Postcards from the edge: Obama sans helmet

August 27, 2009

OBAMA/President Barack Obama got a lot of blog biting for looking “dorky” (hey not our word) when he wore a bicycle helmet while dodging traffic in the urban streets of Chicago.

So it was a different look when he was photographed on a bicycle in the fields of Martha’s Vineyard with hair freely blowing in the wind (although we are told it’s unclear whether the helmet was off only at the time the photograph was taken or through the whole ride).

 All other family members with him were in helmets for sure.

OBAMA/The White House assures everyone that the president “supports the wearing of bicycle helmets.”

In Massachusetts bicycle riders under age 17 are required to wear bicycle helmets, so no laws broken…

Anyway here are some postcards from the first family vacation.

Photo Credit: Reuters/Jason Reed (Sasha Obama walks her bike, President Obama rides his)


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What idiot wrote the text? How does a guy who has barely a 1/4 of tightly curled hair, basically a skullcap, have “hair freely blowing in the wind”? If I took a hurricane fan I couldn’t get his hair to move. Geez, I know you all are in love with the guy, but at least try to follow reality. A little, anyway.

Posted by Moe C. Larry | Report as abusive

Of course the Prez has no helmet! They are not needed in almost all instances – particularly in vacation areas.

The daughter’s helmet is useless the way it is being worn. But she in no danger.

I trust no Nanny Staters will attempt to make hay out of one of the rare instances of presidential common sense.

Posted by Hubert Smith | Report as abusive

What hair?

Posted by Frankie | Report as abusive

Tell it all to the friend of mine who, while biking on the old railroad bed bike trail on the Cape, at low speed, fell off her bike and ended up in over a week in intensive care simply as a result of not protecting her head with a helmet. Lucky to be alive! Vanity, thy name is (among other things) “Obama.”

Posted by william plumb | Report as abusive

Seriously? Obama made a decision to not wear a helmet based on bloggers’ complaints of him looking ‘dorky’?

Laws about helmets are designed to protect those (such as young people) who might not be able to make a sound decision. Thank goodness he requires his children to wear helmets, although helmets are of little value unless they fit properly and are used with a chin strap.

Anyone who thinks a helmet ‘is not needed in almost all instances’ probably hasn’t dealt with a concussion, broken bones or permanent brain damage.

Posted by Sallt | Report as abusive 515.stm

and another? 06/

Yes these are two separate incidents…

Posted by James | Report as abusive

Obama is a fantastic role model. The health benefits of cycling are far greater than the risk of falling on a bicycle. The mythologists with their fabricated ‘a helmet saved my life’ stories sadly don’t understand a helmet’s design limitations. And, strangely, they don’t advocate helmets for people in higher risk zones such as pedestrians and motorists.

Posted by Elle | Report as abusive

Everybody seems to miss th epoit that the President sets a good example by going on a bikeride with his kids.

When it comes to the helmet, their usability, efficiency and potential for good in the greater picture of road safety or even more public health have been wildly exaggerated.

I can recommed the following article written by a physician : 21/7276/1582
“Three lessons for a better cycling future”

The Wikipedia article on Bicycle helmets is an ok starting point, with lots of references to researech and critiques of research : met

The following site contains the broadest set of commentaries on bicycle helmet studies :

For those that want something more lightweight, and less accurate, have a look at this video :

Posted by Morten Lange | Report as abusive