A bike ride in Adelaide rallying against compulsory helmets has hit a raw nerve with brain injury victims.
About 50 cyclists defied the law and rode - without helmets - from Adelaide’s CBD to the beach along Linear Park.
Police turned a blind eye for today, but have warned they will cop a fine from now on.
The Freestyle Cyclists’ Croup wants the right to choose whether or not to wear a helmet.
They say helmets are for racing and they deter many people from having a healthy bike ride.
“Cycling isn’t as dangerous as some claim it to be, and helmets are really the safety instrument that we believe them to be,” one supporter told 7News.
They are in Adelaide for the Velo-city Conference, and are among 800 visitors from around the world.
While organisers stress the protest is separate, they are not back-pedaling from their message.
“It portrays cycling as a slightly odd behaviour that needs special clothing, that is counter-productive,” Kelvin Mayne from the European Cyclists’ Federation
He said New Zealand and parts of Canada are the only other places requiring cyclist’s wear helmets.
Personal injury lawyer Jo Andrew helped brain injured clients pick up the pieces after a crash and said the choice to wear a helmet was simple.
“It would make the difference between being able to walk, being able to talk, being able to socialise, being able to go to work every day, I’d rather have a bad hair day,” she said.
Michael King is permanently disabled from his accident. The back of his helmet was ripped off, but it saved his life.
“I just cannot find it within myself to even remotely relate to that for the consequences that could happen to them and their family,” he said.
Margaret Boylan amazed doctors with her recovery, but took 18 months to get back on her feet.
“That helmet was a significant factor in my survival and my return to a normal life,” she said.