Students riding bikes at Stanford University were more likely to wear face masks than helmets, according to a study published Wednesday.
While 195 Stanford cyclists (49%) wore neither a mask nor a helmet, those who did opt for one of these safety measures preferred to protect themselves from COVID-19 at a much higher rate than from other possible injuries associated with riding a bicycle, like blunt impact.
Students wearing both a mask and a helmet made up only 7% of all cyclists. (RELATED: Stanford Class Nixes The Term ‘Homosexual’ When Talking About Hepatitis Because It’s Too ‘Stigmatizing’)
It brings me absolutely *no* pleasure to report this, but I measured bike safety habits at Stanford and masks are twice as popular as helmets… Science is dead, folks. https://t.co/WUFPVU97zj
— Maxwell Meyer (@mualphaxi) September 29, 2021
Maxwell Meyer, the study’s author and a junior at Stanford, argued that masks have become a way to signal one’s scientific consciousness regarding COVID-19 despite there being no scientific grounds for wearing one while riding a bike.
“Stanford is somewhat unique among top universities in that we have actual scientists in leadership positions, including a neuroscientist as our President,” Meyer wrote. “So, what does it say about our brain-scientist-in-chief that he has failed to convince Stanford students to wear bicycle helmets … but has successfully created an environment where bicycle-masking is routine?”
Stanford began offering free helmets to every incoming freshmen in 2016 to encourage safe cycling among its students.