And this weeks topic is…..
The rentable bikes and helmet wearing.... I think they are overall a great idea, I really do - I just have a few reservations and concerns let’s say that I’d like to put out there.
I ride a bike, to and from work, I used to train and do long distance rides and I like to think I’m a pretty good, safe rider. My route to work is on the roads and I’ve always said I’d rather play with the cars than people, and I stick to that! When I cycle home I am super aware of the cars around me and on alert at junctions (and I admit though I do often go through red lights….)…
The other thing I do is always wear my helmet. Now is this the right or wrong thing - there’s great debate out there.
On one hand - why would you not want to protect your head?
There’s enough evidence and stories about people falling off their bikes, even at a slow pace and hitting their heads - I’ve done it and without my helmet I may not have been so unscathed.
Tuesday evening I was cycling home, and there’s a corner I take slowly in case others are coming the other way (learned that from experience) and there were 2 guys on rented bikes in front. As I neared, the leader veered left, the follower followed - right in my path. Too late for me to un-cleat and off I skidded.
After I skidded off, let’s just say my language was very unfriendly and unladylike (depending on your definition of a lady) and I told them to “Ride straight and wear a helmet” - with a few expletives thrown in for good measure.
I wasn't hurt, a scrape on my knee and a hole in my tartan work trousers :-( , but I was ok - including my head. These guys rent the bikes, don’t know road or path etiquette and don’t wear helmets - they are more likely to fall off than me (although tuesday shows otherwise!) - so is it a case they ought to wear helmets? or do I need to, to protect me from them?
Thats why I prefer cars - way more predictable. BUT if a car sees me with a helmet on, they are possibly more inclined to drive closer; see the link at the bottom for a great article on this.
Not sure how the bike rental can include a helmet, but some basic road awareness lessons in school would be a good start.
On the flip side there is some theories and evidence about not wearing one, a friend said to me once that if they don’t wear it they are less likely to fall as they are more alert. Good point.
Also it is not only the rider but the drivers, if they were more aware of bikes on the road, cyclists wouldn’t need a helmet - maybe? Or is this an unachievable dream for most cities.
I honestly don’t know which is better overall, but for me at least I am going to wear my helmet - it’s not about the cars but life in general. You never truly know when something or someone is going to “surprise” you or there’s a crack in the path that your wheel goes down - and I believe a helmet is worth it however good a rider you are.
Very very interesting read if you want more on the debate!: