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Friday, August 11, 2006

Where Did All The Helmets Go?

Posted by on August 11 at 14:47 PM


I resisted for years. Decades. I fucking hate bike helmets—they’re hot, they’re uncomfortable (that freaking strap under your chin!), and you can’t help but look tarded wearing one. But my boyfriend and boss implored me to wear one—they both worried that I might fall and hit my head and suddenly realize that my whole life was a lie—and I gave in. Four years ago, I got my first bike helmet. It was blue and I hated it, but I wore the fucking thing. And when someone stole my dirty bike helmet a few months ago (?), I bought a new helmet.

But it seems like I’m the only person in Seattle wearing a bike helmet these days. I rode from Capitol Hill to the U-District and back this morning, passing dozens of folks on bikes, but I was the only tard out there wearing a helmet. What gives? Did I miss a memo or something? Are head injuries not a concern anymore? Are the streets paved with Marshmallow Fluff now?

You know, back before I started wearing a helmet absolutely everyone else was wearing them. It was the lone holdout. And while I felt and looked ridiculous once I started wearing my fucking helmet, I took comfort in the fact that we all looked ridiculous together, all us tards on our bikes. Somehow that took the sting out. But now? I ride around with a fucking bucket strapped to my head, the only tard out there in a helmet, seething with resentment and jealousy.

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People who don't wear helmets are just waiting for God to take out the trash. By all means Dan, leave it at home: thin the herd.

Tarded and proud, Dan, tarded and proud. Frankly, I assume everyone without a helmet is an idiot...they give off the same oblivious vibe as people with the Jesus fish decal on their cars. Since when did grey matter on the sidewalk become cool?

Maybe on Capitol Hill it's not cool to wear helmets, but in Ballard and Fremont we are mostly wearing them.

I ride to Ballard all the time—I ride to Fremont. The ratio of helmets-to-bare-skulls may be higher, but far, far fewer folks are wearing them today, even in Ballard and Fremont. Again, what gives?

Oh, wait. I know: Non-helmet-wearing bikers give. Organs, mostly.

After resisting it for many years, Seattle has finally fallen victim to the same 'cool' virus that has plagued otherwise sensible bike riders in major cities around the world. You see more and more bikers in Seattle riding fixed-gear bikes, refusing to wear helmets, riding in the dark with no lights, etc. None of it makes any sense but ALL of it is fashionable. Now they look just like the punk bikers in London, New York, Barcelona. If the price is a fractured skull, so be it.

Anyone who has lived to 30 while riding a bike regularly knows that wearing a helmet, using bike lights, and changing gears to deal with Seattle's varying terrain are simple common sense. But there will always be folks for whom being cool is more important than being smart. Go figure.

It's worth mentioning that it's illegal to ride a bike sans helmet in Seattle. Sorry pseudo-libertarians, but our taxes pay your Shiavoesque hospital bills once your bank accounts are sucked dry. BTW, Dan, helmet have evolved quite a bit in the past several years where they're super-ventilated, super-light, and bear little resemblance to an egg-shell. FYI. (cheap ones go for $50 or less)

i can't get my giant headphones over my big helmet so i just leave the helmet at home. we all die one day. if i die cruising down 23rd at top speed, listening to Spoonman by Underworld on my giant headphones, i'll die happy. if you happen to see my splattered remains on your commute home, sorry to mess up your day. other than that, why the fuck should it concern you what other people choose to wear when biking? the real crime happening on bikes in seattle are these moron's wearing spandex like their Lance F-ing Armstrong. Listen you shit-fucks, you are not in a race and you have no reason to be wearing loud, obnoxious, sponsor covered bikeing gear. you're a corporate whore on a post work ride on your thousand + dollar bike.

If you can't find a helmet that fits and is cool you're not looking very hard. Go to Gregg's or R&E or REI (not to dismiss other good shops in Seattle), where there is a good selection, and get a Giro or high-end Bell or the like. They will have plenty of protection yet will be light and cool because of the air vents. And then, Dan, use your head and wear the helmet!

you know what? if you ride everywhere and don't sit in an office all day, it becomes quite a hassle to take the damn thing off and on, carry it, make room for it in your bag, strap it to your person, tie it to your bike, etc.

its much more efficient to just get on and go. and if you don't ride like a tard, you won't need helmets made for them. :)

If it helps, Dan, know that I got knocked to the pavement by an SUV, clobbered my head on the cement and suffered nothing worse than a cussing fit. If I'd not worn a helmet I might have become very special.

For liesurely upright urban cycling, helmets don't do much. It's a different story for children, the cycling impaired, and racers.
I've lost count of the number of accidents I've heard of where someone claims a helmet has saved them but where the helmet wasn't damaged.
On my road bike descending heads down at 50 mph, yes, I want a helmet on. On my fixie cruising along at 20mph in a mostly upright posture, I usually only bother if I'm riding in a group or on the Burke Gilman (the most dangerous place in town to bike on weekends).
I've read all the studies and I'm sure this is a sane decision. If you must have dogmas, I guess the necessity of bike helmets is a rather inocuous one, compared say to the belief that god wants you to invade oil producing nations.

You shouldn't be worried about injuring your noggin from bike riding.
Putting your entire body weight on your taint for hours at a time is a bad idea. I know you may be used to some punishment down there but if you want to keep participating in activities that make Santorum squirm, you might wanna loose the bike.

Reason No. 1 to wear 'em: stupid drivers. The ones talking on phones, the ones screwing around with the radio tuner, the ones eating and talking and looking at something . . .. Those stupid drivers.

lose!! Fuck I hate it when I do that!

an EMT acquaintance of my had a name for cyclists (of any kind) who didn't wear helmets: organ donors.

Ever been to Holland? More bikes than people. Everyone on them, all the time... Almost NO helmets. Of course, over there the drivers expect to see bikes and drive like they don't actually want to kill someone...

Maybe with the world ending and all, people are less concerned about safety. Impending doom is a great excuse for all sorts of risky behaviors. Why do you think so many of us still smoke?

Fascinating; I have noticed exactly the opposite: everyone wearing helmets.

Btw, I just got a new helmet and they are far more flattering than they ever were ...which I agree is not saying much but honestly I don't get sick now when I see myself wearing one.

It's the drivers I'm afraid of, not my bicycling prowess. I have friends who make fun of me for always wearing a helmet, and my response is that the helmet may be goofy, but it's a whole lot sexier than brain damage. Or, you know, death. I think it's the people who don't wear helmets who look like tards.

Wow, cranium, I haven't heard such aimless peach-fuzzed ranting since I graduated from high school!

Helmets aren't a clothing accessory (though I do share your disdain of garish and over-engineered cycling gear). They're a protective device -- designed as much to protect us from your hospital bills as your head from the pavement.

Have you ever seen Jake Gyllenhaal with his bike helmet on? Not so tard looking to me. Keep that sexy helmet on, Dan.

Man, I've known far too many people who have fallen off of bikes, been knocked off of bikes, to every ride without my helmet. It just happens too often, and the results are always tragic.

If you want to die, Cranium, et al, fine, but you probably won't die, you'll just become a depressing and expensive burden to the people who love you (and the rest of us, in some cases), if there should be any such people.

You don't have to be going fast to get seriously hurt or killed when your head hits the street. Try it.

Kinaidos, helmets are designed to absorb impact, not to self-destruct. They don't have to show damage to have done their job. (In fact, if you've hit the ground in one, you should get a new one, no matter what it looks like. They're single-use.)

Actually, Kinaidos, it's at 50 MPH that a bike helmet isn't going to help you much, but a leisurely topple onto the curb is what helmets are for. They work great. I've crushed one before, and I'm immensely grateful for it.

When I lived in Boston more than a decade ago there was a bike messenger, very first day on the job, fell and cracked his brain open on a curb and died. His dad spent the next year driving around town with a station wagon full of helmets giving to every rider he saw without one.

Fixed gears, yeah, that's pretty weird in Seattle, but Messenger Chic cannot be denied. Riding at night without a BIG light, though, is just plain asinine, especially 'cause you only do it when you're wearing all black and cruising no hands down the middle of the darkest streets. Grrr. Get a fucking light, a BIG ONE, great big separate battery, and be glad to be alive.

Cranium, you're wrong about helmets but oh, so right about the spandex racing gear with the logos. Racers wear the logos because they GET PAID.

And the biker communities refusal to address their secret shame lives on.

I sympathize. Hate, hate HATE wearing a helmet. Stupid, stupid helmets. But I was out for a beer with my good buddy who is an emergency room resident. This was around april, when everyone was starting to ride bikes again. He told me about the whole succession of bikers who had been dragged into the ER on stretchers that week. All mid-thirties guys, all had been out for casual rides around the neighborhood...and all of them will be moving on to physical therapy to re-learn how to walk. And no, they'll never be the same again.

This is scary shit, so now I too go around with my STUPID STUPID helmet. On my single-speed bike no less.

By the way, someone mentioned something about bike seats and sexual disfunction. The solution is not getting off your bike - the solution is getting a noseless seat.

I use this one, its pretty sweet:

it ain't just your brain they protect; they can determine the kind of care you get after an accident.

Several years ago I was in an accident on the Montlake bridge (caused by a spandex wearing moronocyclist); triple spiral fractured femur and broken pelvis.

At UW hospital they asked if I was wearing a helmet and wanted to see it. Why? No painkillers for a 24 hour observation period if they suspected concussion or other head trauma.

Got my morphine minutes later.

If you're embarassed to wear a bike helmet, you will look like someone who is embarassed to wear a bike helmet. Which will make you that less attractive.

No doubt there's something else about your bike or clothing that is considered unfashionable to someone anyway. You can't win.

Choose Head!

I gotta comment, to add my voice to the chorus...

I bike commute from Seattle to Redmond and back several times a week. Seattle's got a pretty smart bike community, overall, I think. It is rare to see someone riding *without* a helmet, and when I see them I want to yell at them for being the f*cktards they are for not wearing them.

Oh, waaa, the strap bugs you. Well better the strap bugging you than cracking your skull open because of some other idiot biker, walker, runner, driver, or tard who isn't paying attention.

Wear the helmet. Helmets can be cool. Its way cooler to have a helmet than to be tooling around in a wheelchair because you were too cool to wear one.

I gotta comment, to add my voice to the chorus...

I bike commute from Seattle to Redmond and back several times a week. Seattle's got a pretty smart bike community, overall, I think. It is rare to see someone riding *without* a helmet, and when I see them I want to yell at them for being the f*cktards they are for not wearing them.

Oh, waaa, the strap bugs you. Well better the strap bugging you than cracking your skull open because of some other idiot biker, walker, runner, driver, or tard who isn't paying attention.

Wear the helmet. Helmets can be cool. Its way cooler to have a helmet than to be tooling around in a wheelchair because you were too cool to wear one.

I had a nasty bike accident many years ago, broken leg, dislocated shoulder, and a very bad concussion. The guy who ran me over said it was all my fault, and his story didn't jive at all with how I ride. I had a light, reflective gear, yet to this day I can't remember the accident. Why? Because I had a big bruise on my brain that wiped all memory of the accident, as well as several hours before. If I had a helmet, though, no concussion, and I could have sued that bastard for his house & wife & first-born son.

I started wearing a helmet after that (when you get one concussion, it makes any head wound a dangerous prospect.) I've never regretted it. Happily, only twice I've been in situations where my helmet saved me. Each time there was a nice big crack in the foam lining, cracks that were there instead of in my head.

I don't care if no one else wears a helmet, I'm going to wear one because I care about myself. There are lots of people I love & admire who don't ride with helmets, which is sad, but they aren't going to get any sympathy from me if they get brain-damaged from an accident: no cards, no flowers, nothing, just a smile & a "I think you're a great person, but you sure are a dumbfuck. You'll get to think about that for the rest of your life."

And to all those "if I die, I die" types out there: You don't fool me for a second. That bravado talk is the mark of cowards.

I ride my bike for work. I wear a helmet because of the drivers, pedestrians, tourists, and other bikes. If I look foolish, so be it.

The only thing that irritates me is people riding with their helmet attached to their bag. What the fuck is that shit? If you're going to have it why not wear it?


Your witnessing natural selection at work… those mentally weak non helmet wearing genes are in the process of evolving out of the gene pool. It’s all good…

i wear a helmet and i ride around cap hill and downtown. it's a very discreet suave black helmet so probably don't see a tard on a bike. I'd be suicidal not too wear a helmet. And for other people wearing helmets? i see plenty of bike messengers wearing them and i see cops ticket asshats no wearing them all the time... usually some dirty hippie... I KEED!! (not really)

80$ is biatch for not wearing a helmet.

Dan, don't be swayed by good-looking, helmetless fools. If they're so pretty, they probably have nothing in their heads worth protecting. You, on the other hand, have an audience to feed and a son to live for. To fall back on the old cliche: DO IT FOR THE CHILDREN!

Personally, I wear my helmet religiously, no matter how dorky I look. It's not called a "brain bucket" for nothing, and there's nothing I want to protect more than my head. Whenever I see a helmetless rider, my internal voice invariably screams, "HELMET!!! IDIOT!"

Well, our neuropathology people (that means bad stuff with your brain, folks) in the Dept. of Medicine are mostly up on Capitol Hill, and they get a lot of you folks on Capitol Hill, who don't wear helmets.

so, don't wear a helmet, find out what brain trauma and/or death are.

it's your choice, just like jumping off a bridge. you're still dumb for not wearing a helmet, and your corpse is only useful for body parts if you signed your donor card.

"It's worth mentioning that it's illegal to ride a bike sans helmet in Seattle."

Seattle laws don't apply to state or county land, including the UW, sadly.

Hence, you'll find a lot of students looking to become cadavers.

I started wearing a bike helmet in 1982. The motivating event was watching a friend I was riding with flip over his handlebars and land on his unhelmeted head. He spent the next several days in a neurosurgery ICU, delirious from a severe concussion. Fortunately, he recovered.

I've always ridden with a helmet ever since.

Here's the answer to your conundrum: Seek out a family with a brain damaged child or adult. Doesn't matter if they crashed a bike or crashed a car. Ask them to describe their lives since the injury. Ask them what their future looks like. THEN you will wear a bike helmet.

Actually, I have a theory that excessive helmet use in past years may be directly correlated to a drop in overall intelligence among liberals (most bike riders lean left, too many wore helmets and by doing so cheated natural selection by surviving long enough to not only pass on weak genes but to unduly influence party politics by surviving to maturity resulting ultimately in first Gore/Lieberman, then the Kerry/Edwards (and Green Party) tickets).

What you are seeing now is a natural correction. Mentally diminutive bikers are increasingly deciding to abandon helmet use (obviously, as with most sample sets, the predominant majority of bikers are unintelligent), and as such will remove themselves from the gene (and political) pool. I would hypothesize that if you charted helmet use against the effectiveness of Liberals to influence politics, you would see the rise of Conservative influence as a legging indicator of increased helmet use. Conversely, as helmet use wanes, and unintelligent bikers are eliminated by SUV driving Conservatives, leaving only the more intelligent helmet wearing bikers (who will experience an increase in influence over Liberal politics) one would expect to see an increase in Liberal effectiveness.

Remember, before helmets, the few intelligent and the many unintelligent bikers were removed before they could exert influence (possibly a net wash). During the recent period of excessive helmet use both the few intelligent and the many unintelligent bikers enjoyed survival rates allowing them to become politically meaningful (net gain to the mentally diminutive). Now, with only the few intelligent bikers wearing helmets, we should see a selective thinning process that should result in their disproportioned increase in influence. With any luck at all, this influence will become manifest before 2008 (though I am not holding my breath; remember it’s a legging indicator) and we will avoid the seemingly inevitable Rodham-Clinton/McKinney ticket, which will of course be further hindered by vote splitting by the Nader/Chomsky ticket.

Therefore, Dan, please keep wearing your helmet, and try not to interfere with nature in all its glory.

I bet you look really cute with your helmet on.

My boyfriend sure does.

I make him wear his helmet when we do it.


Thats Hot!

Lance Armstrong wears a helmet! Hm...maybe you should only bike if you're wearing Lance Armstrong..

Like the helmet, your SKULL doesn't need to be damaged to have absorbed significant impact. In fact, most of the damage in a closed-head injury doesn't even come from the point of impact. It comes from the opposite side, where your brain ricochets off your skull.

One more helmet story to add...Just three days ago my sister-in-law was riding at a park-and-ride in Littleton, CO when she hit the brakes. The rear brake failed (or possibly she forgot to hit it, or squeezed the lever too slowly) so the front locked up. Result? She flipped the whole bicycle on top of herself, resulting in a fractured elbow and sprained wrist. The bike crashed into her helmeted head. While at the emergency room the doctors said she surely would have had a concussion if not a skull fracture were she not wearing a helmet.

Kinaidos (comment 11) said something that jumped out at me: "I've lost count of the number of accidents I've heard of where someone claims a helmet has saved them but where the helmet wasn't damaged." Well, my sister-in-law's helmet didn't appear to be damaged, but the damage is usually to the foam, not the outer shell or inner lining. So unless these people took their helmets to a lab for testing I'd say that they were in fact damaged and hopefully your friends were smart enough to throw them out and buy new ones.

when i lived in Van, BC I was so against helmet legislation (come on, on the beach trails too?). but I've always worn mine. scaredy cat. Now am one of very very few retards wearing one in Korea. stick out a lot, but that's ok.

I actually saw in your helmet a few days ago, looked a'ight, nothing to be ashamed of, but I am distraught but the crazy-ass bike messengers free-skulling it- it's just dumb.

Someone above mentioned how most people in Holland don't wear helmets... I think this has something to do with 1) most Dutch ride crappy, slow, 3-speed bikes, and they're riding on the flattest terrain on Earth, so they probably never get above 5 mph, 2) the country is more oriented towards biking in general, so the bike paths are oriented to avoid collisions, and the pedestrians/drivers are used to seeing bikers everywhere and are better at avoiding collisions with bikers.

This has little to do with helmets really, but I remember when I was visiting Amsterdam, seeing one guy in a real bike, with all the requisite gear (spandex, helmet, panniers, etc.). He stood out both because nobody uses all that gear in the Netherlands, and because he was going about 5 times the speed of anything else on wheels.

Personally I hate to bike without all the gear that everyone likes to make fun of. Once you try biking in spandex, with bike shoes, on a decent road bike, it's hard to go back. It's analagous to driving a sports car versus a minivan. When I see someone in jeans with a backpack on a one-speed BMX bike with knobby tires pedalling up First Hill, I wince... it just looks so painful.

Anyway... most people on bikes in Seattle seem to wear helmets, but I often see people with no helmet and no lights, biking on the left side of the street in the dark, and I always wonder how they're still alive.

Not that this is relevant, but I almost died by SUV while riding my bicycle tonight. I was going north on Bellevue approaching the Olive light, and a black SUV coming from the opposite direction ploughed into my lane at full speed, apparently swerving toward a parking lot behind me. If we hadn't both braked and swerved just in time, I would've gone head-first through their windshield. You better fucking believe I would've wanted my helmet on in that case.

Oh, and while I was screaming obscenities at the SUV full of drunken 20-somethings, the driver laughed.

Okay. If I wasn't convinced before comment #44, the ricochet did it. If I ever get that freakin' bike, I'll get the helmet, too. (Can you get mirrors on them? I have a hard time cranking my head around to see if the cars are on my ass - more reason to get the bloody helmet.)

Folks - a reality check here. Bike riding is dangerous even with a helmet. Obviously it is smart to wear one...but this attitude like a helmet is going to save your life, guaranteed, if you are in an accident, is dumb. A lot of people wearing helmets get hurt too. i bike everywhere and I wear a helmet but I have no illusions that I'm immune from injury/death. I take my chances.

Dan Savage - going helmet-less is for the young and beautiful and reckless -- Not for old farts with families and mortgages. Wear your helmet.

I know a guy, hit by an intoxicated driver. He ended up wrapped around a guardrail. He doesn't remember it, but when the EMT crew got there, they had to pull his helmet (with his head in it) off of a bolt that was attaching the guardrail to a post. That helmet totally saved his life.

Go ahead. Ride without a helmet. You'll just keep this ICU nurse in a job.

If Loe Lieberbush would have been wearing a helmet last Tuesday, he wouldn't have lost the election. If he would have won, then we never would have caught those dirty terrorists in England and all of the airplanes in the world would have blown up and everyone on land would be drowning in the unconfiscated toothpaste and Jean Nate that most air travelers pack in their carry-on bags.

The moral: wearing a helmet will destroy the world. NOT wearing a helmet helps the Bush Administration protect us from evil doers.

You are either with us or agin us.

My first day riding a new bike, I hit a patch of sand and fell off going about 2 miles an hour. The pebbles on the pavement actually left 1/4 inch gouges in the side of the helmet, and I was barely even moving on the bike.

Oh, and yeah, Dan. In the event you do sustain some sort of unfortunate neurological mishap (grey matter spill on pavement) due to your misplaced sartorial concern that you look like a helmeted dork (as opposed to being one), you will actually become one of the 'tards you so off-handedly reference. Only then will it be OK to call you a 'tard...or if it's PC - an idiot.

Dan, I'm a recreational cyclist from Ames, IA. Our local bike shop has two post-crash helmets hanging next to the helmets-for-sale display (big surprise, there). Obvious marketing messages aside, both of those helmets saved the lives of the people wearing them. My friend, Steve, was one of the two accident victims. The other was a person riding on the sidewalk whose wheel seized up, throwing them over the handlebars and onto their noggin. Cars were NOT involved in either incident. Like the slogan says, never hit the road without a helmet.

And yes, every cyclist to whome I've ever spoken considers them a necessary evil at best and a complete nuisance, at worst. But they work.

Dan, you don't want to wear protection? Geez, what is it with you fags?

Cite - I don't know where you're getting that message that helmets make bicyclists invincible, except maybe from the guy who almost was hit headon by an SUV. But, as you know, it sure increases your chances that you'll survive with your brain intact. But that's like seatbelts and airbags - there are some accidents (like two cars going 50+ that collide headon) where nothing's going to save you, but those are definitely outnumbered by far more mundane accidents where such safety equipment will save you.

Fuck! Okay, I'll start wearing a helmet again, but it's going to be a new one that's cuter or something. I hate the one that I have now. I guess I'd rather look fashionable over a long period of time as opposed to just now. Shit damn!

The only bicycle crash I've been involved in in the last ten years was at low speed and with no other participants--someone had tipped over the grease trap in the alley behind the Rendezvous, and I didn't see the puddle of rancid grease as I cornered into it. I went down hard and hit the side of my helmet with enough force to make me dizzy. I'm sure that if I hadn't been wearing a helmet, I'd have gotten a concussion or worse.

I'm commuting by bicycle again, and I won't ride without a helmet. I don't think I look stupid in one, but I honestly wouldn't care if I did. Wearing a helmet saved me a costly hospital visit at a time when I didn't have health insurance. I'd rather look stupid than be broke and/or broken.

Josh, I'm confused by your post. What does _any_ of that shit have to do w/ Israel? ::shakes head:: I'm so disappointed.

I wear a helmet. Maybe it's because I don't ride around at 5 kph like a fucking sissy, and at the 30kph I average at, a sudden stop suggests serious personal injury or death. At the 50kph I've reached, it guarantees it. I also still keep a couple of my broken helmets to demonstrate that if it weren't for that bit of foam, I would already be a drooling moron.

Besides that, everyone who bikes wears a helmet up here in Vancouver. But that might have something to do with how it's illegal not to.

I'm ok w/ the hot and uncomfortable comments, but the "looks 'tarded" comment seems to overlook the fact that most people look 'tarded on a bike anyway. The helmet isn't making the situation too much the worse.

I figure it should be fine for adults to ride without a helmet, so long as they sign a) a waiver stating that hospitals do not have to treat any resultant head injuries, and b) sign an organ donor card. I do object to my insurance rates going up because everyone ends up picking up the $150,000 tab for some numbnuts who was afraid he'd muss his hair and ended up with scrambled eggs inside his brainpan.

(Kids should be required to wear them period - kids think they're immortal and don't have the requisite life experience to understand consequences.)

I figure you protect what you value. Do you wear a cup playing baseball? Personally, I value my grey matter. I like it better unbruised, unswollen, and remaining inside my skull.

There was a doctor testifying some years ago in a helmet-law case. One of the bikers protested, "if I hit this helmet on the corner of this table, it'll just break anyway." The doctor's response was, "if you hit the helmet on the corner of the table, yes, it will probably break. On the other hand, if I hit your head on the corner of the table, I can guarantee it will break - so it's a question of which you'd rather have break first."

One of my stepsons took a very minor tumble off his bike a few years ago. His helmet lining cracked right in half. It was so dramatic that he took that helmet to show & tell at school, to show all the kids what damage could have been done to his head instead of the foam lining. (He was unhurt except for scraped hands.)

What's funny is that the weekend after you wrote this, Dan, I got a new bike (well, secondhand) and once I began riding, despite not wearing a helmet in the preceding years I owned my previous bike... I indeed began wearing my dumbass blue helmet.

Indeed, I've noticed more people riding without helmets these days, whereas a year ago I was the holdout and getting flak from fellow riders on the Burke Gilman trail for not wearing one. Allegedly, not wearing one is technically illegal, though I was never cited for failing to wear one (I had a cop or two wag a finger at me while tapping their heads, but nothing more). You wouldn't think it was with all the helmetless riders. However, the mix city wide, I've noticed, is more like 70/30 helmet/uncovered.

Given research and common sense have shown that helmets provide very little protection (the only way it saves you is if you hit something or land on the top of your head) and that most accidents are the product of excessive riding speeds and negligence in traffic, there's no real practical use for the helmet in its current form. Keep in mind that most studies are performed by companies that produce bicycle helmets.

But I wear one to keep everyone's mouth shut. And I don't look out of place in helmet laden Seattle.

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