Tuesday, March 7, 2017

The Appearance of Safety

I suppose the moment I realized I'd given up on life was when I found myself watching Dutch bicycle rush hour porn:


The above clip--a particularly perverse example of the genre in which throngs of cyclists somehow manage to coexist with both pedestrians and each-other despite a flagrant lack of both traffic controls and helmets--holds particular significance for me.  See, when I visited Amsterdam back in 2011 I regularly disembarked from this very spot, for we were staying in Amsterdam-Noord and relied on the ferry to get to and from the city proper:


Indeed, it was on one of those ferries that I spotted the rare and elusive Polnago:


Of course I wrote about my travels in my third book, "Bike Snob: A Broad," and to this day I remain nostalgic for my time in a city where it is perfectly normal to spirit your offspring about town in a in a waterproof germ bubble:


Alas, here in America we have a more complicated relationship with both children and bicycles, and for that matter with safety in general:


(The image of the kid in the plastic hat with a skinned knee really says it all.)

While I agree with the underlying theme of this story (accidents happen even when you take precautions so don't beat yourself up over it), I'm deeply unsettled by the comparison of bike helmets and vaccines:

Of course, the surfaces of playgrounds were rock-hard, there were no seatbelts in the back seat and no one had ever heard of bike helmets.

I’m not in any way nostalgic for unbridled bullying, any more than I am for bicycle-related head trauma, motor vehicle deaths or, for that matter, measles, whooping cough and other vaccine-preventable diseases. Making the world safer for children is a great and good thing. And it’s wonderful if you can fit the school to the child and make the playground more pleasant — as well as safer — for everyone.

Wait, bike helmets ended head trauma?

But even when you put down soft mats under the swings and get everyone buckled into their bike helmets, life doesn’t always go smoothly and we end up with regrets. And heaven knows, children who have managed to evade all the safety measures still come into the emergency room, and their parents have to hug them and take them home and keep going.

It's scary enough that there are people who are against vaccines, which are right up there with literacy and access to clean drinking water as the essential components for a decent quality of life.  Unfortunately, comparing helmets and vaccines in turn invites comparisons between people who don't put helmets on their children and people who don't vaccinate their children.  This is dangerous, not to mention stupid.

See, vaccines work.  Helmets, on the other hand (or head), are more like echinacea, in that people like to think they work but whether they actually do or not is debatable.  In fact, I'd argue that when it comes to children, helmets make cycling more dangerous.  Firstly, they're almost always fitted poorly.  (Putting shoes on a child is hard enough; do you think the average parent has the wherewithal to fuss with helmet straps?)  Secondly, a typical child's bike has such a tiny gear that unless the kid's going hillbombing he or she won't even reach running speed.  Thirdly, look at the size of these things relative to their precious little heads:


What happens is the kid falls of the bike and then their giant helmets hit the pavement, forcing their chins right into it, whereas if they didn't have a bib bulbous dome strapped to their heads it's entirely possible they wouldn't have hit their head at all.

Granted, I don't have the mean streak in me to push my child off his bike repeatedly with and without a helmet so I don't have hard data here, but I've been watching these little fuckers fall while riding, running, and even just standing still for years now and the mechanics have become fairly predictable.

So to recap:

Vaccines:

Effective, administered by a doctor.

Helmets:

Decorative, administered by a parent who just wants to get out of the fucking house already.

And no, I'll never stop blathering on about bicycle helmets, because they are the foamy non-biodegradable embodiment of our completely idiotic relationship with safety--the same relationship that gave us travel bans, and calls for border walls, and guns in schools to protect kids from bears.  It's why we're an obese nation that drives everywhere, and why the bicycle is merely a tool for smuggling guns:


Ah yes, if only this country had proper respect for the Second Amendment decent folk wouldn't have to resort to such trickery and we'd be rid of bicycles (and safe from bears) forevermore.

Though this does raise an interesting question:


(#whatcaliberyourunning)

Why didn't the smuggler use a fat bike???

He could have carried a lot more firepower that way.


104 comments:

Freddy Murcks said...

Fuck off, Ted. K.

dancesonpedals said...

scranus

dnk said...

What Freddy Murcks said...

Very Slim Pickens said...

Weed (legal now too)

dancesonpedals said...

wait...he was arrested for smuggling a park tool hex wrench?

Dooth said...

I just bought a new helmet. A pink helmet, last one in stock. It was 50% off the $120 price plus free shipping. 24 vents on my pinktastic lid to cool my hotness. I'll only wear it on the South County Trail because it's the law!

Serial Retrogrouch said...

making up for tardiness... teacher still not happy

CommieCanuck said...

Wait, vaccines are safe?
Not according to Drs. Jenny McCarthy and Robert DeNiro.

When it comes to my 16 children's safety, I look first to soft-core porn stars and the executive producer and star of 2000's, The adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle. Amazingly, still not awarded by the Academy (moose and squirrel lives matter).

Proof of Jenny's expertise: glasses, case closed.

Discussed in better detail here by a cartoon dog.

Pathetic Old Cyclist said...

Niner

JLRB said...

Bo Derek!

dnk said...

"A 90-year-old, who is blind with no license, shouldn’t be allowed to drive a golf cart."

Unless he's packing a pistol and wearing a helment.

Lieutenant Oblivious said...

12th Scranus apostle ahead of Ted K!

Grump said...

Helmets........Going by my experiences, I estimate that everyone will end up landing hard on their noggin once every thirty years.(and end up F-d up like Tilford).So, why not put one on your kid? Out of 100 crashes, 99 will just involve skin loss. That last one could really ring her bell. It's the same with vaccines. Out of 100 times your kid gets sick, 99 times she'll get better by herself........Sorry, just my feelings....With adults, it's different.




Serial Retrogrouch said...

...one day last week I forgot the kid's helment and only realized it after I picked her up from school. I just pretended I was in Amsterdam and we rode off (I mean, Breukelen was Dutch after all). Anyways, while we're in the bike lane heading home, this lady in a giant car slows down, rolls down her window and screams at me to put a helmet on her, then she speeds off... the last words trailing her car.

...I seem to recall Snob likening that to going around and telling people to put a condom on while they're in the middle of copulation... or something like that.

Anonymous said...

I don't care too much about helmet use, but I think the safety establishment is making people feel like they can smash their cars (and bikes) into pretty much anything with their air bags and crumple zones and safety restraints. These aren't bad things by themselves, but if you talk to people, you'll find a lot of them just aren't afraid of crashing into stuff anymore.

Serial Retrogrouch said...

...or worse, the lady that almost ran us over (this time the kid was wearing a helment)... and when I told her she almost ran us over to park next to a hydrant, she waved me off like I was a nuisance... so when I used the word 'goddamned' in anger to describe my feeling, she politely told me not to cus in front of my child.

...so to recap, a person in a car can run you and your child over to get to an illegal parking spot, but god forbid that you cus because that'll damage the child for life.

Anonymous said...

heard someone refer to cars today as "mobile Facebook booths"

Had to share it somewhere.

dnk said...

CommieCanuck @10:58

Don't forget Robert Kennedy, Jr. who our Preznit may make tap to lead a Blue-Ribbon Commission whose sacred mission will be to further befuddle U.S. citizens on vaccines.

Just you wait. In four years we'll all be trained to wear our foam hats while we sit on our couches watching Fox News, swapping the measles with one another.

BikeSnobNYC said...

Grump,

Not how vaccines work. At all.

--Wildcat Rock Machine

Blog Drafter said...

Great video. Glad to hear you're not an anti-vaxer. Check out Jennifer Raff's Twitter. She explodes psuedoscience with, you know, actual science, and is a great writer. Also, she can kick your ass.

Two f words in one post. Also, I want to go live in Amsterdam now. Looks like I can leave five or so bikes behind.

Lieutenant Oblivious said...

"...because they are the foamy non-biodegradable embodiment of our completely idiotic relationship with safety--..." But be sure to buy a new one at least every 3 years because even if you've kept it clean, never crashed or dropped it, it may not be up to doing its job. So say most if not all helment manufacturers!

I wear one and respect the choice of others who don't. And I've crashed with a helment over 3 years old that did its job just fine.

Snob the way I read Grump's line about vaccines was that 99 times out of 100 your kid will get a cold or something not preventable by vaccine - and the 100th time your kid will come in contact with the thing that the vaccine prevents them from getting.

NHcycler said...

I interpreted Grump's post as pro-vaccine. Without a vaccination, 99 percent of the time your body's immune system will do it's job and protect you from the disease in question. But there's a 1% chance of the disease being a little too powerful. So it's smart to get vaccinated.

N/A said...

When they outlaw park tool hex wrenches, they'll have to pry mine from my cold dead fingers!

BikeSnobNYC said...

NHcycler,

Even in that reading that low likelihood depends on everyone else being vaccinated. (Herd immunity.)

I guess there's a comparison to be made between herd immunity and the "safety in numbers" phenomenon with bikes (injuries go down the more people there are riding) bjt the helmets are irrelevant there.

--Wildcat Etc.

Anonymous said...

Today I remembered my helmet, but I forgot my personal smart tracking device. Is it ok to travel without the tracker? If I had a GPS on my bike, would that compensate? Can Google and Waze keep track of cars parked in bike lanes?

Why does it try to electrocute me when I turn off the tracking, anyway...

Stephen Paul Morissey said...

I am the son and the heir of a shyness that is criminally vulgar.

janinedm said...

Lt. Obvs, your reading of the vaccine comment makes more sense, but I still don't get what he's trying to say. In any case, I'm just glad that none of us are anti-vaxxers.

I want to add another part to the whinging, which I think is in line to Snob's issue. It's not the helmets per se. Individual choice and all that. It's how helmet wisdom has devolved into shibboleth. That putting one on is sine qua non. The thing that's been driving me crazy of late w/r/t helmets is how incorrectly so many people wear their helmets. They wear their helmets the same way a naked man with a pair wrapped around one forearm could be said to be wearing pants. I saw one guy the other day who (here's where my own snobbery will show) rode his bike all the way from 76th street to 52nd street "whenever he could." Anyway, the straps on his helmet were so loose that the clasp brushed his collarbone. The straps even belled out at the sides. Whereas many look like they never tighten the straps out of the box, he may have further loosened his helmet. So many people wear their helmets waaaaayyyyy back like Boy George's porkpie during the Karma Chameleon era. All winter I've seen people with thick ass knitted toques under their helmet, which is then pushed like an inch above their head. I don't even know what the helmet is protecting in those cases. They are as unprotected as a helmet-less person but they have a "feeling" of protection, which puts them in greater danger.

Anonymous said...

I think NHcycler and grump are referring to the common flu vaccine that you can choose to get or not get every year. But WCRM is speaking more about larger scale vaccines for measles, mumps, hepB, etc--the ones you need in order to go to public school and that keep our society from going backwards a century or more in terms of health. Also, pretty sure Jenny McCarthy flip flopped on all her anti vaccine nonsense once her kid was cleared from an early autism diagnosis. It was selfishly all about her and her kid, not anybody else. Now she doesn't give a shit.

Anonymous said...

Wait? Vaccines work?

82medici said...

it looks like that kid's road rash is a good 4 or 5 days old. How long are they going to let her sit on the sidewalk fss.

Anonymous said...

OK, I was taken aback when Trump bashing reared its ugly head in a cycling blog, but I let bygones be bygones. So now the big bike corps are all weasels, but Big Pharma and the gov't sez you gotta be vacc'ed is just ducky?

BikeSnobNYC said...

Anonymous 12:56pm,

Boy have they got you all turned around.

Go soak that brain in some warm water.

--Wildcat Rock Machine

JLRB said...

I must stop reading the news - things are so fooking weird, it's like a movie that jumped the shark, but it is the state of our Country. Please tell me they disconnected the Donald's access to the nuclear football.

HOTT HEAD

At least riding a bike is still riding a bike.

Helment, vaccine, spare tube, scranus.

JLRB said...

ps - I now expect my travel bike to be ripped apart by TSA next time I fly with it thanks to the gun smuggler...

dnk said...

@Anonymous 12:56

Heard of the recent yellow fever, smallpox, or polio rampages lately? No? Not in your lifetime?

Vaccinations work.

NHcycler said...

Anonymous 12:56PM:

It's not Big Pharma nor the government that "sez you gotta be vacc'ed."

It's scientific evidence.

It's a century without a "Great Influenza Epidemic" that is estimated to have killed between twenty and forty million people.

It's how today, only grandparents (outside of the Third World, at least) can remember how devastating polio was to families in their own neighborhoods.

It's how smallpox, measles, and other horrible diseases had been practically eliminated from the earth, only to be given a new foothold.

Yeah, this is a cycling blog, but we cyclers do lead varied lives.

wishiwasmerckx said...

Gump, I hope for your sake that that 100th illness is not polio.

janinedm said...

@Anonymous 12:56 Please educate yourself. Vaccines are far from a cash cow. http://content.healthaffairs.org/content/24/3/622.full

Wally the Wallaby said...

HEROS WEAR HELMETS DAMNIT!!!1!!!111

NHcycler said...

JLRB @1:08

I KNOW...it's bad enough when my case comes out on the carousel, ajar, wrapped in plastic, because they couldn't figure out how to close it.

The King of Park Slope said...

You started a vaccine debate ... heh.

Hit Me With Your Best Shot said...

All those non-vaccers should be put out to Pasteur.

This Charming Man said...

Punctured bicycle by a hillside desolate
Will nature make a man out of you yet?

Bryan said...

Fuck Trump! Fuck anti-vaxxers! That is all. Now go ride your bike

Some Perscpective from Growing Up Free said...

I'm just glad that when I was a kid I received the vaccines and never came down with any of those old school diseases (i.e. measles, polio, rubella). of course, I also rode my various bikes (, By the way, I miss the classic yellow Schwinn Varsity) all over the place without a helmet, and my parents let me! Imagine if they had reversed their "priorities"?

Anonymous said...

Children need to grow in a 3D world, the high use of video devices as pacifiers is stunting the poor kid's brain development. Get them outside!

leroy said...

I was about to post a long rant about who in their right mind could be anti-vacation.

Thank goodness my dog pointed out I misread vaccination.

And thank goodness one of us got that shot combatting dis' temper.

As for packing heat, if the guy who shot up the Fort Lauderdale airport a few weeks ago had packed his weapon in a bike tire, he might have been stopped. As it was, he simply packed his pistol and ammo in his luggage, retrieved his bags, and then shot the place up, killing five and wounding 6;and nothing has changed.

Of course, most folks aren't hiding weapons and ammo in bike tires because the airlines charge exorbitant fees for checking a bike.

No wonder my dog suggests the term "mad dog" is ironic.

Fred Mercury said...

That pretty boy who smashed his friends fixie after crashing in the Italian Red Hook Crit could get busted for smuggling plums.

Wesley Bellairs said...

Most vaccines come from Pakistan and India. Think about it.

1904 Cadardi said...

Back in the day the Colombian national team rode Alan "screwed and glued" frames and were reported to have financed overseas racing by smuggling cocaine in the top and downtubes. Makes hiding a gun in the tire seem quaint.

CommieCanuck said...

We could use the herd effect on helmets if we encased curbs and cars in thick foam with flowery pink or Spongebob decoration.

Most vaccines do not from from Pakistan and India, but if they did, I could counter that between both countries, you could not find 61 million people to vote for an orange knucklehead as leader.

Make America great again. Vaccines are just a conspiracy to put American iron lung workers out of work.

CommieCanuck said...

#whatvacuumyourunnininyerironlung

CommieCanuck said...

wow. I owned an Alan frame, never thought to check it for cocaine.

N/A said...

Speaking of disease avoidance, I'm figuring that mosquitoes are going to be horrid this year on account of the super mild winter (check local listings). I've learned that the quinine in tonic water was originally made for the British army dudes to drink as a malaria treatment. As such, I'm proactively drinking as much gin and tonic as I can get down every night. I'm safety-minded, you see. Occasionally I'm switching it to vodka and tonic, just in case some of the skeeters are Russian. Can't be too safe!

jt said...

Further to your comment about walls and bans, I had this sign printed up and it is proudly displayed in our front yard. It's been there for over two weeks, and we have yet to be fire-bombed or otherwise harassed.

https://scontent.fphx1-1.fna.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/17190913_10212449246653970_6378914827126271410_n.jpg?oh=2ef5233538df018fccb843eaf7aa318e&oe=59250C95

jt

Anonymous said...

Hey Snob
More NSFW images of women
Less shit about kids and helmets

Greenbelt said...

If you want more nausea, check out the paper's latest on the perils of golf carts. Really. Apparently the "concern" is mostly sourced to one d-bag in insurance industry, probably funded by the car companies of course, but I'm too lazy to check.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/04/business/retirement/the-mostly-safe-golf-cart.html

janinedm said...

Yes, snob. Naked women are so hard to find on the internet.

1904 Cadardi said...

I'm sure it's no coincidence that the only anti-vaxers I know are from white middle-class suburban families. All of my friends from India are pro-vaccine; to quote one "I've got family with polio, I don't want my kids to get that."

Frickus Rungus said...

If you packed a baked-feets up for travel on an airplane you could fit 2 or 3 bazookas in it... I always new those Dutchies were up to no good!

BikeSnobNYC said...

Anonymous 2:57pm,

Great comment! Did it take you awhile to come up with it or was it a sudden burst of inspiration?

--Wildcat Rock Machine

leroy said...

janinedm - I hesitate to ask because of my low expectations for justice, but ... how did your bike traffic tickets work out?

Freddy Murcks said...

Anonymous @2:57pm had a sudden burst, but it wasn't exactly inspiration. Hint: it involved friction and NSFW pics of nekkid Russian teens.

Living Under a Rock said...

Whaaat!?? There are naked women on the internet! Why have I been wasting my time reading about bike stuff?

Jon Webb said...

Huh, I always thought of the anti-vaccine and the anti-helmet people as being two sides of the same coin. If you search you will find many whole web pages from either group, cherry picking studies (or picking apart one study of dozens) to "prove" their point of view, while ignoring the scientific consensus to the contrary.

BikeSnobNYC said...

Jon Webb,

You thought wrong. They are in no way comparable. There are still head injuries in Australia, but when was the last time you heard of someone getting polio?

--Wildcat Etc.

Chazu said...


As far as I'm concerned, Snob doesn't write enough about politics, kids, helmets vaccines, car dependency etc.

I once was riding on pavement in the Fall after a heavy rain. My front wheel slipped out from under me, and I recall wondering why I was experiencing so much pain before I realized that I had crashed and was sliding along the pavement. Road rash everywhere, including my face, but my helmet never touched the pavement.

Years later, (and years ago) I went over the handle bars and heard a loud CRACKing sound. My head did not impact the pavement. I tried to stand up and fell back down, and then my helmet hit the pavement hard. The cracking sound was my femur (broken) and the helmet didn't come into play during the bike crash. It did help protect my head when I fell off my own feet. Hey, the toes on my left foot were nearly pointing backward, it was impossible to stand up. I recommend not trying it yourself.

Anonymous said...

"If you search you will find many whole web pages from either group, cherry picking studies (or picking apart one study of dozens) to "prove" their point of view, while ignoring the scientific consensus to the contrary."

Is that better than exchanging one liners?
Sounds like they're just trying to waste more time.

janinedm said...

leroy, the legal advice I got was that the best case scenario is aided by the cops not showing up so I've scheduled my hearings for mid Summer and will take a postponement. Hopefully they don't show. My heat has died down so I decided not to hire a lawyer, but that was the bit of free advice they all gave me. Sometime between now and them, I'll go to one of those TransAlt events and get some tips on what to say when my date finally comes.

Maybe I'm splitting hairs here and putting words into Snob's mouth but evidence (i.e. pictures of him, wearing helmets) says that he's not anti-helmet. He's anti-helmet worship. He's anti-using helmets to excuse distracted driving. He's anti-helmet as a replacement for infrastructure. I love bikes and I like a lot of people who ride bikes, but man this area is a magnet for tiresome weenies. For the record, I wear helmets. I do not think it will save my life as, in any collision with a car, my perfect brain will not receive food from my crushed body. No. I wear helmets so men like Jon Webb have no (perceived) reason to address themselves to me.

Speaking of which, was my earlier comment subjective? Am I the only people seeing a plurality if not majority of people wearing their helmets dangerously wrong like straight idiots or is it confirmation bias?

Drock said...

The first time my wife saw me watching the Dutch at rush hour she stated I needed more to do, so now I watch Paris-roubaix from the early 90s, that shut her up. If only our kids had bubbles to ride in, and live in, no vaccines needed, no helmets, no hand washing, no sounds from their mouths, no fun but hey they're safe and sound. Them gun dudes need so seek bike dopers and learn how to cover that shit up so no one sees. I'm out.

Anonymous said...

Wow, what a misguided point of view. I hope your children never hit their heads on a curb...

BikeSnobNYC said...

Anonymous 6:12pm,

Thanks for your bullshit concern. I hope you never squash your genitals on yout top tube.

--Wildcat Etc.

Steely Danzig said...

The boys next door always wear helmets, even on the pogo sticks. Cal fell out of a tree and broke both wrists and Max just broke his collarbone skiing. What would be the best way for me to shame the parents? Smug self-satisfaction is so rewarding...to me.

Anonymous said...

Some kid was going off on /r/bikecommuting today about helmets, calling them "styrofoam hats" and basically trolling for an argument. Last I checked, for the most part the crowd on reddit was not rising to the bait. Some reported wearing one, some reported not wearing one, most didn't express an opinion on whether "op" should wear one. Found myself thinking "gee, I wonder if BSNYC went off on another barely coherent rant about helmets today". Was not disappointed. I really, really, really do not care if you wear one or put one on your kid. Why it offends you so much if others do wear a helmet, or put one on their kid, is a mystery to me.

BikeSnobNYC said...

Anonymous 6:51pm,

Backstory was unnecessary. Does not bother me when people wear helmets.* I even wear one sometimes. Does bother me when people equate them to vaccines as in the article above, or when they harass people on the street for not wearing them as many of us have experienced, etc., or when they push them as policy.

Next time you suspect I've gone off on a hemlet rant go read something else. Pretty simple really.

--Wildcat Etc.

*Does bother me when people wear helmets incorrectly/stupidly as astutely chronicled by janinedm.

Over the Hill said...

As an aging hipster, I wear my helmet ironically.
(I rock a single speed freewheel w. front brake set up too)

Grump said...

I guess I wasn't too clear with my word thingys. Helmets and vaccines for kids are similar. Both are a little like car seats. Better than putting your arm out to prevent them from flying out through the windshield.
On the other hand, if your kid get a TBI in a bike accident, it won't kill the kid who sits next to him in school.


dancesonpedals said...

1) among the most depressing experiences of my life occurred in my last month as an infectious disease fellow, before I changed my specialty. I was consulted to choose antibiotics for a young woman on chemo for Hodgkins who had a persistent fever. She could speak to me, hear me or see me. She had been born in 1969, around the time of the last big rubella outbreak. (Herd immunity is important...vaccinate little kids so the pregnant moms don't get sick). There are circles of hell I don't wish to revisit.

2)Missed my genitals, but crunched my scranus on a citibike toptube after hitting a pothole. Ouchee.

dancesonpedals said...

could not

Anonymous said...


FUCT RUMP

dancesonpedals said...

Good spondee

wishiwasmerckx said...

Well, TBI may not kill the other kids, but TB might, and there is an effective TB vaccine widely used outside of the United States. It is seldom used here because TB is not a current major health issue in the US.

wishiwasmerckx said...

DOP, combining the first part of your comment to the other, may I presume that you changed your speciality from infectious disease to proctology?

Bike Lives Splatter said...

Better wear yer styrofoam hats when yer out there, anal warts. It'll keep the gray matter from staining the undercarriage when I mow yer sorry ass down.

JLRB said...

Nothing like a ride home in 63 degree pouring rain to make you feel alive. And yes I wore a helment, with a stretchy snob hat as head underwear.

Bike Lives Splatter - go to your room (presuming you are the 12 year old boy troll you act like)

The day my humanchild got the massive combo vaccine, a coworker started going on and on abut how his grandson got autism from vaccines. What a dick.

fourhourerection said...

JLRB-Don't feed the trolls...

Drink Like a Fish said...

I know it's very rare, but my co-worker got a flu shot and he ended up paralysed in hospital for awhile. No one else I know has had any such thing befall them, but I tend to avoid that sort of preventative medicine and have yet to have the flu or be paralysed.
Ps. I admit I do wear a helmet.

Guttersnipe said...

I'm the one in Prospect Park getting yelled at by anti-vaxxers - and their militant offspring - for introducing a plague of helmet-less (foreign) kids to the neighborhood and dragging down standards across the board. I see their raw milk, and I raise a 3 foot tall child going three miles an hour.

Holy Roller said...

Jesus never had to wear a PFD (personal flotation device) nor would he have to ever don a helmet while riding a donkey. I rest my case. Amen.

Holy Roller said...

Just one more nip at the Holy spirit.

Anonymous said...

Are you gonna talk about the Spring Classics this year? You are my only source for racing info.

ubercurmudgeon said...

Vaccines are not like helmets. Vaccines are like the cycle safety training you get at school (or used to, depending on where you live.) It is training for your immune system to be able to cope with diseases, just like training kids to cope with motorists or adverse conditions. And if nearly everyone gets it then the human species as a whole (or the roads in this analogy) becomes safer for all. Helmets are like prophylactics - wise to use in some conditions, but not 100% (in fact a lot less in the case of helmets), and unnecessary with your long-term partner (or on the same two-mile ride to school you do ten times a week for years.)

may east said...

Is that a gun in your tire or did you flat to see me?

McFly said...

Those Dutchese shore do like their darkish clothingway. No neon yellow thankyouverymuch.

Pedo Podesta said...

Yew Ess Amerikun here. Have lived in Germany for 8 years now. Just wanted to mention that almost noone wears a helmet here.

Til the next!

JLRB said...

So the gun in the bike tire incident was in Puerto Rico, where there are actual gun laws

But apparently no helment laws

Anonymous said...

A study in Seattle looking at essentially frequency and severity of bicycle related head injuries before and after the helmet law:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27119320

"While the results do not show an overall decrease in head injuries, they do reveal a decrease in the severity of head injuries, as well as bicycle-related fatalities, suggesting that the helmet legislation was effective in reducing severe disability and death, contributing to injury prevention in Seattle and King County."

This positive result is found when the only factor you take into account is law vs. no law, so if anything, it probably UNDERESTIMATES the preventive nature of helmets for head injuries.

I don't fault you for wanting to have a choice in wearing a helmet or not, nor do I advocate mandatory laws per se. But your constant insinuation that helmets do no good is ill informed at best, and very negligent (given your elevated social platform) at worst.

BikeSnobNYC said...

Anonymous 4:26pm,

Cool, how's that bike share program working out?

--Wildcat Etc.

BikeSnobNYC said...

Anonymous 4:26pm,

How many miles of bike lanes were added between 2000 and 2010? What other street safety measures were taken in Seattle after the helmet law went into effect? Were bike lanes/street safety measures implemented in Kings County outside Seattle during that time?

These are all things that reduce the severity of collisions. I'm sure the study took all this into account, yes?

--Wildcat Etc.

10 x 10 said...

Cent!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 4:26pm,

There's nothing said about the numbers of bicyclists. Was bicycling reduced in Seattle, as it did in other places with mandatory helmet laws? They only mention 'proportion'. They don't even have raw numbers of head injuries. So there are a lot of problems with this study.

Anonymous said...

Good post. Laws make it worse - it legitimizes the shriekers (if only cars weren't the biggest killer of kids, eh?) Not that I'm against kids being behelmteded, but sometimes you need to pick up the friends kid in the smugness flotilla, sometimes you need to pick up the kids instead of your partner, the logistics can really fuck things up. And there is surely something to learning risk compensation.

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2014/04/hey-parents-leave-those-kids-alone/358631/

It's interesting to note, the new 'protective' playgrounds have correlated with increased injuries.

Brian Cluff said...

Actually vaccines are only "safe" here in America, because we have Government Oversight directed by the Vaccine Industry. Now Japan has safe vaccines....

Peter said...

A great read. Thankyou, Bikesnob.