Non-food, non-entertaining content follows:
I got into a conversation on the Twitters about cyclists (the motor and the bike kind) and helmets. To be more precise, I was trying to make a point about the way we think about cyclist accidents/deaths when I tweeted:
"Cyclists should wear helmets, but asking if cyclists killed by autos were wearing helmets not so diff from asking what rape victim wore."
There were, understandably, various objections to this, and it seems as if it might make sense to take more than 140 characters to spell out my concern.
First and foremost - every cyclist should wear a helmet. All the time. I wore one as a bike messenger. I wear one now. I had an accident where a helmet made a big difference. With a day job that involves what goes inside the helmet, I yell at grasshoppers who don't wear them. I have bought helmets for students w/ money out of my own pocket. Helmets are good, and you should wear them whenever you are on a vehicle with two wheels.
But. In the context of the way many news outlets cover cyclist fatalities, the helmet/no helmet question works as a sublye way of absolving motorists of responsbility. There are many accidents where a helmet will do you a wold of good, but unfortunately, there are also accidents where a helmet won't help. A cyclist was t-boned by an SUV not far from our 02134 stomping grounds, and much was made of the lack of helmet. Not much mention of what helmet would do to prevent the massive internal injuries that result from being struck full on by an SUV. In that context -- the idea of blaming the victim -- I continue to think that playing up the helmet/no helmet question is acting what a victim did to deserve to be the victim of a crime. (Are there careless cyclists, too? Yes.)
1) Wear a fucking helmet.
2) If you choose to pilot a lump of steel and glass capable of moving more than a hundred feet in a second, watch what you're doing. There are too many ghost bikes as it is.