I just saw a Back to School ad showing a kid strapping on a helmet before he hopped on his bike to ride to school. I began riding a bike in New London, Connecticut, in 1957 or thereabouts and I rode one to school from fourth grade through my senior year of high school. Never once did I put on a helmet. When I briefly had my little 50cc motorbike I wore an open-face helmet with a shield and D-ring strap.
I rode two-lane roads to high school in Alexandria, Va., busy six-lane boulevards in Los Angeles, roads through the woods in Monterey, Ca. (and then straight down the hill to my driveway when school was out). I rode residential streets to fifth grade in San Pedro, Ca. and to seventh and eighth grades in Annandale, Va.
I suspect I’d have rebelled if told I should wear one, unless I was told it was the law.
Were helmets mandatory by the time you started riding a bike?