Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Bike Girl Wears A Helmet...Usually

Bike Girl does not think Mandatory Helmet Wearing laws are a good idea. When convincing many people riding is a good idea, both Girls and Boys often ask if they'll have to wear a helmet. By the tone of their voice, Bike Girl can tell they're not keen on the idea. After all, helmets do not look cool on anyone.

But Bike Girl is certainly not anti-helmet. In fact, there are some situations in which Bike Girl thinks helmet wearing is important. Following are some situations our fair protagonist has recently found herself in, where the decision to, or not to, wear a helmet was made.

1. Helmet: Bike Girl spends a lot of time riding on poorly maintained streets. (Bike Girl is looking at you Tom LaBonge) These poorly maintained, busy, narrow streets are somewhat treacherous. Bike Girl has wiped out numerous times by catching a wheel in a pot-hole, sliding out in a turn on gravel, or avoiding obstacles. There's also always the off chance that a careless driver will bump her. For most trips on these roads, Bike Girl wears a helmet.

2. No Helmet: On a particularly good hair day, Bike Girl dolled herself up in ribbons and curls and took her Girl Bike to work.She also was planning to take her bike on the bus for part of the trip to avoid getting sweaty. Even though her route to the bus stop was over busy, poorly-paved streets, she determined she would be visible enough in her dress, curls waving wildly in the breeze, for the 1 mile trip, she chose not to wear a helmet.

3. Helmet: In order to maintain her Girlish figure, and because she's game for a challenge, Bike Girl regularly takes her Go-Fast bike on training rides. As she pictured herself screaming down hills, weaving through traffic, and head-down sprinting, she decided a helmet was a good idea.

4. No Helmet: Bike Girl, while fiercely independent, enjoys special time with her Significant Other. Lucky for Bike Girl, her Significant Other happens to own a tandem bicycle. When she rides the tandem with her Significant Other along low-traffic roads to the beach path for a romantic sunset make-out session, Bike Girl is protected by a Love Bubble. This bubble is impervious to cars. Seriously, when was the last time anyone heard of a disgustingly cute tandem couple being hit by a car or wiping out? Bike Girl chose not to wear a helmet.

So in conclusion, should people be required to wear helmets? Bike Girl thinks not. But should people wear them anyway? Bike Girl, 90% of the time, says yes.


bettymountaingirl said...

fun post- I like the self debate! I've clunked my head enough times to always wear mine :)

Bill Shields said...

Bike Girl

I am sure that you look devastating cute without a helmet; and you are probably right that helmet laws might inhibit some people from riding but you are nuts. Accidents can happen any time, at any speed, in any situation. Aside from the placing yourself in a permanent vegetative state (bone break at about three pounds of pressure and your neck acts as a spring) you are setting a terrible example for kids.

It was long ago that pro cyclist refused to wear helmets, but that has changed. Now they wear them all the time, even on the slow uphill climbs.

I am sure your quick and charm will easily overcome helmet head.

jhaygood said...

i agree - when i'm at risk of the actions of others - like riding to work - the helmet is always on. if my wife and i ride over to a local spot for a bite - no helmet. and my wife especially likes not messing the hair - but when we use the helmets, she just brings another hat to pull on when the helmet comes off...

chiggins said...

One of my favorite things about family S24O's up the C&O Canal Towpath: getting off the road, a little ways up the path, taking off my helmet and hanging it on the front of my handlebars like a shield. And it's a beautiful bygawd feeling.

My risk assessment strategies may not be scientifically sound, and the lines are fuzzy and gray. But I figure doing 10mph on a flat path, completely removed from traffic, must surely be far enough away from those lines to qualify for "I'll risk it."

Tinker said...

Um, as a confirmed (35 years?!) motorcyclist I recommend that motorcyclists wear a helmet. But I do not make a blanket recommendation for bicyclists. Why? Not only is it hot and uncomfortable but it alters driver behavior, and not in a positive manner.

Studies, conducted in England, where drivers are generally nicer than those here, found that drivers cut back in your lane sooner, went faster, followed closer to the riders at all times, when the rider had on a protective helmet. So there is a good chance if you wear a helmet that you will indeed need it.

Raphnexx Search engine Optimization Specialist said...

Oi be careful next time accidents are unexpected...You are cute as well as your blog.

cycler said...

So fun!
I agree with you about 90% helmet use. I bicycled to the farmer's market on the greenway and did not wear my helmet. Will definitely wear it on my ride home on the streets though. Yes I could fall over on the bike path. But heck, I trip and fall walking sometimes, and I don't wear a helmet to do that.

Tragically, tandem love will not protect you, as the orphaned child of a tandem riding couple in Texas will tell you.