I was in Washington, DC last week for the Transportation Research Board conference, the largest academic conference about transport in the world with 6,000 people- most of whom from the US. I borrowed my friend’s bicycle of course and, though it was January, managed to get some good cycling in nearly every day.
Yet I was quite shocked to see that his bike came with a warning label admonishing me to “be safe, and always bike with a helmet” and “don’t ride at night”. So riding this bicycle is clearly only for sunny weekend days on a segregated path for recreation?
If the US is ever going to get bikes on the street, we have to realize that we can’t have warning labels on bikes and that it is is CARS that are dangerous, not bikes. Visibility and safety are about making cars used to seeing bikes and training drivers how to see bicyclists, not about keeping off the street at night and wearing some styrofoam on your head.