The epic battle between helmet users and neglecters has been going on for ages. Whichever side you are on, we all understand and agree on its purpose.
According to NYC law, cyclists over the age of 13 are not required to wear a helmet.
There are some interesting arguments made by those who consciously brush off the hard hat. One belief goes that not wearing a helmet will help the overall safety of cycling in the long run. Apparently, it turns riders to be more cautious, responsible, and less likely of risky behavior on the road.
It's funny when you think about it. You don't often find many people in cities like Amsterdam and Copenhagen wearing headgear, so I can see their point. Part of the reason (aside from their obvious infrastructure superiority) could be because they also commute in critical masses. Therefore, there is less likely of an incident with automobiles.
Even in the pro-cycling world, helmet-use wasn't made mandatory until 2003 after a fatal injury took the life of Andrey Kivilev.
It's obvious. Helmets can save you from head and brain injury. However, it would be very hypocritical of me to say that I wear a bucket 100% of the time, but pretty damn close. To say I don't enjoy having the wind blow through my hair would be a lie. I tend to leave it at home if I'm staying within the neighborhood, just to feel that liberty. Even then, it feels weird to be without it.
Helmets have been one of my favorite accessories over the past two years. I've gone through at least six bicycle helmets. No, not because I get into a lot of accidents, but because my tastes change and lead me to purchase ones with fits, colors, or graphics that better suit me. I blame my brief Moto GP phase in high school watching Valentino Rossi and Max Biaggi dominating circuits in their custom designed helmets.
After several new additions and giveaways, there are currently three helmets on my shelf. Over the years, they have become a reflection and representation of my personality, experience, and style. For example, I suffered my first major bike accident after last year's Cranksgiving. (Police tape. Don't ask.) By doctor's order, I was off the bike for three months. It was a major disappointment, but to my benefit - a harsh winter was arriving. Once Spring arrived, to symbolize my recovery and return to the streets, I added a Specialized Align helmet to the collection. I specifically chose the "White Ticket" color because of its red/pink spots' resemblance to drops of blood. A friendly reminder to myself of the incident and to be a little more careful.
On most days, my helmet selection is based off of my outfit for the day or even my mood. Aside from the bicycle itself, I don't know if there is a better representation of you in a similar measure. My buddy, Ross, wears a Polish military helmet when he rides. If you knew him personally, you'd realize how it matches him perfectly.
What does your helmet say about you?