Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Adrian Short is a brilliant observer

I usually try to avoid helmet wars and while this post is the probably the idealogical equivalent of a pint of petrol, a dry wind and a spark, it's too good not to pass on:


Thanks to Adrian for speaking sense and my formerly large friend Scott for pointing me to Adrian's words.


Bob said...

Hi Kent,

Thanks for the link. Very well-written rant/humor/essay...

Of course the main point is not about helmets, it's about how people allow themselves to be led to believe that a pastime must be complicated to be worthwhile. I wear a helmet as insurance and, like insurance, I hope never to collect. I also have invested in lights, a reflective sash, reflective tape, a sweat band, tools..... none of which is necessary to the act of riding a bike.

I take Adrian's point, in the end, to be that bicycling is not inherently dangerous, complicated, expensive, elitist, exclusive... it is the act of turning over the pedals until you reach your goal - be it the store or the Tour.


Neil said...

I think it is fantastic, funny, great. And have to agree that "Cycle helmets are the most visible and potent symbol of all that’s wrong with Britain’s (anti-)cycling culture.".

DW said...

Sometimes I wear one, sometimes I don't. Sometimes I like to get out there and feel the wind in my hair (and between my toes..yes, sandals). Sometimes I feel more comfortable with a coffee-cup around my dome.

But all the time...I feel like riding my bike. And that's really the important thing, no?

Bob said...

Lenore Skenazy is interviewed in Funny Times (unfortunately the interview is not online). She makes some very good points about how people are swayed by the perception of danger as portrayed on TV when all logical indications are that the danger is not real, or at least not at the level that people perceive. Her main thrust is in letting children experience their environment rather than trying to insulate them.


E said...

August 16th marked the first anniversary of my fathers death. He ran over a small pothole with his bike and was thrusted off which lead to irreparable brain damage. He was 57 years old and on his way to visit his first grand child. He passed away after 48 hours in the hospital.
I miss my father every day and knowing that my children will grow up without a grandfather makes tears come to my eyes every time I think of it. Every doctor I have spoken to agrees that his life could have been saved had he used a better, and properly attached, helmet. To not use a helmet is not only incredibly stupid, it is also a flagrant neglect of anybody you know and love.
Trust me when I say that any "freedom" or "accessibility" that you give up to wear a helmet is a incredibly small price to pay to avoid the pain and sorrow that I and my family have suffered.
Kind regards,
Erik Asberg