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Coupon in Mail for Free Bike Helmet, CaBi Membership

by Katie Pyzyk March 5, 2012 at 1:45 pm 6,232 33 Comments

(Updated at 2:10 p.m.) If the lack of owning a helmet has been holding you back from riding a bike, you’re about to lose an excuse. An offer for a free helmet is in your mail.

Check your pile of mail for last week’s edition of The Citizen, which contained a BikeArlington pamphlet. It offers a plethora of information, including a large map highlighting local biking routes, tips for safe cycling and information about Capital Bikeshare.

Attached to the front is a coupon for a free helmet and reflective clip-on light.  There’s also a coupon for one free 24-hour membership to Capital Bikeshare. The Bikeshare membership can be redeemed online using the individual code on each coupon. The bike helmet coupon can be redeemed at any Commuter Store around Arlington, while supplies last.

Right now, there are 550 helmets and 1,100 lights available. If there is a high demand, the county says it plans to purchase additional helmets.

  • j

    Got mine yesterday. No coupon attached.

    • Bonissa Meldi

      I demanded that someone else pay for my contraception, and all I got was this lousy, free bike helmet.

      • Jim

        Glad Arlington has solved all of its other problems.

  • Ballston

    Just threw ours out yesterday. I didn’t see the coupon attached to mine.

  • FunnyMunny

    No coupon on mine either. I wonder why these aren’t making it from the post office to our mailboxes….hmmmm. Or might it be just a random selection, a la “I’ve got a golden ticket!”

    • JamesE

      If you pay a car tax you do not get a coupon.

      • Tabs


        Where’s Car-Free Matt? I’m outraged.

      • Arlington, Northside

        Boy, do I pay! And I still got the coupon, sending the kids to pick one up for me after school. They already have helmets, per the LAW, and have been bugging me to wear one.

        • drax

          Every parent has that moment when he realizes his kids are smarter than he is.

  • Stitch_Jones

    Is there a subsidy that our county does not love?

    Cripes! Arlington residents can by and large afford these things on their own.

    And even if they could not, it is not the taxpayer’s responsibility to fund voluntary activity.

    This seems to get worse every day. Of course I also get older and crankier, so I will concede that aspect in order to keep some good humor.

  • drax

    Coupons are promotions, not subsidies.

    • Arlington, Northside

      Is there really a need for the County to use tax payer money for such a promotion? I don’t know a single person who’s excuse for not riding their bike is a lack of helmet. The free days use of the bike share program on the otherhand is a good idea that could promote use.

      • drax

        The “”excuse” comment was ArlNow’s, not the county’s. I don’ t know if the helmet giveaway is worth it, but it’s a promotion.

    • Jim

      Indeed, drax.

  • novasteve

    I wonder when Arlington will start subsidizing the Washington Post? Readership is down, maybe they can keep it afoat that way, and of course penalizing anyone who reads the Washington Times.

    • drax

      Newspaper reading is the county’s business (though you can read it for free at the library).

      Transportation is the county’s business.

      • novasteve

        If transportation is the county’s business, why don’t they give me free oil changes? Why are they using my tax money to encourage people to sign up with Capital Bikeshare?

        • Arlwhat

          Because you have sinned. Your penance is to move somewhere that will give your whining gland a rest.

        • drax

          You understand that the county builds and maintains roads and bridges and sidewalks and runs a bus service, right Steve?

          And you understand that getting more people on bikes gets them off the roads too, right Steve? And that it is MUCH cheaper to get someone on a bike than to build and maintain roads, right Steve?

          But no, no free oil changes.

        • R. Griffon

          Because it’s clean and healthy. Vice your car, which is neither.

  • Pablo

    Not sure about this one but I know a lot of these transportation programs aren’t funded by the County–they get the dough from state or federal grants.

    • drax

      Could also be funded by CaBi, not tax funds. Don’t know though.

  • Biker

    Is it a law that a bike helmet be worn?
    I’d much prefer not to—and I certainly understand the consequences of not wearing one.

    Thanks for the guidance on this one.

    • Arlington, Northside

      The law requires kids to wear them.

    • Arlington, Northside

      Arlington, Falls Church, Fairfax require a helmet until age 15.

    • Michael H.

      It’s usually a good idea to wear a helmet, although it doesn’t offer protection in all situations, notably high-speed collisions with cars.

      FYI, the accident and injury rate for the entire Capital Bikeshare system has been extraordinarily low. Over the first year and four (?) months, there were about 1.6 million individual bike trips. There were about 17 accidents, of which only two resulted in serious injuries to the cyclist (including a well-publicized crash last week).

      The CaBi bikes are very sturdy. They are also relatively slow. But it’s that slow speed that contributes to their safety. It’s much easier to see others and be seen by others when you are traveling at slower speeds. And in the few instances when someone crashes, those crashes are likely to be at low speed.

    • dTagg

      I had a professor in college that was not wearing a helmet. Unfortunately when he came to a stop he could not unclip from the pedal and ultimately fell to his death by hitting his head on the curb. He was an extremely talented cyclist and had been racing for much of his life. I guess he just did not expect to make such a mistake on a casual joy ride. I would reevaluate your decision of wearing a helmet sir.

      • Biker

        Please, ALWAYS wear a helmet! If not for you, for the loved ones that will have to take care of you not if you die but if you have a life-changing brain injury from the accident!
        Brain injury can result from small accidents, you don’t have to be riding on a busy street or super fast for a distraction or problem to happen, and in the blink of an eye, your life and your loved ones’ lives can change forever…

  • Daniella

    I don’t think I received this. Is there an online version?

  • Alisa

    My coupon was already in the wastepaper basket before I read this and realized what treasure I had. Immediately went fishing for it and claimed my sweet, sweet helmet! (Subsidized by Capital Bikeshare, BTW, since you’ll be a rolling advertisement every time you ride around with their logo on the bright red topper.)

  • LizViz

    Buckingham is not a slum. There were 22 crimes reported in the last month across Arlington, one in Buckingham.

  • frank

    I stopped by the Ballston commuter store on march 17th and the woman there said they were out of helmets, didn’t know of any commuter stores that had any, but would know on the 20th whether they were getting any more.


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