Parlor Spider...Step In, Little Fly

Insightful thoughts and/or rants from atop the soapbox from one who wishes to share the "right" opinion with everyone.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Protecting My Brain Cells

I will freely admit to having a bias when it comes to wearing a bicycle helmet; this bias is not the result of unsafe practices on my part (though I HAVE had several spills over the adult years). I base my opinion simply on the fact that my head is, generally speaking, the one part of my body that cannot be "fixed" easily. I realize that in any confrontation with several thousand pounds of onrushing steel coming from either the front or the back I will lose. That's a given...much like motorcyclists who admit that if they hit the pavement at 65 m.p.h. a helmet won't be enough protection to save them.
Does it look dorky? probably. does it mess up my hair? probably, but since I cannot see it, I don't worry about it. So, for me, it's a no-brainer, so to speak.
Not so for proponents of worldwide bike sharing programs who contend that forcing folks to wear a helmet actually discourages them from riding. Possibly. In almost every European country that utilizes citywide bike rentals, no helmets are required. In this country  however, people who ride sans helmet are seen as irresponsible (much like smokers). Naysayers believe that helmets promote a fear of unreasonable magnitude with regard to the actual dangers. Heck, in New York last year, there were only 21 fatalities so how dangerous can it actually be to ride without a helmet. 
While cycling has long been touted as a great way to lose some pounds without the stress and strain of running or the fear of judgment at the gym...and if wearing a helmet prohibits someone from getting exercise, maybe it's OK to ride without noggin-knocking protection.
We here in Green Bay have a bigger issue with bike sharing than helmet laws, though. The city tried the program a couple of years ago utilizing refurbished bikes from the police auction. I thought it was a great idea and felt proud that we were on the cutting edge, helmets or not.
The bikes were trashed or stolen.
At least we didn't have to pay for lost and/or destroyed helmets.
However, for those of you out there who ride with your children: making them wear a helmet while you do not sends, in my mind, the wrong message, much like making the kids buckle up in the car and you neglecting to.
Share the road.


At 5:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

One of my really good friends is an in-flight paramedic and that is one thing she is absolutely ADAMANT about. I figure since she sees the results, I'll go with her advice.


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