Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Helmets in Toronto

So they want to make helmets mandatory in Toronto. . . and I find myself in a weird state of double-think about it.

Partly because I can't really think of a reason to disagree. I wear a helmet: on the extremely rare occasions that I get outside and realize that I don't have my helmet with me, and I don't feel like going back up to my apartment to get it, I feel naked, exposed and vulnerable. In fact, as I'm biking along I have mental images (don't read this part, Mom) of my head hitting concrete and squelching like a watermelon. I do. These mental images are very distracting. I usually go back for the helmet, unless I'm only cutting through my complex to the grocery store.

But something about forcing adults to wear them bothers me for no good reason. Maybe because it feels like a cash grab, and maybe because I feel like cyclists should be given credit for looking after themselves. There's enough of a subtext in the media hinting that cyclists are reckless, dangerous, careless, irresponsible. And legislating safety equipment on us caters to that impression. Like the government needs to do this for our own good.

I know it's no different from making seatbelts mandatory. And I have no sensible reason to object to it. Logic dictates that helmets are just smart to wear. But . . . in the back of my head a little, irrational resister paints herself blue and yells 'freedom!'

Meanwhile my better angel lusts after this Bern Watts helmet and counts pennies to save up for it:


  1. so do you actually know somewhere in Toronto where you can buy a Bern helmet? I have been looking to try one on for a long time now and it seems you can only buy them online, at least in this neck of the woods.

    1. I'm in the same boat. I've been looking for the past week and nothing. I've never had to try so hard to buy something.

  2. Actually upon further investigation, Sweet Pete's Bike Shop in Toronto now carries Bern helmets! 1204 Bloor St. W. I will be riding over there (helmetless) tonight after work to pick one up.

  3. Been thinking of buying a new helmet, mine cost $12 from K-Mart & of course doesn't fit, comes loose, kinda ugly etc. I'll have to check Bern out. Say, have you seen these sweet little numbers:

  4. OMG, those are _gorgeous_! Okay, my official lust for the Bern Sk8r helment has now been transferred. A pinstripe fedora-style helmet? I'm in love.

  5. I fell without a helmet and had a brain injury. Two and a half years later I am just recovered. They were the worst, most painful years of my life and I'm 63! So wear a helmet. Hopefully you will never need it. I have a Bern on order.