You might have seen that recent NY Times piece, which presented the argument that helmet promotion did more harm than good, as it allegedly discourages bicycling by making it synonymous with catastrophic injury in the minds of the average person. The public health impacts of reduced ridership, according the benefit/cost study cited, far outweigh the benefit of reduced head injuries.
In accordance with the terms of the self-imposed dullification of blogging that I mentioned yesterday, I will not responding to well-intentioned acquaintances trying to draw me into debates on this issue, where terms like “stupidity,” “traumatic brain injury,” “nanny state,” “sin,” “organ donor,” and of course, “Nazis” are already predictably being thrown around. Whenever I get back to actually writing useful content, I will throw together a research roundup, and contribute my misguided two cents. But for the time being, here’s a slideshow of creepy stalker pics I took while my embarrassed wife and I were nursing beers in Amsterdam. [Aside: I hate to romanticize bicycling in Amsterdam, but these shots only captured maybe 2/3rds of the bicyclists who passed by our table in a 30 minute timespan. That’s a LOT of people on bikes].
Questions for future discussion: How do you think these folks perceive their own safety? Do you think they are safe? And would you run up and invite each one to visit and talk with patients at the local traumatic brain injury hospital ward?