I left San Francisco to bike through France and now I’m in Berlin, Germany visiting a friend. Berlin is exploding with creativity and innovation with their rapidly growing start-up tech scene. This is not the only city nor field full of innovation in Europe right now, though. This video is going viral in Europe right now. Two young women from Sweden have been researching bicycle collisions for 7 years and have developed an invisible helmet.
Bicycle culture in Europe is much different than in San Francisco. The majority of riders are not solely young people. I regularly see people of all ages, from children as young as 7 with front and rear panniers touring with their families, to women in their 80′s who don’t look particularly sporty, they just simply ride their bike to get around. Another stark difference is that 99 percent of city bikes that I see are cruisers. Everybody rides cruisers! Another difference is that tourers in Europe favor a mountain bike touring hybrid set-up over road bikes. The relevance of bicycling remains the same across the globe though. As one of the entrepreneurs in the short film says, “Cars are so yesterday. Bikes are the future.” Safety concerns also remain the same, especially for city dwellers so this invention could be an exciting addition to bicycle culture. There have been critical comments already, which is not a bad thing when it comes to your safety. Another remarkable difference between American cycling culture and in Europe is that people here very rarely wear helmets while riding even while touring or road riding. So in this case, something may be better than nothing. See for yourself here.