06 September 2008

The debate on bike helmets

I've heard a lot of people talk about why they do, and why they don't, wear helmets when they are riding their bikes. I suggested here a few weeks ago that you should always wear your helmet when riding because, to be frank, if you get hurt and you're not wearing it, people just won't care as much. Whether or not that's valid reasoning is up to you to decide. I wear my helmet all the time because I think that people take me more seriously as a cyclist, and besides, I'm terrified to not wear it when I'm riding on the streets of LA!

So the ever-informative Treehugger has just posted some findings about bike helmets that I think you non-helmet people might want to pay attention to. They say the debate is over, because they have finally found a study that looks at pediatric and adult bicycling deaths before and after passage of a bicycle helmet law. After the bike helmet law went into effect, the death rate was cut in half. Discuss.

1 comment:

Will Campbell... said...

Waaaay back when I first started mountain biking in the late '80s I rode helmeted with some far more experienced hotdoggers, few of whom wore helmets. As a noob, I was always bringing up the rear going up or down, either because I was the slowest or the most cautious or both.

One time after a looong ride up and down in the Angeles Forest above Altadena, one of the far more talented and far more a**holier riders who regularly needled me because I was too weak to keep up going up or too chicken to barrel down at breakneck speed decided it was the right time to "debate" me about helmets.

He came up behind me after I caught up to the group taking a break (i.e. waiting for me) and thumped me on my bucket, startling me. Laughing he asked why I bothered wearing a helmet because I'm slow enough not to cause any damage should I fall.

Mind you, I'd put up with a fair amount of crap from him and I had enough so I landed a haymaker to the side of his head that knocked him to the ground.

"Because I think it's a good idea to protect my head from anything unexpected," that's why," I told him.

End of debate.