Friday, August 14, 2009

Don't knock the brain box

Made a big investment in my commuter bike last week. The 10+ year old converted mountain bike is quite worn and the chain had started to slip on the sprockets. That's a no-no when you're climbing the abundant hills in Boone, so I had my landlord's shop - Magic Cycles - do the repair work. I came away with new sprockets from and rear, new chain, and even new crank arms, which came with the front chainring component set.

After I picked up my bike, I packed everything away in the panniers and took a walk through downtown Boone. In a rare moment of poor decision making, I opted to ride my bike back through town and left my helmet in the pannier. A slow 4-block excursion, yet dangerous nonetheless on the narrow streets with heavy traffic.

I then noted a posted sign: A Boone city ordinance requires that all cyclists wear helmets while riding. I had not only made a bad decision, I had broken the law! Then I started to process the mandatory helmet requirement; this has been a raging debate in the motorcycle community for decades.

"Let those who ride decide." That's the mantra of the anti-helmet crowd. So what's your take on local government mandating helmet use for bicyclists? Personal preference or not?

I opt for my brain bucket each and every day...but you may have a different opinion.


  1. I am glad you use your helmet daily, Tom. It's the smartest thing to do. I believe part of the reason that the helmet law passes more easily for bicycles is because many bike riders are children or teens. Where I grew up, anyone under 16 was required to wear a helmet and it was optional from 16+.

    I certainly hope you get a special "tenant discount" for using Magic Cycles!