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Cycle Chic

During the last couple of weeks I've been thinking a lot about commuting on my bicycle rather than the car. I don't think it'd work for me at the moment, as I work almost a mile down a gravel road with log and gravel trucks speeding up and down it. (It's hard enough being in a car with the gravel trucks cutting me off as they roar onto the road from the quarry next door!) But someday I will work in a place where there's real pavement and then things will change. Hopefully.

Anyway, I was pretending that the gravel road didn't exist and was thinking of all the other reasons I could use to avoid the bike commute. The biggest one was sweat. How will I look OK in business attire if I'm riding my bike? My hair will most definitely flatten under my helmet and I'll have to bring spare clothes to change into and I won't smell nearly as fresh as a daisy.

This morning I was reading blogs on my Bloglines Reader (I still haven't checked the Google reader out yet) and found a link to Cycle Chic. 35% of Copenhagen commuters bike to work. I think that's fantastic - think of how many traffic jams could be avoided! And maybe we'd all be thinner too - I like that idea.

I see a conspicuous absence of helmets, though. I wonder what the safety stats are. I think the helmet, more than the spandex, is what regular people have the most aversion to when they think about biking.

Comments

(Anonymous)
Mar. 27th, 2008 10:00 pm (UTC)
helmets
For stats on helmets see the Bicycle Research Helmet Foundation at cyclehelmets.org.

There is little scientific evidence that supports the theory that helmets save lives.

In countries and cities where there is established bike culture, like Copenhagen, helmet usage is low, as is the number of head injuries. Safety in numbers and motorists who are used to sharing the roads.
rivulet
Mar. 27th, 2008 10:17 pm (UTC)
Re: helmets
Yeah, that's pretty much what I wrote above - when you've got nothing but bikes around you and you're all going 10 miles an hour, you probably won't need a helmet; but when you're on ruralish roads with drivers who either don't notice or don't care, I could see how a helmet might be nice. That or if you were the guy in Corvallis the other day who was biking quickly to the transit center to catch a bus and started to dismount before he was going a safe speed, fell on his face, and is now in serious condition at the hospital.