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Friday, June 8, 2012

James Schwartz's Ode To His Former Bicycle Helmet [Treehugger]



Mikael at Copenhagenize/Screen capture
A few years back, I used to think bike helmets were a good idea, and used to even write posts suggesting that bike activists like Matthew Modine should wear them. Mikael Colville-Anderson of Copenhagenize wasn't impressed, and called me "a darling of the helmet industry" and the Fox News of the bicycle world.
Over the years I have become convinced that he was right, that helmets can marginalize and isolate urban commuting cyclists, who are no more likely to crack their heads than pedestrians or drivers. That they can scare people from cycling, just like the car manufacturers fought against mandatory seat belts because they thought it would tell people that driving is dangerous. That we have a right to ride in our city without armouring ourselves against cars. That normal urban cycling doesn't need special clothes and equipment, just a bike.

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