There was one piece of equipment, apart from a bike that the organisers of the Cycletta event at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo absolutely insisted on. A cycling helmet.
In their words “No helmet – no ride”. And yet if you canvas the opinion of Sustrans, the leading UK charity to encourage greater use of bicycles, you will find that they are against the idea of cycling helmets being compulsory by law. Sustrans would far rather campaign for greater access to traffic free roads and to encourage greater participation of cycling than start putting barriers in the way or giving reasons why more people should not cycle.
For women especially, cycle helmets and hair are not happy partners – a fact recognised by the Cycletta organisation team as they had set up a special pampering zone for women to get their hair back into shape after their 40km ride. This of course is not a facility in every day life.
So despite calls from the BMA to make the wearing of cycling helmets a legal requirement, there are others who feel that it should be down to the individual’s choice and that by making it legal would greatly reduce the number of cyclists and especially women.
However in an article by Jorren Knibbe who is a barrister and writes about cycling law http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/bike-blog/2011/sep/08/helmet-legal-status the courts are starting to look very differently at compensation for individuals involved in an accident – who chose not to wear a helmet.
There are some dilemmas and decisions to be made here for both individuals and for government and charitable organisations. Hopefully a solution will be found to encourage as many people as possible to cycle with confidence and in safety. And especially women.
- Cycletta. Will these women only cycling events encourage a new revolution?
- Women only cycling event supported by Olympic Gold Medalist – Victoria Pendleton
- Family cycling holidays on the Isle of Wight cycling network
- Children should be safe to cycle outdoors
- Images of the Cycletta Event with Victoria Pendleton