What would you do? I forgot to bring my helmet to work, ride or no ride?

Do not ride without a helmet
54%
Go ahead and ride without one
46%
Total votes: 99

27 Comments

Got it. I've done this, it's

Got it. I've done this, it's infuriating to get dressed in bike clothes and realize you you forgot your helmet. I didn't ride but I was tempted. You see old school guys in Maipei kits sans helmet all the time so I'm like maybe...but once you go helmet you never go back.

way back when

I've been wearing a helmet since I started riding. This was back in the days of the 'old Eggshell Helmet', the old Bell Biker for the younger riders out there. Way back in the early 80’s, I did an early season ride one fabulously beautiful day in Feb. I lived in the Midwest then, so any day above 40 with the sun was beautiful for us. I didn’t have a helmet liner, and my helmet did not fit over my stocking cap, so I road san-helmet. While out, I hit a pot hole hidden by the shadows, and went over the bars. I ended up with only a separated shoulder and a concussion. Since then, I do not go out on rides without it. It is funny to read people who still try to pass on the myth that a helmet can increase your injury in a case. As if a strained neck is in anyway comparable to a TBI. Me: I forget my helmet, I don’t ride. It is not worth the risk, however small it might be. 1 missed ride will not ruin our fitness. 1 crash without a helmet could ruin or cost us our life. No contest!

Any statistics people in the house?

Of the 20-ish years I have been very active into cycling I've only needed a helmet once... probably saved my life but only once.

My odds of being hurt I am guessing (need stats person here) are probably similar to winning the lottery yet I would NEVER buy a ticket considering the odds so why would I today be worried about getting injured on the bike? Of course someone does win the lottery so my number could come up on the bike was well today.

BTW, even it I did ride no helmet today I'm VERY sure that tomorrow I'll be back to riding with one.

For what's it worth (not as

For what's it worth (not as much as I hoped), I've got a Masters in stats and I work in Public Health. :)

Studies on bicycle helmet laws, cycling injuries, etc. sometimes show insignificant risk because routine helmet users tend to perceive reduced risk when wearing a helmet, they compensate by riding harder/faster. Those not wearing helmets are more cautious. Still...one crash without your helmet is all it takes and since you race (am I right?) it would seem to harder to ride cautiously.

My informed and expert opinion is call it a rest day and stay off the bike.

complicated subject

. It is conjecture to blame the poor performance of bike helmets on risk compensation. That's probably just one of many reasons why bike helmets don't seem to do much good, or worse (in some studies, increased helmet use corresponds to increased rate of head injury), in population studies. Another is rarely talked about -- bike helmets have peculiar properties which make them more likely to actually exacerbate or cause a neck/brain stem injury. It may seem unlikely but "it only takes one time."

Talking about helmets and head injuries is bad mojo.

In my informed and expert opinion, cycling safety does not begin and end with helmets. All things considered, whether or not you choose to wear a bike helmet (in which safety is compromised by weight, ventilation and style) is a relatively tiny factor in your safety while riding. Foregoing a ride -- a bike ride! -- because you don't have a helmet is damn near insane in my opinion.

Kids and their parents need

Kids and their parents need to know that wearing a helmet is only a small part of bike safety.

Teach your kids this -- if you're going to get killed while riding your bike, it's almost certainly going to be because you rode out into the street in front of a car. And if you do that your helmet is not going to make one bit of difference.

Not the typical helmet debate

I agree, we should move past the helmet debate and not rain down on newbies, cruisers, what have you cyclists, who are not wearing a helmet... just get people on BIKES helmet or not!

This is geared towards the cyclist who nearly 99.99% of the time wears a helmet, but today they have no helmet and it is a beautiful day to ride... Of course thousands of cyclists everyday ride without a helmet and live to ride another day but if YOU were this person and forgot your helmet that day, what you would do.

"One time I had this friend"...

Okay, it wasn't a friend. It was me. But I thought it best to disguise myself a bit. I'm a huge supporter of wearing helmets. HUGE. HUGE. But "one time" my husband and I went to Hawaii. We planned everything for the perfect ride up Mt. Haleakala. Packed all the gear, rented bikes, drove a gazillion miles (probably only about 35, but who wants to drive in Hawaii)? We got all geared up and with a huge sharp intake of breath, we realized that we'd forgotten helmets.

We had a choice. Based on the time of day, how long the ride would take us, the remaining travel/vacation plans, etc. we could either ride without or bail on the ride. There was no going back to the shop to buy one.

So I made the call. "Let's do it." And I prayed many times on that ride. Both up the mtn. when my husband would disappear a mere 5 yds ahead of me, completely eclipsed in fog, and down the mtn. when I was a little loopy from only eating Starbucks oatmeal that morning where I chose to "skip the toppings" for some stupid reason.

Any way. That was a ride of a lifetime. Was it fairly stupid to ride without a helmet? Yes. Did I kiss the ground, literally kiss it when we got back to our car? Yes. Would I have been happy with myself if I hadn't done that ride? No. I would have been sad in Hawaii. Who wants that?

Every once in a while you will forget.

I hope you still did the ride.

It Only Takes Once

I generally say don't ride without a helmet for any reason but I have to admit I broke that rule last week when I did exactly the same thing. My plan was to do an easy ride on a lightly used bike path so I went for it even though I didn't have my helmet. I was still worried about it because I've crashed on easy rides. My last cracked helmet was on an easy lunch ride when I caught my pedal on a stick on an easy trail I've ridden many times. I've also shattered a helmet while track racing. The ER doc took one look at it as they rolled me in on the stretcher and said I was lucky I was there. I've cracked at least one other helmet but I've crashed mountain biking too many times to remember.

Fear = paralysis

Everyone forgets that you take a chance with your life just getting out of bed in the morning. Constant fear of injury and the over zealous societal pressure to wear a helmet can be unhealthy. So you wear a layer of foam and carbon on your dome, go out and hammer down Lee Hill at 40+ mph, how's that gonna help as the Lycra and skin comes peeling off your body like a bull snake molting in the weeds?

I'm not saying that you should go charging around like a superhero without your helmet, but remember about 15 years ago how differently safety was perceived in every facet of life. I used to ride standing up without a seatbelt in a pickup truck as a seven year old. Are the risks higher? Sure, but you just never know when your end of life lottery ticket is gonna come up. Just live your life. There are consequences for living, and with inherent risks come just as many benefits.

Go for a ride.

A friend of mine smashed his

A friend of mine smashed his skull open on a cruiser ride, he was going about 10 mph just chatting it up with a few other riders, no helmet. 14 months off the bike, spent several thousands in medical costs, his life changed forever.

Are you saying wearing a helmet = not living your life? That's brilliant.

We're talking about ONE day in a state where we have 300 sunny days a year. My coached training schedule suggests 2 rest days a week.

The Air Force (can't speak

The Air Force (can't speak for the other branches) has a mandatory bike helmet requirement when riding a bike on a base, so of course I voted not ride w/o one. If I was not working on an AF base and out in the civilian sector, it would depend if I had to ride on the road or all on trails. While there is less risk on the trails, it only takes that one qsuirrel, rabbit, prairie dog, to jump out in front of you and cause you to go head-first into a tree or post. I would not ride fast on the trails.