I have been writing this bike blog for well over a year, posting over three hundred times, and yet I have never posted, not even once, about bike helmets. This is an incredibly contentious issue among riders, and I really ought to have an opinion. I passed this mixed-use helmet sitting out on a trash can on Magazine and Philip and wondered what its past was and figured now’s as good a time as any to weigh in. Did someone take a tumble, cracking the helmet and sending it tot he trash heap, proving that helmets save lives, or at least heads? Was the helmet purchased for a kid who got over whatever land/wheel sport originally demanded it, and it’s just heading out with the rest of the trash to make room for more junk in the house? I’m of several minds about the whole helmet issue, which I guess means I need multiple helmets. A part of me thinks everyone should wear them all the time, just in case. When I saw that poor woman smash her head in a drunken crash a couple of months ago and she was laying in the gutter with blood coming out of her ears, I thought a helmet might have come in handy for her (don’t worry–she’s ok, and I got her bike back to her). I’ve had a fall when riding helmetless, and I was thinking about my bare head as I flew over my handlebars. On the other hand, I’m not sure I’m convinced by the testing that a helmet would stay on my head in a traumatic fall and offer real protection. And some studies have allegedly shown that cars are more reckless when they see riders with helmets, assuming they’re more skillful. As I type, though, those seem like cop outs. Because I don’t love wearing them. I like to ride with the air in my hair, especially in humid New Orleans where a helmet head is a hot sweaty head. Which means I try to justify not wearing a helmet. As it is, I own two, and I wear one when I’m racing around on the Surly, but often ride bare-headed when on the cruiser. I’ve got no good explanation for those choices, and this righteous helmet post hasn’t brought me any closer to knowing where I stand on the Great Helmet Debate. I just hope the head that used to ride this helmet is safe tonight.