Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Bicycle Helmets

I came across the receipt for my bicycle. Hard to believe, but it's 20 years old. Coincidentally, so is my helmet.

If I listened to the gear-heads at the local bicycle shop, I'd have replaced my helmet fifteen years ago, and I'd have done it twice more in the interim. I'm skeptical about helmet safety claims, though. A friend of mine was killed on his bicycle, and he was wearing a helmet. Still, I make a point of wearing one whenever I ride: the only traffic accident I suffered on my bicycle happened the day I decided I didn't feel like wearing a helmet. Besides, I want to be a good example to my kids, who are required by law to wear one.

Anyway, my old helmet's perch was getting shakier and shakier as the foam became ever more compact, so I finally dropped $30 on a new helmet. It looks like this:

First impression: holy cow, my head is cold!! It seems ventilation science has made mighty strides in the last 20 years. Take another look at my old helmet. Boy, could that piece of Tupperware ever trap in the heat.

It also made me look like an incredible dork. The only "dork factor" my new helmet provides is by contrast. Here we have a sleek, new helmet sitting atop a not-so-sleek, not-so-new rider. Ah well. When it comes to aesthetics, I didn't care when I bought the first helmet and I'm not going to start caring now.

The gear-heads wagged their finger at my helmet, but pointedly admired the longevity of my bike. Tomorrow I'll post a picture of my vehicle of choice, and maybe do a little reminiscing.


trentreimer said...

Bicycle wear fashions are amazing! Where else am I expected to pay for an outfit that makes me look more flaming than the national figure skating team but less tasteful? I cannot believe the concerted effort that has gone into making the entire cycling population the laughing stock of humankind.

There are acceptable sacrifices to be made in order to save the planet. Bicycle clothing is not one of them. In fact it makes me want to go out and buy another Hummer to leave idling in the driveway.

Cowtown Pattie said...

Those new bike helmets give me the creeps. Look like alien invasion.

Remember the alien on the M. Night Shyamalan's movie, Signs?

But, if it keeps yer head on right...

DarkoV said...

I like the juxtaposition of the old helmet next to the metal cans with candles (or are they citronella skeeter chasers). Made me wonder if you were going to melt a candle onto the helmet or attach one little pail on each side of the helmet for auxiliary lighting.

Funny you should be bringing this topic up. Within the last month, I'd been dispatched (or was it shunted off) down into the bowels of our house to search out items not used in the last 2-3 years as candidates for the Spring Cleaning Pile. I came upon 4 bike helmets, plastic deteriorating back to the crude oil state, straps stretched to Elephant Man head proportions. No catchy photo ops there. They were summarily heaved. One of the helmets was similar to your old one, done in the style of "This is how my brains would look if I'd developed them outside my cranium so that I could use my noggin for other storage purposes, say, for car keys and tissues".

Safe biking to you!

a Q.: I know it's been a while since I lived up there in the Land of the Hardy, but when I was there, it was a "We don't need stinking bike helmets" attitude. We wore helmets but they were simply hockey helmets doing double duty. And hockey sweaters were quite a good biking jersey. What the hell has happened up there!!? I can understand why Mr. T. Reimer is upset about the "colorful" ware....but you didn;t have to succumb to it! You guys had all that hockey stuff piling up in the closet, begging to be used year round! I think I still have an old Jofa hanging around somewhere in the dungeon if you guys need to make it more real.

Whisky Prajer said...

DV - I'd actually considered modelling all three: old helmet, new helmet, metal bucket. Re: bicycle wear, I agree most of it is highly optional, except ... those ghastly bicycle shorts. For anything longer than a 10-minute jaunt to the library, if you've not girded your loins with a cared-for chamois, you will be paying very dearly for the lack of foresight. I speak from sad experience on this issue...

paul bowman said...

Ha ha! — I'm getting to think your man Darkov's comments call for their own special Whisky Prajer archive.   : )

Whisky Prajer said...

Especially with those links of his. I don't know how he does it, 'cos he ain't using Google. Unless the Croatian Google has different settings.