Naomi Watts doesn’t wear a helmet while biking in NYC even though she knows she’ll be chased by paparazzi.
Naomi, you really need to read this article. (I haven’t stopped thinking about it.)
When you get on a bike in NYC, you are in essence giving up your rights (according to the NYPD, drivers can break the law and kill you with impunity — they just can’t break two laws and kill you — and bikers who get in accidents with pedestrians “will now be treated and recorded the same as when a motor vehicle hits a pedestrian,” which puts the biker at fault). The onus is on you not to be involved in an accident, even if the driver or pedestrian is acting like a blatant ass.
The one right you really have as a biker is the right to wear a helmet. If you, god forbid, get in an accident when you’re not wearing a helmet, the NYPD may treat it as an indication that you were at fault. (They’ve done it before.)
I really don’t know why I care so much about people not wearing helmets — I mean, they’re your brains — but I do.