Monday, July 10, 2006

Helmets

Helmets. To use or not to use a helmet, that is the question.

I am speaking of bicycles. If you are not an adult you are, by law, required to wear a helmet when you ride a bike. And if on a motorcycle, by law, everyone will wear a helmet.

Before I bought my new bike I test rode a few bikes. Each time the salesman made sure I had a helmet on. And when I purchased one they recommended that I wear a helmet but reminded me it was not against the law for an adult to not to wear one, but it is sure a heck of a lot less riskier.

I have just about always had a bike and only one segment of it did I wear a helmet. When my sons and I took long Sunday rides I got us each a helmet and we faithfully wore them.

But since that time I stopped wearing my helmet, but should know better from an experience I had in grammar school. Our school about 9/10 of a mile from our home. I rode my bike to school most days. One day when we got out it was raining so I rode home in the rain. I remember seeing some mud ahead of me on the sidewalk and was trying to decide should I go around it or plow straight through it. I do not know what my decision was. The next thing I remember waking up sloped over a man’s shoulder, he was carrying me across the porch of our house. Mama opened the door horrified.

I slipped and fell and got knocked out. If I had a helmet that probably would not have happened. Just how the taxi driver that witnessed it knew who I was or where I lived I do not know. Marietta was a small town then.

So, after thinking about it, and thinking in the line of doing more bike riding now, I decided to wear a helmet…. I am not sure a taxi driver now days would know me or maybe not even speak my English with a southern dialect. And why would he stop and help me when he could be making money? Marietta is no longer a small town.

I found my helmet and looked it over. It is a Vetta brand, which I think at one time was a leader in helmets and bike accessories. But it looked like half of volley ball or something. Now days, helmets have pointed fronts and the backs looks almost like duck tails… much like what the villain in the first Spiderman movie wore.

So, I went comparing shopping at a sporting store goods store, a bike store, and a Super Wal-Mart. The bike store had helmets for as low as $29.99, the bike store had them for $99.99, and Wal-Mart had them for $19.99.

I have no idea what to look for and they all looked not my style or “image” at all.

I went back and looked at my old Vetta helmet again. I think for what I want it for, sidewalk riding it will do just fine. I think I would be out of place pedaling down or up a sidewalk with a super-hero looking helmet on. I would be inviting people to throw their beer cans at me.

So, I went on an 8 mile ride yesterday morning with my Vetta and it did fine. I can turn my head like I want, so I think it should be OK.

The only problem I had is music. I like to ride with earphones on and music. The darn helmet will not allow me to have earphones. So, when I got home I dug up some little ear-bud phones, and they work great – problem solved.

Now, just wait for destiny to give me the real test.

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6 Comments:

Blogger Steve said...

Not wearing helments in contact activities is a bad idea- look what happened to Gerald Ford.

2:34 AM  
Blogger ET said...

I don't want to end up like Gerald Ford! Thanks! That was all the inspiration I needed.

3:38 AM  
Blogger Suzanne said...

My reluctance to wear a helmet is a main reason that I do not roller blade in the Park. I just hate wearing anything on my head when I am all sweaty, but I also do not really want to crack it open again.

8:15 PM  
Blogger ET said...

Suzanne,
"Again"?
You must be as accident-prone as I am. Get a helmet.

3:11 AM  
Blogger Suzanne said...

I had 4 concussions by the time I was 8, but only cracked my head open once. I fell down the concrete patio steps that lead to my parents' basement while I was riding my trike. It did not require stitches, though, and I feel no need to tempt fate.

9:36 PM  
Blogger ET said...

Well, I tempt fate every time I wake up (age wise).
But why make it easy for Mr. Fate?

4:33 AM  

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