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Statistics on Bike Helmets

Another interesting article that lays out several studies and findings about the safety and efficacy of bike helmet use and laws. This article is definitely an interesting read, with LOTS of worthwhile statistics on using bike helmets.
What I do find interesting are the these alternative statements that say you motorists may avoid you more (give you a wider berth) if you’re not wearing a helmet, and that riders may actually ride more safely when they don’t wear a helmet. Those things seem counter-intuitive, but I have to wonder if they are true? In studying for our upcoming bike tour, a theme that came up repeatedly is that cars do go around you by a much wider margin if you are pulling a bike trailer.
What do you think?
Al from Bike 4 Bangers

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Bike Helmet Doubts

The bike helmet wikipedia page is dominated by helmet skeptics, and there are several well-argued skeptic pages out there, such as this page full of studies.  Consider, for example, the effects of a 1992 helmet law in Western Australia:
“enforced helmet laws discourage cycling but produce no obvious response in percentage of head injuries”. This study has been the subject of vigorous debate. …  The largest [study], covering eight million cyclist injuries over 15 years, showed no effect on serious injuries and a small but significant increase in risk of fatality. … The head injury rate in the US rose in this study by 40 % as helmet use rose from 18% to 50%
The countries with the best cycle safety records (Denmark and the Netherlands) have among the lowest levels of helmet use. …Read more at

September 13, 2010 Posted by | Cycling Community, Cycling Law, Cycling News | , | Leave a comment

Are Cyclists as strange as we thought?

From the Bike 4 Bangers dust-gathering collection:
Interesting new research out of the U.K. is showing that cycling isn’t as ‘far-out’ as we may have thought. Or, at least, some motorists are showing a little bit of leniency to us.
This article is worth a definite read, if you’re interested in finding out where biking sits with a broad spectrum of the community. The only problem I have with this research, is that it only covers England. Even though most of the world is seems much more accustomed to cyclists, I am guessing the opinions here are quite a bit askew from those of us in the U.S.
What are your thoughts on this?

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Cyclists! The public thinks you’re cool and normal

Helen Blog bike : Bearded cyclist reading newspaper in a park

News just in from the world of academia: cycling is no longer considered the preserve of the sort of hippies historically associated with this newspaper. It is even widely thought of as “cool”. A professor told me so, and he has the stats to prove it.

What makes this survey worth listening to is that the vast majority of those who took part don’t actually cycle much, if at all.
Most respondents consider bike riding as normal (65%) and only 7% reckon cyclists are strange. Amusingly, those who cycle the most are disproportionately likely to think others consider them weird – 24% of those who use their bike at least once a week said they believed most normal people think cyclists were “a bit odd”. Read more at

September 7, 2010 Posted by | Cycling Community, Cycling News | Leave a comment

Cycling getting bigger and causing more accidents.

An interesting report from the Bike 4 Bangers library:

Biking is becoming big. Even bigger than it used to be. This article talks about some of the statistics for New York City alone. But, as this report points out, while biking has begun expanding around the edges of society, it is also causing some backlash towards cyclists.

The most important point, I think, of this article is the part about bikers FOLLOWING the rules of the road. Where possible, follow the rules put in place for vehicles. Sometimes it’s not always safe to do so, but where it is… do it!
Unfortunately, even in my little town, most cyclists still do all kinds of bass-ackwards maneuvers that cause problems for themselves and for others. I admit, sometimes it’s hard to deal with the problems of a poorly planned and executed infrastructure. Lord knows there are some TERRIBLE urban planners out there, who don’t have a single vision for the future without vehicles in it. But, we as bikers, wanting to draw others into our ranks, have to be exemplary examples of what a biker should be like. That is what our cities need.
What do you think? Am I nuts?

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A Bike-Boom Backlash

Biking is booming in New York City, with the number of daily cyclists rising to an average of 236,000 in 2009, up 26 percent from 2008, according to statistics compiled by Transportation Alternatives, a pro-biking nonprofit group.

“Cyclists, clean up your freaking act,” wrote Jen Benepe, a cycling blogger.

The Web site BikeBlogNYC urged “fellow cyclists” to heed the laws of the road. “Take those flip-flops off, put down that cellphone, put on a helmet, ride in the correct direction and pay attention,” read a recent post that, at the same time, mocked the WCBS series as sensationalist.

As for pedestrian injuries caused by rouge cyclists, WCBS’s report exposed what the city now admits is a gaping hole in its data-collection methods.


August 31, 2010 Posted by | Cycling News | Leave a comment

Boulder biking scholarship event a BIG success

From the Bike 4 Bangers library of interesting events:

This bike ride, in Boulder Colorado, to help benefit about 50 college students is a huge success again. I love this idea, of having the entire community come together around an idea they are passionate about … biking, in order to help out other people around them.
AND, that it was such a success is great to hear.
Does your community do anything like this? I would love to see a lot more of these floating around the country. I would LOVE to take part in some of these great events.

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Boulder-area Venus de Miles bike ride draws 1,800 women

“We had just a spectacular turnout,” race founder Teresa Robbins said. “It was a great success.”

The ride included a “dream team” to provide inspiration and encouragement. The team of 14 well-known cyclists and community members included Alison Dunlap, a two-time Olympian and world champion mountain biker.

Also offering encouragement was the “Men in Drag” team — 20 men wearing fishnet, tutus and wigs who provided mechanical assistance and general event support. Plus, participants said, riders cheered each other on.

The event was expected to raise as much as $100,000 for the Boulder-based Greenhouse Scholars, a 5-year-old nonprofit organization that’s working to reduce the college drop-out rate.

Greenhouse Scholars provides intensive support, including scholarship money and a mentorship program, to “high-performing, under-resourced” students.Read more at

August 30, 2010 Posted by | Cycling Community, Cycling News | Leave a comment

Cycling memorial a great piece of metal work

What a great memorial to an outstanding member of the cycling community. And I love the idea of this metal project spreading the word about cycling into the community. There is something awesome and inspiring about the graceful and geometric design of bike parts, and this piece catches some of that. Plus, it’s so large, it’s bound to inspire some riders who will hit the trail under it’s impressive stature.

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Huge bike sprocket arches to rise over memorial trail

They talked about the impact the archway will have on the local arts community, the sense of pride local bicyclists will feel riding under an enormous sprocket, and the camaraderie that has been built during the past eight months of planning.
It was in that moment that the project — a memorial to Steve Harrison — made complete sense.
Zorn said Harrison was far from ordinary, noting she wanted to do something extraordinary to remember him by.
“I didn’t want anything traditional,” Zorn said. “I wanted something more living that you would experience. Steve was active, he was full of life.”
Lindsay’s knowledge of bicycles has allowed the project to flourish, with the arches containing “bike nerd” details cyclists will appreciate, Lindsay said.
With the bike path owned by the city of Chico, Lindsay and Zorn had to work to gain permission to install the arches and donate the approximately $40,000 project to the city.


See more at

August 23, 2010 Posted by | Cycling Community, Cycling News | Leave a comment