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