After publishing a guide to the different types of and trends in Bicycle Helmets, (see below) I received a passionate response from anti-helmet advocate Mikael Colville-Anderson, known through his popular blog Copenhagenize, which started the ‘Cycle Chic’ phenomenon.
“You give people the impression that helmets are normal outside of Denmark and the Netherlands but helmets are not promoted or advocated in a long list of countries that don’t feature infrastructure. Only a small percentage of cyclists in the world wear them and most bicycle advocacy organisations are actutely aware that helmets are designed to save lives and that promoting them causes cycling levels to fall and it also scares newcomers from starting to ride because it makes cycling more dangerous than it is.”
As Mikael Colville-Anderson points out in his TED talk (below) there’s a 50/50 split in terms of published studies and research into trying to determine if helmets are a good idea or a bad idea. The rational problem is that there simply isn’t enough research and none of it is universally applicable. My feeling is that in places, like Copenhagen, bicycle helmets are unnecessary and can be an emotionally based (fear) detraction from cycling.
- We’re not there yet
- Even when we are, we’ll be different.
The shared goal is always to make cycling a universally adopted, respected & enjoyed form of transport. On this everyone agrees, but like politics, there’s always a lively debate. Let’s return to the helmet debate:
I’ve never been a fan of Nutcase’s products – only because I don’t find them attractive or comfortable – however their popularity is based out of making helmets cuter, more fun to wear. Based on the test results Copenhagenize.com has published I will certainly alter my position to steer people looking for a helmet in another direction.