I don’t think it is any surprise for anyone in the biking blogging world to learn that Australia has mandatory helmet laws for cyclists, that Australia is somewhat mocked for those laws and that the lack of success of bike share schemes in Melbourne and Brisbane is attributed to the same laws. The helmet law here is enforced, and apparently raises a great deal of revenue. It also gets challenged in court and I know one person who has successfully taken this matter to court and won on the grounds he does not want to risk a rotational head injury from wearing a helmet.
So it comes as a bit of a revelation, to me at least, that lately there does not seem to be a lot of helmet wearing going on in inner Newcastle. Now this is based on my somewhat limited observations when I make trips into town or the inner suburbs. And when I looked through my files I found a large number of photos of street cyclists not wearing helmets. Yet, and again based on my no doubt limited observations, when I ride Fernleigh, it seems that everyone wears a helmet, no doubt partly because they are often road cyclists who ride fast, but even the recreational cyclists wear helmets there. I would guess that there is less reason to wear a helmet on a shared path like Fernleigh than in the inner city traffic, but there you have it.
Me, I wear a helmet most of the time, just in case. My helmets are not that new or great quality but they stop me from getting booked and may save my head in case of an accident. Sometimes I don’t wear one if I forget to wear it or if the weather is just too hot, and the only time I have had anyone yell at me for that was on Fernleigh when the track was nearly empty, when I have ridden down Beaumont Street in heavy traffic helmetless and had no comment, go figure.
NB: I have not posted often lately due to yet another bout of winter illness, hopefully normal transmissions will resume soon.