The Chainlink

Danish Modern: Copenhagen Cycle Chic's Mikael Colville-Andersen

I recently talked with Mikael Colville-Andersen from Copenhagen Cycle Chic about helmet use, Copenhagen versus Amsterdam, Chicago's Bike Fancy and Let's Go Ride a Bike style blogs, why he's underwhelmed by Portland and why bikes should be marketed more like vacuum cleaners: http://gridchicago.com/2012/danish-modern-an-interview-with-copenhagen-cycle-chics-mikael-colville-andersen
 
Keep moving Forward,
 
John Greenfield
 

Views: 236

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

It's nice to hear Mikael's confirmation that Chicago and San Francisco CAN be good cycling cities.

Yeah, we'll never be Copenhagen - Chicago is too spread out to have the same density of bike facilities. But I think if the city of Chicago does half of the stuff they're proposing in the Streets for Cycling Plan 2020 we'll definitely become a world-class bike town.

I am psyched! Never seen so many more cyclists year round, and different types also LOL.

Hmmm.  Very interesting argument that wearing helmets, or the promotion of wearing helmest, makes people not ride.  But then, if getting in an accident makes you brain-damaged, can you continue to ride?  The real key, it seems to me, is the physical street-level infrastructure for safety, which (as you point out, John) is hard to build in Chicago's grid.

I do think it's true that we put too much emphasis on helmet-wearing and not nearly enough on things that have a greater influence on our safety - such as defensive riding, lights, and some adherence to rules of the road.

I think the publishers of Momentum, a bike mag out of Vancouver, nailed the helmet issue in this editorial:

http://momentummag.com/articles/moving-the-conversation-beyond-helmets

Wear a helmet if you want, or don't - it's a personal choice. But don't attack others for their choice, and don't let the helmet debate distract us from the more important issue. Helmets may help mitigate the damage from some crashes, but they don't prevent crashes. Let's move on from debating the pros and cons of helmet use to working to create streets that are safe enough that bike/car crashes are virtually eliminated, as is the case in Copenhagen.

I recently saw a guy riding at night, with no lights, no reflectors, wearing black clothing.  But he did have a helmet.  That's how a lot of people think.

Ah yes, a bicycle ninja. In bike-friendly countries people usually don't wear helmets but they *always* use lights at night.

Bikeyface also has a good summary of the big picture - very relevant here.

John Greenfield said:

I think the publishers of Momentum, a bike mag out of Vancouver, nailed the helmet issue in this editorial:

http://momentummag.com/articles/moving-the-conversation-beyond-helmets

Wear a helmet if you want, or don't - it's a personal choice. But don't attack others for their choice, and don't let the helmet debate distract us from the more important issue. Helmets may help mitigate the damage from some crashes, but they don't prevent crashes. Let's move on from debating the pros and cons of helmet use to working to create streets that are safe enough that bike/car crashes are virtually eliminated, as is the case in Copenhagen.

I agree that just like bikes are no match for cars, helmets are no match for prevention. However, it's clear that in some crashes, they do help prevent serious injury or death, and such crashes need not even involve motor vehicles. I take issue with Mikael's assertion that promoting helmet use scares people away from riding- he is not basing his argument on anything but a 2% decrease in ridership in Copenhagen from 2008, he presents no evidence for a causal relationship. While mandating helmet use would surely discourage ridership, let's see some real evidence that simply encouraging helmet use has the same negative impact. Until then, I'm not buying it.

Reply to Discussion

RSS

© 2008-2014   The Chainlink Community, L.L.C. Julie Hochstadter, Director   Powered by

Disclaimer  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service