Kati ReuschePosted: March 27, 2014
Sometimes your friends in the bike community hook you up with cool people to feature on your blog.
Such was the case when my friend Greg Hum recommended I talk to Kati Reusche, a colleague of his who happens to own one of those “invisible helmets” you’ve probably heard about. It’s called a Hövding (pronounced something like “hoov-ding). If you haven’t heard, this Swedish designed product is like an airbag for your head that detects when you’ve been in a collision and inflates automatically to protect your gray matter.
Originally from Germany, Kati works at Boston University and rides her bike from her home in Beacon Hill to work most days throughout the year. After our photo shoot, we caught up via email for a little Q & A.
Before you owned the Hövding, did you wear a helmet?
With great dislike, always.
What do you like most about it?
I like that I don’t have to wear something on my head so that I can feel the wind in my hair which is nice and cool, especially in the summer. And in the end, it’s vanity. Helmets just don’t look great.
I haven’t worn the Hövding all year yet. It might be a bit warm around your neck in the summer. We’ll see…
Where do you ride most often in Boston?
I ride on the Esplanade everyday as part of my commute.
What do you like about it?
I love the landscaping with the river and both cities on either side, coming home with the sun coloring everything golden and the security of not riding in traffic.
What would you like to see improved?
I would love if some of the other bikers -especially the male riders on their fast bikes- would be more mindful that the Esplanade is not a race track. It’d be nice to have a less bumpy ride which would also make rollerblading much more fun. The ultimate improvement would be if I could cool off in the river, and there was a bath house or a place to have a glass of something refreshing at a restaurant.
Having grown up in Germany, what would you say are the main difference between riding a bike in Boston and at home?
As a typical German, I have to say ‘Rules’. You learn how to bike in traffic very early on. Red lights are not just street decoration. And as part of the very lengthly German drivers education, you get it drilled into your head to share the road with bikes. Bike lanes are everywhere in Germany and I have never felt unsafe. Biking is not a niche, hipster or anything. It’s just what you do.
Any parting thoughts?
I hope that more and more people will feel safer and happier when they bike in Boston.
Ride on, Kati!