Previously: When Trash Attacks
Dav Yendler is an illustrator and director in Chicago. He draws Lady Puns and dances to beats both fresh and pickled. You can check out more of his work at davyendler.tumblr.com.
art, comics, helmets, LOL, biking, dav yendler, davland, women on bikes, safety is important
Story of my life. WEAR HELMETS PEOPLE WEAR THEMMM.
@adorable-eggplant I only advocate wearing helmets because I'm a human who should probably wear one throughout daily life, not even just on bicycles. I took my dog on a walk and ended up leaving a chunk of my forehead on the pavement and got a minor concussion as a parting gift.
nope, no helmet. Using granny bike in the city, very leisurely biking of short distances in nicely marked bike lanes, and I follow traffic rules. Sure, helmets are important in some situations, but not all. I feel better without it in mine. Wouldn't make much of a difference if anything truly bad happened e.g. car collision.
So tired of the vehement shouty bike helmet dogma. If you disagree, please no shouting at me, just read all the recent articles about this in the NY Times: helmets do not necessarily protect in a meaningful way in the case of an accident. One of the most aggravating things: car drivers rolling down their windows at a stop light and shouting "wear a helmet." Wear one yourself if you want, but no harassing other people. Basta. Ugh.
@harebell Wouldn't make much of a difference if anything truly bad happened e.g. car collision.
So tired of the vehement shouty bike helmet dogma. If you disagree, please no shouting at me, just read all the recent articles about this in the NY Times: helmets do not necessarily protect in a meaningful way in the case of an accident.
Then go read all the clinical studies that say they do. Don't wear a helmet yourself if you don't want, but no spreading misinformation because you're on your own high horse.
@Xanthophyllippa Yup! I'm happy to hear people say, "I'm taking that risk because I don't want to wear a helmet personally." It's your own head/brain.
But it's bad science to say that wearing a helmet doesn't decrease your chance of severe traumatic brain injury in the case of a crash (whether helmet LAWS do much to change outcomes over a population is debatable: whether an individual outcome is changed by helmet use is not debateable)
And here's a link to a study: http://acrs.org.au/wp-content/uploads/ACRSjournalinsideVol24No2may13WEB.pdf#page=17
@harebell "very leisurely biking of short distances in nicely marked bike lanes, and I follow traffic rules."
Yeah, but I'm still haunted by the friend of a friend who was on a bike path here in Berlin, following all the rules, and got wiped out by a truck driver who did not know those rules.
It's not enough that you follow road rules – you have to be sure that every other driver out there does too.
@harebell Yeah, except no, it would matter. Tell that to my roommate who rode her bike w/o a helmet less than a mile from her apartment and got cut off by someone taking a right-hand turn. He didn't check for her and she ran face first into the side of the van. Luckily, the van driver stopped and called an ambulance.
She had her jaw wired shut and is lucky enough to have parents to pay for her 5 facial/dental surgeries so she can have a fake central incisor. And I'm not done! She is scarred from not having a real front tooth for years (because that's how long it takes for your face to heal properly for a dental implant) that every time her gorgeous central incisor shifts, she is scared it will fall out. This is the kind of thing that never goes away. A helmet would have saved time, money, emotional and physical pain...
But she was following the rules! Point is, you can't depend on others to do the same.
@squid v. whale How many people do you know who have been injured in car aciidents when they were IN the car?
@Susanna This sort of thing happens all the time. For example, both of these things happened in Tucson, AZ:
The husband of a friend of mine was hit by a car making a right turn two blocks from their house. He never woke up, and died a few days later. He was just going to the convenience store across the street, and was on a quiet, residential street in the middle of the day.
According to the ICU people (who saw this often) had he been wearing a helmet, he would have had a mild concussion.
Three days before that, another acquaintance of mine was drunk and biking home, and biked directly into a concrete barrier in the middle of the street. Took a tumble that cracked his skull and killed him. Again, according to the EMTs, a helmet would have saved his life.
Neither of these people knew each other.
Anyway, the day after my friend's husband was hit is the day I started wearing a bike helmet.
@Sarah Rain When the car is hit by a bike? Uh, no one.
We're not taking car-on-car here, but even they have all kinds of safety mechanisms - airbags, seatbelts, roll bars, etc. - that make them safer. Note that no one claimed injury-proof! When you're on a bike, you have to look out for literally everything else on the road. Why do you think people are more nervous passing cyclists than any other vehicle? The only reliable safety mechanism for cyclists is making the easy decision to wear a helmet.
@bocadelperro Big hugs.
@bocadelperro Jesus. Big hugs.
@bocadelperro A bicycle helmet has literally saved my father's life *twice*, and neither accident involved a collision or particularly speedy or reckless biking. (The second time, he was biking on a road with a pack of cyclists at a reasonable pace, came to a stoplight, and something went wrong with the frame and instead of just stopping normally he *flipped over the fucking handlebars*. Broke his collarbone and his helmet, but you know, NOT HIS HEAD.)
@squid v. whale My point is that anecdotes aren't useful. Listing horror stories about bike accidents doesn't mean the conclusion "everyone should always wear a bike helmet" is obvious. Data suggests bicycling is low risk, with or without a helmet. Some people prefer to wear helmets, just as some people prefer to wear anti-germ masks on the subway. Not wearing a helmet is not an irresponsible choice any more than not wearing masks is.
@squid v. whale @adorable-eggplant Thanks. This was about 5 years ago, and I've moved on. I just tell this story because it was horrible that these things happened, and I think it goes to show how common bicycle accidents are. In Tucson, they have "ghost bike" memorials for car/bike accidents. They are all over the University area and downtown. I always wondered about how many of them were wearing a helmet.
Really, it's just frustrating that both of these people (and so many others) died for lack of a simple, preventative measure.
@bocadelperro your friend died *biking drunk* yet you have decided upon helmet-wearing as the easier preventative measure?
your anecdotes do not "show how common bicycle accidents are." anecdotes are not data, no matter how much they feel like it to you, and your friends are not a representative sample of American cyclists.
@Xanthophyllippa @squid v. whale
Dear me, I'm not on a high horse, I'm on a bicycle! Without a helmet. :)
Here's one of the studies showing the opposite of what you claim -- this one shows that you are less likely to be hit when not wearing a helmet. It's been reconfirmed several times.
Obviously, the studies and the real life date are mixed.
All I'm saying here is that we all make our own choices and evaluate risk differently. Let's stop with the preachiness and the scare stories when, in fact, a. biking in mainly residential areas is not that dangerous without a helmet, and b. dangerous events and even death are out of our control and cannot be totally prevented, witness the deaths that happen even when people *are* wearing helmets. It's possible that a helmet helps in some cases but it's not the ideal, totally efficacious thing you think it is. That's magical thinking. Keep wearing your helmet if you like -- nobody is trying to discourage you, and our different choice is not going to take your helmet away! -- but don't claim it's a magic accident and death preventer; enough with the scare tactics and exaggerated claims.
@squid v. whale
p.s. oh, i'm sorry to hear about your friend, that sounds awful.
As a biker I am quite healthfully fearful of cars and always give them the benefit of the doubt, plus am always going slowly enough that I am much more likely to fall over long before I will plow into a turning car. :)
I am a seriously leisurely granny-biker, which is a big key to a certain kind of prudence/relative safety.
There is definitely more than one way to do this thing known as "biking."
A lot of these stories give the impression that a lot depends on your attitude & speed while biking. Maybe the real safety regulation would be for bikers to limit their speeds on busy city streets. FYI I live in a place notorious for bad drivers and have never taken their "rule-following" for granted -- in fact I take a lot of rule infractions for granted! Although sometimes other bikers whizzing by me in their skin-tight fancy biker shorts can be a little frightening -- they often seem less sober/trustworthy than the car drivers.
@tullolia "Anecdotes are not data"
oh my, hope you stray far from the social sciences. I'm a biologist, so it's not my favorite FORM of data, but it is data, no matter how much you shout that it is not.
@harebell "Keep wearing your helmet if you like -- nobody is trying to discourage you, and our different choice is not going to take your helmet away! -- but don't claim it's a magic accident and death preventer; enough with the scare tactics and exaggerated claims."
Not making this claim! My friend survived without a helmet -- did you read my posts? How about the one where I state that neither cars nor bikes are injury-proof, even with all safety mechanisms at hand? The point is, if I a) want to commute via bike and b) would appreciate a significantly higher probability of keeping my brains/teeth inside my skull if hit, then c) I should wear a helmet. How is this so different from seatbelt laws? If I'm hit hard enough, wearing a seatbelt won't matter, yet it's an offense that you can be pulled over and cited for.
Truth. There are so many cute helmets out there that make you look pretty and keep your noggin safe. Where them and consider the sweat on your forehead to be a sign that you are a badass.
@ohmy Link? I would like a cute helmet, as my current helmet is just basic white and rather dull.
@Heat Signature I have a teal Bern Lenox: http://bernunlimited.com/shop/bike/women/lenox-66.html
I like it because you can get an earflap insert to keep your ears warm. They can be pricey, but amazon sometimes has them on sale. Also, I found mine on Zappos cheap. There's plenty of knock-offs in the same style and usually lots of nice colors.
@Heat Signature Mine is from Bern and it's the turquoise one and I'm not going to say it looks GOOD (I look like Yoshi or like Dee in that ep of it's always sunny where she pretends to be mentally challenged to get on welfare) but yeah I'm happy w it
I have a Nutcase and, I mean, it's a little dorky-cute, but I'm a dork so it's okay!
(Why that picture uploaded sideways, I have no idea.)
@ohmy My current helmet says "CHASE AGONISTIC" on it and has a little brim for the sun. I don't think the brilliant humour of this helmet was intentional, as I live in Vietnam and quite often random long words are printed on things. So great.
@frigwiggin My husband's a bike commuter and he loves his light blue Nutcase! He added a red racing stripe of reflective tape up the middle to cover the Nutcase logos and it's very dashing.
My bike has been locked up since we moved from a calm, suburban-ish neighborhood to one with narrow streets where cars, buses and trucks go whizzing by. I'm not a confident cyclist (only learned to ride 2 years ago) and I'd be a danger to myself & others on the road! I'd like to find some quieter streets to practice on, but getting my bike there & back would be a hassle (no car).
@frigwiggin OMG THAT (AND YOU) IS/ARE ADORABLE!!!! Awkward phrasing!
@j-i-a I have the same one and my head looks like a giant Tropical Skittle.
@frigwiggin Nutcase has an AWESOME one that is green striped like a watermelon on the outside and pink on the inside!
@one cow. I would be your friend immediately if I saw this.
@Heat Signature Here are some of my favorites: http://bikepretty.com/2013/07/21/9-picks-for-a-cool-bike-helmet/
On the theme of bike related comics, gotta share the amazing http://bikeyface.com/
Also, DON'T RIDE ON THE SIDEWALK!
@yunkstahn I prefer to imagine that he was standing in the middle of the road, because I can only handle so much.
@yunkstahn some fucker riding on the sidewalk on western ave. in chicago--which has a VERY WIDE sidewalk so he could have easily avoided me--hit my arm with his handlebars and knocked my phone to the ground.
look, i know riding on big streets is scary. that's why i ride the parallel residential street a block away! not on the sidewalk! gar.
@yunkstahn OMG YES!! Since I started avidly biking earlier this year, I notice SO MANY people not wearing helmets and failing to follow bike laws and it drives me BONKERS!!!
@dotcommie Gross, that guy sucks. Also, Western is terrifying. I accidentally ended up on it one day and wanted to cry a little.
@dotcommie My dog hates bicycles with a fierce passion, and I'm not saying I WANT him to knock a sidewalk-rider off their bike, and I am doing everything I can to prevent him from even trying, but god forgive me, there are some occasions where I think, "Well, it would certainly serve you right."
@ohmy leavitt and oakley are wonderful alternate routes to western!
@yunkstahn Depends on where you live. Sidewalks in my town are not populated with pedestrians, and riding on a sidewalk is much more safe than riding on a busy street. Of course, riding on quiet suburban streets is even safer.
The safest thing that you can do is avoid cars, helmet or no.
@ohmy I live on Western, and every day we have to leave the apartment, my roommates and I play "Are We Going To Die On Western Today?" So far, the answer has been "No!" or "Almost But We Made It!"
I have not taken my bike out because I'm terrified to go from Western to Milwaukee, even with the bike lane.
@yunkstahn Also, if you're going to run red lights and stop signs, at least look for pedestrians first--my sister almost got run over by an idiot on a bike while crossing the street!
@dotcommie I'll pray for your phone.
@yunkstahn If you bike on the sidewalk, and a car hits you, YOU will be at fault in the eyes of the evil insurance companies. Sidewalks are for pedestrians, and unless you can prove that you were traveling at the speed of a pedestrian on your bike, you will be considered in the wrong.
This actually happened to my brother (he was ok!), and while it was a bummer that the insurance company wouldn't pay for his bike, I can see the logic of it - as a driver, I'm not looking for cyclists on the sidewalk, I'm looking for them in the street. So yeah, don't bike on the sidewalk!
@Panzerschwein WESTERN! I almost got run over, crossing the street on foot, with the light, by a car that ran the red. SERIOUSLY CARS.
I believe in Chicago you can ride on the sidewalk if you are under 16, which always makes me want to yell "YOU DON'T LOOK SIXTEEN" or whatever at sidewalk riders.
@aphrabean Oh man, I am so scared of dogs that hate bikes. I've been bit by dogs twice. Once while riding a bike. On the road. Not on a sidewalk.
But the super annoying thing is that so many dogs lunge from the sidewalk at bikes in the bike lane. It's too hard to tell if the owner has control of their animal or not. My heart always jumps into my throat when that happens!
For the record, I have never bitten a dog, so I don't think it serves me right.
Let's not even talk about dog-walkers on the bike path.
American bikes look weird.
@Tragically Ludicrous OUR BIKES ARE FAST AND NIMBLE
@Tragically Ludicrous Apparently we ride stemless bikes with really long top tubes for our freakishly long arms.
Ugh, Dav. As a bike-riding helmet-wearing lady I ask that you not stand there admiring my ass as I ride by and shout shit after me. It happens all the time and it makes me want to circle back and kick you in the solar plexus, then ride off trailing hearts in my wake.
@laurel It's a cute comic & all but hopefully this never happened because I guarantee you all the girls heard was "BLAH BLAH BLAH" and that they were like "hahaha what's that asshole's problem?"
Not Constructive Dav!
@Judith Slutler It's just such a dude thing to be creepin' and pedantic at the same time. Mansplainery to the 10th power.
@laurel I think thje joke was that you were supposed to think he was perving on them but actually he was just wishing they would use the correct safety gear for their activity.
@laurel meanwhile ugly women can feel free to crack their heads open and die without his interference. /ungenerous
@laurel Yeah, as a bike-commuting lady who is often in a dress/skirt, I get a lot of dudes yelling shit. I can't ever hear them, so for one thing, it's pointless, and for another thing, it's rude and gross.
But two days ago on my way home from work, a guy on his bike riding the opposite direction on the other side of the road dinged his bike bell and smiled/nodded at me, and I thought, "Ok MUCH better. Nice and respectful. That's all I ask from my interactions with strangers."
@laurel I had this weird conflicty moment two days ago because this middle-aged suit guy biked by and told me and this other woman not to ring our bells at pedestrians and I was like I DONT EVEN HAVE A BELL, STOP MANSPLAINING but at the same time, the other woman had dinged her bell at a) pedestrians in the crosswalk who had the right of way, and then even more egregiously, b) an 8 year old girl who was in leg braces and couldn't walk on her own getting dropped off by a car and walking with her mom through the bike lane to get to her destination. And this woman told the man "I was just letting them know I was coming" and "Bikes have the right of way in the bike lane" and at that point I was like "THAT WAS A YOUNG GIRL WITH A DISABILITY WHY WOULD YOU RING YOUR BELL AT HER AS YOU WENT ZIPPING THROUGH SORRY I HAVE TO AGREE WITH THIS MAN IN A SUIT HERE."
ugh new york.
@enic Some people should seriously have their bike bells confiscated!
@Judith Slutler What are people's policies/practices as to yelling at people who are doing stupid/mean things versus just ignoring/avoiding? I bike commute in Manhattan and sometimes yell at cars trying to make left turns in bike lanes that I have the right of way, you must let me through... but maybe this is too much work and I should just give up and swerve around them, where I will get honked at for not being in the bike lane (which is blocked and also I am allowed to be in any lane I wish)... Also yelling at people walking in the bike lane, biking the wrong way, etc. besides just avoiding?
@enic Ugh, New York, indeed. Once I was waiting to cross the street and a guy on a Vespa was in the bike lane GOING THE WRONG WAY down a one-way street, and he yelled at this tourists for walking in the bike lane for a shot distance. I mean, shut the fuck up, dude. You are not even on a bike and you're going the wrong way down 6th Avenue.
@enic Ugggghhh, as a bike-commuter/general lover of bike-riding, I most often hate drivers because there is no shortage of asshole drivers who pretend cyclists don't exist and bust on through intersections with their giant metal killing machines. BUT, what I hate with an equal burning rage is cyclists who pretend that they have the right to do whatever the fuck they want. Cyclists who blow through red lights and stop signs, for example. Cyclists who don't stop for pedestrians, for example. Being one of those people makes you just as bad as an asshole driver (in terms of attitude, at least. The physical impact from a bike is not as bad as a car, but you know what I mean). Driving/road laws are the SAME whether you are in a car or on a bike. Ok, rant over.
@olivebee I agree but... are you one of those angelic/non-existent (at least in NYC) bikers who actually never run red lights? Because once all the cars and pedestrians are gone and I'm just sitting there and there's a car on my ass to left turn in front of me.... Yeah, I definitely just slowly bike through red lights.
@iceberg yeah, I thought that was the joke, too... & also, like, I took "pretty women" differently--- not so much (or not ONLY) meaning "attractive", but more just pretty in a done-up, not cycling seriously kind of way? Sort of like they're stock photo versions of bicycling? (looking all breezy, smiling, chit-chatting) and the joke is he's bringing them back to reality, I dunno.
@iceberg But only dudes standing around aimlessly drinking from cans who don't know more about cycling and safety than I do feel free to shout shit at me on the daily. They're not interested in my safety, they're interested in inserting themselves into a situation where a woman's body is unusually active in a public space. They feel like they're entitled to my time and attention and they fucking aren't.
@queenofbithynia Or maybe by pretty he means 'vain enough to ride bikes without riding helmets'. ALTHOUGH I believe the studies that say that wearing a helmet while biking is not actually making your head safer, so.
@laurel yeap! yeap yeap yeap! whether it's subconscious or not, it's a feeling of entitlement all the same. when I wear a dress, I get comments on EVERYTHING, where when I'm just in jeans and schlubcetera, nada, zip, zilch. it's pretty clear to me.
@laurel -chinhands- My dad will on the reg yell at me to wear a helmet (I am 19). We're a biking family, I'm pretty sure it pisses him off more than any of my bad habits, but I guess his concern for my safety actually is his business...but I'm okay with people being concerned for my safety when biking in general because I have gotten in horrible accidents (saved by a helmet).
@laurel I thought that was the joke.
Guy mansplains as a way of hitting on attractive, athletic women that don't give a shit about him.
Happens all the time.
@Judith Slutler Sure, and right after that, they can stop riding on sidewalks and through red lights. I'll wait.
Found out my bike was stolen last night. I fear I'll never be one of those (helmet-wearing!) women again.
@wallsdonotfall Ugh that's awful. I'm so sorry! :(
@wallsdonotfall noooo! I'm so sorry to hear that :(
@wallsdonotfall My bike got stolen 3 weeks ago. As all my co-workers said, "You've now gone through the Chicago rite of passage." I got a new one immediately after so that I could at least spend the rest of the warm months biking around, but girrrrrl I know how you feel. I still miss my pretty vintage cruiser baby.
@wallsdonotfall This is my worst nightmare. Well, that and my children being stolen, I guess.
Thanks, y'all. It really is a Chicago right of passage, and at least I got 6 months on it. What bothers me is that it wasn't stolen off the street--it was in a locked bike room in my locked/gated apartment building. I feel unsafe because of that.
@olivebee Mine was also stolen 3 weeks ago in Chicago! Let's form a pedestrian gang & go clobber the criminals & get our lovely wheels back!
@one cow. I'm in. Except I am sure my bike was taken apart for scrap metal to be sold for nefarious purposes. So my clobbering would mainly be a revenge clobbering.
Head injury rates are pretty much the same whether you're riding a bike or not - meaning if you wear a helmet while biking you should probably wear one while you're walking around and definitely while driving a car. http://www.theatlanticcities.com/commute/2013/05/do-bike-helmet-laws-really-make-people-safer/5732/ tl;dr the best way to improve bike safety is w/ better infrastructure and more bikers on the road, not helmets.
Personally I feel safest when biking with traffic in a skirt and no helmet - everyone gives me a wide berth.
@shesaidshesaid You probably already know this, but there are some studies that show that people who don't look like they know what they're doing get safer treatment from cars who see them. "Not looking like you know what you're doing" factors that they tested were helmet wearing, whether or not you're in your Lance Armstrong spandex outfit, and gender. They put long blonde wigs on men and found that cars gave them a wider berth, even when all the other factors were the same. That only helps you with cars that can see you, though.
At the same time, I feel like all these questions about helmet laws and whether helmets should be compulsory are helpful on a population scale -- probably we'll all be safer/healthier as a society if fewer people are deterred from biking by helmet laws -- but I know too many people who have been in bike accidents with cars that didn't see them to go without a helmet.
@Li'l Sebastian yeah bike advocates always snootily tell me about these studies, of which i am already aware, and i still wear a helmet. "the net health impacts are more positive if we were to get more people to bike than to get more people to wear helmets," they say. ok. well, i am not a person who is deterred from biking by wearing a helmet. is it going to make me LESS SAFE to wear a helmet? no? then i'm gonna wear it. and i think we can advocate for more bike riding AND try to get rid of the uncool stigma around helmets at the same time. i've been in an accident (hit by a bus) that cracked my helmet but my head is fine...these studies aren't gonna convince me of shit on a personal level.
@dotcommie After being in a bike accident where I got a concussion and facial bruising/potential microfractures with a helmet on (couldn't even remember the accident), I'll always wear a helmet. I easily could have had head bleeding or be a vegetable if I hadn't.
@dotcommie yes! i was in the elevator with my bike and my helmet and some lady was all "You know, no one in Amsterdam wears helmets!" and I side-eyed her. lady, i am biking in Toronto, where there are drivers who actively try to run cyclists off of the road. i want a layer of styrofoam between my skull and the pavement.
@shesaidshesaid @Li'l Sebastian @dotcommie I think everybody (and I mean everybody, not just you three) needs to take a "to each, her own" approach to helmets. I personally buy the "biking is not all that dangerous" argument. Know why? I live in NYC, and walking anywhere is pretty dangerous (which is actually the case in a lot of locations, I'm sure, I'm just familiar with NYC statistics). Driving a car anywhere in the world is dangerous! and yet we don't wear helmets while in cars. Like @shesaidshesaid said (ha), if you're going to wear a helmet while biking, you should wear a helmet for other activities.
Also, this is a MYOB situation. Whether or not I'm wearing a helmet has nothing to do with you. When my good friends or parents nag me for not wearing a helmet, I'll listen & feel bad. But everybody else, leave me alone. I don't try to persuade people to give up their helmets.
P.S. I liked the comic :)
@shesaidshesaid Amen, sister! PREACH. Avoid cars. Ride on quiet streets. Ride on bike paths.
@rosinator Pedestrian fatalities are arguably way too high across the board (I absolutely think so) but NYC is actually one of the safest cities for pedestrians. (http://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/downloads/pdf/nyc_ped_safety_study_action_plan.pdf page 7)
yes! hear ye, hear ye. a MYOB situation for everybody.
@dotcommie Oh, man, it is pretty funny to me that I phrased my post in such a way that your comment is a 100% legit response, because that is exactly what I said to my boyfriend when he tried to use these statistics as a reason to not wear a helmet. I definitely agree with you.
@rosinator uh, with cars you have seat belts, airbags & crumple zones, likewise you have to pass driving test. I'll trade you no helmets of you want to have airbags between the handlebars, and full on road test for prospective bikers
@AW@twitter Except the risks of head injury in an hour in the car are greater than the risks of head injury in an hour on a bike even without such safety measures. People make a lot of personal decisions that are not supported by actual statistics. Bike riding is not a high risk activity in the grand scheme of life.
@Li'l Sebastian yeah those studies are relevant to public health policy debates but not really personal safety decisions. i didn't mean to call YOU snooty, either, i've just heard those arguments from too many snooty folks.
@Li'l Sebastian Hey, do you have a link to those studies? I've been reading about them for years, but I've never been able to track them down. I'd really like to cite them as helmet-talk is a big part of my job.
@dotcommie I'm so with you on the helmet wearing despite knowing the theories of why I shouldn't. And I will say, having experienced both, I would rather be lectured about wearing a helmet than lectured about NOT wearing a helmet.
@bb (to clarify to myself since no one else is probably reading this thread anymore) I would rather deal with over-blog-educated bike crusaders who tell me that my helmet is not necessary than overly concerned meddlers who tell me to wear one.
But seriously how do you start wearing a helmet if you live in a place where nobody wears a helmet?
@Judith Slutler Decorate it. Go big or go home.
@Judith Slutler You're probably fine in Germany (you're in Germany, right?). I do think that wearing a helmet while biking is super super important... in America, where drivers are terrible to bikers and not paying attention. In Europe, it's my impression that bikers are a much more normalized part of traffic.
@Li'l Sebastian And Holland is super flat.
1) Buy a helmet.
2) Put on your helmet.
3) Ride your bike.
4) Don't die/suffer serious injury if you end up in an accident.
5) Give zero fucks about what other people might think, you are still alive and safe.
@Judith Slutler oh my god WEAR A HELMET. I live in Vietnam and I'm telling you, *no one* wears a helmet to ride a bicycle. I do! I do everyday! You want to know why? It's a horrible, true story. My friend, who went to the same school as me, was living in Vietnam also and she was drunk and not wearing a helmet and involved in an accident and is *now mentally handicapped for life*.
I seriously wish I was making this up.
Wear a helmet wear a helmet wear a helmet oh my goddds.
I thought the guy who cuts my hair was going to be pissed when I put my helmet on over his latest 'do. Instead he told me he was really glad I wore mine because he's a track racer. One time he was warming up, not wearing a helmet. He woke up in the hospital having no idea how or why he crashed on a pristine wooden indoor track while going maybe 10mph. Helmets, y'all.
@laurel I have to ask, how big were his legs.
Most people that do that have terrifying legs.
@adorable-eggplant mine is covered with awful band merch stickers!
@Judith Slutler I won't either and it's nobody's business, especially a stranger's. I don't have to defend it. It's my head. End of story.
@Biketastrophy Hee, he wears pants when I see him so it's not super obvious but yeah overall he's a little pear-shaped compared to say, climbers or swimmers. Anyway he's beautiful in that low resting heart rate athlete kind of way.
@Judith Slutler Really? We're not in 2nd grade.
@Judith Slutler Learn to not give a fuck about what other people think.
It's working for me in Berlin.
Eventually I'm going to upgrade to wearing my riding helmet for cycling – it's a bajillion times more protective than my cycle helmet.
@Judith Slutler Truly depends on where you are. I live in a non-helmet-wearing European city, where the only people who wear them are Tour de France types. The issue is more about creating a safe, normalized, dedicated, cycling infrastructure with separate lanes for bicycles. I wouldn't dare cycle in urban areas of the U.S. or the U.K. without a helmet. But stick some safe cycle lanes in there, and maybe things will begin to change...
@Judith Slutler when I left last year, adults in Münster were starting to wear them. Be part of the Safety vanguard!
(Despite the beautiful bike lanes, and the ADAC-enforced cycling school that all primary school kids go through in Germany, AND the constant traffic tickets for bike riders, people die upsettingly frequently in bike-car crashes in Germany as well. I know this because one of my cousins works for ADAC, and I got a lecture about it)
@Leila Q Uh, really? Because I've been to Vietnam (I have family there) and every time I've been there EVERYONE wears a helmet because it is the law to do so. They're just disguised as baseball caps, but they have a hard interior.
I don't, and I will happily throat-punch the next random middle-aged man who shouts "WEAR A HELMET" out the window of his goddamn SUV.
I'm an adult, the law doesn't require me to wear one, and I'm going to do what I want. Mind your own damn business.
@special_boots (darlin' forgive me because I'm only teasing, but) "It's my brain and I'll injure it if I want to!"
Probably other people are thinking you ought to be wearing a helmet but men are the ones who feel entitled to tell you to do so.
@iceberg They can think whatever they want! I'm actually not sure what your point is? (Not trying to sass you; I genuinely can't tell.)
I don't mind what anyone thinks. I mind the random comments people shout at me when I'm biking -- whether it's "Wear a helmet"; "Look at that sexy white booty"; "That's a lucky bike"; "Get on the sidewalk" or any of the other pieces of wisdom I get to hear every damn day.
@special_boots Yes. To all of it.
@special_boots I'm confused why so much of this thread's conversation is "I'LL WEAR A HELMET NO MATTER WHAT PEOPLE THINK" when the point of the comment is about jerks yelling at people without helmets, and I don't think anybody has suggested that helmets ought not to be worn because of coolness or whatever?
I bike commute to work and sometimes I wear a helmet and sometimes I don't, depending on my route and how much of a hassle it will be to carry it with me. Concern trolling is pretty much always incredibly annoying (and if you actually care about my safety, maybe don't yell at me while I'm trying to concentrate on riding my bike).
@special_boots For real. Listen, I know the risks of not wearing a helmet. If I get in an accident (with a car) I'm at a greater risk of a head injury not wearing a helmet. The pleasure of not wearing a helmet greatly outweighs this risk. FOR ME. Maybe not for other people. But me not wearing a helmet has no bearing on anyone else's safety.
Know what else keeps you safe on a bike? Not riding on busy streets, bike lane or no--sticking to bike paths, and avoiding cars at all costs. A helmet is not a magical talisman that will protect you from all injury.
@tulliola Wait, the point of which comment?
Ditto on the safety note. Getting yelled at by strangers freaks me the hell out.
@skyslang I was actually once in a bike accident that resulted in my landing directly on my head (I was badly doored by a not-very-bright man in a huge pickup), and I sure was glad that I was wearing a helmet then! It's very weird when people try to explain helmet safety to me like I've never given it any thought before.
It's just like... shouting at me to wear a helmet seems like informing a smoker that smoking is bad for you, or telling a fat person that they really ought to consider losing some weight. Like, seriously, fuck you. (Sorry. Not you. Generic "you." People who feel the need to stick their noses into the unknown lives of strangers.)
@tulliola (and if you actually care about my safety, maybe don't yell at me while I'm trying to concentrate on riding my bike).
Yes, THIS. Good lord. (Also what special_boots said about the helment/smoking analogy. Let's just all not yell things at people who are making their own choices.)
@special_boots whoops, the point of the "comic," I mean (*blush*)
@tulliola Oh! I gotcha. (And I make similar-sounding-word typos alllll the time.)
I dunno, I thought the point of the comic was that it bothers him when pretty women ride bikes without helmets. HOWEVER I am very bad at understanding this guy's comics, so I'm prepared to defer to the interpretations of others.
@special_boots I read it as "this dude is doing a very annoying juiceboxy thing that many ladies have experienced," but I know nothing of the comic artist and it could definitely just be wishful thinking.
@special_boots "It's just like... shouting at me to wear a helmet seems like informing a smoker that smoking is bad for you, or telling a fat person that they really ought to consider losing some weight."
Except you can change your non-helmet-wearing habit with 10 bucks and a snap of the chin strap. These are not the same at all.
@squid v. whale And as an ex-smoker, I want to send a thank you card to everyone who did yell at me to quit. I <3 everyone who was willing to risk a glowering from my surly teenager self to tell me that I was slowly killing myself.
@squid v. whale And yet... still none of your business! Funny how that works.
also, if you do not wear helmets, i will not date you. sry. too stressful for me.
@dotcommie Being consider eligible for a date is at the bottom of my list of reasons to wear a helmet.
@Slutface JUST SAYIN
@dotcommie I wear a helmet and still wouldn't date you.
I do, however, refuse to bike with anyone who is not wearing a helmet. NO interest whatsoever in having to hold a friend's brains in my hand until the ambulance gets there.
@dotcommie Glad I'm not at risk of having someone with such a poor understanding of risk assessment hitting on me!
Thank you, oh unsolicited male voice for giving me yet another way to cater to your ideals in the hopes of finally snaring myself a man.
I wear a helmet because I enjoy having the full use of my brain and nervous system.
@TheDragon lol everyone i am a girl and in a long term relationship with a guy who wears a helmet. i'm just saying, no helmet wearing is a risky behavior i couldn't tolerate in a partner because i wouln't be able to deal with the repercussions if something went wrong...surely everyone has standards like these (won't date smokers, stuntmen, whatever)
As I am a firefighter, that's really shitty news to me.
Apparently pretty women on bikes fart hearts.
@I'm Right on Top of that, Rose
Stephen Sondheim wishes he had kept that line in.
@I'm Right on Top of that, Rose ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤
So why wouldn't you wear a helmet? Social Pressure? Fashion? Rage against the patriarchy?
Social behavior codes do not apply to them! They will alarm pedestrians by zooming along the sidewalk! They will scare motorists by cutting out, bareheaded, across two lanes of traffic against the light!
(Sorry, all you safe sane cyclists out there; sometimes it feels like you're outnumbered by those who seek to give you a bad name)
@City_Dater the thing is I ride with mountain bikers who are armoured to max. For some reason it's socially acceptable to hurtle down a mountain looking like call of duty(doodie?), but the minute you get into traffic nope, going to strip all my protection..
@AW@twitter Well, there are data suggesting that cars are more likely to drive unsafely around if you are "protected" by a helmet. Also sometimes you might have a hair situation that a helmet would eff up, or you're going somewhere that you'd have to carry the helmet around awkwardly for a long time, or it just feels darn great to bike with the wind in your hair... I'm sure a lot of people have reasons besides "they look dorky."
Mountain bikers (I'm assuming?) are doing a dedicated recreational activity when they suit up. I use my bike as my primary mode of transportation and it is heavily integrated into my everyday life, not a special activity for which I wear special gear. Taking shit on/off repeatedly and having to carry it around while running errands or going to work/brunch/parties/etc. is pretty annoying and inconvenient.
@AW@twitter I find them really uncomfortable (yes, I've tried various kinds) when they're worn as tightly as they need to be to provide any protection (more than half the people I see wearing helmets don't have them fitted right, incidentally). Other people don't wear them because they can be a hassle to store in a way that keeps them clean and dry and on the bike, or because they don't want to take the time to strap them on and off each time they hop on and off a bike on short trips or errands. Other people find them too hot. Other people use bike shares and hauling a helmet around when not on a bike is inconvenient.
If you yell at cyclists to wear helmets I can only assume that you are also calling for motorists to wear helmets as well - http://www.copenhagenize.com/2009/05/motoring-helmets-for-real-high-risk.html - Think of the lives saved, the brain injuries avoided and the logical consistency of your argument.
I think thats a capital idea. all helmets all the time, especially in the large 4,000 pound metal boxes driven at high speeds by people not paying nearly enough attention to everything going on around them.
CARS ARE SCARY Y'ALL. So are bikes and so is life in general.
and especially when you go to the bathroom -- think of the tile floors! wear a helmet! :)
Perfect timing with the comic! I've been thinking about getting a bike to ride the 4ish miles to work on but I know nothing about bikes. It will be used on paved roads with lovely bike lanes.
Any tips on where to go online to learn about bikes? I need a road bike right? What are gears?
also I like the comic but only because I am a neurotic worry wort and it upsets me when people aren't as safe as possible, for example: people who jay-walk in busy streets when a cross walk is RIGHT THERE OMG and you have a child with you WTF, people who do anything other than drive and maybe change the radio while driving, people who text and walk but don't watch what they're doing. Stop it, my anxiety cannot handle it.
Also totally getting this helmet: http://store.nutcasehelmets.com/collections/bike/products/watermelon
@Queen Elisatits YES! WATERMELON HELMET. <3
@Queen Elisatits Honestly, the most I ever learned about biking I learned from the bike store where I got it. Use Yelp (or an equivalent) to help you find a bike store with a knowledgeable, friendly, and non-judgmental staff and they will tell you what you need in a bike based on your commute and preferences. I also ride to work on flat, paved roads with bike lanes (in Chicago), but I love the wide handlebars and comfy seats of cruiser bikes, so they recommended I get a hybrid (which is a road AND cruiser bike - shaped like a cruiser with the gears and wheels of a road bike).
Most good places will let you do a trial ride around the outside of the store, too, so you can get a feel for what you like.
Like olivebee, I opted for a kind of cushy hybrid/commuter/cruiser thing (My make/model's a Giant Cypress). It weighs more than a road bike for sure, but it's a really comfy ride.
@Queen Elisatits I ride 10 miles to school every day round trip, and I really like my road/touring bike. It has lots of gears (good for hills!) and a steel frame (I have a rack attached to the back that I can stick paniers on. Riding without a backpack strapped to you will change your life! So comfy!). I also prefer a racing saddle, which seems like it would be uncomfortable, but paradoxically it's the other way around: super squishy saddles create pressure points and aren't at all nice for long distances. Road bikes can be intimidating at first because thinner tires = a little wobbly, but a few rides around the block will fix that.
If you're riding in city traffic, road bikes are best (IMO) because they're lighter and faster than hybrids or cruisers. If someone is about to squish me, I want to have some get up and go.
Like everyone else said, definitely ask the folks at your local bike shop, and consider buying used. It can save you lots of money. And check out a bike maintenance class for ladies, lots of shops offer them, and it can be a nice way to meet other lady cyclists.
@Queen Elisatits If you're anxious, do not get a road bike. Get a bike with upright posture. Usually step-through and Dutch style bikes have this.
You'll have much better visibility and it will help you feel comfortable on the road. Also, granny bikes are designed to be extremely stable. Road bikes, not so much.
Best of luck and let me know if you have any questions!
If girls trail hearts in their wake, what do boys leave behind? I'm imagining cartoony curse word glyphs, like knives, number signs and skulls.
@ELECTROMAGNETIC CHAOS Snakes and snails and puppy dog tails, duh.
Yes folks, it's your head. That's also what the people who don't wear riding hats say. It's their head. But it's their family who end up having to care for them after horrific accidents that came out of nowhere.
See also, "but I'm a good rider, so I don't need a helmet".
@Susanna See also, "It's my body, it's my car, and I won't wear a seat belt if I don't want to."
@Susanna See also, "I'm doing a cross-country road trip in my car!" That has a much greater risk of death than normal levels of bike commuting in a month (helmet or no) but no one ever gives people shit about the risks they subject themselves and their kids to from driving a lot.
@Sarah Rain -__- source?
Live and let live and live a little.
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