Or, to put it another way, there's a fuckload of new helmets coming out.
To this end, let's take a brief, non-politicized survey of the latest offerings. Generally speaking, these new helmets seem to fall under one of two (2) categories. The first category is smart helmets, like that Coros Linx I tested:
Still waiting for somebody--anybody--involved in the production or marketing of this helmet to explain to me why it didn't work properly or if the audio quality is supposed to suck ass.
The second category of 21st century helmetry is helmets that fold. Brooks has one, MoMA will sell you this Devo-type flower pot thing, and you can even get one that crushes like a beer can at a frat party:
a head between the mighty paws of Max von Sydow:
The 1983 film "Strange Brew" is widely--and quite correctly--considered the Canadian "Citizen Kane."
Anyway, when it comes to the new generations of helmets, you can crush them, or you can fold them, or you can squeeze them, or you can simply open and close them like a paper fan, which is what you do with this latest offering:
Of course, it wouldn't be a helmet pitch if they didn't roll out that same bullshit statistic:
Hey, I'm not getting political here, it's simply not true. Even the federal government admitted it:
And if you can't trust the federal government who can you trust?
By the way, that's a rhetorical question, so you can put the sign down, dumbass:
It also wouldn't be a bicycle-themed Kickstarter pitch if there wasn't plenty of gratuitous sidewalk riding:
Here's another fictional statistic: 100% of people who believe helmets reduce head injuries by 85% ride their bikes on the sidewalk.
Then again, I suppose I shouldn't be too hard on helmet makers for lying, since it's not really much different than the bike companies who say, "This season's Fred bike offers 20% more lateral stiffness while simultaneously introducing 40% more vertical compliance!" (Though even the bike companies don't imply that if you don't ride their bike you're going to die.)
I should also acknowledge a third helmet category, which is of course the LEGO hair helmet:
It might prevent helmet trauma, or it might not. One thing's for sure though, which is that I'd pay good American money to see Levi Leipheimer wearing this thing:
("Everything Is Awesome!!! ...except for me.")
Either way, here's some "Won't somebody please think of the children!" marketing for you:
Hopping on a pedal bike and cruising around town is a rite of passage for many children. But according to the Centers for Disease Control, less than half of riders from the ages of 5 to 14 wear a helmet.
Ah, if only cruising around town on a bike were still a rite of passage for American children. Today the idea of children going anywhere on bikes or on foot or really doing anything under their own power is basically archaic. Consider:
In 2009, 31% of students between kindergarten and 8th grade lived within one mile of school, down from 41% in 1969. Of those children that live within one mile of school, only 35% walked or biked — compared to the 89% that walked or biked in 1969 (National Center, 2011; USDOT, 1972).
As far as I can tell the main rite of passage for children now is downloading their first app--or receiving their first diabetes diagnosis.
As for the claim that less than half of riders between the ages of 5 and 14 wear helmets, don't worry, because based on what I see out there roughly 99% of those kids are still using training wheels so they can't fall over anyway.
And here's some more fear-mongering right from the video:
Oh really? Big deal. Don't let them go out at 5:00. Problem solved.
The problem isn't that kids aren't wearing helmets, it's that they're becoming sedentary lumps of crap. Childhood obesity rates have tripled over the past 30 years--you know, pretty much the same period of time when they stopped riding and walking to school. (And I know I said I wasn't going to get political or start a whole Helmet Thing, but that's not political, that's just the truth--and we all know politics and truth are mutually exclusive.)
In other news, here's some bike-lanes-and-gentrification hand-wringing for you:
Rightly or wrongly, gentrification is often seen as a process that arrives on two wheels. From Red Hook in Brooklyn to London Fields, fixed-gear bike-wielding young professionals have flocked to former industrial lots and waterfronts.
But does cycling really contribute to gentrification?
I dunno, it all seems pretty simple to me. People with money want to live close to stuff and the neighborhoods that get gentrified are close to stuff. Also bikes work best for transport where stuff's close to other stuff, so that's where they put the bike lanes.
All of this can be seasoned to taste with stereotypes and conspiracy theories depending on your own political agenda but it's really just as simple as that.
Either way, I wish people who were against bike lanes could agree on whether they're bad because they make the neighborhood undesirable by taking away parking or because they make the neighborhood too desirable by taking away parking.
I guess we should all just agree that bike lanes are the stress fractures in our society that presage its imminent collapse and leave it at that.
Lastly, speaking of things that take away parking and consequently ruin/improve neighborhoods, Citi Bike wants you to know you can take their blue behemoths to the inconveniently-located Javits Center for Comic Con:
This is a good idea in theory, but in practice they probably wouldn't be able to ride in those constumes--unless they have sufficient irreverent cyclocrossing experience, of course.Heading to #ComicCon at Javits Center? Faster way there is by Citi Bike! Dock at 11th & W 34th St. pic.twitter.com/Dw8gPgppOT— Citi Bike (@CitiBikeNYC) October 6, 2016
Just make sure to wear you LEGO helmet.