Thursday, June 30, 2011

Is my helmet still good?

Helmets are great! Helmets are amazing! Helmets can save your life! But helmets also have short lifespans!

We have many customers come in and ask a similar question "Is my helmet still good?". This is one of those questions of the philosophical nature, the one that you probably already know the answer too, much like "should I take a shower today?" or "am I really in love with that person?". No, your helmet is probably not still in proper working order. This is kinda a big thing since proper "working" order means still having that life saving ability.

How can you really tell? Me and my co-workers favorite test... The hand break test!! If you can break a helmet with your hands... get a new one!!!

Picture: Spanish snapping a helmet in half with her mighty do-good arms

So what is a helmets life-span? Most manufacturers recommend replacement after 3 to 5 years depending on your climate. If your on a coast next to a sea think 3 years max, here in MPLS we usually get around 4 years sometimes 5 if your lucky and store it somewhere proper. There are also many things that reduce the life expectancy of a helmet. Some of those being dropping it, crashes (you should replace after even a single crash), puppy dogs eating it (this happens a ton!) and outside storage.

Picture: This is a helmet being locked to a bike, if you do this on a regular basis you should start thinking of replacing the helmet yearly. The sun is a helmet killer!

Why do helmets have such a short lifespan? They are Styrofoam, not a very environmental material but the best to make helmets out of. Styrofoam breaks down and gets brittle at a very quick rate (remember those Styrofoam coolers that would break after a month or three?). The reason they use it is because of the nature of the material. A bike helmet sacrifices itself to save your head. It is meant to crack and compress when your head hits the ground in order to slow the impact down. This also means that once that helmet gets squished and broken it is no longer good. This can also happen by simply dropping it (usually more than once at the same spot or from a high height).

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Northside Bike Fest

The Hub Bike Coop working with partnerships in North Minneapolis, held the Northside Bike Fest even though North Commons had just opened. The North Commons Park had been a shelter for residence displaced by the tornado. 

Bike Fest 2011 North Commons
Many kids were happy to win a new or used bike, and raced around the parking lot with their new free helmet on their heads!

There are two more Northside Bike Fests left.

Fowell Park 1615 Dowling Ave. N 4-7 p.m.
Glen Gale Park 2448 Llion Ave N 4-7 p.m.
(Rain Cancels)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

MplsBikeLove interviewed Chris Huff to find out more about our great new mural. Read more here:

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Bike Walk Week is Coming!

...and it is going to be the best ever. Not only because bicycle use in Minneapolis is growing, but there is going to be a grand finale. A street fair and cyclovia running 20 blocks of Lyndale Ave!

The week starts on June 4th and there will be events throughout, and ending with a cyclovia. Originally started in Bogota, Columbia a cyclovia turns an auto filled street into a pedestrian and bicycle-friendly festival. It involves taking auto traffic off the street and providing space for people to congregate, share food and music, and get some fresh air. The Minneapolis version will be on Lyndale Ave between between 22nd St and 42nd St, going from 10-2PM on Sunday June 12th. Find out more at Open Streets Minneapolis.