Skip to comments.Bike-Safety Groups Take President Obama Head on After Ride Without Helmet
Posted on 08/28/2009 4:36:17 AM PDT by nickcarraway
Perhaps President Obama didn't want to look uncool on his bike ride Thursday, but his decision to skip the helmet had safety experts banging their heads.
Obama, on vacation with his family in Martha's Vineyard, joined the First Lady and his daughters yesterday for a ride in Aquinnah, a town at the western, most rural end of the island.
The President appeared to be the only one with no helmet.
Paul Steely White, executive director of Transportation Alternatives, an advocacy group in New York, speculated the President might have been concerned about his image.
"Helmets look goofy - you look a little dorky," he said. "When you're the leader of the free world you have to look tough."
White agreed it would have been better if Obama had worn his helmet, but cut him a little slack.
There's a difference between riding on the congestion-clogged streets of Manhattan and a bucolic swath of Massachusetts, he said.
David Mozer, director of the International Bicycle Fund, a nonprofit advocacy group in Seattle, disagreed.
"Most bike accidents just happen. Bicycles up and turn over by themselves, and head injuries are a possible consequence of that," he said. "Head injures don't heal well, and they can be very expensive and life-long."
"It would be great if the President set an example," Mozer said.
Still, Mozer conceded, "It's really hard to get the girl when you're wearing a helmet - they're not real flattering."
But he pointed out bicycling superstar Lance Armstrong looks cool in his helmet.
Last year during the campaign, Obama became the target of ridicule on the Internet when he was photographed riding with a helmet in Chicago.
Perhaps that's why White House spokesman Bill Burton seemed mildly surprised to learn his boss was not wearing his safety gear.
"I know that he generally does wear a helmet when he rides a bicycle," Burton told reporters. "He supports the wearing of bicycle helmets."
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I am no fan of him, but it’s his call whether or not to wear a helmet.... he should tell the groups to stuff it... Besides, if he were seriously injured, his ObamaCare mentors will discuss with him quality of life and how he has the option to end it all.
Gotta side with Zero on this one: those helmets are dorky, and I’d rather die with some dignity than live wearing one of them.
N0 news, please.
These moaning do-gooders kicked off about a statue in a Cincinnati suburb (i.e., inanimate representations of humans made out of bronze) featuring kids riding bikes. There was an expression of exhilaration on their faces but - HORRORS - the sculptor omitted helmets!
Perhaps the most annoying aspect of the Safety Nazis is their naked opportunism: a president, a celebrity, a film, a TV show are there simply to serve as set pieces for their control freakery.
Slack is for taking up, not for giving out.
And this guy is a champion turd-slacker.
Don’t the health care advocates (Nazis) scream about the “idiots” on the motorcycle and wreck being a burden on our current health care system? Well, “that ONE” is who they are talking about.
Because he was wearing his helmet BACKWARDS, duh!
” Bicycles up and turn over by themselves “
There ought to be a special circle in Hell for people who utter this kind of inane stupidity in public....
Oh, and don’t wear one either since I pay for my own health care coverage.
Look at this droky-looking guy and his friends!
Unfortunately, I have to side with the Obamessiah on this one.
He should tell these people to kiss his bicycle seat.
Uh, I mean ‘dorky.’
” Gotta side with Zero on this one “
Has anybody checked on where this picture was taken?? He may very well be in violation of a local ordinance...
If so, would it rise to the level of ‘high crimes and *misdemeanors*??
>>I am no fan of him, but its his call whether or not to wear a helmet.... he should tell the groups to stuff it... <<
Because he was wearing his helmet BACKWARDS, duh!
with a flat tire no less.
Maybe Obama’s science “czar” has repealed the laws of physics.
He wanted his tan to be more even.
In that part of the country, I heard it’s more dangerous to go for an evening drive across narrow bridges.
Bicycle helmets are only required for people 16 years of age and under in that locality.
I remember hearing something like that also...
” Bicycle helmets are only required for people 16 years of age and under in that locality. “
Too bad it refers to calendar age, and not mental/emotional development...
No fan of bike helmets....and not because they look goofy.
The fetish of bike helmets will die once the deaths and crippling injuries from cervical (neck) injuries moves to the forefront.
If you land on your head, wearing a bike helmet, you are more likely to break and/or dislocate vertebrae in your neck...causing paralysis and/or death. Helmets put more stress on your neck in high-impact crashes and accidents.
Uh, no he doesn't. He looks like a colossal dork, just like everyone else.
I will have to “dig” through my computer files at home, but I think I have a copy of a news story from a few years ago which announced the results of a “surprising” study which had found that bicycle accident fatality rates were INCREASING in areas/localities that adopted mandatory bicycle helmet laws.
And, if I am not mistaken, C1 vertebrae fractures / “hangmans” breaks and brain injury due to major concussions NOT accompanied by skull fractures, appeared to be the primary drivers behind the increase.
Obama getting a head injury may actually knock some sense into him.
I guess Obama's predecessor didn't have to worry so much about "looking tough". I definitely remember a helmet in the bicycling pics of 43.
Don’t they know there is a Secret Serviceman that is supposed to throw himself between the Presidents head and the pavement at all times???
I have ridden a bike for 60 some odd years without a helmet. I always wear one when I ride my motorcycle.
I remember a skiing instructor telling us that helmets really didn’t improve safety on the slopes for the reasons you cite. Apparently the safest thing to do is avoid trees. Who knew.
Be careful what you wish for. You might not die before spending months, possibly years, having your diapers changed several times a day. Head injuries offset a lot of dignity we take for granted.
I'd sooner wear the dorky helmet with red ear tufts and a fiberoptic mobile on top.
If guns can go off by themselves, why can’t bikes turn over by themselves?
” there is a Secret Serviceman that is supposed to throw himself between the Presidents head and the pavement “
That must be the fat white guy (wearing the red shirt) in the picture.... I wondered who he was....
“Gotta side with Zero on this one”
NO....Zero wants to pass laws that the rest of us have to abide by. He can do the same...or be impeached. ;-)
Not much difference between how hard the pavement is, though.
Unfortunately, no. 0bama has exempted himself and congress from having to endure their program. They have their own "special" program - for the elite. Us peasants are the only ones that have to endure the death panels.
I NEVER ride without one and it does not take speed to have an accident. I sincerely wish I had a picture of me when I had my bike standing still and turned the front wheel too far and down I went like the best of the 'prat-fall' comics. Funny now, but I fell HARD and the helmet saved at least a major bruise but probably more.
Having said this, when I see pictures like this of the President, my libertarian ideals and my experience war with each other. I do know one thing, that parents are the very best role models for their kids before they become 'too smart'. It is different to say "wear it because it is the law" versus "wear it because I do".
Hard to tell from photo but the 'fat' might be body armor and concealed communication equipment. Just speculating.
But that will save the public healthcare system money. Hence the need to wear the helmets.
I guess there is NO gray matter in there to protect.
OTOH, if his decision to not wear a helmet could result in my being subjected to the hell of President Joe Biden, then I think it is my right as a US citizen to tell Zero to wear a damn helmet!
...and body armor.
I won’t wear one either but I still intensely dislike the president.
The bike helmet issue hasn’t swayed you to his side?