Thursday, April 30, 2009
The Helmet Question
Next week, I'm going to be substitute teaching at the elementary school which isn't far from my house. None of the schools are far from my house and I don't have to come in until noon so I have no excuse not to ride my bike. This got me to thinking about commuting to a job everyday. I'd very likely wear a helmet. I've read blogs that say helmets foster a perception that cycling is dangerous when nothing could be further from the truth. Sure, cycling is healthy, green, and economical, but the people in the cars don't seem to notice nor do they seem to notice cyclists in the road the way they should. Perhaps cycling in the United States--largely sans bike lanes with lots of trucks, SUV's, and SUV's on steroids (Expeditions, Hummers, etc.)--permits a bit more caution or a token of security that gives us the gumption we need to get out on the (sometimes) mean streets. I certainly don't look down on anyone who wears a helmet.
In my little town, the streets are bemused or haughtily disinterested. I'm lucky to ride two miles and that's if I repeat my route a couple of times because there's just nowhere to go. There's not much traffic and I'm not at all intimidated on the road so I don't wear a helmet. I believe I did when I first moved back here from Atlanta, but that might have been by force of habit. It might have had a little to do with with the fact that my helmet matched my bike (my mom's idea); I wonder if that made me wear my helmet since it went with the bike. That pretty much sums up my helmet question--should the helmet match your bike or not?