The Monday Roundup: Giant sales, Gladys’ gifts, kids on bikes

Welcome to Monday.

This week’s column is sponsored by the big Shower Pass Black Friday/Cyber Monday sale. Get up to 30% off jackets, pants, baselayers, gloves, socks, and accessories, and free shipping on orders over $50 now through the end of November 30th.

Now then… here are the most notable items we came across in the past seven days.

Youth cycling boom: Cycling has jumped from 16th to 3rd in a research study on youth sports activities during the Covid era and with the traditional big-three sports landscape so dramatically altered there’s reason to hope the boom won’t go bust when life returns to “normal”.

Giant sales numbers: To give you a sense of the impact e-bikes are having on the bike industry, consider that Giant Group, considered the world’s largest bike maker, says a whopping 27% of its total revenue now comes from bikes with batteries.

People like bikes: Despite what many electeds and policymakers tell us, when you ask the right way, a majority of people will have no beef with bicycling — at least that’s what this survey in Scotland found.

Strava blowing up: We figured Strava would do well with Covid keeping everyone indoors, but 2 millions users per month? Wow.

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Zwift cheats: With the rise in virtual cycling and focus on performance above all else, we should not be surprised that people cheat at it.

Opportunity strikes: The BBC explains how swift action to rethink streets in light of the pandemic is benefitting cities and (hopefully) changing them for good.

Not having it: The Maryland DOT assumed (like they always do) everyone in the path of their highway widening project would just rollover and succumb to their demands. The U.S. Navy is saying “Hell no!”.

Gladys gifts: Local shop Gladys Bikes asked Portland riders what they’d gift for the holidays and they shared some solid ideas.

Helmets and safety: Yet another data point in the helmet debate that clearly shows when people feel safe on their bikes they no longer obsess about wearing a styrofoam hat.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org
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Hello, Kitty
Hello, Kitty
2 years ago

Why do you feel the need to denigrate helmets? Do you think they are ineffective?

This review included five well conducted case‐control studies and found that helmets provide a 63–88% reduction in the risk of head, brain and severe brain injury for all ages of bicyclists. Helmets were found to provide equal levels of protection for crashes involving motor vehicles (69%) and crashes from all other causes (68%). Furthermore, injuries to the upper and mid facial areas were found to be reduced by 65%, although helmets did not prevent lower facial injuries. The review authors concluded that bicycle helmets are an effective means of preventing head injury.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2598379/#:~:text=This%20review%20included%20five%20well,for%20all%20ages%20of%20bicyclists.&text=The%20review%20authors%20concluded%20that,means%20of%20preventing%20head%20injury.

Matt
Matt
2 years ago
Reply to  Hello, Kitty

It’s a dangerous and recurring theme here on BP. But apparently they all are head injury experts.

qqq
qqq
2 years ago
Reply to  Matt

Yet BP just provided its readers with a link to an article that has several experts saying good things about helmets.

one
2 years ago
Reply to  qqq

Shhhh. Hello Kitty and Matt don’t want you to point out the obvious. It doesn’t jive with the story they are trying to sell.

Middle of the Road Guy
Middle of the Road Guy
2 years ago
Reply to  one

I think they are providing it for free.

Aaron
Aaron
2 years ago
Reply to  Hello, Kitty

They’re less effective than providing a safe environment (through infrastructure, etc.) for people on bikes to be able to use. I’m reading his statement less as a denigration of helmets and more as a denigration of an environment that causes people to want to wear one. One should feel free to use helmets if that improves their sense of security, but a high percentage of helmet usage by people on bikes is an indication of a failure of the system to provide a safe environment. Because at the end of the day, the increase in safety provided by helmets can’t compensate for the lack of protected infrastructure. Much fewer people die as a result of collisions on bikes in the Netherlands than they do here despite the lack of helmets there.

There have also been studies that show that helmet usage a) causes the wearer to be more reckless due to risk compensation, and b) causes those around the wearer such as car drivers to take more risks with the life of the wearer by, for example, driving much closer to the cyclist. Given that not being involved in a collision to begin with is arguably much safer than being in a collision but having the helmet provide some measure of protection, is it truly safer to wear a helmet? I don’t have the answer to that question myself, but it’s a lot more complicated of an issue than simply taking into consideration the risk of head injury.

I for one do wear a helmet when I’m on my bike but I honestly don’t like wearing it, and if the environment becomes truly safe for those on bikes, perhaps I would change my calculus.

Hello, Kitty
Hello, Kitty
2 years ago
Reply to  Aaron

Of course helmets are no substitute for safe streets. But I would argue that even in Amsterdam, riders should wear a helmet.

A pretty solid majority of crashes (in the US, at least) occur with no motor vehicle involvement, so we’d probably need to do some careful quantification before concluding that helmets induce worse outcomes overall (I know you’re not… quite… saying this, just introducing the possibility).

We’ll never have an environment free of hard objects and surface against which one can crack one’s head, so even in a car free utopia, helmets will probably still make sense. Like seatbelts, they’re very cheap insurance against an unlikely but potentially catastrophic outcome.

Aaron
Aaron
2 years ago
Reply to  Hello, Kitty

I don’t really think it’s our place to lecture people in a country that has a much better safety record than we do for cyclists. And given that speed matters and that cyclists are typically slower than cars, I have a hard time believing that the non-vehicle-involved crashes are, on average, anywhere approaching the severity of vehicle-involved crashes. I still maintain that helmets are the wrong thing to focus on.

Hello, Kitty
Hello, Kitty
2 years ago
Reply to  Aaron

Why do we have to focus on just one thing? I’m also unsure if your logic follows the data on head injuries from bicycling incidents. In fact, I think it’s pretty well established that helmets are not terribly effective in a car – bicycle collisions. They work much better on lower energy impacts such as slipping on a patch of ice, or any of the other classes of incidents that make up a majority of injuries and fatalities.

There is plenty of data demonstrating that helmets improve outcomes.

EDIT: The data I posted elsewhere in this thread suggests helmets are effective in all classes of crashes, not just those were no car is involved. Hello, Kitty regrets the error.

Fred
Fred
2 years ago
Reply to  Hello, Kitty

I agree with you here, Kitty. I’ve crashed – all on my own, with no poor infrastructure and no help from any car-driver or anyone else – and smacked my head on the pavement. I’ve done it while NOT wearing a helmet and later while wearing a helmet. And I can verify that wearing a helmet is far preferable to NOT wearing one, in this situation. Not only did the helmet prevent the significant and bloody abrasions I received during the first fall, but I felt less “concussed” (dizziness lasted just a few seconds instead of 15-20 minutes).

So I will now ALWAYS wear a helmet.

Jon
Jon
2 years ago
Reply to  Aaron

I guess people can choose if they want to wear a mask inside a store by this logic. The stores should provide adequate ventilation to prevent Covid. I can imagine that wearing a mask might give people a false sense of security and make them forget about the 6 foot distancing guidelines. If I feel safe without a mask I guess I should just just go maskless. In case it does not show I’m being sarcastic. Medical care is expensive. Decisions to forgo basic safety equipment burdens all of society with the costs.

Aaron
Aaron
2 years ago
Reply to  Jon

Nope. Not even close to being the same logic. Helmets primarily protect the wearer but masks primarily protect those around you. It is an act of altruism to wear masks. No matter what libertarian logic you want to apply as far as “burden to society”, wearing of helmets is not an act of altruism. The cost to society of not wearing a helmet and suffering worse injury resulting from the lack of helmet does not even begin to approach the magnitude of cost to society of not wearing a mask. It’s frankly offensive that you would use a pandemic, and by extension, those who’ve suffered and are continuing to suffer from the pandemic as a tool to make your specious argument.

Jon
Jon
2 years ago
Reply to  Aaron

Head injuries are very expensive and wearing helmets are extremely cost effective. Below is a study on the costs of head injuries due to cycling in the Netherlands: https://bmcpublichealth.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12889-020-08544-5#:~:text=Traumatic%20brain%20injury%20(TBI)%20is%20the%20main%20cause%20of%20severe,1%2C%204%2C%206%5D.

Middle of the Road Guy
Middle of the Road Guy
2 years ago
Reply to  Aaron

I wasn’t offended…and the “by extension” is a leap of logic by trying to weaken his point by bringing in other people’s emotions.

Fred
Fred
2 years ago
Reply to  Aaron

Settle down, Aaron. The comparison is not offensive and actually feels rather apt to me. When cyclists wear helmets that prevent aggravated injuries, then helmet-wearing benefits all of us in the form of reduced medical costs that are passed along to insurance, which all of us pay for.

Hello, Kitty
Hello, Kitty
2 years ago

Can you explain the throughline you see between wearing “styrofoam hats” (which sounds like a denigration to me) and “Safety Culture” and unsafe roads? The evidence suggests wearing helmets is an unalloyed safety good, preventing some of the most tragic outcomes (even/especially at slow speeds), so it is probably healthy for people to be a little bit “obsessed” with them, just as they are with wearing seatbelts in cars.

Bicycling Al
Bicycling Al
2 years ago
Reply to  Hello, Kitty

I’m with Jonathan on this one. Helmets are not vaccines against traffic fatalities but yet are treated this way by people who would like to ignore other deficiencies in the system. Funny enough, if there’s any group which should be wearing helmets to reduce traffic fatalities, it is DRIVERS! I’m not kidding about this. Data is irrefutable, consistent driver helmet use would save thousands of lives every year and yet no serious person would advocate for this. Why the disparity in treating drivers and cyclists?

And as always when breaching this topic, I have to disclaimer that I’m not advocating against helmet use. I use one myself very much how Jonathan described his usage and also teach my kids to use them when riding, skateboarding, etc.

qqq
qqq
2 years ago
Reply to  Bicycling Al

A similar situation exists with water sports and pfds (life vests). Just about any report about say, a standup paddleboard drowning, will mention whether the victim had a pfd or not. It won’t mention swimming skills (many people go out in kayaks and on standup paddleboards who can’t swim), conditions, experience level…You can rent a board without being asked if you can swim. Even public safety campaigns don’t mention swimming ability–some dismiss it. So people believe if you’ve got your pfd, you’re safe, which isn’t true, and if you don’t have one, you’re not safe, which often isn’t true.

The worst thing is that the focus on pfds takes the focus away from everything else that contributes to safety, which sounds similar to what Jonathan and you are saying about helmets.

Hello, Kitty
Hello, Kitty
2 years ago
Reply to  qqq

I want to make sure I understand your analogy. To reduce bike injuries, we should focus on teaching riders basic safety skills, and encourage them not to be on the street before they are ready. Do I understand you correctly?

Or are you saying that the stand-up paddling community should focus less on drowning, and more on reducing the likelihood of shark bite?

Riding without a helmet is like paddling without a pfd or driving without a seatbelt. 99 times out of 100 it’s going to be fine, especially if you are careful, attentive, and not too unlucky.

qqq
qqq
2 years ago
Reply to  Hello, Kitty

In water sports, the focus on pfds takes focus away from other areas that should receive attention for achieving safety.

In biking I think, similarly, that the focus on helmet wearing–at least for many people–takes focus away from other areas that should also receive attention.

Teaching riders basic safety skills, and encouraging them not to be in locations or conditions before they’re ready certainly is a good idea. That seems like one reasonable thing to interpret from my comments about water sports. Another would be to focus on infrastructure and driving behavior as well as helmet wearing for achieving safety.

I wasn’t saying anything remotely like saying paddlers should focus less on a main danger (drowning) and more on a remote danger (shark bites).

I agree with your comment about riding without a helmet, driving without a seatbelt, etc. I still do all three, even though the chances of it mattering are small.

Hello, Kitty
Hello, Kitty
2 years ago
Reply to  qqq

I hope you don’t interpret my support for wearing helmets to mean I do not also strongly support infrastructure improvements. I don’t think they are in any way in conflict with one another, just as there is no conflict between pfds and getting rid of sharks. One is something where I can take immediate action on my own, the other is a long-term solution that is mostly in the hands of others.

qqq
qqq
2 years ago
Reply to  Hello, Kitty

No, of course not.

Don’t be hard on sharks, though. Your chances of getting killed on the road on the way to going to the water are way higher than getting bit by a shark. Sharks are good.

Hello, Kitty
Hello, Kitty
2 years ago
Reply to  qqq

I’m actually quite pro-shark. I am taking exception to the notion that helmets are somehow incompatible with infrastructure improvements on any level, which I understand to be the basis of your response (and those of others) to my comment. If you were not saying that, then I apologize. And I apologize any sharks who may be reading this. Go sharks!

qqq
qqq
2 years ago
Reply to  Hello, Kitty

I absolutely wasn’t saying that.

Fred
Fred
2 years ago
Reply to  qqq

Sorry, qqq, but you are way off base here. The #1 thing anyone on the water can do – by far – to ensure safety is wear a PFD. Talk to any water-safety pro (Coast Guard, sheriff’s water patrol etc) and 99% of them will say they NEVER pull dead people wearing PFDs out of the water. Wearing a PFD is ESSENTIAL to safety on the water.

I’m not sure the same holds true for cycling helmets: probably many cyclists are killed while wearing them. But your analogy with PFDs is simply not apt. Please find a better analogy.

qqq
qqq
2 years ago
Reply to  Fred

I think you’re misunderstanding what I wrote. I didn’t say wearing pfds isn’t important. I said “the focus on pfds takes the focus away from everything else that contributes to safety” and that that is a problem. And it really is.

Those other things (using standup paddling as an example) include understanding conditions (water, weather, tide, current, time of day), swimming ability, wearing a leash, conditioning, etc. I’m sure the same water pros you mention prefer rescuing living people wearing pfds to recovering bodies, but they also prefer not having to rescue anybody. A lot of people wearing pfds need rescuing because they misjudged time or weather or current, for example. Or they’re swept away from their board because they didn’t wear a leash. The pfd may save them from drowning (if they don’t die from hypothermia) but the leash would have meant they never would have been separated from their board to begin with.

It’s also not true that people wearing pfds are never pulled dead from the water. A paddleboarder drowned in Lake Washington wearing one a few years ago. Others have died being trapped by their leashes in rivers or under boats. Most pfds don’t keep your face out of the water, so you can still drown. They also won’t save you from dying of hypothermia (whereas knowing not to go out when the water is cold will).
Drowning in a pfd isn’t common but it happens. Requiring being rescued wearing one is common, and knowing other safety measures would have prevented the need for many of those. And again, I was never arguing that wearing pfds isn’t generally a good safety practice, anyway.

Jay Dedd
Jay Dedd
2 years ago
Reply to  Hello, Kitty

“…we should focus on teaching riders basic safety skills, and encourage them not to be on the street before they are ready.”

Or really, to give them a clear path to being ready so they can be on the street. For one brief, shining moment, you nearly grasped.

Rain Waters
Rain Waters
2 years ago
Reply to  Hello, Kitty

9999 out of 10000 is a bit closer to a “survival” rate of .06% than 9 outa 10. Muzzles and foam hats aside.

Ben G
Ben G
2 years ago
Reply to  Hello, Kitty

I thought “styrofoam hat” was cheeky and funny. The same way I refer to lycra as “stretchy pants”. There is no malice, just light-hearted commentary on what it is. Lets not make a mountain out of an molehill.

Hello, Kitty
Hello, Kitty
2 years ago
Reply to  Ben G

Absent the historic context, and absent comments like “a fixation on helmets makes our roads so unsafe”, I would agree with you.

Rain Waters
Rain Waters
2 years ago
Reply to  Ben G

Yup, a $100 hat made primarily of styrafoam. A cycling essential to Subscribers. A joke to others.

Rain Waters
Rain Waters
2 years ago
Reply to  Hello, Kitty

Styrafoam hat equals cloth diaper muzzle among those who subscribe to such. This is a polarizer designed to pit one type of subscriber against . . .

Death is not preventable to anyone, there are no studies to prove it. Subscribers react to fear by denial of death.

tool
2 years ago
Reply to  Hello, Kitty

I mean heck/ballyhooey/whatevs P.C. pejorative…

His ellipsis useage near denigratesez his sponsor. Me thinkz his wife might be the breadwinner. Also hoo, Breadwinner makes a derned fine frameset.

 
 
2 years ago
Reply to  Hello, Kitty

One of my good friends had a pedestrian jaywalk in front of her while she was on her bike and crashed as a result, hitting her head. 100% not her fault, and nothing she could do about it. She wasn’t wearing a helmet. She’s mostly fine now, a year later, but will never be at where she was before. Would’ve been completely fine if she had a helmet. Wear your helmet, even if you’re just biking to the coffee shop down the street or something.

David Hampsten
David Hampsten
2 years ago
Reply to   

Helmets are also good at protecting your noggin from low branches, from the elements, and they can add color to an otherwise drab outfit. I put my lights on my helmet so I don’t forget them, and to reduce the chances they’ll get stolen off my bike.

Jay Dedd
Jay Dedd
2 years ago
Reply to  David Hampsten

And it’s the best place for a mirror. Turn your head to sweep behind you: no blind spots.

One
2 years ago
Reply to   

What if I told you that if you were wearing a bike helmet while in a car crash, the helmet would help you? You knew that already? Is that why you never enter a car without wearing a helmet? I mean, the fact is that you know that they would help, right?

 
 
2 years ago
Reply to  One

Strawman argument

Aaron
Aaron
2 years ago
Reply to   

How so? He’s pointing out a double standard between how people on bikes are treated vs how people in cars are treated. Helmets help out with both, and yet only people on bikes are lectured on helmet usage. Hmm…wonder why.

Hello, Kitty
Hello, Kitty
2 years ago
Reply to  Aaron

Who is lecturing?

Mike
Mike
2 years ago
Reply to  Aaron

That’s such a lame argument. Cars are designed to protect the occupant. It is laughable to attempt to equate an occupant of a car with someone on a bike yet it comes up periodically here.

Matt
Matt
2 years ago
Reply to  Mike

For something designed to protect its occupants, a whole hell of a lot of those occupants still manage to die inside them somehow, often of head trauma.

Middle of the Road Guy
Middle of the Road Guy
2 years ago
Reply to  Matt

It sounds like a helmet wouldn’t help then.

Middle of the Road Guy
Middle of the Road Guy
2 years ago
Reply to  Aaron

Cyclists have few options available to them, so it makes sense to use those options. A helmet will have a greater marginal benefit.

Cars have built in safety features – a helmet provides far less marginal benefit in a car for head injuries than it does for a bike.

Fred
Fred
2 years ago

Well said, MoRG. I up-vote your comment five times.

This argument about helmets is just stupid.

GlowBoy
GlowBoy
2 years ago
Reply to  Fred

Agreed.

X
X
2 years ago
Reply to  One

Exact analogy

MaddHatter
MaddHatter
2 years ago
Reply to  One

I’m skeptical of the claim that wearing a bicycle- or motorcycle-style helmet inside an automobile — we’re not talking a HANS device here — increases safety. Even during a frontal crash, airbags are not designed with helmets in mind, the added weight increases shear force on the c-spine (a vulnerable point already), and plastic around the face increases risk of laceration. Unless you’re of short stature, many passenger cars don’t have enough room overhead to accommodate a helmet anyway. And let’s not forget the non-collision portion of the drive, involving restricted head movement and unnatural flexion. I am tempted to make the analogy to why babies are not supposed to wear helmets when riding in bicycle trailers.

So has this really been studied? Do you have any links?

Chris I
Chris I
2 years ago
Reply to  MaddHatter

Racing drivers all wear helmets, even inside of sedan-style stock cars. I’m sure it would be safer, but there are a lot of issues (most of them involving public perception). There was a huge backlash to seatbelt use for decades after the mandate came out. And even now, many do not use them (double ejection/fatality just occurred on Marine Drive this week).

MaddHatter
MaddHatter
2 years ago
Reply to  Chris I

Racing drivers wear HANS devices (or the various equivalents), and those are about as similar to a bicycle or motorcycle helmet as a semi is to a bicycle. Their vehicles don’t have airbags. It’s a different approach to safety because it’s a different type of driving (in more ways than one) with different kinds of traumatic injury being more likely.

The point of a HANS device is to severely restrict head movement relative to the torso. On a track it doesn’t matter a whole lot to impede the driver’s situational awareness so significantly; the track has no civilians, bicycles, merges, signals, parking spots… A HANS might improve health outcomes for the driver, but it’d be carnage for everybody else they ran over on their way to work. Even then, the big safety improvement of a HANS is in high-speed impacts. At low speeds, airbags might be more effective; I don’t know. Airbags are designed for a driver to walk away from an unrestrained 35mph crash. A HANS is designed to prevent decapitating the driver in an 80mph crash.

TL/DR: It’s not reasonable to say that what increases safety in racing necessarily can be ported straight over to civilian driving and also increase safety there.

Alan 1.0
2 years ago
Reply to  MaddHatter

Plenty of Saturday club racers wear helmets ^without HANS^, three-point belts, and cotton clothes on the track in showroom stock cars. Tilt the seat back and even tall guys fit in small ones. My impression of SOV weekday traffic is that lots of those cars don’t have up-to-date airbag systems, leaving drivers subject to serious head injuries. Whether those injuries exceed the typical damage from helmet wearing I don’t know, but I’m pretty sure that pre-HANS helmet usage among racers was more life-sustaining that not wearing them, and I’d bet that there’s solid data supporting that.

So far, the studies I’ve seen for bike helmets on casual riders is nowhere close to as conclusive as what I’ve seen for helmet use in automobiles. That shouldn’t be surprising considering MV^2.

MaddHatter
MaddHatter
2 years ago
Reply to  Alan 1.0

I wear a helmet when I ski. I don’t plan to crash into trees, but I’d rather not die if I do. If wearing a helmet when driving confers a safety benefit, then I would at least give wearing one serious consideration.

(Aside: Airbags were introduced in the 70s into 80s. I don’t see that many 40+ -year-old cars driving around on a daily basis.)

Alan 1.0
2 years ago
Reply to  MaddHatter

All the evidence of helmet use in cars that I’m aware of suggests that they have a net positive safety effect, HANS or no. It sounded to me that you were saying that’s not so.

If we were drawing an analogy to bike helmet technology, that would suggest that only MIPS helmets are of any safety value (and I reject that idea, too, even if they are better).

I’m aware that helmets without HANS can inflict injury due to their weight and concentration of forces in the upper spine, but the arguments and evidence that has swayed me suggests that the net outcome in car collisions with a helmet alone is better than that without (similarly to with and without MIPS).

Up-to-date car airbags include side bags (“curtains”), and their deployment and deflation rates have been improved considerably within the past decade or so (not even considering Takata problems).

My motor vehicle is a ’97, and while I’m happy it has airbags, they aren’t “up-to-date.” Why don’t I wear a helmet in it? Comfort, convenience, muffled hearing and restricted visibility (for some helmets), a general – if misplaced – feeling of security, but I suspect it’s largely about conforming with social norms. If “everyone” else did it, and if safety advocates were as dedicated to pushing helmets in cars as they are for other activities, I suspect I would. If most people did, I would be surprised if there were not fewer serious head an neck injuries overall.

(I usually wear a helmet when cycling, climbing, or skiing, always when I was motorcycling or driving on the track.)

MaddHatter
MaddHatter
2 years ago
Reply to  Alan 1.0

All the evidence of helmet use in cars that I’m aware of suggests that they have a net positive safety effect, HANS or no.

This is a claim that I could believe in the context of racing. I’m much more skeptical about it the context of street driving. But I haven’t researched it, so I would be easily swayed by any studies that have been done.

Rain Waters
Rain Waters
2 years ago
Reply to  MaddHatter

Nice picture, solo hellmented tesla pilot behind rolled up thafety glass in N95 maaaaask. . .

Let freedumb ring eh

Jason
Jason
2 years ago
Reply to  MaddHatter

If wearing a helmet inside a car does not enhance safety, then why do all of the auto racing federations require the use of helmets? Especially since drivers on the street seem to crash as spectacularly as certified racer drivers. If not more so.

Before you retort with “those are HANS devices”, the helmet is an intrinsic part of the device.

MaddHatter
MaddHatter
2 years ago
Reply to  Jason

My retort is exactly that: “The helmet is an intrinsic part of the device”. Without the rest of the device, the helmet will make worse the problem it was intended to solve. Maybe there’s also some other protective effects there. I don’t know even the magnitude of the safety benefit a lone helmet might confer in racing, and the benefit certainly would not transfer as-is to driving public streets.

This is all a long-winded way to say that given what I know, it doesn’t follow to call people hypocritical for not wearing a helmet in their daily driver.

Middle of the Road Guy
Middle of the Road Guy
2 years ago
Reply to  One

Because I have seatbelts and airbags. Bikes don’t have as many safety features built in.

Chris I
Chris I
2 years ago

Bikes have the advantage of being “thrown clear”. This is the argument many use against seatbelts.

GlowBoy
GlowBoy
2 years ago
Reply to  One

When it comes to cars, seatbelts are more analogous to helmets while bicycling. Head injuries are relatively less common for vehicle occupants compared with other serious injuries.

Joseph E
2 years ago
Reply to   

Re: “Would’ve been completely fine if she had a helmet.” Citation needed.

You will still get a concussion if you hit your head with most helmets – they are designed to reduce the risk of skull fractures, but they don’t decelerate your head gently enough to prevent brain contusions and concussions.

Unfortunately I am not aware of any randomized controlled clinical trials which have compared helmets as an intervention and shown reduction of concussions or TBI or death – the studies we have are only observational, which puts them at high risk of bias.

While I expect that helmets are helpful (and I wear one myself), a claim like “she would have been fine if she had a helmet” is unproven and I would not make such a claim with my patients.

Mick O
Mick O
2 years ago

Denigrate? You mean “criticize unfairly?” It’s a link to an article. What do you find “unfair” about the article?

Hello, Kitty
Hello, Kitty
2 years ago
Reply to  Mick O

I was referring to the comment about “obsession with styrofoam hats”.

David Hampsten
David Hampsten
2 years ago
Reply to  Mick O

I don’t think she likes the dark humor in JM’s headline.

X
X
2 years ago

A lot of bike helmets are designed to be lightweight, aerodynamic and well ventilated. What happens if your face meets the road is something else again.

If I had kids and I wanted to keep them safe I’d make sure they had lots of chances to ride (and crash) on dirt. I didn’t ride BMX but some of the best riders I know did. Pure bike handling skill will keep people safer from Their Own mistakes than a helmet will.

Fear of cars motivates helmet use on the street but helmets don’t make a person safe from cars. Here is everything I know about being safe around cars: You are a rabbit, the car is a fox. Don’t be where the fox is.

Ok, that was a lie. There’s a tiny bit more. If the car has a driver and you can see their eyes, maybe they can see you.

David Hampsten
David Hampsten
2 years ago
Reply to  X

Unfortunately, often the driver isn’t looking for you, they are looking for other cars (or more likely their cell phone). Even if you think you’ve made eye contact, the driver might think you don’t exist – that you are a pedestrian, or a bug, or a stop sign, or something else they’ve gotten into the habit of ignoring. Until air bags become common on bicycles, the fragile helmet and your ability to live by your wits is often all that’s between you and permanent oblivion.

X
X
2 years ago
Reply to  David Hampsten

exactly, maybe… “Sorry mate, your body was not in any of the places where my vision happened to focus”

David Hampsten
David Hampsten
2 years ago
Reply to  X

“Honestly officer, the bicyclist came out of nowhere!”

Rain Waters
Rain Waters
2 years ago
Reply to  X

Full face helmet is an absolute MUST for any off road cycling involving gravity, no questions or quarter. Lost four strong teeth to learn this.

dan
dan
2 years ago

Speaking of Zwift, is it actually…you know…fun? Since losing my daily bike commute, I’ve been able to bring myself to do three trainer sessions a week, of about 60-75 minutes each. That’s on a dumb trainer, with a heart rate monitor and Netflix as my constant companions. It’s bearable, but really not fun.

Does a smart trainer + Zwift really make riding in your garage something you do because you want to, not because you feel you should?

Middle of the Road Guy
Middle of the Road Guy
2 years ago
Reply to  dan

Dan, I have a GREAT setup – Wahoo Kickr, CLIMB, Zwift/Fulgaz and a big screen TV. I love the fact that I don’t have to get fully kitted up and ride in bad weather to get a workout in.

Other than the issue that my setup is in a chilly garage, it’s a fantastic option for those so inclined.

Fred
Fred
2 years ago

Nice! Thanks for sharing your setup – must have taken some work to get it all going.

dan
dan
2 years ago

Thanks, that’s a good data point. I’m on the brink of pulling the trigger on a smart trainer, just looking for some reassurance that it’s worth it. Craigslist has lots of cheap TVs in the 30″-40″ range, so I won’t have a huge TV, but I can definitely get something reasonable-sized. I guess I’m probably going to do it. I have a RAMROD entry for 2021 (pushed back a year when they canceled the 2020 ride), so I want to be in reasonable shape when the outdoor riding season starts.

Ryan
Ryan
2 years ago
Reply to  dan

Also check out Road Grand Tours (RGT Cycling). Haven’t used it in awhile (sold my power meter) but at the time they had a free version that was great for seeing if you actually liked it, not to mention there was quite a bit available in the free version as well, so I never felt the need to pay a subscription. Not as many people on the platform, so it can be harder to find events as often as on Zwift, but it is growing.

David Hampsten
David Hampsten
2 years ago

Glady’s Gifts – about halfway down…
“Cassandra! What could somebody like you feel stoke about that owns a bike shop?”

“I LOVE bikes and gear, so I would never turn down a good quality knife! It is probably the most handy thing that I try and always have on my person!”

… presumably for those rides on the Springwater…

David Hampsten
David Hampsten
2 years ago

Not Having It: The Navy’s objection to the Maryland DOT has more to do with retaining land and opposing toll roads than it does about supporting transit. The author seems to be unaware that the military nationwide often blocks highway projects that cross their land for the very good reason of internal security.

MaddHatter
MaddHatter
2 years ago
Reply to  David Hampsten

The highway already exists, so it’s not like there’s a formerly-contiguous secure military area that would be bisected.

It raises an interesting question of whether a state’s power of eminent domain extends over federal property. (Answer: yes, with caveats.) If it becomes a fight, who wins? In a different case, the answer might be less clear, but when the federal property in question is military with an undeniable nexus to national security, it sounds like the Navy wins that argument on the basis of superior public use.

Fred
Fred
2 years ago
Reply to  MaddHatter

Um – yes, the Navy just wins. Any military branch can say to any state agency, You aren’t having our land. End of story.

Too bad other entities can’t say the same thing. Imagine if PPS could say to ODOT, You aren’t having any land on Harriet Tubman School grounds to widen your I-5 highway.

MaddHatter
MaddHatter
2 years ago
Reply to  Fred

On what basis does the Navy “just win”? I’m only searching and reading what I can find, but there’s no “we have bigger guns than you so go away” in this arena. Based on what I’ve read so far, I can imagine some situations in which I think Navy would indeed lose. (Just not this one.)

David Hampsten
David Hampsten
2 years ago
Reply to  Fred

Railroads, pipelines and shipping are other entities that often overcome state agencies. Given how much military equipment I see on trains, I’m guessing railroad companies have good relationships with the military.

Jason
Jason
2 years ago
Reply to  David Hampsten

What business does a branch of the military, dedicated to occupying water, have in blocking road construction? Eh?… Eh? xD

I’ll let myself out.

David Hampsten
David Hampsten
2 years ago

Giant sale numbers: Apparently electric bikes are very profitable for companies who make them, far more than for regular overpriced bikes.
“Considering higher average retail sales price and better margins on e-bikes than on traditional bicycles, the expansion of the e-bike portfolio not only contributes to an increase of our overall revenue growth but also in a rise of our gross margin.”

X
X
2 years ago
Reply to  David Hampsten

Are e-bikes the new SUV? It makes sense that higher unit price could result in more profit. Also I think there’s less emphasis on tailoring the bike to the rider. Some e-bikes are one size fits all which will certainly make them cheaper to manufacture. Are we moving from a riding experience to a sitting-on experience?

David Hampsten
David Hampsten
2 years ago
Reply to  X

IMO, the people who can afford a current electric bike, which start at $1,500 for a hub-drive and $2,300 for a mid-drive (and up to $24,000 for a German mountain bike) from reputable manufacturers, are not your typical Surly customers, BP journalist, nor the humble buyers of Walmart junk. But I do suspect many of the buyers will use their e-bikes as often as most American bike owners – once or twice per year when they drive out to the state park to ride the loop, then back into the garage it goes to be neglected for another 6 months. It’s not the SUV buyer, it’s the Lamborghini of the bike world (or maybe a Mazda). I predict that within 5 years we’ll see e-bikes with cranks other than 170mm, odd-sized tires, and prices from $250 on up.

MaddHatter
MaddHatter
2 years ago

An article that probably should have made it into the Monday roundup:

NYC’s Vision Zero champion is moving on
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/11/23/nyregion/polly-trottenberg-resign-nyc.html
(View with JavaScript disabled if you happen to hit a paywall.)

And on the less-air-pollution front, it’s perhaps noteworthy that GM has just reversed their previous position and now support California’s right to set stricter emissions standards. I think they were the last major hold-out (besides, y’know, the feds).

MaddHatter
MaddHatter
2 years ago

Understandable decision. It feels like NYC has been influential to Portland and a lot of other cities, particularly on Vision Zero, which is why I thought it would be relevant.

Alan 1.0
2 years ago
Reply to  MaddHatter

And on the less-air-pollution front, it’s perhaps noteworthy that GM has just reversed their previous position and now support California’s right to set stricter emissions standards. I think they were the last major hold-out (besides, y’know, the feds).

That finger-in-the-wind reversal represents the epitome of vested interest corruption in our government, to me. Toyota and Chrysler-Fiat have not yet paid their stakes to play at Biden’s table. The system will demand that they do. Pure free-market at it’s finest (sarcasm).

Fred
Fred
2 years ago
Reply to  Alan 1.0

You mean its, not it’s. Also not a fan of your sarcasm: after four years of transportation nihilism (and every other form of nihilism), I’m ready for normalcy (rejoining Paris Climate Accord, etc). And please let’s try to get beyond the both-sides-ism.

MaddHatter
MaddHatter
2 years ago
Reply to  Fred

hey hey now, there’s good oxygens on both sides of the carbon.

Rain Waters
Rain Waters
2 years ago
Reply to  MaddHatter

Carbon bad like orange man

Alan 1.0
2 years ago
Reply to  Fred

If both sides are wrong, is it still both-sides-ism? In my book, both should get called on it. I think corporate fascism is a big enough deal to voice that call (Citizens United, Buckley v. Valero, long-ignored ant-trust laws, etc), and in particular in response to Biden and his long history of neoliberalism.

Sure, Biden’s table has many more dishes that I like than Trump’s, and far fewer that I dislike, and their presentation is infinitely better. His climate move with Kerry is promising. But if you think Biden won’t need any pushing to do the right thing for many issues, well, I admire your optimism.

X
X
2 years ago
Reply to  Alan 1.0

FDR: “…make me do it.”