On The Helmet

As much as I hate wearing a bike helmet while riding (but I do, I wear that damn uncomfortable stupid-looking thing everywhere), I love carrying it around. At the grocery store, across the parking lot, into coffee shops. There’s something pretty badass about holding a helmet under your arm.

I transport myself in a way that could cause brain damage, the helmet says. Who knows what the fuck else I’m capable of.

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  1. Wait, seriously? I think the biggest pain in the ass is having this extra thing dangling from your arm/bag no matter where you go, having to stick it under your chair at restaurants, etc. But conversely, I really don’t mind wearing it when I ride.

  2. I saw one kid who locked his helmet up with his bike. Seems like a reasonable option, if your hands are full and your helmet’s not too fancy (mine was a mere 20 bucks).

  3. reminds me of the Seinfeld stand-up bit about the helmet — “we started to engage in activities that were cracking our heads…we chose not to AVOID these activities, but instead we wear little plastic hats so we can continue our head-cracking lifestyle.”

  4. I’m with Tony. My solution: leave the damned thing at home.

    But then, I don’t really have any traffic to navigate, living on campus as I do.

  5. Never thought my bike helmet made me look badass,
    but I’ll consider it.
    I biked like a freakin’ maniac for 25 years.
    High speed, get the freak outta my way you slow piece of shit, I got me a bitchin feather weight French racer, and a death wish.
    Bike helmet? We don’ need no stinkin’ bike helmet.
    Then there was that accident.
    Little kid. Barely in control of his bike.
    Just kept coming at me no matter how I dodged. Collision. Flip in mid air. Land on my back, in the middle of the road, gazing up at the trees. Froggy bike lands on top of me. Cars whizz by, as does my life before my eyes. Aches, pains, a little blood. Bent wheels and reamed derailleur.
    Limping, my French racer and I walk back to the car.
    Next day, I buy my helmet.
    Moral: I’m older and I have better insurance.

  6. adri-anne. i’m totally with you. i love carrying my helmet around, especially into class where everyone pretends to be eco-friendly, but really would drive their cars two blocks to a coffee shop. definitely bad-ass!

  7. as a friend once said, the only thing that bike helmets can prevent 100% is looking cool. that said, i wouldn’t bike without my helmet, since, despite the bike-friendly policies of chicago, we’ve got our share of bike-auto-collision-related deaths. i lock my helmet up with my bike sometimes–and nobody has yet spit or pissed into it–but sometimes i carry it around just so people know why my hair is like that.

  8. There is a way I can get my Ubar through one of the holes in my helmet, but usually takes a few tries and doesn’t always work depending on the size of the pole I’m locking it to or the angle, etc. Bottom line is, I usually have a helmet clipped to my bag, which gives me those few inches of extra width that piss people off when I’m weaving through crowded streets and hallways.

  9. Tony, if you were a real American you’d buy a car and get that extra width from cheeseburgers, not some namby-pamby bicycle helmet.

  10. I agree with Todd’s last post. Adrianne, you’re un-American. Get you an SUV and start eating meat again, pronto. If you can buck up and salute the red, white and blue, maybe I’ll get you an XL sleeveless T with the Confederate Flag plastered across it, compliments of my new southern residence. Wear that shit while weaving through Boston traffic, sans helment, you rebel.

    “Yeeeeeeeee hawwwww, you tofu eating motherfuckers!!”

    Don’t forget your Bud Light- bars in the south offer “to go” cups- drinking and riding is totally legal.

  11. I don’t wear a helmet, but I bought one after my friend got hit by a car and wore it for two weeks!

    Also … family, lady and the entire med school class of 2011 yell at me 2x daily re: absentee helmet.

    (It makes my forehead break out!)

  12. Okay. So I finally bought a bike again after about 10 years of not riding. And I bought a helmet that matched, ‘natch. But what the hell way does it go on? I gingerly put it on in the direction I thought it should go for my first ride around the lake, then waited and waited and waited for someone to ride by wearing a helmet, hoping I didn’t have mine on backwards, looking like a total dork. Maybe I should have been more concerned about riding my bike in a dress…anyone else ride their bike in a dress? It’s so freeing.

    Oh, and I did have my helmet on the right way. Whew.

  13. I ride in a dress! But with mixed results. The best was biking in the rain in a dress: at least I knew the dang thing was staying down.

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