Opinion   /   Oct 27th, 2018   /   1 COMMENTS   /  A+ | a-
Helmets! There are so many different opinions about helmets and just to be clear, this is just my own.

This last year I saw many threads relating to helmets and their requirement. This was mostly fueled by friends back in Australia where the helmet is a requirement, and mostly by those who wish to see that requirement abolished.
There were a lot of research papers and also a lot of people holding up just how well some northern European countries do with their cycle friendly cities and no helmets.

Myself (and my family) we have many helmets for cycling. I found 8 just in the entry way to my house which you can see in the photo above. Each has a different use and I still feel like both me and some of the other members of the family need a couple more specific helmets.

They have been very useful for me with my cycling. From being an idiot going too fast offroad to getting hit by cars while cycling in the city. It is this last point that I hold closest to me when I am telling my kids and other people why I believe they should wear helmets. We do not all have the luxury of living in cities that have extensively invested in cycle infrastructure and we also don't all live in cities where there is a culture for motorists to pay enough attention to cyclist. This unfortunately leads to accidents happening and the helmet is first thing you can do to protect yourself.

Even having visited places like Copenhagen and Amsterdam where they boast about their cycling culture I would still feel uncomfortable riding around without a helmet. As a tourist in those cities (and there are many of those) I found myself on the cycle lanes all too often, and while cycling in London I have been knocked off my bike hitting a walker in a bike lane before, so even with the investment in infrastructure there is still considerable risk.

Yes, not every accident would cause a head injury if you were not wearing a helmet, I have had many injuries from my bikes that were nothing to do with my head but I have also had a few crashes where the helmet was a life saver, but it is such an easy thing to wear to stop that being on of your concerns when you go out on the bike and I do not buy into the arguments that requirements to wear helmets put people off using bike to commute. Granted, I can see how walking around the city with a helmet so you can use some of the bike sharing schemes cities have to offer would be a bit of a pain, but those schemes could also try to find a way to incorporate helmets into the scheme.

Anyway, as I said, this is an opinion piece and I for one will not be getting rid of my helmet. My children, 6 months and 2 year at the time of writing already have helmets in that photo above and they know they have to put them on if their are using their balance bikes, scooters or riding in the trailer (ok, the youngest doesn't really know she has to do it but she can't fight back yet) and I will continue to wear mine always as an example to them.
Tags:  bike · opinion · helmet
  • I totally endorse the use of helmets in high risk sports and for cycling. It is such a simple thing to do and has been proven time and time again to be a life saver. With all the new information available about concussions and the long term repercussions of such injuries it to me is a necessity. I have worked for many years in sports first aid and as a first responder for many sports. Helmets save lives. This is especially true for children who do not know how fragile they are and will always take risks to learn more about their world. When you grow up in a country that encourages or enforces the helmet laws you dont think twice about it and they have saved many lives. Carrying a helmet for ride share is no more difficult than carrying your hand bag or backpack as it would simply clip on or even clip to your trouser belt or loops ,leaving your hand free. It should be merely an extension of the equipment that you have for your ride, such as shoes and shirts/shorts, or for the more adventurous of you the rest of your body armor. Acquired brain injuries have ruined the lives of many active people and helmets have proven themselves to reduce this risk.

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