Nice color, for south of Boston, very early!
This article on bike helmets interested me…
An interesting op-ed in The New York Times had ACSH staffers questioning the mantra: “Always wear a helmet while riding a bike!”
The piece pointed out that numerous European cities are taking part in bike-sharing programs, which notably reduce traffic and carbon emissions while obviously providing physical benefits for cyclists. As a number of American cities have begun implementing similar programs, ACSH supported the initiative — until we found out in May that 80 percent of riders do not use helmets. As ACSH’s Dr. Elizabeth Whelan pointed out at the time, “head injury accounts for about a third of all bicycle injuries and about three-quarters of bicycle related deaths,” thus helmets should be more readily available at bike rental kiosks.
But not so fast, writes Elisabeth Rosenthal in her Times analysis: “Recent experience suggests that if a city wants bike-sharing to really take off, it may have to allow and accept helmet-free riding.” Rosenthal also cites an interesting comparison between Melbourne, Australia and Dublin, Ireland. The Aussie two-year-old bike-sharing program requires helmet use and has only about 150 rides a day, even though Melbourne is flat, with broad roads and a temperate climate. Dublin, on the other hand, has no requirement for helmet use and is cold, cobbled and hilly, but ironically, has more than 5,000 daily rides in its bike-sharing program, which has only been around for one year longer than Melbourne’s.
Confession time, I’ve stopped regularly wearing a helmet when I go out. I now only bother when I am going a long trip or somewhere with rough roads.