Where’s your helmet?!?!

I recently posted this photo on social media of me busting out a wheelie with Zane my trusty trail dog in tow …

Ripping it like a boss! I was just having fun kicking around in jeans and trainers, so I did not expect the first comments to be all along the lines of “OMG! No helmet! Do you want to die? Where’s your helmet?!?!”

I didn’t even think about it before uploading. I spent most of my childhood riding around without a helmet. It wasn’t law. It wasn’t really even a thing. We rode around parks, we rode to the shops, bunnyhopped down stairs and over gaps, we just rode. Then the government went all crazy clampdown and made helmets mandatory, hitting the country with a mass ad campaign at the same time.

“Heroes wear helmets, they never ask why.” It’s a line in that jingle and one I’ve always found odd. Maybe they should ask why? I question everything. I probably should have expected those helmet comments, this is Australia after all. The nanny country where the police WILL fine you for not wearing one (or not having a bell on your bike). I still rode after helmet laws were introduced, but many didn’t.

Now, I would never hit the road (pun intended) on my road bike around traffic and open roads without a helmet. Sports cycling has a high rate of head injuries and I trust my helmet to protect me to a point, but I’m all about risk management and very much in favour of personal freedom of choice.

A trip to the shops along the cycle path? A gentle cycle through the local park? Riding down the beach boardwalk? In those circumstances I don’t believe a helmet is necessary.

Touring Vietnam on the shopper, no helmet required.

Exploring by tandem with April in Hungary, no helmet required.

Do you make your children wear helmets when they climb trees? Do you wear a helmet when you run? I don’t wear a helmet when I run with the dog. Should I? He’s pulled me over before and I could easily hit my head on a massive rock or end up on the road cleaned up by a car. I don’t wear a helmet when I cross the road. Should I? Last year in America, over 120,000 people were taken to ER after being struck by a car and over 6000 pedestrians in the USA were KILLED BY CARS! That sounds risky. Imagine how many serious head injuries would be prevented if all pedestrians wore helmets!

More tandem adventures in Slovenia, no helmet required.

I’ve had the pleasure of cycling in Amsterdam, where riding a bike is a true part of their culture. Thousands of people cycle to work, to the shops, to friends, all on the road, all in big groups, almost all without helmets, all in regular day to day clothing. Nobody blinks an eye. It’s quite incredible to be part of and many modern cities could learn from the way they operate. They know a thing or two about cycling and cycling friendly cities. Nobody berates you for not wearing a helmet.

And just for the record, the helmet-less wheelie photo was taken on my own private property. I’ve got a fair stretch of bitumen and acreage to ride around on so quit your whinging. Ride your bike, have fun, make your own choices. I know the risks. It’s all about sensible risk management. #ProChoice

Double decker home made circus bike, helmet probably required! ;-)

12 Comments Add yours

  1. Thorny issue, but agree – unless its law its personal choice. I personally don’t ride without one, more for setting an example to the kids about being safe etc.

    Top wheelie tho!!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. The Omil says:

    I do wear a helmet – but ride with some people who don’t. I’m in favour of individual choice but then I do get confused about mandatory seat belts and child seats in cars. (Sadly, I do know someone who suffered a severe head injury being hit by a car in Amsterdam).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s a toughie. How har do we go to regulate day to day safety? The modern world is a dangerous place. Ride safe. 🙂

      Like

  3. bgddyjim says:

    Amen, brother. Say it again!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. First the government force a helmet on me, next they’ll take away my guns … oh wait no they’ve already done that too! Grrrr.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. bgddyjim says:

        Don’t even get me started…. next up is the common butter knife. Word has it, butter knives are completely unnecessary in England now that they’ve taken everything else. Don’t ask me how they’re going to butter their cake from now on. Oh wait, I think they’re looking at taking butter away too. Problem solved.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Butter, the silent killer! 😂

          Liked by 1 person

          1. bgddyjim says:

            Ugh. I’d rather die of butter ingestion than overregulation.

            Liked by 2 people

  4. I agree. I wear my helmet when I’m riding on roads or even if I’m training on a nice trail. I have wiped out biking to work and hit my head (I had a helmet on). But if I’m causally riding on a trail with my wife I do not wear a helmet.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Neil says:

    I understand its a personal choice and I also do not always wear a helmet. But this is really a bad practice.

    Like

    1. Bad practice how exactly?

      Like

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