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Why wouldn't you use a helmet?

I was just in Athens, and found it striking that people quite often don't use helmets when riding. 


Kostas and Artemis seem amazingly nonchalant about not wearing a helmet on their Sunday ride.

I've travelled more than a bit but on my most recent trip I went to Athens where I've never been before. Also I saw bikers conduct in a manner I've never seen before in "civilized" world.

In countries like Italy and Spain is not uncommon that people ride mopeds without helmets. But in Athens, it seems, they don't use helmets on big bikes either. At first I thought maybe it's a young-and-rebellious thing, but in the same instant a 60+ geezer cruised his Bonneville with the little hair he had fluttering in the wind. The most extreme case I saw was someone pulling massive wheelie with his 636 in heavy traffic. Even as such a bit questionable, but without a helmet, I'd deem it outright insane.

I'm not the most safety-oriented biker, but when I think about my Estonia-Finland-Sweden triangle of influence, here riding without a helmet in a city centre would be outright preposterous. You just don't do it, if you're right in the head that is. But in Athens maybe 1 in 5 riders with big bikes and 1 in 3 scooter riders don't wear a helmet. Funnily enough, they still may be wearing other riding gear, like jacket and pants.

Despite trying I wasn't able to get a hold of an English speaking helmetless rider to inquire about their motivation but I had a short chat with a police regarding the matter.
– I don't know what they're thinking, it's just stupid. For sure we fine them, it's a 70 euro fine to ride without a helmet, the officer said.
I told him I think that should be a high enough fine to motivate helmet use.
– I think so too. Maybe there is no economy crisis and people have money for throw away, he concluded.

So, in case you're from Greece and ride without a helmet, could you please write a comment as for why. I'd really like to understand your motivation and any comments will be highly appreciated.

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