eBent Recumbent Cycling

A Bent Look at Self Contained Touring

Why I always wear a bicycle helmet

with 4 comments

Roland Loaded for first tour of 2006 

I don’t bicycle without a helmet. That logic has been reinforced for me several times.

The more you ride the more you become aware of what can happen at almost any time, you can fall. I have fallen when my wheel gets stuck in sand, when a turn is covered by wet manure, when a pedestrian steps out in front of me, when my clipless pedals didn’t releasae and when another cyclists touched my wheel. For most of these falls the worse case is a broken collar bone.

But I have also been hit or driven off the road by cars and trucks. Twice in downtown Dover, NH I have been hit by cars while riding in the middle of a group of bicyclists. For some reason the driver saw the other bikes but turned through me to make a right turn. In both cases I was thrown from the bike and the back of my helmet landed on the curbing. My head hit the curbing hard enough that my glasses where thrown across the road. Both times I got up with scratches on my back and a gouge on my ankle or leg from a pedal, but no injuries.  I had to get new glasses and a new helmet both times and don’t ride down Central Ave. any more on my bicycle, but I don’t feel too bad about that.

Yes, I have been lucky but how lucky would I have been without a helmet?

I live in a state that doesn’t require motorcyclist to wear helmets. I have heard them argue that they are safer without a helmet. I have also ridden a motorcycle for over 40 years and I tell them “I am not a good enough rider to ride without out a helmet yet”.

The same is true for my bicycle, I am not a good enough rider yet to ride without a helmet. I am not sure when I’ll be good enough to see a car on a busy street that is going to turn into me soon enough to prevent it every time. I do know that if you ride a 2 wheeled vehicle you will fall eventually. When I fall I want to have a helmet on.


Written by Roland

February 24, 2008 at 9:28 am

4 Responses

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  1. In the past I have only needed the impact protection of a helmet twice. Once when the front wheel of my old Schwinn Le Tour tracked right over a frog which jumped into my path in a turn. Scratches and bumps and time for a new helmet. I’m sure it saved me at least a goose egg on my noggin.
    The other time was in 1984 when a deer ran out in front of me as my wife and I rode my BMW R100T in the Texas Hill Country. It was 1:00 in the afternoon and so I was not looking for a deer to leap from behind a cedar tree to cross the highway. We both suffered considerable road rash, but the full face helmets worked perfectly.
    I still say that if you don’t wear a helmet, you probably don’t have anything worth protecting with one.
    And yes, when I had the old 1948 Panhead Hog, I still wore a full face helmet.

    Charles Stell

    February 25, 2008 at 8:43 am

  2. Charlie, I have a Honda ST1000 that I have ridden from Flordia to New Hampshie and back several time. I’m not riding it anymore and plan to sell it in the Spring.

    Motorcycling and bicycling have never mixed well for me. I have always been a long distance rider but the traffic is making thqt a lot less fun for me. Strangely, I have always felt more tired after a day on the motorcyle than a day on the bicycle. Of course there is some difference in distance covered.

    My “rule of thumb”:

    1 day walking = 1 hour on a bicycle

    1 day on a bicyle = 1 hour in a car or on a motorcycle

    Speeds beyond bicycle speeds take the humanity out of the ride.


    February 25, 2008 at 4:50 pm

  3. Heh … for a graphical demonstration of why to wear one, see link below. And remember … the picture is WITH a helmet on! Would have been much worse without. Doubt I’d be typing were I not wearing one.



    March 18, 2009 at 7:42 pm

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    We are manufacturer and exporter of High Quality Cycling Wear. We use highest quality Italian Fabrics from Carvico and Pads from Essegi2 to produce our products. We use the latest machinery which
    adds more durability and quality to the item. We are very professional in this line and our prices are also very competitive.
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    Thanks & Best regards,
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    April 28, 2011 at 10:21 am

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