See, you can definitely still look cute with a helmet. via Flickr
It’s finally bike month, and while riding on two wheels may be the best way to see the city, bicycle safety is no joke. If accidents do happen, they can be pretty bad unless you’re taking basic precautions, including wearing a helmet. Sure, maybe you don’t look as cool with that man bun all covered up. But even a slight docking of cool points is better than being memorialized with one of those ghostly white bikes on the Brooklyn streets.
In partnership with the DOT and in preparation for this weekend’s Bike the Branches tour — sure to be a helluva lot better than the Five Boro — the Brooklyn Public Library is hosting a free bike helmet fitting tomorrow (Thursday) at their Central Library in Prospect Heights. Free helmets will be available all day while supplies last. A good helmet will normally run you anywhere from $50-100, so this is a sweet deal.
I never actually learned to ride a bike as a kid. I spent many hours on a tricycle when I was a toddler; the trike just became less appropriate when I physically outgrew it. My friends, on the other hand, all received sparkling new Schwinns. They’d spend their summers cruising around New York suburbs’ sidewalks, weaving in and out of traffic as I watched from afar.
Simply put, it sucked. Hard. I tried and failed numerous times to balance on a beat-up girl’s bike at my grandparent’s house, but I always fell. For two decades, I attempted to ride on friends’ and family members’ bikes, but only ever moved a couple of feet before I’d nervously tip over onto the sidewalk and panic. After attempting and failing to balance on a friend’s bike in Prospect Park in 2009, I all but gave up on biking for good.
The idea of getting back onto a bike came to me five years later, when I lost my editing job in the summer of 2014. All my newfound free time as an unemployed adult came with a new determination to check off some major to-do’s in my life: applying to grad school, finishing The Wire, and, of course, learning how to ride a bike. (more…)