Helmet Wars! Conclusion

where's your helmet / none of your business / boundaries are the best protection

This is what I should have said to the helmet fascist that inspired much of this series. If I ever ride without a helmet again, I hope I can remember these 4 magic words: “none of your business.”

10 comments to Helmet Wars! Conclusion

  • Michael

    A friend of mine died riding his bike. Going too fast, he skidded on an ungraded drain, went over the handlebars, and landed head-first on a guardrail.

    If he’d been wearing a helmet, he’d still be alive today. Unquestionably. There are a lot of people who wish he’d been wearing a helmet that day.

    Obviously, I always wear a helmet. It takes a lot of … well, I don’t know … not to when someone you care about died because of something easily preventable. All I know is, I don’t want to put my family and friends through that.

    I don’t care what you do. But so me, there’s no harm in preparing for the worst.

  • I love this series! I always wear a helmet yet I am very much against helmet laws.

    Wearing a helmet may even be more dangerous than not:

    On mixed roads, cars are the problem, not bikes:

    Also, helmet laws keep people off bikes:

    Keep up the great work!

  • I agree, I am against helmet laws but always wear a helmet and always have my child wear one. I started wearing a helmet after my brother died (nothing to do with helmets or bikes or cars… ok in a car but it was parked)… and a friend died on the cycling path in the city when a truck was parked in her way. She went around it (ie left the path for the road) and got hit by another truck… fell and hit her head on the sidewalk. Died of brain injuries. I figured I couldn’t stand the idea of my mom losing her other kid for simple laziness or not wanting to muss my hair with a helmet. Now frankly I find it keeps sun off my head while allowing ventilation and keeps my head warmer in winter… ie it is insulating and I like wearing it. But yeah, I’m up there with Michael.

    And I am against helmet laws for the reasons noted in the article you linked to in the Incentive comic: they stop people from riding if they don’t have a helmet. Here in Montreal we have the public Bixi system, and it is very popular. And of course people don’t walk around with helmets all day in case they want to use a Bixi bike. Though re greenhouse gases: a new study of the system here has shown that they reduce greenhouse gases very little, as people use Bixis as a replacement for walking, bus or subway (ie already green) but not as replacement for private motor vehicles. But they DO normalize biking, which is good for everyone and encourages municipalities to factor cycling into their transport plans, and increases the exercise/health of the citizens.

  • As the old saying goes: “Good boundaries make good neighbors.”

  • Karl Giesing

    Nina, I generally like your cartoons, but this series was pretty misleading.

    The problems with mandatory bike helmet laws are not with the bike helmets, it’s with the effects of mandatory laws. On an individual level, it’s always safer to wear your helmet.

    Like Michael above, I also lost a friend who would still be alive if she was riding her helmet. This is her:

    If you want to be critical, focus on the laws, not the helmets. And please, always wear yours. It may not be any of my business, but the world shouldn’t lose another creative person if it doesn’t have to.

  • Was this strip at all inspired by the Paul Karl Lukacs?

  • With the introduction of CityCycle bicycle hire system in Brisbane, Australia (similar to the Vélib’ system in Paris) in a matter of days we have great concerns for the viability of the scheme due to Australia’s 20 year old compulsory bicycle helmet laws.

    Melbourne already has a small scheme in place with very low take ups of the scheme due to the helmet issues. In the case of urban cycling there seems to be an opinion that helmets should not be mandatory.

    Encourage the use of helmets, sure, but not compulsory as the advantages of mass use of bicycles has huge advantages and should be encouraged in any way.

  • Story of my life. This should be a bumper sticker! 😀

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