Become a digitalPLUS subscriber. 99¢ for 4 weeks.
News Opinion Readers Respond

Bill or not, helmets make sense

Your recent article ("Helmet bill gets objections from bike advocates" Feb. 13) left me quite astounded and literally shaking my head.

People have opinions, and opinions do indeed vary. As a lifelong road-bicycling participant (35 years) and helmet wearer, I have cycled the roads and streets in many states, raced at the intercollegiate level and as a licensed amateur, commuted to school and work, participated in local group rides (both fast paced and leisurely) and just rode (and currently ride) for the sheer joy of being on a bike.

"Biking is only dangerous when people drive recklessly around cyclists," opponents of a helmet law say. Seriously? To the contrary, many times in the 1980s when some of us were learning how to adapt to the new clipless pedals, I fell from a complete stop, not being able to unclip fast enough (and totally embarrassing myself). I lost count of how many times dogs on the loose crashed into our group, sending us sprawling on the pavement. Potholes and bad roads added to numerous spills, as did unsuccessful navigation of some downhill turns. Who needs drivers to crash? And I have never been hit by a motor vehicle. Acquiring good bike handling skills and practicing defensive cycling have worked for me.

Mandatory use of a helmet could cause some to stop riding? Seriously? Never heard of that one. What I have heard, on many occasions (and unfortunately equally fallacious) was that "if I wear a helmet, I can do things on the bike that I wouldn't normally do because I feel safer."

Interesting comments and opinions do vary. Personally, I am ambivalent about having a "helmet bill." But I don't need a bill to convince me that wearing a helmet makes sense.

John B. Foulkes, Annapolis

  • Text NEWS to 70701 to get Baltimore Sun local news text alerts
  • Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
    Related Content
    • Bike helmets: Put a lid on it
      Bike helmets: Put a lid on it

      Why is there any debate about requiring a simple step that will save lives and prevent injuries?

    • Bike safety requires more than helmets
      Bike safety requires more than helmets

      Although I always wear a helmet when bicycling, the feel-good bill to mandate adult bike helmets has flaws ("Helmet bill gets objections from bike advocates," Feb. 13). First, the bill would adversely impact the poor, minorities, and immigrants who don't own a car and depend upon their...

    • Bike helmets have their benefits
      Bike helmets have their benefits

      Letter writer Kevin Strickler says that requiring bicyclists to wear helmets will lead to fewer bikers ("Helmet laws will reduce number of bikers," Feb. 19). I say that not wearing helmets will reduce the number of bikers in a most unpleasant way — by more deaths on the road.

    • Bike helmets should be optional
      Bike helmets should be optional

      Having ridden bicycles since childhood, I prefer not to wear a bicycle helmet ("The bike helmet debate," Feb. 16. However, I would not want to discourage a rider who feels more secure in wearing one.

    • Motorcyclists share bicyclists' helmet concerns
      Motorcyclists share bicyclists' helmet concerns

      As a motorcyclist, I am always fascinated by the concerns of bicyclists as to helmets ("Helmet bills gets objections from bike advocates," Feb. 13). If you switched the mode of transportation, you would see the same arguments apply. Yet motorcyclists are not allowed the same opportunity...

    • Helmet laws will reduce number of bikers
      Helmet laws will reduce number of bikers

      Baltimore has made a great deal of progress in making itself more bike friendly ("Cycling advocates fight proposed helmet law, preferring 'safety in numbers'" Feb 13). As a homeowner in Baltimore City, I enjoy the convenience of jumping on my bike to make short trips to run errands rather...

    • Helmet-less cyclists come up lame
      Helmet-less cyclists come up lame

      I am a cyclist who has done big miles for a long span of years. I am also one who was hit from behind by a car in 2005, an accident which both projected me 85 feet into the air and required more than a year of recovery. I was lucky to survive and would not have, save for the helmet I was...

    • Cycling advocates fight proposed helmet law, preferring 'safety in numbers'
      Cycling advocates fight proposed helmet law, preferring 'safety in numbers'

      State lawmakers considering requirement for all to wear protective headgear while biking

    Comments
    Loading