City Desk

The Needle: Spaced Out Edition

Capital CrashShare: The way some people ride Capital BikeShare bikes, you'd think accidents involving the service were frequent. (Besides, the bikes feel damn near indestructible while you're on them, and by "damn near indestructible," we mean "very slow.") But today's incident on U Street NW where a tractor trailer and a cyclist collided was only the 17th accident since the service debuted. That means a crash every 90,000 rides, which is pretty rare. The cyclist's injuries were not life-threatening; police haven't said who was at fault yet. -1

Go Back To Philly, Sen. Casey: Earlier this month, Sen. Bob Casey, a Pennsylvania Democrat, started complaining about the Washington Nationals' plans to restrict advance ticket sales for a series against the Philadelphia Phillies. First, he whined about it on Twitter, and then he apparently followed up with a letter to the team. Today, the team wrote back, telling Casey, politely, to piss off. Guess we shouldn't count on Casey's help getting D.C. a vote in Congress any time soon. +2

All Of The Lights: This is a daily meter of quality of life in D.C., which means, really, a photo taken from space of the East Coast of the United States shouldn't have that much impact on it. But the photo is really cool, and D.C. is dead smack in the middle of it. So check it out here. +2

Ground Control To Discovery: Speaking of space, the now-retired space shuttle Discovery is coming to Dulles International Airport. Officials say the spacecraft will arrive from Kennedy Space Center on April 17 on the back of a Boeing 747, then (after two days of work) head to the District to be celebrated outside the National Air and Space Museum. No word on what kind of fees airlines charge to add a space shuttle to your flight. +2

Yesterday's Needle rating: 50 Today's score: +5 Today's Needle rating: 55

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  • Susan Meehan

    I've known three people well who had life-changing accidents while riding a bike without a helmet. One friend developed amnesia - for 12 years, and then died. The second had to drop out of engineering school because he could no longer handle the math, and the third, a well-loved school teacher and artist, ended up on disabiity, and wa reduced to living once again in his mother's guest room. I think that even one bike accident of a helmetless rider is one too many. Three-quarters of the riders - I count them - in the Dupont Circle area where I live do not wear helmets. Those who rent bikes are almost certain not to wear a helmet, because none are made available. In each case, these are accidents waiting to happen.

    I find no excuse for this dangerous situation at all. Politicians are afraid to annoy the growing number of bike riders. I just wish that bike riders who do not want to mess their haircuts and hairdos could have seen the pitiable state of my friend with amnesia. I bet their mothers value their continued good health more than the passing damage to their son's or daughter's hair. Put first things first, and wear a helmet. Every time. And change the law to require helmets.

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