The Battle Around Helmets-What Side Are You On?

www.bikelifecities.comYesterday was Bike to Work Day in the State of Colorado. Even though I work from home, sometimes I need to connect with my clients face to face. Yesterday was that day. So, I hopped on my cruiser and proceeded to ride towards my final destination. I love to ride, it is one of the most freeing, relaxing, and community building activities that you can participate in. Did I mention that I wasn’t wearing a helmet? Apparently there is a battle around helmets and I discovered that when I stopped at a bike stop along the way.

It began innocently enough, I gingerly set my bike along the wall that lined the bike path. I carefully made my way across the path being mindful of all of the riders zipping across the bike path. When I was immediately schooled on my lack of wearing a helmet.  Because I wasn’t and the only time I will wear a helmet is if I am riding in a race. Because that’s my right. I smiled at the volunteer and told him thanks for the input and then continued on to see what was at the station. There were snacks, coffee, and bike mechanics. It was super impressive.

But, the volunteer didn’t lay off! Because he saw me putting in my headphones so that I could listen to a podcast as I made my way down to Downtown Denver. Here’s the thing-I know that if I decide to ride my bike with a helmet that I am putting myself at risk. It is common sense that riding a bike and riding a bike without a helmet can be dangerous. I mitigate that danger by doing the following: I ride a cruiser-you just can’t ride that fast on a cruiser because they tend to be heavy. I also tend to ride on sidewalks or bike paths as well.

Bless his heart, I know that the volunteer was trying to advocate for riding safely but I was feeling like I was being tread upon. When did my helmet free approach become so wrong? We had a few heated words wear I explained that I had been riding a bike on my own since I was 7 years old and that was a very, very long time ago. He told me he just wanted me to enjoy my biking experience. The thing is-I was until he piped up!