I’m not usually one to preach, or to care much about what others do themselves, but this topic is one that I couldn’t let go.
I grew up in the 1970’s and 80’s, riding a Grifter in the woods next to where I lived – did I ever wear a helmet? I don’t even recall them being commercially available at the time so no, we didn’t.
But then I grew up in an age where there were fewer cars, the pace of things was a little slower and we rode around with a little less fear of being knocked off our bikes by crazy bus drivers or people who just don’t like cyclists.
Now riding a BMX in the woods is one thing, but riding on a main route out of a city in rush hour, packed with cars and buses is another. I actually saw one person riding a couple of feet behind a bus at 30 mph (I was clocking the speed) obviously getting some drag benefit from being so close. What struck me was that the person on the bike wasn’t wearing a helmet. Of course had the bus stopped quickly I doubt a helmet would have saved them from slamming into the back of it, but it might just have saved them from having a sever head injury. It wasn’t as if they where on their way home from work, in jeans and a t-shirt. They were wearing full cycling gear – minus the helmet.
Since this I have noticed just how many people ride around on the roads in major cities without protecting themselves with a £15 helmet.
It just seems daft. The protection is there, why not use it? Don’t want to ruffle your hair? Think you look a bit of a dick. Well I can tell you now you might look a dick (I know / think I do) and yes I get the lines of the helmet in my hair when I take it off, but I wouldn’t dream of riding on the road without it.
It may not happen to you, but I saw this article – I only read the headline as it says it all – Father’s agony as cyclist son who refused to wear a helmet in case he messed up his hair is left in a coma after collision with van.
All I’m saying is wear a helmet – you never know what might happen. I’m no Bradley Wiggins but I do agree with him when he said helmets should be compulsory when on the road and iPods banned. You have to wear a helmet on a motorbike, even ones that are restricted to 30mph, a speed that most of us have probably reached on our bikes at one time or another.