Every now and then I like to add a little controversial subject to the blog. I can't be all pretty pictures and x's and o's, I'm a real person here with real thoughts and I like to talk about real stuff! Since I've been back from Paris I've developed a new habit of not wearing a helmet when riding my bike and it feels liberating, kind of like not wearing underwear. I'm going commando! Well, not really but it feels great to not wear a helmet. When a bike partner was like "dude, where's your helmet?", all I could say is, "I don't feel like wearing it." They were surprised and said "You came back braver." Not sure I feel braver, but it's true guys, I stopped feeling all freaked out about everything because riding a bike in Paris was not dangerous... but the law here doesn't tell you that because it's your fault for not wearing a helmet and having a hemorrhage since that car hit you, despite who's at fault.
I think helmets are great, they do save lives, children should absolutely wear them. I think they are completely necessary depending on what type of cycling you are participating in and depending were you're going, or type of commute you have, you probably should wear one considering the awful laws that punish cyclist and not drivers depending on where you live. There's a lot of controversy over helmets where some countries absolutely detest the helmet and some countries make it a law for you to wear one.
In my recent experiences in riding in paris, I noticed that I rarely saw a cyclist wearing a helmet unless they were training or bike messaging. I asked my French roommate about the French's view on traffic laws and cycling and they told me that the french detest helmets because bikes are not dangerous, the fact that there are so many cars on the streets makes the roads unsafe for cyclist and pedestrians. Great point! I mentioned before that people don't really respect vehicle rights in Paris, although they drive like lunatics, because the driver will be heavily punished for injuring a cyclist or pedestrian, so a driver lives in greater fear of punishment from the law. You see, it's the opposite here, sort of, and that's seriously intellectually disabled in my opinion because there's a complete giant protective shell over one person where there isn't on another. You don't have to be a genius or have experience in a terrible accident to see that one does more harm than the other? Or do you?! More people die from fatal car accidents everyday, more than they do on a bicycle, but this isn't just common sense or genius, it's a proven fact.
My point in all this is that the helmet is not the problem, it's the laws that don't protect the cyclist and place them in fear of the law and vehicles. I think fear is an unhealthy way to run a country but that's just how some countries like to operate and suck the power from the people right?
I've avoided this topic for a long time because of the psychotic neurons and emotions it stirs in people and the divisions it creates in the cycling community. i mean, people go batshit crazy over this topic! Calling each other this and that and judging them when they don't know anything about the author's life or experiences with the topic, what kind of society does that? And i'm not trying to provoke arguments here either, I'd rather have you say nothing if this starts to make your blood boil or eye twitch, quit stressing, and take a mental health day. I'm just practicing a basic freedom on MY blog ya'll. Like i'm practicing the choice to not wear a helmet just so I can go pick up cat food and pie ingredients 5 mins away from home at the nearest Trader Joe's. I'm not saying that I'm not going to ever wear a helmet again, although I would like to, I'm just choosing my helmet battles a little more wisely.