Just two clips from recent days. The first is four people on a Bakfiets (mom, dad, and two kids); the second is thirteen people on seven bikes.

10 thoughts on “Rolling”

  • Neil

    I guess from what I could see of the poster at the end of the second clip that this was part of some ride to show people how bikes could replaces cars - more of your campaigning :).

  • AC

    What is the small-wheeled bike with the sign? Looks like some kind of folder...

  • Martina

    That's an antique Austrian Folder... I can find out more details, if you like!

  • Bruce Alan Wilson
    Bruce Alan Wilson April 29, 2007 at 2:01 pm

    I notice that several people in the second video aren't wearing helmets! How idiotic.

    I'd rather look like a mushroom than be a vegetable. A good friend of mine is a rehab nurse in a neurological unit. Most of his patients are victims of closed-head traumas, and a significant number of those traumas are from bicycle accidents.

  • Todd

    Bruce, I wish that before declaring anybody idiotic you'd present evidence that cycling is more likely to produce head injuries than other common activities. Biking is about as safe as walking or driving (to the driver), while the health benefits more than offset the small risk of major injury. I'm not anti-helmet, but I do bristle at zealous helmet advocacy because it perpetuates the dangerous lie that bicycling is more hazardous than other common activities for which nobody wears helmets. When you say "bicycle accidents," don't you really mean "car crashes"? I wish you'd assign the danger to its source, at least, and work instead on mitigating it at the source, too.

    Recently a little girl was struck and killed in her neighborhood by an F-150 truck. She wasn't wearing a helmet. She was on a bicycle. There is no state law mandating bicycle helmet use by children in Washington where the death occurred. One of the local papers ran the headline "Bicycle tragedy highlights inconsistent helmet laws" with the implication that compulsory styrofoam might have withstood the F-150, or perhaps that the state could have punished the bereaved parents for letting their daughter play in her neighborhood unarmored. I sent a letter asking if "gun deaths highlight inconsistent bullet-proof vest laws." They didn't publish it; after all, trucks and guns are inalienable rights, and this death was just a tragic accident, like 40,000 others every year in this country.

  • Ian Hopper

    Bruce, you do realize that most of those people are Todd's friends? The whole helmet issue aside, I'd be pretty offended if you called my friends idiots for not wearing helmets. BTW Bruce, head on over to the netherlands and see how many people there wear helmets (and they have one of the highest bicycle use rates in the world). You'll see the same in china; helmets are the oddity, not the norm.

    Most people instinctively protect their head and face in a crash, helmet or not. Also: When riding a FreeRad equipped bike, you're chances of endo'ing the bike are pretty slim, and the endo is the most likely scenario for a head injury (don't ask me how I know that). Sure, helmets can protect you in certain types of crashes, but you can easily wear one everytime you ride and still get killed. Todd's comments are spot on (not that that suprises me): I've read bicycle traffic studies from at least 3 different major metropolitan areas (yes, it's pretty dry reading) and most of the bicycle deaths were people on bikes getting hit by cars. The reason: in MOST cases the cyclist was riding at night with no lights and the car driver didn't see the cyclist. In 2 cases I read, a helmet might have protected the rider, and those crashes could easily have been prevented (rider stupidity or inexperience).

    For the record, I wear a helmet about 90 percent of the time. The reason? It's a place to mount a headlamp and rear blinker and since I've covered the thing with reflective tape patterns, it makes me far more visible to trucks (lights on trucks are higher and therefore hit the helmet reflectors). It also helps keep the sun out of my eyes.

    I've cracked 2 helmets in my lifetime: one was during a spectacular mountain bike crash traveling over well over 35mph while trying a big jump. The second was endo'ing the bike while trying to ride off a rock wall in an steep empty lot... with the helmet on the handlebars (DOH!) I didn't hit my head at all in the second crash, though I attribute that to my years of doing forward rolls in Aikido.

    Can you ask your friend the details on on those "closed head" traumas involving bicycles? I'd like to know whether those people (we don't need names, so he should be able to talk about it) were hit by cars, if THEY hit cars (parked OR moving) and IF they were wearing helmets or not. Your comment left a lot of details out...

  • Aidan

    Ian, every urban cyclist ought to know how to fall, because it's going to happen. My years of Aikido have saved my ass numerours times falling, though I can't fight to save my life.

  • Ian Hopper

    My years of Aikido never taught me to fight, only to defend myself and diffuse an attack. I took Kempo and Escrima to learn how to "fight"... I would spar with other people in the dojo, and it's great fun, though it barely resembles what you see in "real" life. REAL fighting (as in street fighting) is whole different ball of wax.

    Aikido is a very good thing to practice if you ride a bike: it teaches you to blend; blend with other users of the roadway in a kind, thoughtful and relaxed way, and you're much less likely to crash in the first place, and when you do, you'll be able to mitigate the damage to a greater degree. As it's commonly said in motorcycle circles: There are 2 kinds of biker: those who've crashed, and those who haven't YET.

  • Dermot

    Whatever fighting style that people learn will and can use it effectively "on the street" (that term always cracks me up, don't know why) if they've trained enough. Aikido most certainly does teach you how to fight, the only caveat is you need to study the appropriate style. Aikikai is rather sedate as far as a fighting Aikido style. Yoshinkan, on the other hand, is fairly close to the brutally effective Daito-Ryu Aikijujutsu. I have studied and used both of the latter and they are fighting arts. Very effective and efficient for urban dwellers, I can vouch from experience.

    But relating to riding and falling, I know what you mean, Aikido has helped me in saving myself from many hospital trips.

Leave a Reply