BU Today

Health & Wellness

Put Your Helmet On!

A rap video for bike safety, starring Rhett


It’s great that the Alliance for Biking and Walking three years ago named Boston the country’s safest walking and biking city, but in US cities, walking safety and biking safety are relative terms. Bikers in all cities have to be careful at all times. They need to take care, which often means preventive action. With that in mind, Rhett the Terrier puppet and Warren Towers have teamed up to teach you how to ride on the roads the best way they know:

Through an up-tempo, educational hip-hop song.

Wear a Helmet

Yes, we’ve all read about how people in the Netherlands don’t have to wear helmets, because their culture is far more bike-friendly than ours, but the bottom is line is: we’re not in the Netherlands.

Be Seen

If a car can’t see you, the car can’t avoid you—use front and rear lights at dawn, dusk, night, and in any situation where you might be hard to see. If you see that cars are using their lights, use yours!

Obey the Rules of the Road

When you bike on the road, realize that all road rules apply to you. When the choice is to delay your trip by a few minutes for a red light or risk get T-boned by a car you didn’t see…well, you get the picture.

Defensive Biking

There isn’t a single rule that will keep a biker from being doored or hit in a turn, but there are a few things you can do to reduce risk. Anticipate where vehicles are likely to go, and make your own path as predictable as possible. Drivers can’t read your mind any better than you can read theirs. Is the bus ahead of you stopped? Assume that passengers may be getting in or out on the right side. Is that a taxi pulling over? Doors may be opening soon after. If you’re in a bike lane in congested traffic, ride at a speed that will allow you to react immediately should something get in your way. Think ahead to what might be ahead!

This story was originally published on October 15, 2013.

Joe Chan

Joe Chan can be reached at joechan@bu.edu.

6 Comments on Put Your Helmet On!

  • CAITLIN CUSHMAN on 10.15.2013 at 3:08 pm

    This is awesome.

  • Beatrice on 10.16.2013 at 12:01 am

    That was cute!

  • Earle on 10.16.2013 at 9:24 am

    I’ve been waiting for this video to come out for quite a while. As someone who doesn’t bike, the message was very informative, and I really enjoyed the cameos by Devin, Jay, and some people I actually met for the first time recently from around the office. I really like how the riding sequences were edited, too. Jay’s expressions while cruising were wonderful.

  • Liz on 10.17.2013 at 5:49 pm

    Very well done! Its important to note the necessity of “taking the lane” when there is no bike lane present. Especially in narrow street or when cars are parked along the side. Of course the door-zone is often a danger when in the bike lane as well.

  • Marc on 10.19.2013 at 8:32 pm

    Great video, all made sense, straight forward, simple advice, except for the helmet bit, that was a bit, well, stupid.

  • alan on 12.03.2013 at 10:25 pm

    thanks joe, that’ll be stuck in my head for a few weeks

Post Your Comment

(never shown)