I didn't have to work today, but i did have to take my daughter to water polo practice, so I brought the bike along to get some riding in before picking her up, rather than making two trips. I also wanted to explore some territory out by her (mom's) neighborhood.
After I dropped her off, I realized I'd forgotten to bring my helmet and gloves. I didn't want to ride without them on the busy, hilly, full of traffic streets in this area, so I went to Plan B, motoring over to a nearby reservour with a paved MUP around it in some old stomping grounds of mine. Here I could cycle without worrying about traffic. Yes, the asphalt is just as unforgiving as any other street if I fell, but I decided to risk it anyway.
I had a glorious ride -- but I felt throughout the ride like I was naked! I couldn't believe how much i was aware of not having a helmet or gloves. And, of course, EVERY single cyclist I saw had his or her helmet on. One old far.. I mean geez... I mean senior citizen on roller blades even scolded me for no helmet!
Well, I didn't fall, I got my twenty miles in, I retrieved my daughter, and I'm home again. And to think throughout my childhood no one wore helmets -- and we took some pretty dumb risks with our bikes, as well. Just ask the kid across the street who broke his collarbone trying to ride as fast as he could down the sides of a ravine back in the woods!