February 28, 2011

Bike Helmets... A How-Not-To Guide



So I've noticed a decline in bicycle safety standards. It's not that the manufacture quality is lacking. It has more to do with the over-casual use of the riders. In this country it is a law to wear a helmet while cycling. I don't think that it is very enforced, but still, a law is a law. If you would be the type to decide not to wear a helmet for whatever reason, fine. It's your head and it's you that may be one of the first to get a ticket for risking it. Go for it. Have the wind blow through your gorgeous locks!
But then there's people who, in my opinion, don't get it:

  • the people who ride around with a helmet dangling from the handlebars by its straps. In their defence, this group is mostly kids who probably wore their helmet leaving the house and took it off just around the first corner that they were out of parent sight range.
  • the people who are wearing a helmet, properly I might add, but don't buckle it up. To generalize, this group could be mostly male and possible afraid of looking dorky. Apparently this helps to alleviate this.
  • the people I really feel sorry for. These cyclists want to be safe but really have no idea how to wear a helmet. Usually this involves wearing the helmet too far to the back of the head offering no protection to the front half of the head, including the face. In extreme cases, and I've seen this more that once, the helmet is worn backwards. This always results in the helmet being positioned to the rear of the head. The strap, that is designed to fit in the nape of the neck, is plastered across the forehead like a plastic headband and pushes the whole thing behind the head. This produces a system of little protection but mild hilarity.
  • and then one guy who's a one-man-group. He regularly commutes with a construction hardhat. (No strap, of course.) I wonder if that is a statement that he is making or if he really does not know how that won't help.

I think that if I was one of these above, I would just choose to not bother with a helmet at all instead of looking stupid. If I wasn't wearing one and got messed up, well that's the way it goes. But... if I was wearing a helmet, but it came off at the only time I really ever needed it, I suppose that would make me look even stupider.