I started out my career as a bike nerd with a very pro helmet attitude. But then I began hearing a variety of disarming anti-helmet arguments.
I struggled with these bizarre new concepts. What! helmet laws result in people riding bicycles less? What! helmets give the perception that cycling is dangerous? What! helmets don’t protect me from everything? I’m not sure when it happened but at some point, I got off my high horse and started straddling the fence. This fence I am on is a place where I support and encourage helmet-less riders all while continuing to wear a helmet myself. I’ve been riding this fence ever since and have gotten very comfortable.
If you’re an angry, chest-thumping helmet advocate, you should consider trying it out. Its nice.
Do you find yourself muttering “organ donor” when you see cyclists without helmets? If so, you could get that negative energy out of your life and realize helmet-less cyclists are your friends.
CBB contributor Tom Bowden shared this article on his facebook page, Why it makes sense to bike without a helmet this morning. The article draws some interesting conclusions from a variety of studies about helmets.
While I am skeptical about studies and how their data is crafted, the conclusions offer food-for-thought. And the biggest thought that surfaced for me after reading this was that not only should I encourage and support cyclists who choose to not wear helmets, I should thank them.
It may just be the case that cyclists that are not wearing helmets are making cycling safer for all of us. They are pioneers showing the world that cycling is safe and friendly.
So where does this leave me?
I guess I am scared, cautious and taking advantage of the situation. There I said it.
Somehow, I am ok with that though. I’m just going to keep straddling this fence cheering on our noble helmet-less missionaries while looking out for #1, cradling my brain-bucket in Styrofoam.