Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on March 7th, 2008 at 9:38 am
A twelve year-old Vancouver boy has organized a ride to protest the all-ages helmet law that was recently passed by the Vancouver City Council.
The ordinance, which makes helmets mandatory for everyone on a variety of human powered vehicles, was passed by a 5-1 vote. But that wide margin doesn't seem to reflect how many Vancouverites feel about the law, as evidenced by several of the 155 comments that have been posted so far on my story about the Council's decision.
One of those comments, by "Dread Pirate Roberts," caught my eye. It took things one step further and suggested that a protest ride was in order:
"As a cyclist who is only 12 years of age I am still undecided about the helmet ordinance. Although I do believe that there should be some sort of ride in protest of the ordinance. I think this should happen because of what some other people have said."
"During the ride you do not have to wear a helmet, but you can if you like. That's what freedom means."
--Dread Pirate Roberts
Dread Pirate Roberts (who I have contacted to confirm his comment but he wants to remain anonymous for now), then referenced other comments that questioned the merits of the new law as part of his inspiration for the ride.
Roberts said he plans to take participants on a loop around Columbia Street and then back to City Hall, where he will encourage everyone to fill out comment cards that will go to City Council members. Roberts also noted that the day planned for the ride, March 10th, is his birthday and his mom plans to bring birthday treats for everyone who shows up (don't expect something for everyone, but feel free to bring something to share if you can).
Whether you're for or against helmet laws, you've got to love the moxie of this kid. As he put it, "Come over to the 'couv and put in your 2 cents worth-or put your spirit where your mouth is." As for the whether or not to wear a helmet, Roberts says, "during the ride you do not have to wear a helmet, but you can if you like. That's what freedom means."
Last Day of Freedom Ride
Monday, March 10th
5:30 by the clock tower in Esther Short Park (downtown Vancouver)