Most bike riders wear helmets. For the last two years of daily riding, other than tonight, I have not. My main argument in the face of the obvious was that I wanted to stay scared and thus utterly alert when on a bike. My exposed cranium was a constant reminder against anything less. Some measure of the reason additionally, hiding in the corner, was vanity.
Tonight I had an idea of something I wanted to do in the future and was kind of impressed with myself about how I got there. A serious jar/injury to the head might well have made that impossible and this thought finally did it for me.
I was surprised on my way to the Safeway tonight, helmeted, riding with rush hour traffic, that I was still sufficiently afraid and utterly alert. Maybe it is because that 360 degree alertness has become one of the pleasures of riding which I have come to look forward to, with or without a helmet.
I think bike riders each come to their own moment of wanting to protect their brains from injury. Many get there without a second thought, and others like myself, take a more circuitous path. In all cases though, I believe it turns out to be something you will have given to yourself.