Mikael at Copenhagenize has a nice round up of different cities’ efforts to promote cycling.  The European ones actually make cycling look like–wait for it, because it’s pretty crazy–a fun part of a fun lifesyle.  In contrast, the New York one helpfully reminds drivers not to kill people with their cars.

But the videos show something that a North American can’t help but notice about European cycling.  Well, okay, two things.  First, Copenhagen really is a city full of six-foot models on bikes.  It’s insane.  You have to see it to believe it.  But second, it’s striking how common it is for Europeans to bike without helmets.

It’s a useful reminder that helmets are only one way to keep cyclists safe from getting killed by drivers.  Another way is giving them wide bike lanes, maybe even ones that are separated from cars (although that also has its own downsides).  And interestingly, there’s evidence that suggests just having more cyclists on the road makes it safer for all of them.  This isn’t to argue that cyclists shouldn’t wear helmets, but it’d be nice if they weren’t the first and only line of defense between their heads and the Hummers of the world.