by Michael dEstries
Categories: Transport
Tags: .

We’ve profiled Matthew Modine many times here on the razz for his pro-biking initiatives and efforts. Since relocating to NYC in the 80s, the actor has used a bike as his primary transportation; finding no need to compete with the multitude of cars filling the streets.

There’s an interesting quirk, however, to Modine’s love of biking — he doesn’t wear a helmet. In a new interview with New York Magazine, the 50-year-old says he doesn’t wear one, because he doesn’t assume he’s going to get hurt. Right — because I wear a seatbelt with every intention of getting in an accident. From the article,

“I get shit for that a lot of times,” he says—not least from the League of American Bicyclists. Modine says they wouldn’t link to a short film he had made for his Bicycle for a Day website because he’s not helmeted. “Should we wear helmets when we walk down the sidewalk?” Then his logic gets really shaky: “I think that people that wear helmets, cars are a little more aggressive with them.” He mentions the late Natasha Richardson, who died in March after a skiing accident: “She was a great friend of mine. She barely banged her head and it cost her her life.” Yes, and she wasn’t wearing a helmet. Doesn’t that give him pause? “I think it gave us all pause. Think how many times you’ve banged your head in your lifetime.”

Part of me can understand where Modine is coming from — growing up, I never had a helmet either while biking. It takes a bit of a transition period to getting in the habit of wearing one, but I value my head too much not to. It just doesn’t seem worth it to fly around the chaotic streets of NYC without one. How about you? Are you helmet — or old school?

Check out the rest of his interview here.

[UPDATE: For another take on the bike helmet debate — check out Copenhagenize’s well-written article. And for the record, I do not own a pitchfork.]

About Michael dEstries

Michael has been blogging since 2005 on issues such as sustainability, renewable energy, philanthropy, and healthy living. He regularly contributes to a slew of publications, as well as consulting with companies looking to make an impact using the web and social media. He lives in Ithaca, NY with his family on an apple farm.

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  • Rachelle

    Now that I’m an adult (38) and fully aware of my mortality, I wear a helmet…But I didn’t wear one when I was a kid and it was the norm. The generation after mine was when helmets and pads came into focus.

  • Carrie

    even though it makes me look dumb, i am a helmet wearer 100% of the time.

  • Stimp

    I’m firmly on the side of helmet. Number One Reason: If an accident doesn’t kill you, it could leave you brain-damaged for the rest of your life, Mr. Modine.

  • Kylo

    Helmets are not exactly the mode of fashion, but I always wear one. Perhaps his “shaky” logic is a result of one-too-many head traumas.

  • Erin Raw Foods

    I too am 38 years old and don’t wear one but think I might start. I also rollerblade (very fast) and honestly? besides my old parents no one I know wears one in Florida (or California) but I’m willing to wear one for safety. The only people I see wearing them here are little kids and older folks….


  • herwin

    i dont wear one,they’re stupid.

  • Tam

    I don’t wear a helmet, and I’m as tired as anyone about the moralizing on this issue. If you want to wear a helmet, that’s fine, but stop telling us about.

    Copenhagenize delivers the smackdown that Ecorazzi so richly deserves.

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