Finland’s Cyclist of the Year wears her Giro Banjo H Helmet

Our designer friends at House Industries are proud that Kaisa Leka, Finland’s Cyclist of the Year, wears a Giro Banjo H Helmet


  1. She is also a superb cartoonist. She has a wonderful graphic novel about her trip from Southern Finland to Southern France called Tour d’Europe.

  2. Love how you made the pic big enough that there is a scrolly surprise!!!  Very nice!!!!

  3. I’ve been considering getting a Giro for myself.  The black/grey color choice though.

  4. Also, she’s a cyborg! 
    (I always wonder how people with vision impairments manage to get through life with a smile.)

    1. Ever meet someone with the classic scar across their forehead from going over the bars and faceplanting on the pavement? Were they wearing a helmet when it happened? 

    2. Sorry but that guy is full of shit. He specifically says that you have an increased risk of brain injury if you wear a helmet which doesn’t gel with this:

      In regression analyses to control for age, sex, income, education, cycling experience, and the severity of the accident, we found that riders with helmets had an 85 percent reduction in their risk of head injury (odds ratio, 0.15; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.07 to 0.29) and an 88 percent reduction in their risk of brain injury (odds ratio, 0.12; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.04 to 0.40)

      That happens to be in the first result on Google Scholar for the search phrase “effectiveness of bicycle safety helmets”, so it’s not exactly secret information. This guy might be a good speaker, but he is totally making crap up. Just because it’s TED doesn’t mean it’s right. I trust the New England Journal of Medicine more than some snarky fucktard trying to convince people of his opinion.

      Don’t like the Brits? How about this from the Journal of the American Medical Association: Risk of head injury in helmeted vs unhelmeted cyclists adjusted for age and motor vehicle involvement indicate a protective effect of 69% to 74% for helmets for 3 different categories of head injury.

      Then there’s the case of Japan where many people ride bicycles and helmets are not required. It’s more dangerous to ride a bicycle there than a motorbike. In Japan cyclist fatalities are up while driving fatalities are down. Or this factoid from the Japanese version of Asahi Shinbun: bicycle users accounted for 14% of deaths from traffic accidents, the highest among industrialized countries

      No thanks for your ‘contribution’.

      1. Where’s your source showing that its more dangerous to ride a bike than a motor bike in Japan? 

        Also the linked article says bike fatalities are up 5% on the previous year (it doesn’t actually say the previous year part, but judging the paragraph below I figure that’s the dataset they’re using). Any idea on the rates of cycling over the same time?

        Also, the fatalities in cars decreasing, almost certainly because they’ve only just made seat-belts for rear seat passengers mandatory!

        As for this: bicycle users accounted for 14% of deaths from traffic accidents, the highest among industrialized countries

        There’s this to help explain it: “The total number of bicycle ownership in Japan is more than 80 million, second only to the world’s third-largest in China and the United States”. (From the translated page you linked to).

        Also this, (I’ve only found data on Tokyo):
        Mode-share for bikes: 14%.
        Mode-share for private transport (assuming that’s cars and motorbikes): 12%.
        The rest is pretty much all rail and walking.
        Source: – haven’t verified if this is any good. I’m at work.

        When more people are on bikes than in cars, you would expect a higher rate of fatalities on bikes compared to other countries.

        In my anecdotal experience. Japan is a much safer country to ride than Australia, when things get hairy on the road you’re completely allowed to get on the footpath and ride there.

        1. I agree totally that it’s generally safer to ride in Japan than Australia but that’s got a lot to do with how psycho drivers are here and that metro speed limits in Tokyo and any other major Japanese city are 50km/h on every single road except the above-ground highways.

          As to your first question: I couldn’t give you a source for the stat about it being more dangerous to ride a bike than a motorbike. In retrospect my statement might not be entirely true. The figure I’d read on government documents when I went to attempt for my 100cc motorbike license at the Japanese equivalent of the RTA was that there are more fatalities on bicycles than on motorbikes.

          Depends how you break that stat down as to whether it’s more ‘dangerous’ or not. If you divide number of total riders by number of fatalities then bicycles are probably much safer, but if you divide total Kilometers traveled by number of fatalities I’d say my original statement may be true. In any case the actual figure I read was that there are more bicycle fatalities annually than there are motorbike fatalities.

          BTW when did they change the law about back seat seatbelts? I’d always thought it was insane they didnt have to wear them in the back, especially considering there’s often no airbags there.

          I’d seen that stat about 80 million bike users but was is misleading about it is the type of trip those bicycles are used for. Most of those cyclists would ride less than 1km to the train station and park their bike. Young guys will sometimes ride longer distances but it’s fairly uncommon to meet anyone who rides more than a suburb or two because a 50cc scooter in Tokyo will set you back about $500 or less… and you can ride them with a normal car license.

          But you’re right, it’s not very dangerous to ride in Japan. I drunkenly rode to many a bar and I live to tell the tale. I just took issue with this guy’s 1 line dismissal of bike helmets, against the scientific consensus and in a post about a nice helmet on a nice lady.

          1. Fair enough.

            The seatbelt thing was in the third paragraph of the Treehugger article you linked to.

            I agree that helmet’s help reduce brain damage and I certainly don’t argue against their use. Mandatory Helmet Laws on the other hand…

    3.  There are a vanishingly tiny percentage of situations in which seat belts and air bags actually cause harm too.  This doesn’t mean that they are a bad idea.  I ride several thousand miles a year and my helmet has saved me from serious injury once, I don’t ride without it.

  5. I’m always inspired by people who overcome physical disabilities to become world-class athletes. I wonder how long she’s lived with near-sightedness.

  6. {neat helmet}
    {she has a great smile}
    {so she won cyclist of the year for some reason and she wears a cool helmet}
    {what do you have to do to win cyclist – WOAH!}

    1. The reasons for her being selected as Cyclist of the Year? According to the press release (note, it’s a pdf: )… translation mine:
      “[because she] has actively bicycling as a hobby, speaks and writes in favor of bicycling, and is an inspiring example for everyday bicycling and traveling by bicycle”.

      Then they go on to describe how she has traveled by bicycle to such locations as Murmansk, the Arctic Ocean, around Island, and to Costa Rica, and by this shown that even big dreams are possible to fulfill for most of us. And they also note that some of her cartoons describe bicycling in a humoristic way.

  7. You got me too :)

    I love that dress. She’s subtly coordinating with the helmet! 

    Thanks for the link @boingboing-bcf91d4aab3af835565a6aa3b5165a75:disqus – she seems like an awesome person all around.

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