By Micheline Maynard
When I bought my bike this summer, everyone I told about the purchase was adamant: you have to get a helmet. They were so insistent that I stayed off it until I had gone to REI and brought home a helmet ($32, on sale).
Many public health officials are concerned that as bike sharing spreads across the country, head injuries also will go up, as I wrote this week for Al Jazeera America. There are some pretty compelling statistics to that effect.
Greg Kagay, one of the backers of Curbing Cars, is a dedicated cyclist who’s been wearing a helmet since he had a bike accident in high school. He is eager to try out bike sharing, but he’ll only do so when wearing a helmet.
However, there are also some people who think the concern about cyclists wearing helmets is way over blown. One of them is Jana Kinsman, who is among the best known cyclists in Chicago, thanks to her project, Bike A Bee.
I talked with Kinsman at length for my AJAM story, and she presents a strong argument that helmets are not the point. The bigger issue, she says, is that bikes, cars and pedestrians all need to coexist.