Early Color…updated

Nice color, for south of Boston, very early!

This article on bike helmets interested me…

Another angle on bike helmets

Posted In:  Nutrition & Lifestyle
Publish Date:  October 1, 2012

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.

About On the North River

Forty years toiled in the Tel-com industry, married for 36 years widowed at sixty-one. New girlfriend at sixty-five. Tea Party supporter. Today a follower of the God-Emperor Donald. Do like to kayak, cook, take photos, bike, watch old movies and read.
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1 Response to Early Color…updated

  1. Upon reflection, I’m wondering if the relative wealth of the two examples might be a more important determinate then the difference in climate or terrain.
    As far as my quick and dirty calculations can determine, the Aussies have a much higher income and wealth (on average) than the Dubliners.
    For the last few years of my working career, as my income dried up and expenses grew, I stopped driving to the MBTA garage and paying the steadily increasing fee and started biking to work. The economic incentive drove (so to speak) my change in commuting.
    So are the Aussies still driving or are they buying their own bikes, not participating in any bike-sharing programs?


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