I did not wear a helmet from age 5 to 22 years old. I only started to wear a helmet when I began to race in 1985.
I know wearing a helmet is the right thing to do, especially on the trails & in the traffic, but lately I find myself leaving the brain bucket home, at least for the short bike trips to town & back.
Remember the 1989 TdF, Greg vs. Laurent? Greg won by 8 seconds. He wore an aero helmet, which helped for sure. But who could forget Laurent flying thru Paris with his ponytail blowing in the wind behind him (note: Laurent did post the 3rd faster time)
Now that was style.
Bike Snob NYC made a good point last week:
"Helmets have pretty much killed style in road cycling anyway. Not that I have anything against helmets, mind you, but let's be honest. Cycling looked better before helmets." (http://www.belgiumkneewarmers.com/2008/02/burden-of-being-bsnyc.html)
Anyways, wear your helmet for sure, but we can dream about the good old days when your hair cut meant something in road racing.