Cycle helmets

One time when it certainly is advisable to wear a cycle helmet is if you are going to get in a debate about whether cyclists should wear them or not. Controversy has been caused recently by transport minister Norman Baker's insistence that he chooses 'to enjoy the wind in his hair'. The same was once true of Boris Johnson and David Cameron, but each of them has given in to calls for them to 'lead by example' and don a helmet, as a recent blog laments.

What example is Cycle Lifestyle setting on helmets? Ours is informed by a couple of significant facts. First: none of the three major cycling organisations we follow - CTC, LCC and Sustrans - advocate wearing a helmet while on a bike. Second: it is not illegal to cycle without a helmet in the UK. Until we hear otherwise, our policy as a magazine will be to endorse the 'individual choice' policy advocated by the above authorities. You could call it a non-policy.

What about my own personal opinion? This is not necessarily the opinion of everyone associated with the magazine, but I too like to enjoy the wind in my hair. I would wear a helmet if I rode a racing bike at high speeds; but when I'm meandering around the backstreets of London on my rusty hybrid, with my panniers and front basket full of clobber, I don't.

I'm not stupid: I know that wearing head protection is likely to be helpful if a person bangs their head - whether playing sports, using a motor-vehicle, being a contestent on Gladiators, or riding a bike. I just don't wear a cycle helmet for the same reason I don't wear head protection when I'm playing football, in a car, or pugil-sticking at a fairground. It seems unnecessarily cautious; as it seemed to my parents uneccesarily cautious for me to wear a cycle helmet when I was a toddler wobbling my way to proficiency on stabilisers, an exuberant kid wheelying over divots in Epping Forest, or a teenager riding to college quicker than the bus could ever get me there.  

But that's just me: make up your own mind about wearing a cycle helmet. That's the policy of Cycle Lifestyle as well as the prevailing authorities.


I usually wear a helmet. But

I usually wear a helmet. But on the occasions I don't, such as on a short local hop or a particularly nice day, I tend to say to myself "Ooh, I'll have to be a bit extra careful now, without my protection.

I'll bet that that extra care is worth more to me than the helmet.

as a small boy I cycled to

as a small boy I cycled to school during the blitz and nobody said I should wear a helmet so why do it now.

I'd never worn a helmet until

I'd never worn a helmet until i hit the tarmac at 40mph on my roadbike..lucky for me i never hit my head only just got heavy bruising on the rest of i feel like i have been given another chance in life & lever leave home without my specialized align helmet!!

never worn a helmet in my

never worn a helmet in my life, but sometimes i feel i should just because of some drivers un-aware of cyclists. once i hit the road when a car got to close, im glad i was wearing my helmet then.

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