Re: [messengers] Cycling Without a Helmet

Date: Fri Jan 15 13:07:47 2010
From: Michael Dodd <mikeydodds@xxxxxxxxx>


I agree with the use of helmets especially when  it comes to working and yes
wearing a bike helmet does occasionally save lives.

The problem with Australia and New Zealands mandatory helmet laws are that
they stopped people from riding bikes.


On Fri, Jan 15, 2010 at 3:03 PM, Austin Bauman <
austin@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

> helmet saved me yesterday.  Frame broke while I was riding.  I went
> over the front and dug into the ground head first.  If it weren't for
> the helmet, it would have been a lot worse ... (or if I had been
> naked).
>
> Pics:
>
> http://musiccitycycling.us/comments.php?DiscussionID=76&page=1#Item_0
>
>
>
> On Thu, Jan 14, 2010 at 9:39 PM, Michael Dodd <mikeydodds@xxxxxxxxx>
> wrote:
> > *I* think the sydney morning herald are turning into the good guys....
> >
> >
> http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/society-and-culture/never-mind-the-nudity-wheres-your-bike-helmet-20100113-m6xo.html
> >
> > *"Cathy Duder, the New Zealand police officer who stopped two naked
> cyclists
> > at the flashy beach resort of Whangamata just before Christmas, let them
> off
> > with a warning - not about the nudity but about the lack of protective
> > clothing on their heads.*
> >
> > *On the nudity front she was blase. "They were more shocked than I," she
> > mused, though that's a little hard to swallow. The chaps were sober,
> after
> > all, and must have known they were laying bare their privates for
> scrutiny.
> > Yet the senior constable dismissed the nakedness as an innocent bid for
> > ''total freedom''. The absence of headwear, though, that was serious.*
> >
> > *The incident shows how eccentric NZ really is. I mean yes, it adds
> piquancy
> > to the field of bike-seat erotica, from Alexander Waugh's observation
> that
> > his great-grandfather Alfred was obsessed by "pretty girls on bicycles"
> to
> > Paul Keating's preferred pejorative for investigative journalists as
> > "bicycle-seat sniffers". Globally, though, it must principally be seen as
> a
> > good fashion opportunity squandered, since cycling, you may have noticed,
> is
> > suddenly chic.*
> >
> > *This isn't just about the purist fixies (those uber-primitive bikes
> without
> > gears or brakes derived from New York's West Indian courier tribes)
> versus
> > sedate '60s ladies' bikes that now, renovated, outsell new ones. Suddenly
> > there is a whole new world of cycle fashionistas - clothes, bags,
> > accessories for self and bike including handlebar cup holders.*
> >
> > *Helmets, however, are decidedly uncool. Many argue helmets save lives.
> But
> > the opposing arguments are equally numerous and, actually, pretty
> plausible.
> > Not only are proper randomised studies hard to come by - like, where are
> the
> > volunteers? There are also unanswered questions about how helmets modify
> > cyclists' behaviour, making them less likely (some say more) to take
> risks.
> > Or how helmet-wearing relates to personality type and gender (the
> causality
> > here being reversed).*
> >
> > *But the point really is this. Countries with highest bike use and no
> helmet
> > laws also have fewest bike fatalities - Denmark and the Netherlands being
> > the most obvious. Copenhagen initiated the Slow Bicycle Movement, the
> > non-lycra approach to cycling. There, 37 per cent of commutes and a
> > staggering 55 per cent of all trips are by bike. In Sydney, where
> cyclists
> > are routinely spat on and abused, it's more like 1 per cent, but rising.*
> >
> > *In London I used to cycle everywhere, not at first from choice - though
> it
> > did prove addictive - but because driving was like pushing slugs through
> > mud, and the alternatives even more disgusting. I'm saddened to report I
> > never cycled nude, or for that matter helmeted, but I did do it in peach
> > suede stilettos, long diamante earrings, houndstooth miniskirt, fur-lined
> > mittens and ankle-deep snow, sometimes all at once. Only for the snow was
> I
> > stopped by police.*
> >
> > *No such nonsense in Sydney. Arriving here we were advised to quit
> cycling,
> > much as they tell you to move to the burbs to procreate. (Why children
> have
> > this special claim to mind-numbing boredom I've never understood although
> > perhaps, again, the causality is inverted; it's the tedium that aids
> > conception.)*
> >
> > *"Nup," they shook their heads sagely. "No one cycles here. London, sure,
> > people have manners. Not here. Much too dangerous." And for a while - OK,
> a
> > decade - I caved in. Sold the bike, played safe. As a mother you feel
> > obliged to stay more or less alive.*
> >
> > *Now I've thought again. Not about survival, about cycling. And not just
> as
> > exercise - twice round the park with the lycra legions then
> fossil-fuel-it
> > home for breakfast - but as transport. I like streets, real world,
> feeling
> > purposeful. I also like those little bike-logos, strewn round the streets
> > like welcome mats. They change nothing, legally, except how it feels on
> that
> > fragile, whizzy machine. And, it finally dawned, only if people do it,
> will
> > people do it.*
> >
> > *Plus - and this is key - it's fun. Exhilarating, even, to arrive at the
> > opera or the formal meeting with raised pulse, no parking worries and
> zero
> > emissions. It has a rakish, adventurous quality - not nude, but close.*
> >
> > *Imagine my surprise then to be recently stopped by police. Not for being
> > nude (which I wasn't) or even for riding on a footpath without
> appropriate
> > signage (which I was). "We're cracking down on cyclists without helmets,"
> > said the coppers, writing my details into their notebooks.*
> >
> > *A true road warrior would have checked their credentials. How did I know
> > they even were cops, not petrol-head thugs on a road-rage revenge binge?
> But
> > I was fully occupied not coming back with some kind of kamikaze quip.
> > "Cracking down, officer? On cycling without helmets? You kidding me? What
> > about cracking down on our third-generation neighbourhood smack dealers
> over
> > there? Or the local housebreaking fraternity?"*
> > *The best way to encourage cycling is enhancing safety, but the best way
> to
> > do that is to increase numbers. Circular argument. Fining cyclists won't
> > help. Cycle lanes will (instead of promises); stopping the gas-and-telco
> > guys leaving long, tyre-grabbing road scars; smoothing kerb crossings
> that
> > are routinely the size of the Tamarama escarpment; giving priority at
> > lights. Then maybe your standard cyclists will behave more like homo
> sapiens
> > and less like, well, Tony Abbott. But next time you're tempted to nude
> > highway cycling, remember, the roads are to share. Like the sign says.
> Cover
> > your load. Fines apply. Mine eyes dazzle"*
> > _______________________________________________
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> >
>
>
>
> --
> Austin Bauman
> Owner / Messenger
> Green Fleet Messengers
>
> http://www.greenfleetmessengers.com
>
> work: (615) 463-0602
> cell: (615) 870-8848
> austin@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
>
>
> "When you send a bicycle, you replace a car."
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