Arthur’s bike blog

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They were obviously waiting for a chum who lived there. What got my attention was that one of them took the other’s cycle helmet and flung it as far as he could – they are quite light so they don’t travel far – then he jumped up and down on it.

I was curious why he did this, as it appeared to belong to the other lad, who was not concerned at all, and even joined in. I presumed that most probably he didn’t want it any more, either he wasn’t cut out to be a helmet wearer, or it wasn’t sufficiently cool to sit on his head any longer.

There seems to be a definite ‘want to’ or ‘definitely don’t want to’ wear a helmet culture among cyclists. I quite well remember a customer who said to me that he would rather be brain dead than wear a helmet. Well, that’s a definite no then!

You do often see kids cycling along with their helmet dangling on the handle bars, just waiting to slip into the spokes of the front wheel and send them flying over the handlebars.

In fact, I cycled to work the other day with a buddy who did exactly the same thing; he was going mountain biking later that day, and in the meantime he too, wore his helmet on the handlebars whilst we rode into St.Helier. I didn’t like to mention it as I have the utmost respect for the guy, but I think it odd, especially as he has a senior position in one of the emergency services.

What is even odder, is the way that people object so strongly to buying a helmet. If they think little Royston will not wear it / throw it on the floor / lose it / feed it to the dog, why bother.

Personally I don’t mind if they wear a helmet or not, so why not spend the money on a third of a pair of trainers or half a Nintendo game.

Our grandfathers fought a war so that we could be free of such oppressive tyranny as wearing a cycle helmet.

Actually, in places where helmet wearing is mandatory, there always appears to be a fall in cycle injuries, no surprise there, a lot less people are cycling because they don’t want to wear a helmet, so the figures go down.

As one St.Helier Chef de Police said to me ‘it’s all a lot of bull’, as he recounted some horrific crash to a colleague. I think this worthy has passed on now, and guess what, it wasn’t whilst out cycling.

So there you are, there are people who don’t want one, and other people who don’t want to buy one, so what’s all the fuss about?

Myself, I’ve worn a helmet for approaching 20 years. It might have been that I was leading by example, when my kids were small, or it might have been that Honda Acty van, that gave me such a smart side parting when he turned right, across my path one morning. What do you think?

Braking (late) News

Nocturnes – The Formula 1 of Cycle Racing

Coming to a city near you! The 2009 Nocturne Series promises to be the biggest and best so far. The series has attracted a number of big name sponsors; Highland Spring, Red Bull and Malmaison Hotels.

Being held on Saturday nights in city centres, each street circuit should prove to be uniquely demanding for the riders. And it won’t be all pro-riders either, to increase the appeal, there will be races for folding bikes, corporate challenges and roller racing.

The series begins in Edinburgh on May 30. It moves to Smithfield Market in London on June 6 and finally Blackpool on August 1. Follow the action at

CTC says safety in numbers

With the British Government putting together plans for a new Road safety Strategy for the next ten years, the Cyclist’s Touring Club are suggesting that evidence proves that the more people who cycle or walk, the safer it becomes.

The CTC back up that view, with research undertaken by Peter Lyndon Jacobsen, an American public health consultant. In 2003, Jacobsen wrote a paper that aligned the number of people walking or cycling with the incidence of collisions between walkers, cyclists and motorists.

One would assume that the more walkers and cyclists there are, the more accidents there are, but Jacobsen found the direct opposite. He suggested that policies that increase the numbers of walkers and cyclists actually did wonders for their safety.

And finally a few quotes on cycles and cycling:

‘The finest mode of transport known to man’ – Adam Hart-Davis (boffin)

‘If you brake, you don’t win’ – Mario Cipollini (bike racer)

‘Whoever invented the bicycle deserves the thanks of humanity’ – Lord Charles Beresford


• Arthur Lamy is the manager of Boudins for Bikes, in Sand Street, and author of Jersey Cycles. He has spent 15 years as a tourist guide and writer, and is also a keen photographer. More information can be found on his website:

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