I'm sitting in a small, cozy cafe and bookstore in DC called the Potter's House, a subsidy/portion of DC's famous Church of the Savior, a very social justice oriented church that has a number of congregations that meet in homes throughout the city. I had never actually been to the Potter's House and I think it's quite nice. The book collection is superb and the tuna sandwhich wasn't bad at all!
I stopped into DC's City Bikes, voted the best shop in DC by readers of the weekly rag here. It was a neat shop--a well-behaved German Shepard chased a ball up and down the showroom, a mechanic who could have played guitar for ZZ Top built wheels, and bikes lined the place on two floors. I met the manager of the shop this past week, Jesse, a very nice guy who has started building his own bicycles frames here in DC.
The shop had a copy of the City Paper featuring a story about a lack of bicycle helmet use in DC. Its a fascinating story, and I'd love to know your thoughts. Check it out here.
Personally, I say put the helmet on. That way, you can get the issue off the table to focus on the creation of better bicycle facilities in urban areas. Call me old fashioned.