Close textual analysis of this blog should make it fairly clear that I don’t, when cycling, wear a helmet (I don’t wear a helmet for anything else either, of course. Just thought I’d make that clear). This was more or less normal when I was a student, and even up to a few years ago but these days I seem to be in the minority.
There are many reasons not to wear a helmet on your bike. Wearing a helmet makes you more reckless and prone to taking risks. Not wearing a helmet makes car drivers give you a wider berth when overtaking (that’s all the way up from one nanometre to two). Wearing a helmet makes you look a bit of an arse (like I don’t in my scary yellow jacket, but never mind). Wearing a helmet makes your hair go funny. There aren’t enough organ donors to go round. These are all reasons I have given in the past, but they are actually none of them the real reason. The real reason why I don’t wear a helmet is this. Going out and buying a helmet means admitting to yourself that cycling is dangerous and if nothing else you’re going to need something to keep the bits of your head together long enough that your family can identify your body. Although they do, actually, also make you look a bit of an arse.
A colleague’s wife got knocked off her bike last week by a bus. They had to bring the fire brigade in to winch the bus off her foot*. They closed down the whole of Fulham Palace Road to do it. She escaped with cuts and bruises. She was wearing a helmet. I’m beginning to reconsider my position.
I have the day off today, so I have no commuting tales for you. Instead, I’m going to let you, the readers, decide. Should I wear a helmet? Do you wear a helmet or not? And why?
* I’m actually quite jealous of this. Is this wrong?