Helmet Use: Only the moped rider used one

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Helmet Use: Only the moped rider used one

Postby Micronaut » Mon Jun 19, 2006 8:11 pm

Cycle Helmets...Take Them? Or Leave Them?

It's a tale of two wheels and two very different kinds of cycles, But one item uniting anyone on a motorcycle or a bicycle is a helmet...take it or leave it. "Probably 50 percent of our customers probably are looking at buying helmets when they purchase a motorcycle," Owner of J&L Harley Davidson Jim Entenman said.

"It's a pretty mixed ratio," Pel Kolb of Spoke-N-Sport said. "One thing we do here is try to educate people about helmets."

That education is something both cycle dealers call important. Helping customers find the perfect style, fit and comfort level in order to take all the pain out of something meant to prevent it. "This is a helmet that's going to fit your head correctly and be comfortable to wear, which is the key," Kolb said. "Your helmet's not comfortable...you're not going to want to wear it."

And in South Dakota, if you don't want to wear a helmet you don't have to, which is exactly what we found today.

In fifteen minutes at Yankton Trail Park, we counted 10 people not opting for headgear, while 10 others did. That's a 50/50 split and not all that bad compared to our 15 minutes at 21st St. and Minnesota Ave. In that time we counted 20 people on motorcycles. Eighteen people were wearing nothing for protection, and just two, one riding a moped and just half of a tandem on a cycle, opted for a helmet. "It is a freedom of choice and it's up to each individual person to make that decision whether or not they want to wear a helmet," Entenmen said. "But there are some advantages."

Entenman says convincing riders of those advantages can be tough despite J&L's attempts at education and training, and that's one thing many bicyclists just can't relate to. "I know that people like to have the freedom of riding on a motorcycle without a helmet," Avid rider Craig Rife said. "But unfortunately you only get one mistake often times."

If you own a helmet or are considering one experts recommend replacing both bicycle and motorcycle models every three years.

By Kent Erdahl
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