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Helmet hair or no-helmet hair?

Jonno Leonard - Friday, November 04, 2016
Yup, the pic is actually a real thing, the Lego 'hair helmet'. It's so awesome! It did remind me of the debate around helmets though, and how the highest bike use countries have the least helmet use, and also the least head injuries. As someone who grew up in the 70's/80's, before 'safety' was really invented (Bell released the first commercially sucessful bike helmet in 1975), and back when even the Tour de France riders didn't wear helmets (it only became compulsory in 2003, believe it or not!), it is something I had to make myself come around to wearing. And I feel safer. But am I?

The Dutch know a thing or two about biking, but nobody there wear a helmet. And they all ride bikes. So how come they aren't all horribly disfigured from gruesome accidents? (they aren't you know. The Dutch as generally very gorgeous people). Probably because they don't have the accidents in the first place. And that's a cultural shift.

In NZ, drivers are some of the most intolerant I have come across in the Western world. Preoccupied, speeding, blocking, finger-flicking, it's a jungle out there! In Holland, drivers are schooled in sharing the road, getting out of their cars and onto bikes where they can, and generally getting along great with cyclists. And all those bikes is not due to their amazing weather. The weather there is cold and dreadful a good deal of the time! And what else? They have SEPARATE BIKE LANES! Doesn't take a genius to get that one right.

So where does that leave us? My thoughts are, slap on that lid if you are road-sharing with drivers, for sure. Once we establish a full separate bikes network, then maybe we can take a closer look at that Dutch model. Until then, just wear that helmet hair with pride!

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