Saturday, December 12, 2009

Wearing a helmet


I love not wearing one! It's fantastic. I don't have to remember the helmet when I get on and off the bike. I don't have to carry it when running short errands, or worry about a dog peeing on it if I leave it on the bike. No status helmets, like the skateboarding ones that 'cool' riders use vs. the $100+ speed racer foam mold injected whatevers. 

No helmet head.

Riding without a helmet makes cycling seem so much more ordinary and normal, like simply walking. Wearing a helmet in NYC was a constant reminder of doing a horribly dangerous thing that put me at fault for all accidents by my own risky choice. I wore one out of duty and I'm sure, just like carrying an umbrella ensures that it will not rain, it did help me to live. But really, not so fun. It's better here. Here, no one wears a helmet! Unless...

And this is not something I completely understand. People do wear helmets when going for a sport ride on their racing bike, in spandex, and usually on a trail that is completely protected from cars... therefore dispelling the need for a helmet, from my perspective.

Perhaps they are afraid of a stubborn pony crossing the path?

Is it their speed? Is that the determining factor for a helmet? If a stubborn pony does not yield right of way, they'd most likely go careening into a watery ditch. Head injuries are unlikely.

Does the helmet make them go faster? I can understand the ritual of the spandex as a transformative costume from ordinary bike commuting to a super charged bike racer battling wind resistance and seam irritation, but does the helmet really help that much?

Ha ha! I found this on the Wikipedia article "Bicycle Helmet"
"The majority of professional cyclists chose not to wear helmets, citing discomfort and claiming that helmet weight would put them in a disadvantage during uphill sections of the race."

No hills here, but lots of


  1. I wonder if Tour De France requires helmets since I rarely see a rider in that race without one. Though you do hear about crashes during that race so maybe it's better they wear one!

  2. Off-road cycling is probably the only time you would benefit from a helmet. In a car-caused accident the helmet would have no effect/increase the likelihood of a neck injury or rotational force-induced brain injury. If you just fall off the bike and hit a tree whilst on a leisure ride it might help, a bit. On the roads helmets actually decrease your safety by increasing your percieved safety, both in your own eyes and the eyes of those in cars who will pass closer and generally take more risk because they subconsciously feel you are less vulnerable because of the helmet. On the road, helmets cost lives.

  3. It might be to protect themselves from the incoming bird and a possible head turd. :D (1st pic)