This morning as I arrived at the office on my bicycle, my good friend Mark was just arriving on his sweet Hog. Beautiful shiny black beast! (My favorite non-bicycle mode of transportation!)
Mark's head was covered with - a stretchy beanie cap!
"Is that your helmet?" I asked.
"It sure is!"
"You must not value your brain very highly, huh?"
"Not much up there."
Of course that was facetious - Mark is a very bright fella!
I am totally sold on [voluntary] helmet usage - on motorcycle or bicycle.
I never leave home without mine.
It's been a TOTAL waste for probably 9 years - that's the last time my head slammed into the ground with significant force. But that time - and 2 or 3 others in my lifetime of "cycling" - I would not have wanted to be unhelmeted. When you're flying through the air, about to do the FACE-PLANT... too late to quickly strap on a bucket, even with your cat-like reflexes!
(Motorcycle helmets - at least the kind with a face shield - have the added value of keeping bugs from flattening themselves on your face. Take a big grasshopper or june-bug in the face sometime at 70mph, and you'll recognize the value of protecting your face.)
Our healthcare provider has this "propaganda" in the lobby of my office right now:
Pay a little now, or pay a lot later
$30 - protective head gear
$1,075,000 - lifetime care for severe head trauma patient
Preventable injuries are a big reason health care costs are rising. When someone has a bicycle accident while not wearing a helmet, his or her injuries can be much more serious - and much more expensive to treat. ... (blah-blah about insurance costs) ... Your choices make a difference.
I've never (knock on carbon fiber) had a debilitating bike or motorcycle accident. I've done a few body-slams over the years that had me hurting, and losing sleep, for a week or two... but I've been back on the bike the next day or sooner, every single time. If my noodles had gotten scrambled (more than in their natural state), I'm not so sure the outcome would've been nearly so positive. And the Missus and kids have all indicated they're not interested in changing my diapers for me, or feeding me through a straw.