What is the rationale for bike helmets other than to divide those of us who may choose differently? In these United States a conservative arm of bike advocates have been the loudest boys crying wolf on bike safety. Helmets no less symbolize a bike rider as being in the know, or being on our side. All these non helmeted bike riders are Rebels or not worthy or some such bunk. I think there is more to safety than a thin plastic coated styrofoam liner. For every bike rider that wears a helmet there is one that doesn’t. From what I have observed it is mostly the behavior of the bike rider, not a helmet that prevents accidents.
Ok, I don’t advise children or inexperienced riders against helmets. But, I wonder what is the point to wear a helmet if you are paying attention to your surroundings? As I mentioned in my last post the problem with car drivers is inattention. Bike riders can also take blame for inattention. Both car drivers and bike riders need to brush up on being fully present.
If a bike helmet is part of your gear stuff and you are prone to crashing then so be it. Wear it, but don’t give the impression that every bike rider wearing a helmet is doing the proper thing. Take the guy above. I’m recycling this image and quote from tuneintocycling on wordpress. Wearing ear buds while riding is “like having dumb ass” tattooed on your forehead. So if wearing a helmet is your thing what gives? How do you prevent yourself from becoming a hood ornament on someones car? Have you developed a six sense that telegraphs the moves a car will make before they happen? Have you given the proper body language to the drivers around you indicating your intentions? Hey, this thing called bike riding is a proposition between you and the place you occupy. Alarmist have claimed that the streets aren’t safe and effectively stalled future generations of cyclist. Take this from me “I’m a Man” and you know what, if I didn’t have a sense of fear everytime I rode a bike I would not ride. Cycling is not for everyone. There is little to compare this to in modern life. Advocates that are trying to pursuade us that bike riding can be safe without fear are just idle dreamers. It takes 100 percent awareness on your part to make your bike ride safe. Less awarness and accidents happen. Bike riding is nothing like driving a car. In a car a driver is safe from injury when tangling with a bike rider. Even if they are half awake they still win.
The little world that helmet wearers inhabit was devised by a bike industry that has lost a generation of bike riders in the past 15 years. Rapidly declining numbers of bike riders is a global problem. Many cultural swings have been to own a motor vehicle with being seen riding a bicycle a sign of being poor.
As humans we have really lost touch with our body, ourselves and the places we live in all because of the car driving nation we have become. For every 100 American people that overindulged there are 83 that drive cars, 12 that take public transportation and the 5 remaining walk or ride a bike. Put another way. Wrapped up in a car and sitting at a desk is killing us.
I’m reminded of the dead deer on the road of what could have been a trophy is now nothing more than an accident we escaped from and a sorry waste of flesh. Being present reduces the risk of an accident between a bike rider and car driver. Let’s not be someones’ hood ornament because our lives are too precious to waste.