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When just any bike helmet won't do, try the Hovding Airbag for cyclists

Looking for a fashionable alternative for a bulky bike helmet? Try the Hövding airbag for cyclists. The Swedish company makes a scarf that deploys as an airbag upon impact.

In Chicago, a Divvy is a bike. Across the pond in the United Kingdom, it’s a harmless insult thrown down to point out an idiot, which could include those who don’t sport a helmet when biking on city streets.

Last year in Chicago there were 7,415 cyclists involved in accidents, according to the city’s bike crash report. Of the 29 fatalities, only one person was wearing a helmet.

Nic Patrie, a six-year veteran of Village Cycle Center’s sales force who commutes 8 miles by bike, recognizes that Chicago is evolving into a world-class bicycle-friendly city. And while the community is coming into its own, it doesn’t negate the need to be protected.

“Not everyone knows how to share the road yet,” he said. “Accidents are going to happen and head injuries take more time to heal.”

Village Cycle, at 1337 N. Wells, sells an array of helmets, including stylish and lightweight urban version by Giro called the Reverb for $65.

New-to-the-street bikers who take the popular bike-sharing service Divvy Bikes need to consider preparation is key, even when taking an impromptu ride. That means buying a helmet that fits into your daily routine and clips onto your commuting gear.

For those who prefer a fashionable alternative, there’s an airbag helmet by Hovding, a Swedish firm. The designer piece, which sells for $533.10 and poses as a scarf, deploys as an inflatable helmet upon impact.

“A Divvy bike is heavier, more stable and not that fast of a bike, so most people assume they don’t need a helmet,” Patrie said. “If you are inclined to use a Divvy, you should be prepared to ride.”