4. Yeah, wear a helmet

Valentino Rossi Helmet

(Photo Courtesy of Yamaha Motor Corp.)

It’s a sad sign of the times that anybody needs to be told this. Life is too short to debate people who think helmets will snap your neck, restrict your peripheral vision, cause you to renounce heterosexuality (not that there’s anything wrong with that) and vote Democratic. I could trot out statistics, but people who oppose helmets typically aren’t swayed by facts.

Go stand in the street and look at the pavement. Picture yourself being dropped headfirst onto it from four or five feet. Contemplate chin-first also, which happens a lot. Ask yourself, would I do better with or without a helmet? I personally am not an ATGATT (All The Gear All The Time) literalist. Sometimes I do short hops without a jacket to the grocery store a few blocks away. Sometimes I ride down to the beach in board shorts and high-tops, three miles on surface streets. But I always – always! – wear a helmet and gloves.