Biking without a helmet is analogous to driving without wearing a seatbelt. It doesn’t matter if you don’t enjoy the look or feel of a helmet; helmets save lives.
A recent study found that the use of bicycle helmets reduces head injury by 48%, serious head injury by 60%, traumatic brain injury by 53%, face injury by 23%, and the total number of killed or seriously injured cyclists by 34%. Protect your life—wear a helmet.
It is safer for cyclists to ride on the road than on the sidewalk.
Drivers cannot easily see cyclists on the sidewalk, making intersection crossing dangerous. On the sidewalk, cyclists not only endanger pedestrians who may not see or hear bikes approaching, but they also must weave between mailboxes, driveways, trashcans, and other obstacles.
Always ride in a straight line on the edge of the road, but not in the gutter (so as to avoid broken glass and debris).