Cycling as transport. No special clothes needed. No fancy gear. Just people and bikes dressed for the destination.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

What a day!

Well, the long wait is over. Ottawa now has its first segregated bike lane. The Laurier Avenue SBL was officially opened today to much applause. It didn't take long for chic cyclists to be spotted.


The long wait about to be over.

SBL Chic

Chic in the Laurier Avenue SBL

Couple on Metcalfe

A couple leave the launch pad.

Bike: Electra Townie
Westbound in the SBL

SBL chic 2

Waiting for the light in the Laurier SBL


  1. Cycling as transport. No special clothes needed. No fancy gear. NO HELMETS! Just people and bikes dressed for the destination .... the hospital. At least they'll look "chic" in the ambulance ride there. LOL!

  2. Funny how comments like this always come from anonymous sources. Well, anonymous, you obviously believe that cycling is dangerous. I do not. Cycling is very safe and scaremongering about helmet use just reduces cycling. The fact is, and it is a fact, that cyclists suffer fewer head injuries than drivers or pedestrians. Based on a study by Cavil & Davis 2007, the risk of cycling death is small. One per 33 million km of cycling. That would take the average cyclist 21,000 years to do. Do you wear a helmet when you are walking down the street? Another fact, unlike motorcycle crash helmets, bike helmets are light, soft and break on impact making them useless after initial impact and useless in most crashes serious enough to cause a fatal head injury. They have also been shown to cause rotational brain injurty in some crashes (St. Clair & Chinn 2007. Increases in helmet-wearing (like in Australia and New Zealand where it became mandatory) did not improve safety it only reduced cycling use. But that is what many cyclists seem to want. They want the paths and roads reserved for them to practice their special activity that can't possibly be done by a woman in a skirt or an older person. Another fact, the scientific community is pretty much split on the efficacy of helmets. This, in the end, makes it a personal choice. I suggest you start up a blog and take pictures of people with helmets. That would be your choice.

  3. I call bullshit on that study. It has underlying flaws and illogical assumptions. Further;
    1) Oh, I have to be a *fatality* before I get counted in the effectiveness of helmets in protecting my noggin? What utter hogwash.
    2) I am not a timid cyclist, and have been involved in seven collisions over the course of my cycling career - none were foreseeable. It is hubris to assume because you are a 'good cyclist' that you have no need of essential safety equipment. In each one, my helmet prevented greater injury. Helmets are designed to absorb one serious impact, they are not 'soft'.
    3) the 'fashion choice' non helmet wearers make is indeed a legal choice. it is also unwise, and contributes to a climate of 'whatever i like' behaviour. If I had to count infractions I see on a daily basis, they would be equally committed by non-helmet wearers. There is no compensating attitude of greater safe practice.

  4. Warren, thanks for the comment. However, I could throw study after study at you and it wouldn't change your mind. I could tell you that in 2009 in the USA, 12,000 people died falling down their stairs at home. In the same year less than 500 were killed in bike accidents. Yet we don't take precautions in the home to avoid such deaths. The point is, cycling is not dangerous. You say you have been in seven accidents. I have never been in one. I am not a timid rider and I take my share of the road. However, I will say this. Perhaps the way you ride requires a helmet. If you ride a road bike with your head down (I used to, head down is inevitable) then you should wear a helmet. I wear a helmet in the winter when I ride my mountain bike. But most of my cycling is done on pathways and not busy arterials and I ride an upright which affords better visibility and awareness (in my opinion). Personally, I think cycling like any activity, becomes dangerous when you take it for granted. I never take it for granted. I am always aware of my surroundings and I trust no one. 45 years of safe falls, no scratches. I don't think we do the same type of cycling. I agree that infractions are committed equally by helmet and non-helmet wearers but in my experience, helmet wearers take more chances and ride faster. This is born out in studies and is easily seen on the MUP's around town.