The Logical Philosopher

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Nice Helmet

It never ceases to amaze me that seemingly bright people can be so dense.
In my city the donning of bicycle helmets is actually mandatory due to some local laws. Yes, you can actually get a ticket for riding your bike without a helmet around here. Being polite Canadians we of course follow all the laws and wear helmets.

What I do not understand is that if you are going to all the effort of wearing a helmet how can seemingly smart people be so stupid about how you actually wear the helmet. Regardless of your choice to wear it - because of the law or for your own personal safety – you’d think reading the instruction manual would be useful for something that is protecting your brains.
Just this week I noted on the cycling path the following helmet infractions, if you can call them that:

1) Those that wear them, but don’t bother to strap them on. With the wind whipping the chinstrap behind your ears as you fly along, the only thing your helmet will do is provide some physical location for the coroner to stop looking for your scattered brains after impact with the pavement. This assumes that the brains will stop traveling along the pavement before your helmet comes to a stop at the base of some tree. I say if you’re going to have a bad hair day because of wearing a helmet, you may as well strap it on.

2) Those that wear them but choose, for some unknown reason, to use a helmet that is at least 10 years old. These are the ‘old school’ style which are now yellowed by the sun’s UV derogation on the plastic and foam. I’m sure wearing something so brittle will cause more head puncture injury than without wearing anything. Ouch. Again I’d rather take my chances with the pavement.

And my personal favorite:

3) Those that wear them backwards. Yep, at least once a day on the cycle trail some rider goes by with the pointy end of the helmet sticking up front. It takes all my might not to stop them and say “Pointy end forward is for sailing boats! Turn your helmet around!

On the flip side if these people can’t master a simple bike helmet, maybe it’s a good thing they aren’t on the road driving…