Bike Snob

I don’t own a bike but I consider myself a cyclist I guess. I mean, I commute a lot for work and and run errands on a Divvy bike and I did a 30 mile ride last year on a borrowed bike (trained with multi-park-n-go Divvy rides). So that’s my cyclist street cred, where do I stand bicycle nation?

Don’t answer that because I have a feeling that bike nation doesn’t think I’m a cyclist because I don’t technically own a bike. I’m going to change that within a few months, but for now I’m in research mode. To that end, I grabbed this nice little hardcover at the Open Books half-off sale (I say that a lot because I buy most of my books there).

The subtitle is “systematically & mercilessly ¬†realigning the world of cycling.” It’s written by this blogger man from NY called Bike Snob NYC. He’s highly critical, which leads to a lot of insight and a lot of humor. It’s good reading.

Here’s his take on helmets:

I know that cycling advocacy groups certainly mean well when they promote helmet use, but the unfortunate side effect is that when they push it too hard it helps feed the fear. Instead of an efficient and convenient way to get around, cycling seems like an extreme sport. The truth is that it can be an extreme sport, but day to day, it’s not. In bike-friendly cities like Copenhagen and Amsterdam where everybody rides, nobody wears a helmet and they manage just fine. Again, I will say that you should wear a helmet. Plenty of people will tell you tales of having crashes that broke their helmets, and that it’s better to break your helmet than break your skull. Then again, when I wear a helmet I bump my head on all sorts of things my head would not have otherwise touched, like doorways, because I suddenly have a lot more head. In any case, let a helmet serve as the precaution that it is, but don’t let it scare you from riding a bike. And if it’s between riding a bike without a helmet and not riding a bike, you’re better off just riding the bike. (pg. 109)

That’s a fresh take, even without the Subway Fresh Take Hotline tie-in. I learned some stuff and changed my views on some stuff. I also chuckled a fair amount. I’ll¬†follow on Twitter.