Bicycling Sans Helmet

Riding my bike to work this morning, I thought I noticed something different. I touched my head to be sure. That is, I actually touched the top of my head. Oops!

Somehow, I forgot to put on my bicycle helmet. I don’t know how. I had my bicycling gloves on, which I store in my helmet so I know I saw my helmet this morning. Huh.

Riding to work sans helmet taught me a few things:

  • I wasn’t noticeably more comfortable not wearing a helmet. My head wasn’t much cooler or lighter. In fact, the white color of my helmet might make my header cooler in direct sunlight.
  • I felt more vulnerable without the helmet — and I was. That’s no fun on Cornell Avenue.
  • Checking the mirror upon arrival proved that windy hair is no better than helmet hair.

For me, cycling to work without a helmet is going to be a one-time event.

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2 responses to “Bicycling Sans Helmet”

  1. Shirley Ann Goerlitz Avatar
    Shirley Ann Goerlitz

    You don’t see helmets in Paris and that is a wild place for traffic…the amount of cyclists is amazing and they just skim along the streets like they have the world by the tail.

  2. Brent Logan Avatar

    I just did a quick Internet search to see the number of cycling deaths in France compared with the U.S. Surprisingly, France, with a much greater percentage of people cycling, has fewer deaths per km cycled. After some thought (and finding this abstract, it makes sense for a couple of reasons:

    1. People who cycle are more likely to watch for and respect other cyclists, even when driving. Because a higher percentage of people cycle in France, this results in a safer environment for cyclists. It’s harder to have a driver vs. cyclist mentality when so many people are both.
    2. When more people cycle, it’s a given that there are cyclists all around that need to be watched for. Bending over to pick the dropped cell phone off the floor while driving in France is virtually guaranteed to result in mowing over a cyclist. There are so few cyclists in the U.S. that more drivers are willing to risk it.

    If all I did was bike on residential streets, I wouldn’t see much need to wear a helmet. I’m not attempting any stunts. The only way my head is likely to hit the curb is if a car hits me. The odds of that increase on some of the busy roads I use. Therefore, I wear a helmet.