WHAT? You don't wear a helmet? What the hell is wrong with you? You probably share heroin needles, practice unsafe sex in public bathrooms and shake your baby to stop it from crying. I bet you kick your dog too, you scumbag!
I'm here to tell you folks that there are people all over the world who don't wear helmets when they ride bikes. Yeah, it's true. Check out Copenhagencyclechic sometime. While you'll find plenty of pics of fresh young Danish beauties riding their Euro city bikes in high heels, you won't see many helmets in any of those gorgeous photos. Are the Dane's idiots? They're thinner and better looking than most of the folks here in the Midwest, so they can't be all that stupid. Try counting the helmets in this video of rush hour traffic in Copenhagen.
I'm not advocating for people to ride sans brain bucket. Au Contraire mon fraire. I say to each his own. If you aint' hurtin' nobody else I shouldn't give a rat's ass. If you want to risk becoming the next Gary Busey, be my guest. Maybe Doctor Drew will write you a script for Depakote too.
Treehugger has a post up today that blathers on about helmets. Not much new there. They restate the fact that helmets protect your noggin if you fall and it's safer to ride bikes where bikes have their own infrastructure, like in Denmark or the Netherlands. But they do link to this John Stossle bit from a couple of years ago.
John Stossel is a world class dick, but he did at least talk to Ian Walker, who authored a study in the UK that showed drivers were more likely to steer clear of riders who weren't wearing helmets. Walker concluded that cyclists pimped out in their fancy kits look more "professional" and therefore might not need to be avoided. Tell me something, does this guy look professional to you?
I'm hear to tell you people something. Either Ian Walker got it all wrong in his UK study, or more likely drivers here in America have a whole other way of looking at cyclists. You won't sell me on the idea that drivers in Michissippi crowd cyclists on the roads because they think fancy race kits and helmets prove the cyclist is capable of handling it. Hell no! They routinely run us off the roads because every cyclist they see looks to them like our friend in yellow tights! All those douche bags in mini vans and morons in their BMW SUVs look at your spanex clad rump as they drive up from behind and what they see is a homoerotic reminder that their mind strays to certain carnal thoughts more often then their rigid sense of their own sexuality should allow. Yeah, when they see you riding your tricked out Trek Madone and matching Astana 09 team kit, they want to run your ass over because they think you're gay.
You can argue with me all you want that most drivers aren't homophobes. And I'll tell you that most of them don't try to run me off the road. All it takes is an occasional jackhole to prove to me that Michigan has earned it's 3rd place on the list for Hate Crimes in these 50 States.
Does this mean that we shouldn't wear our club jerseys and helmet while riding to the Quickie Mart for a forty of St. Ides and a bag of Hot Stuff chips? No. It means that we need more infrastructure for bikes AND we need to stick up for our LGBT brothers and sisters! Put your Lid on, wrap your ass in spandex and get out on the roads! The more of us the better. Strength in numbers. Just like the Danes. The bigots are fast becoming an isolated minority in this country. Let's push them along a little faster.
Git on your bike and ride!