It’s not that I’m looking to crack open my skull, it’s just that sometimes I don’t wear a helmet when I ride my bike. I know I should because I do worry about cars crashing into me. And I worry about car doors opening and making me part of the interior. I also worry I’ll do something stupid. (That’s more of an everyday worry and not limited to being on a bike).
Yet, I’m probably 50/50 on the helmet thing. Now that might outrage some riders who say I’m being irresponsible if I don’t wear one. Fair enough. You might be right. After all, I make my daughter wear one. She’s 9 and also required by law. I’m not.
Now, I’m not an avid rider by any stretch. Instead I ride to save on gas and parking, to run errands and I like to tell myself I’m doing a little something for the environment. That’s what I tell myself, anyway.
But here’s the thing. Increasingly, city riding makes me twitchy. There are too many close calls with drivers who don’t seem to give a crap that there is a bike in the road. Something interesting has also happened recently. Granted this is only anecdotal and not an endorsement to not cover your noodle, but more often I find drivers giving me more room and being more careful when I’m NOT wearing a lid, as if a helmet is the international sign to go ahead and be reckless.
It makes me wonder if other riders have experienced the same thing. I certainly don’t have enough evidence to draw any real conclusions, but it’s been noticeable. I don’t think it’s going to drive my decision about whether or not to wear a helmet, but it’s been curious.
Chad Sebring is the news editor at The Times-Tribune. He has been a journalist for roughly 20 years, having joined The Scranton Times in 1999. He has won several state and national awards for headline writing, design and photography. Chad lives in Clarks Summit with his beautiful daughter, Sophie. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; 570-348-9100 x3486; @chadsebring