Helmets and BIKETOWN

Where to find them, what the law says & how to use them. One of the keys to the success of BIKETOWN has been spontaneous trips. It's easy, affordable and convenient to jump on a bike and go! Trips like these, by their nature, don't typically include a helmet. After all, most people don't carry a helmet with them, even in Portland. That doesn't mean future trips have to be helmet-free.

While bike helmets aren't required for cyclists 16 years and older in Oregon, BIKETOWN strongly recommends that all riders wear one while riding. If you live and/or work in the service area, one way to ensure that you always have a helmet handy for your next trip is to keep one at home and another at work.

Visiting Portland? No problem! You have a number of great helmet options.

1) Buy a locally designed Nutcase Helmet and keep it as a souvenir of your visit.

2) There are dozens of locally owned bike shops throughout Portland and they all sell helmets. Stop in for a helmet of your choice and some local knowledge of the best routes and destinations.

3) Rent a helmet for the day at Pedal Bike Tours or Cycle Portland Bike Tours, both in downtown Portland. Hint: They also offer daily tours featuring the best of Portland.

The most important thing to know about using a helmet is fit. Properly fitted helmets have been shown to dramatically reduce the risk and severity of traumatic brain injury due to a crash or fall where your head contacts a hard surface.

Here are three keys to proper helmet fit:

1) Your helmet should be worn level on your head and not pinch (helmet is too small: size up) or move freely (helmet is too large: size down or add padding).

2) Chin strap should be secured. You should be able to fit two fingers between the strap and your chin.

3) "Sliders" should be positioned just below your earlobes.