false sense of security
  5. drivers drive closer to cyclists wearing helmets

nonetheless, i often wear helmets because i feel that, as a cyclist, i have to assume that every driver is a drunk, blind 12 year old who can’t hear my bell or yelling.

this paragraph summarizes my opinions toward everyone’s favorite plastic caps.

We believe this report strongly supports our view that the biggest problem for cyclists is bad driving. With that in mind we are greatly concerned that the government still seems fascinated with analysing and promoting cycle helmets, the value of which appears to be inconclusive. We believe that the government should now focus on tackling the causes of injury which appears to be mainly inconsiderate and dangerous driving. Reduced speed limits, stronger traffic law enforcement and cycle-friendly road design are the solutions. (from “risky cycling rarely to blame for bike accidents, study finds” in the guardian on a study by the transport research laboratory of the english department of transportation)

for more on this, seecopehagenize. i’m sick of condescending cyclists telling me that i’m careless.

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