Friday link roundup

Just wanted to share a collection of interesting items spotted on the interwebz this week:

To Avert Liability, Washington Town Drops Helmet Laws

The town of Milton, Washington, just outside Tacoma, is facing tough financial times. Tax revenues have fallen by a $1 million in the past year. Now the budget woes have factored into the lawbooks

For 15 years, until June 1, Milton, population 7,000, 45 minutes south of Seattle, required helmets for all bicyclists and skateboarders. But with its 12-officer police force stressed by an increase in domestic violence, alcohol abuse and property crime, all of which surged through the recession, law enforcement priorities now go way beyond hectoring people about their headgear.

And an inability to enforce a law on the books, the town’s insurance consultant argued, created administrative unevenness that — in the event of an accident by someone who was not nagged or cited about helmet use — posed a liability risk that could bankrupt the community with one swipe from a punitive-minded jury.

Examining the lifecycle of a bike – and its green credentials

Next up is a fascinating look at just how green your bicycle really is. Manufacturing anything on an industrial scale can have consequences for the enviornment, and bicycles are no different than any other widget. The Guardian took a closer look at the process.

When it comes to emissions from cycling, the carbon dioxide that comes out of your average pair of lungs is far less than that of a car or bus.

But with so many more bikes on the road these days, where do they all come from – and how much does the environmental impact of making and disposing of them affect how green they are? To know this, we have to look at the lifecycle of the bike. From the point that the raw materials are dug, or pumped in the case of oil for tyres’ synthetic rubber, out of the ground – to the point when the bike and parts reach the end of their lives. 

Bicycle Sounds by Stephen Meierding

Finally, we all know the unique sounds a bicycle makes – a beautiful symphony. Artist Stephen Meierding collected them into this video, winner of the 2012 Bicycle Short Film Festival. Via Adventure Journal

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