'You better be pimpin' with that helmet on tight' (Roundup)

I would really hate for anyone to ever think that a PSA this contrived and cheesy would have convinced me to wear a helmet.   Still, it’s not a good enough reason for me not to wear one.

One YouTube commenter wrote, “I’m 99% sure this was made in some community service plea bargain agreement with police.”

More lyrics and literary analysis at BikeRumor.

Commute By Bike

Queen of the RoadQueen of the Road is something of a Miss Manners for motorists. A reader asked for advice on the etiquette of passing a cyclist:

Is it legal to cross a double line on a two-lane street (one lane each direction) to pass a slow-moving bicycle? This situation is often presented at Redwood Road and Pinehurst Road between Oakland and Moraga. It is heavily traveled by cars and bicycles. Generally I pass when it is safe (yes, crossing the double line), as it is the common-sense thing to do, but it would be a hard decision if a police car was behind me.

The Queen replied like a sage (with a lawyer looking over her shoulder):

Terry, your question is especially apropos because you added that great comment, “it would be a hard decision if a police officer was behind me.” This is an awesome test anytime you are in doubt. The maneuver you describe violates California Vehicle Code section 21460, which limits what motorists can do with regard to double yellow lines.

While the debate among cyclists continues about whether and/or when a cyclist should ever break traffic laws, I found it sweet–heartening even–to know that there’s at least one motorist out there fretting about the same thing.


Was that too much empathy for motorists for you?

Well there’s this:

In an Australian study, involving bike commuters with helmet-mounted cameras, the cyclists tended to travel in a safe and legal manner, and when there was a collision, near-collision or incident, motorists were judged to be at fault 87% of the time.

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7 thoughts on “'You better be pimpin' with that helmet on tight' (Roundup)”

  1. Thomas Bowden says:

    Ted – you may have just stumbled on the best argument yet for helmets – they make great mounts for cameras which produce video that can be very useful in court if you need to prove it was the other guy’s fault. Maybe if we all wore cameras and made it known, we’d get a little more respect?

    1. Ted Johnson says:

      I have to think that wearing the helmet-mounted cameras affected the behavior of the cyclists to some degree. If I knew that my cycling behavior was going to be analyzed by researchers, I’d probably behave just a little bit better on my bike.

  2. Jim says:

    Looks like the video was from Tennessee? I was passed just a couple of days ago by a Tn State Trooper. On a double yellow. Out in the sticks. Going up hill. No lights. Its only illegal if you are caught! Were in too big a hurry these days.

    1. Ted Johnson says:

      That’s right. This video is associated with The Brain Injury Association of Tennessee. It looks like a worthy nonprofit. Probably could use your tax-deductible donation. I wonder how much you would have to donate to have them promise to never make a rap video again.

  3. James says:

    The second pro helmet post in two day? So Commute By Bike is now the official “Wear a helmet or else” commuting site. Duly noted.

    Too bad the bicycle commuting community needs to be inclusive as opposed to exclusionary. It’s your site though…

    1. Ted Johnson says:

      If my ridiculing a pro-helmet rap video makes CbB “the official ‘Wear a helmet or else’ commuting site” in the minds of some people, then that’s a perception we clearly can’t control.

      In my mind, this is not “the official ‘Wear a helmet or else’ commuting site.” I will assert that (unnecessary as it seems).

      Now that the humor has been drained out of me, I think I’ll scroll up and watch that video again. I could use a laugh.

  4. Chrehn says:

    I like the helmet camera idea.

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