November 7, 2013

The Invisible Bike Helmet. No, Seriously. ~ Paige Vignola {Video}

While cycling has become more commonplace in many major cities across the world, most places still lack the necessary infrastructure to make a cycling commute less fraught with danger.

Without bike lanes, cyclists have to compete with motor vehicles ranging in size from the Smart Car to the Hummer, the drivers of which rarely—if ever—pay attention to their two wheeled compatriots on the road.

The lack of bike lanes forces cyclists to find their way through the muddle of metal side by side with behemoths a thousand times their weight.

For this reason I’m always surprised when I see cyclists sharing the road with cars, but without protective head gear.

In my little corner of the world, the roads are congested and narrow, the drivers are far more concerned with the texts and status updates than with the action of driving their cars and they drive seemingly unaware of the hazards their cars and trucks present to both pedestrians and cyclists alike.

Yet more than once I have heard the common complaint of the cyclist that wearing a helmet is impractical when commuting to work—helmet head, anyone?—and that the device itself is bulky and uncomfortable.

This surprises me not in the least in a culture where even motorcyclists who speed along in excess of 80 miles per hour refuse to wear protection.

Finally, it seems, someone has taken it as a personal and professional mission to rectify this setback.  Enter Anna and Terese who determined that there must be a better way.

These two women have devised a new product, as part of a university project, designed to create a helmet for cyclists that is “invisible”.  I will describe it no further so I do not diminish the effect of their video.

I was floored.

And with their helmet, I could be floored and still remain safe.


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 Editor: Catherine Monkman

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Paige Vignola