Safety Tip: Always Wear a Helmet

While riding well can prevent crashes, they can still happen in spite of your skill on a bike. Wearing a bike helmet is the most effective way to ensure that if a crash happens, you will survive it. Please keep these five things in mind when thinking about purchasing a helmet:

1. Every helmet sold in the US meets the same safety standards. Spending $200 might get you a cooler helmet, but it won’t get you one that keeps your head safer.

2. However, a helmet won’t help if it doesn’t fit you correctly. Take these steps to put your helmet on right:

  • Place the helmet level on your head, not too far forward or back. The brim should be about two fingers’ width above your eyebrows.
  • The side straps should come to a V just below your earlobes.
  • The chinstrap should be snug under your chin. When you open your mouth wide, you should feel the helmet tug down on the top of your head.
  • The helmet shouldn’t wobble or shake when you move your head.

3. Helmet laws vary by location: people under 16 must wear helmets in DC and MD, under 14 in VA.

4. Helmets are good for one crash only! Additionally, they need to be replaced every 4-6 years whether you have been involved in a crash or not.

5. On a bike, you can avoid many crashes by paying attention and riding visibly & predictably. But you can’t control or avoid everything, and when a crash happens, a bike helmet is your last line of defense. Don’t ride without it!

This is just one tip for safer cycling, but the Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA) is a wellspring of more useful information. Make them your go-to resource for safety tips, bike classes, events and more at

August Member of the Month: William N.

At Capital Bikeshare, we really like numbers – miles traveled, trips taken, calories burned – the bigger the better, as far as we’re concerned! That’s why when it came to choosing our newest Member of the Month, we asked ourselves, “Hmmm….who is our oldest member?” The answer to that, friends, is one Mr. William N., age 79 and a member of Capital Bikeshare for nearly two years. We caught up with William for a brief chat about his experience as a member, and we think he serves as a great example of how Capital Bikeshare really does work for a broad spectrum of people of all ages. Read on for more about our August Member of the Month.

CaBi Bike Steering Limiter Tab Solution

To date, ninety Capital Bikeshare bikes have been found by service staff to have a broken steering limiter tab and removed from service.  The tab is a small piece of metal that is part of the steerer tube and which runs in a narrow channel on the top of the fork crown.  The tabs are there to give the bike better stability when the kick stand is down, prevent damage to the frame from over-steering, and protect the wiring in the head tube.  Our mechanics have discovered that sometimes this tab breaks and needs to be removed.  Since the launch of the system, all bikes that have been found to have a steering limiter tab problem have been removed from service pending a solution from the bike manufacturer.

The solution recently became available after rigorous testing to ensure that Capital Bikeshare riders will see no difference in the performance or quality of the bikes. The black buttons that can be found on some of the bikes on both sides of the downtube are designed to serve the same purpose as the steering limiter tab.  We are in the process of applying this solution to all bikes that have been found to have steering tab issues.  Capital Bikeshare will continue to monitor the fleet and any additional bikes that are found to have the steering tab issue will also receive the solution.