Cyclists hold protest ride in Wellington calling for end to compulsory helmet laws

A group of cyclists have staged a protest ride in Wellington as they push to have the compulsory bike helmet law repealed.

But the mother who first lobbied for the law's introduction in the '90s has called the group's campaign "lunacy".

Most cyclists navigating downtown Wellington would opt for a safety helmet, but not one group, who rode through the area on Saturday openly flouting a law that they want to see gone.

"I'm sick of everybody else worrying about my safety," says cyclist Mark Locker.

About 40 people took part in the protest ride, organised by bike messenger Jeremy Teague.

"I actually feel safer when I'm riding without [a helmet]," he tells Newshub.

The protesters don't want helmets banned - they just want the law changed, so they can make the decision whether to wear a helmet or not.

"It's depressing the number of people using bicycles, and I think that's quite atrocious," says Mr Teague.

But these cyclists have been called "lunatics" by Rebecca Oaten, who first lobbied the Government to change the law after her son, Aaron, became a tetraplegic following a bike accident in 1986.

A neurosurgeon said Aaron, who was 12 at the time of the accident, wouldn't have suffered brain damage had he been wearing a helmet.

"I was horrified it was that simple, just scary," Ms Oaten says.

She tells Newshub repealing the law would be idiotic, unsafe and crazy.

"I'm sure if they went into it far enough, they'd understand why we need to wear safety helmets. It's not just a whim - it's a protection for the brain and we need that protection," she says.

That's a fact Auckland man Torben Akel learned first-hand on Thursday. Mr Akel previously had sympathy for those pushing for choice, but his view changed after he crashed into a kerb.

"I remember the days when we didn't have to wear helmets, but the instant my head hit the concrete the sympathy was just obliterated," he says.

Despite being liable for $55 fines, none of the helmetless riders was stopped by police - something the group says supports their argument the law doesn't work.