Helmets, usually, but not always, and that’s okay

This photo of the new leader of the New Democratic Party was making its way through my social media newsfeed. I love it.

But some friends worried about the lack of helmet. Not me. I don’t always wear a helmet. I’ve rented bikes in Amsterdam and not fussed about a helmet, for example. Here’s proof:

And I’ve written about helmets too even though it’s a debate I hate getting into. Mostly I wear them. On my road bike, always. But on a coaster bike, going slowly, I sometimes go without. Bottom line, it’s about choice.

Also, insofar as helmets mark cycling as a special scary activity they result in fewer people on the road. Yet the single biggest variable that affects bike safety isn’t helmets. It’s the number of people on the road. It might be safer overall if everyone put on a helmet for riding but that’s true of walking too. See Women, cycling, and safety in numbers.

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