The other day I was relaxing at a cafe when I found myself eavesdropping.


Why did he feel the need to speak to the bicyclist and why did he assume the cyclist was somehow ignorant? Would this guy similarly attack other people doing things that he viewed as poor judgement? Or is it just bicyclists?


I’m sick of the helmet hype. It’s time to hype up infrastructure until “cycle track” is in everyone’s vocabulary. I dream of the day this guy will ask the city what’s up with the street design that makes cyclists feel like they need to wear helmets.

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93 Comments on "Headcase"

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Yesterday I put on a helmet for the first time in a long time… and was totally taken aback how flimsy this brand-name, top-of-line piece of safety equipment really was… I considered brief to strap a metal salad bowl to my head!


THANK YOU! Thank you thank you thank you thank you.

My least favorite way this happens is when a spandex-clad MAMIL (yep, I’m going there) yells at me to get a helmet as he rides by (it’s pretty much always from a male, and always older, and always ALWAYS white). I don’t take the suggestion kindly, and yell that back in not so nice words.

Richard Kimmel

Erinne, you just reminded me, or actually the thread reminded me, many years ago some bozo whom I did not know, came riding by me while on a tour and told me to get clipless pedals so I could be more “efficient” and go faster. I have used clipless and flats for decades and think that sometimes it’s just an ego thing. This guy was certainly an annoying thing and I told him so.

Rex Bruce Burkholder

Very funny sight yesterday. A cyclist in full togs, helmet of course, riding in front of me. Ran 3 stop signs then crossed 4 lane road against a red light, weaving through traffic. Maybe he thought that bit of plastic is like Harry Potter’s cloak of invisibility. He could act like an idiot, breaking all traffic laws, and be protected by his magic brain bucket!
Meanwhile, I’m riding responsibly and am asked by pedestrian “where’s your helmet?”


I think helmets are fine if you’re doing something DANGEROUS – speeding, racing through red lights without stopping/slowing, weaving through traffic, riding down a mountain trail, doing stunts, chatting with your buddy biking next to you/not paying attention, etc.
But riding your upright bike 10-12 mph in a safe manner is not dangerous, AT ALL, and people really need to back off. I used to be annoyed. Now I just ask them (usually car drivers) where THEIR helmet is.

Vocus Dwabe
Now I just ask them (usually car drivers) where THEIR helmet is. It’s never happened to me – but perhaps that’s only because I lived in England where people aren’t so preachy, and now live in France where hardly any non-sporting cyclist bothers wearing a helmet. However, if it had ever happened then my response to my interlocutor (if male) would have been something on the lines of “Why aren’t you wearing a sportsman’s protective cup? Because if you go around speaking to people in that tone of voice you’re likely to be in far more urgent need of it… Read more »
I usually wear a helmet. I know a few people who have cracked helmets instead of their heads, and on top of that the visor is a great place for a mirror, which is even more essential. I don’t harangue anyone about helmets, I just tell them why I use one, if they ask. If I’m on a long stretch of state trail, the helmet will ride on my bags while I wear a cap or something. That’s also when I do most of my music listening while riding, cause there’s little traffic and I can HEAR something. I second… Read more »