Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Forgive me...

Yesterday's post, Watching her crash, may have led a few of my readers to suspect that I advocate helmet-wearing by cyclists. Forgive me for misleading you.

I meant guys like me: Mortal, fragile bike riders susceptible to injury or worse from unnatural contact of our heads with pavement or steel. For folks like me, I do suggest regular wearing of protective headgear. Makes sense. Lord knows: We might fall.

A few talented, lucky cyclists, a group I like to call supercyclists, need not trouble themselves with helmets.

If you are one of these supercyclists, so on top of your riding as to make a crash nearly impossible; if you are never surprised or frightened by the acts of other road or path users, please do not let my paranoia give you even a moment of hesitation. I didn't mean you.

I had the other ninety-nine point nine percent in mind: Men and women with scars and lumps and lingering memories of crashes ancient and recent. You're in another class entirely. Sorry.

Especially if you are among the elite - a grizzled, weary urban road warrior of the knicker sect, rest assured. I'd never try to influence you in any way. You are a Lord of the Stiff Hub, Emperor of Elm Street. I'm not fit to carry your axle wrench. Live long and whatever.


Khal said...

Gimme a break, Maynard. You don't need to apologize to anyone. Thanks for your concern for this woman and this topic.

If someone wants to go helmetless, God bless 'em. They may need it some day. I was once one of The Proud, The Chosen, The Helmetless. And, I was also among the seriously brain injured. Lost nine months of work and was reduced to dizzy spells and puking in the bathroom sink for part of that time after being launched over a Volkswagen while helmetless. Left a dent in my skull and a smaller one in Mr. Pavement.

I'm not a helmet nazi--its everyone's choice in most if not al states. But every choice has a price. Be careful out there.

Nick said...

Where I live (NL) I'd be stared at and thought mad if I wore a helmet. Only the dedicated roadbike clubbers wear one here - and then only at weekends. Oh, and the local bike-mounted police, but that's an image thing. This isn't a criticism, by the way, just an observation that not all world views are the same.

Khal said...

When I toured through the Netherlands back in 1986, I wore a snappy bike cap. I too noticed that no one was wearing a helmet, whether in Amsterdam or out in the countryside.

Not all worldviews are the same, thankfully! Best wishes, Nick. Hope the cycling there is as lovely now as it was when I visited.

gewilli said...


brilliantly hysterical...