Thursday, August 25, 2011

Bikesharing and safety

This is interesting, in part because the article and even some of the comments are starting to catch on to what often gets lost in the debate over helmets and bike safety generally - that's it's all about HOW you ride!

Stats are starting to show that bike-sharing is safer than riding your personal bike. Maybe because many people's riding styles on their personal bikes are faster, hunched over (meaning primed for forward ejection in almost any incident), and likely competing with traffic. Plus bikeshare tends to be used in urban environments for short, casual trips, as opposed to long commutes or sport/recreation warrior-ing.

Heavy, slow, upright bikeshare bikes inherently enforce more of a citizen-cycling mode, making it quite rare to be injured while biking. Yes, even on the mean streets of North America, London, etc. Let's hope the lesson can be applied to personal bikes.

And before certain people start shrieking, no, I don't mean 'hey everyone, stop wearing a helmet'. Do what makes sense for you. Helmet or not, it just seems to be proving out that citizen cycling (for lack of a better term to encompass many aspects) is safer. Let's stop pretending that all biking is the same.

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