LaCrosse, as a college town, has many bicyclers, but not necessarily helmet wearers.
It is easy to notice a pattern: adults and children bicyclers generally wear helmets, while teens and college students (LaCrosse’s largest bicycling demographic) seldom wear head protection. On any given weekday, hundreds of students ride up to Carl Wimberly to lock up their bikes, coming and going throughout the day; over the course of several hours, chances are less than ten will be seen wearing helmets.“I know helmets are a good idea, but there’s not any traffic on campus and I don’t want to have to carry a helmet around all day. I hardly ever see anyone else wearing them either,” says Emily Krause, a UW-L junior.
There are a variety of reasons helmets aren’t being worn: some students dislike the look of helmets, some don’t want to have to carry them around, and some people are put at ease by the limited amount of traffic on campus.While it’s true that campus is mostly traffic-free, many student bicyclers bike because they are coming from off-campus housing, where there is traffic in abundance. If students do not want to carry around a helmet, they can lock them up with their bikes.
Students worried about hair or appearance could weigh those concerns against their wellbeing. Last year there were 12 bicycle related deaths in Wisconsin alone.