I've spent a considerable amount of time over the last several years debating people in Michigan about our helmet law. As I noted in an earlier blog on this site, the pro-helmet people always seemed to be speaking down to people that wanted a choice. Not interested in our opinion necessarily, however, more interested in telling us how stupid we are to want to ride without a helmet. Fortunately, the helmet law was finally repealed last week. I mistakenly assumed that the repeal of the helmet law would silence the pro-helmet people, however, I was mistaken. In fact, I am beginning to believe that it has done nothing other than fire the pro-helmet people up.
A friend of mine posted a picture of her squeeze on Facebook last week sitting on his bike without a helmet. The caption was something along the lines of "I'm FREE to ride without my helmet!" Over 200 friends posted positive, encouraging comments. One decided to post "It might feel GREAT until you wipe out. Just asking for a MAJOR head injury and likely riding your bike FREE in the heavens." It wouldn't surprise me to learn that the person that made that comment doesn't even ride. Not that it matters.... I've ridden helmet free since the law was repealed and have had multiple "encounters" with random people that are so very convinced that I am an idiot that they feel the need to tell me. I exchanged multiple messages with a Detroit Free Press columnist over the weekend on the same topic. He wrote a piece explaining why people should wear helmets. I felt the need to explain to him that I appreciated his opinion although I felt he would be better off discussing the practice of "Look Twice, Save A Life."
I have a message to anyone that believes helmets should be mandatory in Michigan. Let it go. Do ALL of us a favor and Let it go! Take a step back from the edge and realize that the law has changed and whether you like it or not, we WILL ride without our helmets. Latch onto another hot topic and let riders in Michigan make their legal choice as to when they wear their helmet, if at all.