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View Full Version : "D.C. to give away 500 helmets to Bikeshare riders"



5555624
08-09-2011, 03:02 AM
To encourage CaBi riders to wear helmets, D.C. is going toto give away 500 helmets. http://www.wtop.com/?nid=41&sid=2488989

americancyclo
08-09-2011, 08:01 AM
Anyone think this will make any difference?

jrenaut
08-09-2011, 08:06 AM
No. If I'm on a CaBi bike without a helmet, it's because I left the house not planning to bike anywhere. You can give me a million helmets and it won't make me take one with me when I don't expect to bike. Whenever I DO leave the house expecting to bike, I have my helmet.

I don't think it's going to help, but I also don't think it's as big a problem as a lot are making it out to be. I've only been biking in the city since November, but even since then the increasing number of CaBi bikes (and other bike traffic) has made me feel safer on the roads. Cars see more bikes, so they expect them. Most accidents, as far as I can tell, are cars not expecting a bike to be there at all.

That's not to say I disagree with the program - if it saves one life, it's worth it. But I think the problem is overblown, and this won't be much of a solution.

vvill
11-01-2011, 07:32 PM
Saw a Craiglist listing today with someone trying to sell these for $15 ea. :( That's what I get for browsing CL I guess.

Mark Blacknell
11-02-2011, 07:55 AM
It's a fine enough program, and hopefully the helmets will end up in the hands of people who otherwise wouldn't have one. That said, I'd far rather reach 500 people in a cycling class. In my view, helmets are *not* the most important thing in bike safety - it's being able to competently ride a bike.

KLizotte
11-02-2011, 01:07 PM
I don't think it's going to help, but I also don't think it's as big a problem as a lot are making it out to be. I've only been biking in the city since November, but even since then the increasing number of CaBi bikes (and other bike traffic) has made me feel safer on the roads. Cars see more bikes, so they expect them. Most accidents, as far as I can tell, are cars not expecting a bike to be there at all.

But statistics show us that the majority of crashes do not involve cars. Speaking from personal experience, all of my crashes had nothing to do with cars. That said, CaBi has had an extremely low accident rate (yeah!); if I recall correctly, they have had only one serious accident in their first year of operation.

Generally, if I think there is any chance I might bikeshare, I just attach my helmet to whatever bag I'm carrying. It's lightweight plus I feel like it advertises to business owners that cyclists do in fact shop/eat/visit whatever establishment I'm in. (Georgetown business people: please install bike racks on M Street!)

Arlingtonrider
11-02-2011, 08:31 PM
plus I feel like it advertises to business owners that cyclists do in fact shop/eat/visit whatever establishment I'm in.

Good point about showing your colors by carrying a helmet. It might be worth mentioning to businesses sometimes that we might not even go there if we couldn't go by bike (and park our bikes nearby). I won't drive to Georgetown, but I would bike there.

Greenbelt
11-02-2011, 08:51 PM
Generally, if I think there is any chance I might bikeshare, I just attach my helmet to whatever bag I'm carrying. It's lightweight plus I feel like it advertises to business owners that cyclists do in fact shop/eat/visit whatever establishment I'm in. (Georgetown business people: please install bike racks on M Street!)

IMO this is an excellent idea. Sometimes just carrying a helmet makes a big statement. I noticed once at a city council meeting that several of the dozen or so attendees from the public had helmets. The city council members noticed too. Even though none of us commented in the Q&A period of the meeting, there was a message delivered. Should work the same with businesses. A quiet, but effective way to make a point.

jrenaut
11-02-2011, 08:53 PM
I hadn't thought about the side effects of carrying a helmet, but I agree, it should help cycling in general.

KLizotte
11-06-2011, 10:28 PM
On a group ride I was on Saturday, one of the participants was wearing a CaBi helmet (even though she was riding her own bike). I didn't think to ask if she was advertising the program or simply needed a new helmet.

Beatlemaniacs
12-11-2011, 06:58 PM
Wearing a bike helmet should be encouraged under ANY circumstances. Adults are obligated to set a good example for teens and children. One of my firm's clients is Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore, where they treat TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) in children. Trust me, wear bike helmets!

Next item, how about stopping at red lights? I'm a biker, and I stop at red lights, and stop signs. How uncool, as my friends ride ahead. But I'm cool with sending the message that when it comes to compliance with the law, with cars and bikes sharing the road, it's a two-way street.

KLizotte
12-11-2011, 07:15 PM
Thanks for setting such a good example and making safety priority number one. I think cycling in the DC area (and perhaps the rest of the US) is at a tipping point moment. Cycling laws, protocol, and infrastructure are still in their infancy here and as more people take up cycling (fingers crossed) these issues will be worked out as time goes on. I think the big impediment now is the lack of adequate infrastructure to separate the various modes (peds, cars, bikes). While I don't have high hopes that we will become Amsterdam in the 40 years that it took that city to reach its current state of cycling nirvana, stranger things have happened.....

KLizotte
12-20-2011, 10:23 PM
I saw my second person wearing a CaBi helmet - on a CaBi bike this morning riding down the Mall. Appeared to be a commuter. Yeah!

OutsideTheLaw
02-27-2012, 04:27 PM
I don't understand why those bike slow red bikes don't come with helmets. The way I figure it, those people are the least experienced cyclists, othewise they'd have their own bikes, and they're slow too. When I see 'em coming I get way over.

mstone
02-27-2012, 06:29 PM
I don't understand why those bike slow red bikes don't come with helmets.

Because few people want to put other people's skanky sweat on their head.

I'll ignore the rest of the pointless bashing.

consularrider
02-28-2012, 08:34 AM
Recently I've been seeing four to five CaBis most mornings between the airport and Rosslyn with what appear to be commuters, two in my direction heading north and two or three heading south. I've been seeing one for over a year, the second on and off, and two are fairly recent. All have helments, one this moring was wearing his red CaBi helment.

DaveK
02-28-2012, 10:57 AM
I never wear a helmet on CaBi. My friend always wears her red CaBi helmet. I figure we balance each other out.

dasgeh
02-28-2012, 02:59 PM
I'm a regular bike commuter (all but ~5 days in 2012!) and I take CaBi around DC in the middle of the day. I ride in on my bike, then ride CaBi around to meetings and lunches, allowing me the flexibility of one-way trips (e.g. taxi to a meeting, CaBi back to the office) and the added security of not having my bike locked up in places I'm not that familiar with (my husband's bike was stolen from the Mall 3 years ago :( ). When I know I'm taking CaBi, I'll bring my commuting helmet with me into my office and wear it on CaBi. When I don't know ahead of time / forget and don't have time to run back for it before heading out, I ride helmetless. I'm not riding that fast on CaBi anyway, and I'm an even more conservative rider when I'm sans-helmet.

Though I do feel a bit naked when I feel my hair blowing in the breeze...

Arlingtonrider
02-28-2012, 03:19 PM
I'm going to start wearing my helmet more often on lunchtime rides in part because I miss my rear view mirror!

OutsideTheLaw
02-28-2012, 09:38 PM
CaBi rider almost killed today at 12th & U, no helmet, apparently ran red light. Ouch, very humbling.

mstone
02-29-2012, 06:23 AM
yes, the lack of a helmet was obviously the determining factor in a collision that involved being run over by three axles.