Wanlock Dod wrote:It is indeed ironic that in a place where a head on collision with another cyclist is a very real possibility, helmets (that could probably be rather effective in such a situation) are actually little more than a fashion symbol.
The design goal of the original polystyrene Magic Hat was a better hairnet, and the point of a hairnet isn't to Save Lives but to give you a better chance of getting back on your bike and finishing the race without losing too much time rather than waiting for the stars around your head to disappear. This is, on the one hand, a genuinely useful thing in lots of situations, but on the other it's rare enough in everyday situations that it's not really worth the repeated faff to avoid.
If I have to abandon one of, say, 10 races a year due to a bumped head that's 10% of my hobby written off and in any case comfort and convenience are non-issues. If I have to miss work for a couple of days in a year due to a bumped head that's not really the end of the world and the other ca. 220+ days I can do without faffing about with crash helmets.
As it happens the last time I fell off a bike and hit my head was about 15 years ago (as it further happens I took it on the chin so the helmet I was wearing didn't help a jot and may actually have added some unhelpful energy, but I digress...). So that would be one hell of a lot of journeys of "just in case" wearing, to save me a headache.
I've picked up a couple of other headaches from banging my head in non-sysling contexts (trees, signposts, cupboard doors etc.). I've never felt it was worth of faff of PPE to prevent such headaches in future.
Bikeability 1 is typically taught in a school playground. I've yet to see a child fall off and hit their head doing that, and thanks to the intelligent risk management like supervision ratios and removal of other things in the same place at the same time it's hardly surprising it isn't a plague. I have seen some other scrapes including a nasty one to a hand, but while helmets are often mandated by schools and/or LAs, gloves aren't. The same kids use the same playground for, err, play, and the rate of falling over and whacking their heads is such that the school will probably have "I Banged My Head!" stickers to go with the more generic "I've Been Brave!" stickers, and form letters home to carers pointing out they have sustained a minor head injury. But nobody's dumb enough to suggest you need crash helmets and knee pads etc. to play chase and football in your school playground. Cycling with close supervision though, well, clearly Mad, Bad and Dangerous To Know!