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  1. #1
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    Interesting article about commuting


  2. #2
    Senior Member wolfchild's Avatar
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    Good article. Thanks for posting.

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    I found it buried in another thread and the Author is a BF member.
    I love these hidden little gems....

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    7-speed doomsday prepper ThermionicScott's Avatar
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    I agree with about half of it (counteracting the image of cycling being dangerous, getting more women involved, and educating people to ride like grownups instead of children.) The explicit goal of alienating road bike riders in order to attract more "regular" cyclists is unnecessarily divisive and sad, however. And I'm not going to stop wearing a helmet -- my head has been spared greater trauma on two occasions that didn't even involve cars. Statistics aren't much help when an accident happens.
    Quote Originally Posted by chandltp View Post
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  5. #5
    Senior Member Mr. Hairy Legs's Avatar
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    Blehh... Sure, if I lived in flat dense Copenhagen half a mile from where I worked, I could ride one of those goofy bikes at 5 mph and wave to everyone I saw. That's not reality in North America.

    Plus, I like riding like a cheeky kid! It's the only fun part of my day. Those videos look so boring, if I lived there I think I would just walk.

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    Keepin it Wheel RubeRad's Avatar
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    And that's the problem.

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    Interesting article for sure. I live in Belgium, a country with a very extensive bike culture, both in terms of sports or everyday use. Children and grandmas ride bikes here. But I have to disagree on the helmet and high visibility wear. The only reason bicycle accidents are rare in the US is that there are few bicycles around. Every few months, there will be a haunting tale in the local newspaper about a motorist, drunk/distracted or plain stupid, who moved down one or more cyclists, sometimes in the middle of town. Parents wear helmets and reflective vests because they want their kids to do the same. On one occasion in the dreary rain I almost got run over by a car and wished I'd had a yellow vest on.

    I think the US is stuck in the extremist end of cycling because the lack of infrastructure preselects the nutcases. You have to be a determined sportsman before you'll take the bike, but this kind of cyclist won't make up the numbers required to change the policies.

  8. #8
    Just a commuter stockholm's Avatar
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    Here in Stockholm, Sweden, I sense a shift towards both more bikes, but also to a much more competitive bike culture. The racing bug has most certainly bitten plenty of middle-aged cyclists of all genders, and it sure is a hassle for those traveling in a more leisurely speed. Interestingly enough though, I also sense a shift in motorists' attitudes, so maybe it will work out after all.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Medic Zero's Avatar
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    I'm sorry (no I'm not!), I'm going to continue to wear a helmet. My commute has multiple descents that have me exceeding 35 MPH, I'd be a fool not to wear a helmet.

    I'm also going to run the occasional stop sign when it doesn't make any sense for me to stop and the occasional stop light that doesn't change for me. I'm not going to blindly follow the laws when they are stupid. Idaho has the right idea when it comes to how cyclists should treat intersections.

    I also think it is irresponsible to call yourself a bicycling advocate and push for people not to wear high visibility items! O.o
    Everyone hates your lights. Throw them away & buy something civilized.

  10. #10
    Senior Member jowilson's Avatar
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    I think the helmet thing should be thought over a bit more... Because saying that helmets don't help with protecting the head from trauma is bullsh*t.

    But I think what the author was trying to propose is that roads should be safe for EVERYONE. Cyclists and motorists alike.
    The sun'll come out tomorrow.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Medic Zero View Post
    I'm sorry (no I'm not!), I'm going to continue to wear a helmet. My commute has multiple descents that have me exceeding 35 MPH, I'd be a fool not to wear a helmet.

    I'm also going to run the occasional stop sign when it doesn't make any sense for me to stop and the occasional stop light that doesn't change for me. I'm not going to blindly follow the laws when they are stupid. Idaho has the right idea when it comes to how cyclists should treat intersections.

    I also think it is irresponsible to call yourself a bicycling advocate and push for people not to wear high visibility items! O.o
    Well,....not much good a regular bicycle helmet will do you in a serious crash at 35 mph or more. IMO. They help a "little" at perhaps a modest 10-15mph pavement hit,....but even then it's really NOT a lot of protection.

    In the winter, riding where icy roads and snow might plant my arse down quickly (although last year i fitted Schwalbe Ice Spicker studded tires and had no problem),.....i wore a much better protecting K2 helmet built for the sking crowd. (possibly a downhill racing helmet?)

    I picked it up at a local Goodwill store for just $25, new with original box and tags. It's feels and fits a lot like a motorcycle helmet,.....but is a lot lighter. At usual bicycling or skieng speeds, i know it's a LOT safer than the typical short coverage bicycling helmet.

    An added benefit i found for winter riding was that when i fitted a wool knit hat under it, the lack of the usual slits that are usually on a bicycle helmet kept my head much warmer. The coverage is a lot greater also, and covers the ears and back of the neck. Wind never got through which was very nice!

    In a modest speed crash,......i'd have a lot more confidence in the skiers K2 helmet allowing me to "kiss" the pavement and walk away.

    Anyway,....just thought i'd recommend the ski helmet at least in the colder weather months. Might be a bit hot in the middle of summer though.

  12. #12
    Senior Member buffalowings's Avatar
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    well..some foam is better then no foam. :3

  13. #13
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    It took only 3 responses before the H-fan(atics) came out in swarms to focus on one small point of the article and preach their usual "stuff."

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    Well the main point of the article is that biking is not dangerous. Falling on your head is definitely dangerous, even at low speed. You can't base an article off the premise that helmets and visibility gear are not worth it, and then hope to avoid the helmet discussion.

    A friend of mine is a radiologist. A girl got hit from behind by a drunk motorist a couple of months ago, she looked like she was going to be ok from the outside but her brain was pulp on the x-ray. She's dead now. Doctor's consensus was that a helmet would have kept the forces below the pulp threshold and saved her.

    Having an inch of force-dispersing foam around the control room is demonstrably better than not having it. Burden of proof is on the nay-sayers: prove to me that lethal impact force is not significantly higher for a helmeted head than for a bare head. Trick question, you can't, because it is. You can prove it with a small watermelon and a ladder.

  15. #15
    Senior Member tjspiel's Avatar
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    I agree with about half of it too.

    The helmet and hi-viz logic is kind of twisted. If you're going to show a video of people riding bikes in a place like Copenhagen and point out that they don't wear helmets or hi-viz clothing you'd better emphasize the fact that their cycling infrastructure is top notch. They aren't attempting to share a road with cars moving 45mph+ in a car centric culture. Having a transportation system design that promotes bike commuting over cars has far more to do with the popularity of cycling as a means of getting to work that the type of bikes they ride or the clothing they wear.

    If we all suddenly quit wearing helmets and hi-viz clothing I don't think you'd see any corresponding jump in the the number off bike commuters or change in perception of the relative safety of cycling on the streets. In fact, I'd say that in a world of seat belts, crumple zones, and air bags, there is an understanding that there is some level of risk when you venture out onto the road regardless of what your vehicle choice is.

    The fact that helmets and hi-viz clothing are available means that a cyclist CAN take some steps to minimize the risks that do exist. Pretending that there are no risks is stupid and comes off as just rationalizing his decision not to wear a helmet.

    And like it or not, at least in this area, spandex clad recreational riders have been a huge part of the force behind getting the infrastructure in place that we do have.

    What I do agree with regarding his article is riding responsibly and predictably, as well as being courteous to other cyclists, pedestrians, and motorists.
    Last edited by tjspiel; 06-04-13 at 10:17 AM.
    If you're not riding with a psychedelic gecko on your shirt, you ARE having a substandard experience.

  16. #16
    Senior Member PatrickGSR94's Avatar
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    Well I personally don't think that helmets are totally necessary for shorter trips, or where you'll generally be going a slower speed, around slower moving traffic. But when you're out on longer trips, moving faster, around faster traffic, I think a helmet really is an essential item. But it's personal choice, though. I usually wear mine, but not around my neighborhood.

    *edit* I also wear lycra and hi-viz on my 30-mile RT commute because it's simply more comfortable. Baggy pants with sweat spots in the crotch = ughhh
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  17. #17
    Senior Member PatrickGSR94's Avatar
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    Also interesting that after 2 comments on the article, the comments were closed down.
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  18. #18
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    The author nailed it, and didn't even realize it:

    "In a cycling-rich environment, the cyclists behave as if cycling is a normal activity."

    The US is not a "cycling-rich" environment yet. Right now, every-day cycling has been the home of hard core riders, who have been doing it a number of years, and know everything (Or, most everything) about the machine they ride on. They value efficiency of their equipment over style (Generally).

    Because it's not a normal activity here yet.

    In areas it IS a normal activity, you see the very thing the author is pointing out, even here in the US. Take NYC, for example. Ladies wearing skits, men wearing button down shirts and shoes, etc etc. And, you still have the hard-core, who want the best function over form.

  19. #19
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    My dismay stemmed from the fact in that I was the only attendee who actually rode a bicycle to the meetings.
    Ha, that's me at my township's pathways committee meetings.

    I agree with everything he says, but I do think helmet use should be encouraged, just not made mandatory. If I'm riding on dedicated bike infrastructure with no fear of getting knocked off of my bike by a 4000 pound vehicle, I'll probably leave the helmet at home. Otherwise, it's going on my head.

  20. #20
    born again cyclist Steely Dan's Avatar
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    YAY!!!!!!!!! a helmet debate thread!

    these always lead to the most productive discussions on bikeforums!




    DOUBLE YAY!!!!!!! a bicycle fashion debate thread!

    these always lead to the most productive discussions on bikeforums!




    let's all get ready to learn, learn, and learn! opinion passed off as fact is so informative.
    Last edited by Steely Dan; 06-04-13 at 09:58 AM.
    The first rule: if you're riding a bike and not having fun, then you're doing it wrong.

  21. #21
    Senior Member Mr. Hairy Legs's Avatar
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    Twice in the last two days I've seen women riding along with their helmet hanging from the handlebars. Is this a new trend, and how much protection does it really offer? Or do they whip it on their heads when they're about to crash?

  22. #22
    Keepin it Wheel RubeRad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PatrickGSR94 View Post
    Well I personally don't think that helmets are totally necessary for shorter trips, or where you'll generally be going a slower speed, around slower moving traffic. But when you're out on longer trips, moving faster, around faster traffic, I think a helmet really is an essential item. But it's personal choice, though. I usually wear mine, but not around my neighborhood.
    My rule of thumb is, if I'm going on a route that involves intersections with stoplights, then I probably wear my helmet. Around the corner to the neighborhood park, not so much. But I require my kids to wear their helmets at all times, because it's state law. I'm hoping to teach them that, for now you wear it all the time because that's the rules, when you are grown up and can make mature decisions (like I hopefully model for them) then you can be trusted to decide when it's safe to not wear a helmet, and when a helmet is necessary.

  23. #23
    Keepin it Wheel RubeRad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Hairy Legs View Post
    Twice in the last two days I've seen women riding along with their helmet hanging from the handlebars. Is this a new trend, and how much protection does it really offer? Or do they whip it on their heads when they're about to crash?
    That's funny, I've seen that before too. It's like seeing a jogger with a cigarette in his mouth.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Medic Zero View Post
    Idaho has the right idea when it comes to how cyclists should treat intersections.
    +∞ !

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Hairy Legs View Post
    Twice in the last two days I've seen women riding along with their helmet hanging from the handlebars. Is this a new trend, and how much protection does it really offer? Or do they whip it on their heads when they're about to crash?
    I might prevent scratches to the handlebars, in the event of a crash

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