Matthew Modine

Matthew Modine

Actor Matthew Modine has hit back at cycling organisations who slam him for biking around New York without a helmet - insisting he's safer withoutone.

I use the bike as someone uses a car - to get around

Modine, the founder of pro-cycling organization Bicycle for a Day, has used two wheels as his primary form of transportation since moving to theBig Apple from Utah in 1980.

But the 50 year old has come under fire from organizations including the League of American bicyclists for serving as a reckless example on the road, even though there is no federal law in the U.S. requiring adults towear helmets.

He tells New York magazine, "I use the bike as someone uses a car - to get around... I get shit for that a lot of times because I don't assume that I'm going to get hurt. Should we wear helmets when we walk down the sidewalk? I think that people that wear helmets, cars are a little more aggressive with them".

And Modine is so against taking the safety precaution, he admits even the March (09) death of close friend actress Natasha Richardson - who suffered a brain trauma while taking skiing lessons in Canada after decliningto wear a helmet - hasn't swayed his view.

He adds, "She was a great friend of mine. She barely banged her head and it cost her life. I think it gave us all pause. Think how many times you've banged your head in your lifetime... I think that biking is the closest we come to flying".