Hot business idea: Chinese bicycle helmet company

I have no idea if tere is such a company, but right now they’re not making any money. I see thousands of people riding bikes everyday everywhere, and I can’t recall ever seeing someone (other than the oddball foreigner) wearing a helmet. But you know what? Traffic is pretty crazy here. As remarkable as people here are to keep things moving in what appears to be total chaos, sometimes it is just that. Especially when it gets dark and there are still bicycles whirring about. And for a second assume that they have lights or reflective gear. Oh no. On my walk home from dinner tonight, I walked in front of an alley with a truck pulling out, and as the truck pulled out behind me, pop, it hit a woman (in her 50’s it looked like) on a bike. The truck wasn’t going terribly fast, but fast enough that the woman couldn’t avoid. She didn’t appear to be terribly injured, but she did hit her head on the street. I actually wanted to help, but being the only foreigner around, and not speaking the language, I wasn’t sure what I could/should do. It was kinda weird in that no one wanted to get involved. I stood around long enough to make sure that she got some attention, but I got the impression that once she got maybe a little first aid, that was the end of that. I don’t think these kinds of incidents are terribly uncommon, nor do I think there’s any consequence for the driver or the company behind the truck. In China it feels like every man (and woman) for themself. I could be wrong–it’s just my impression. Anyway, I remember about a dozen years ago when bike helmets became mandatory in Washington State, and the lobbyists against the idea complained that it would only make the helmet companies rich. I can only imagine what would happen when China finally decides the safety of its people is worth enforcing, and all of a sudden 1 billion people are the market for a bike helmet. Chaching.

About Curt Carpenter

Father of 2, development manager at Microsoft, boardgamer.
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