Yellow Peril wrote:You have to possess a licence, be at least 16 years of age, have insurance and wear a BS kite marked helmet to ride a moped capable of no more than 30 mph on Britain's roads. Do you think it would be sensible to remove those requirements for moped riders? I don't I think they are common sense
Yet you can get on a bicycle with none of the above, ride shoulder to shoulder with your mates at speeds close to that of a moped, on a bicycle. Crazy isn't it? My top speed on a bicycle to date is 51 mph. I was lycra clad but had a helmet. If I'd have crashed the gravel rash would have hurt but at least I had some chance of avoiding a serious head injury with the helmet.
Always wear a helmet. Don't think of it as an infringement of your freedom or civil liberty just think of it as plain common sense.
The choice to wear a helmet or not is a freedom - it would be the compulsion to do so that is an infringement.
You mention riding shoulder to shoulder with other cyclists at up to around 30mph - would I wear a helmet? Of course I would. But what if I was riding sub 10mph away from other traffic - should I wear a helmet then? Well - no harm in doing so, but the chance of an off is significantly reduced as is the likely hood of head injury - it isn't removed, there is still the chance- just as there is a chance you'll trip at the top of the stairs and fall down head first - but you don't wear a helmet for that do you?
My concern with safety devices - and compulsion to use them - is that the users get complacent:
"I've got a helmet on so I can ride safely" ... no - you've got a helmet on so you have limited protection against a head injury in case of an accident.
"I've got lights on so everyone can see me" ... no - you've got lights on to make it more likely that someone will see you - doesn't mean they will or that they'll recognise it - you still need to be vigilant.
Safety kit is not there to absolve the user of responsibility - it is in addition to the normal precautions that should be taken. That is what is slowly being eroded away.
So when I suggest that you take your lid of and have a ride - you need to consider where/when/how you're riding and do so appropriately - then perhaps you'll appreciate the helmet as an additional tool.