Saturday 16th December 2017
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Safety first


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The last time I got on a bike in this city, I was 23 and full of the happy stupid fearlessness that exists only in the minds of freshly minted New Yorkers. I rode my old college Schwinn without a helmet, the wrong way down one-way streets, right down the middle of the road if I felt like it, and even the thought of this—knowing everything I now know about New York drivers—chills and astonishes me. The recent Citibike-ing of New York City has brought these memories rushing back, largely because the streets are suddenly swamped with Sunday bikers oblivious to traffic laws and angry taxis. Absolutely none of them wear helmets, and a huge number are tourists unfamiliar with our streets. This all feels like a recipe for calamity. Still, the sight of those blue shiny bikes just waiting for a ride has ignited a desire in me—although at this stage in the game I’d be happy to confine my activities to riding the length of Hudson River Park.  And no way, no how am I doing it without a helmet.


Typically,  I might think a leopard print bike helmet a bit much, but this is an exceptionally good leopard print.


Yakkay helmets are genius: they come with nifty snap-on hats, and you can add to your collection as the seasons—and your mood—changes.


Can you even with this floral?

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Posted on June 27th, 2013 7 Comments

7 Responses

  1. c.w. says:

    The floral helmet is outstanding. I would not ride a bike in NYC, but I do ride one out on Long Island where I spend summers. My helmet is not even close to being fashionable. However, I did just purchase a Doggie Mini Ride for my pup. Some day we are hoping she’ll even ride in it. Right now it is simply “the scary thing on wheels behind mom’s bike.” (sigh)

  2. Sally says:

    CitiBikes are awesome. It’s not scary if you just follow the rules. On the CitiBike itself, right between the handlebars, are the words:
    Yield to Pedestrians
    Stay off the Sidewalk
    Obey Traffic Lights
    Ride with Traffic

    We’ve been doing all of the above and it’s so weird/annoying/crazy to have other bikers (CitiBikes and non) go BLASTING by us and through red lights. It’s super dangerous to watch. I don’t really understand why NYC bikers aren’t more regulated.

    That said, the program is really a way to get around the city (not spend the day sight-seeing); we get 45 minutes of every ride free with our annual membership, so instead of walking or cabbing or subway-ing to Soho, we can ride down and leave the bikes right outside Angelika! It’s fun.

    On the helmet front, you just gotta buy one, and it’s not that annoying to carry around. I thought is would be, but it’s surprisingly easy; just clip it to your bag. The CitiBike annual program sends you a coupon for $10 off “any one helmet” Bern / Bontrager / Nutcase brands, and that’s what we did.


  3. anon says:

    Thanks for reminding bikers that we should all wear helmets.
    One word of warning on the cute helmets: I have a Yakkay and it is very stylish, I get stopped all the time by folks asking me where it is from. But even in the dead of winter, my head would be soaking wet with sweat after a short ride! The thing doesn’t breathe (even after taking the cover off). I just got a Giro Aeon helmet that weighs 200 g (lightest on the market) and is so ventilated that after 20 minutes of biking in this heat and humidity, most of my hair stays dry. It is also better fitting that the stylish ones above.

  4. Viajera says:

    Great post! It will save some noggins.

  5. daisyj says:

    I love the Citibike idea but I HATE that they don’t rent helmets with them. Who has a helmet with them, but not a bike? Would it really be that hard to set up some lockers, or put one in the bike’s basket? It seems so irresponsible to me.

  6. Tamara says:

    Thank you thank you thank you! I am so angered by all of the fashion spreads showing “inking fashion” of girls biking in sundresses with no helmet!! They are dangerous to both themselves and to others. When I am driving and see helmet-less riders, I am practically in panic mode. God forbid someone runs a light or stops short. A non-fatal collision becomes a tragedy. And the condition of the roads (potholes, bad drainage, road kill) is scary to think about people zooming around unprotected!

  7. mlinky says:

    I ride horses and wear a helmet for long periods of time. The main things are: comfortable and secure fit (different manufacturers/styles use different head shapes); light weight; and, ventilation. You can get a plain color helmet and dress it up with a stretch nylon cover in different prints/colors (my favorite is leopard).

    Also, remember, you will get helmet-head hair, so plan to tie it in a pony tail, or bring product.