One time I wrote about bike helmets and people needing to wear them more. Now I'm gonna post it again because biking season has officially started! And this message bears repeating (over and over and over and over and over...)
Originally written November 14, 2011...
A number of people have been asking me where I bought my bike helmet. People ask me because this is what my helmet looks like:
--I may have one time worn this to somebody's bored-hipsters function in a basement because needless to say, it doubles nicely as a chic hat. Also, I took into consideration that no matter how faux-blasé hipsters are, it's still possible for a beer bottle to get smashed over anybody's head without real incitation. I was covered. Literally, haha...
Before I get into where I got my helmet from, Imma say this first...
I'm beefing with about 95% of you Toronto cyclists out there.
YOU ARE NOT WEARING A HELMET WHEN BIKING.
This especially goes for the ladies who are living out this ridiculous Zooey Deschanel fantasy: as if you don't look stupid enough gleefully steering your handle bars up to your armpits, carrying your organic, fair-trade groceries in your front basket, while you pretend that Peter Gabriel's Solisbury Hill is playing out of nowhere and there's perpetual sunshine beaming down on you, with Disney cartoon birds fluttering alongside you, you look exponentially more stupid by not wearing a helmet. Get over your passé mod bangs and red lipstick, everyone hates you.
The day after Jenna Morrison died I saw absolutely no influx of precaution being taken. Cyclists continued to ride bald than protected, I couldn't get my head around it. Or people aren't telling me that they've come out with a revolutionary bicycle force field* that's so protective it could accordion-fold a Mack truck on impact (please link me to the site where I may purchase this supposed force field, helmet hair is such a thorn in my side!)
*(K's note on April 15th, 2014: I know this exists now)
Bicycle unionists or otherwise cannot begin to lobby for better city infrastructure to ensure the safety of Toronto cyclists if the majority of them aren't even wearing helmets. In this sense, cyclists look arrogant, self-righteous, and obnoxiously hypocritical. Additionally, cyclists feel no obligation to wear a helmet because there is no obligation: the helmet laws in this city are ludicrous. Between a minor and an adult, neither one is a better cyclist or more protected from the shitty road conditions and rage-aholic motorists out there. I doubt the helmetless minor died because they were a minor or the helmetless adult mysteriously suffered massive brain hemorrhaging for being an adult. Until we cyclists have already taken responsibility into our own hands and have done everything in our power to protect ourselves and we still find roads to be unsafe, we have almost no right to bitch to the City about lack of proper infrastructure.
So we should sort of maybe do our part first. Practice what we preach, right!?
Let's start at the base of bike safety: wearing a helmet.
(I shouldn't be fucking doing this, I feel like I'm working for St. John Ambulance-- am I one debasing move away from putting on a giant, novelty mascot suit prancing around in an elementary school gymnasium that perpetually smells like ham? Feels like it.)
Let's get over the No. 1 superficial reason behind our childish refusal of wearing a helmet, shall we?
Preaching to the choir here, hellooooo!? I fucking hate helmets! Helmets do not pair well with anything I have-- how do you even colour-block!?-- I can't even-- anyway. They're unspeakably dorky-ass, that's the general consensus. They also ruin your hair (unless you have none). They also make you look like an asthmatic, speech-impeded, short-yellow-school-busser. To get over this self-image hang-up, this is where I tell you about my helmet. Quite frankly, I'd ride naked with only this helmet on.
My helmet is made by a company called Yakkay (spelled backwards is yakkaY-- most of their marketing success is based on this sneaky palindrome). Since they understand the logic of a cyclist (i.e.: my looks > no brains), they're catering to this appearance-obsessed niche with a line of breakthrough, stylish helmets. The cover of the helmet comes off so that if or when you grow tired of one, you can switch it up with their other patterns and styles: plaid, denim, checkered, fedora, elderly British woman with a shih-tzu in her front wicker basket, Tour de France froggy, polo WASP, Safari tour guide/ivory poacher, 90's raver bucket hat (does not come with Modrobes pants), etc. Yakkay marry safety with style, fashion and function finally come together harmoniously.
Yakkay helmets are sold in The Annex at a bike shop called Curbside Cycle - http://www.curbside.on.ca/blog/* Pony up, they're expensive, but you're protected! And most importantly, you look good, mkay asshole Narcissus?
*(K's note on April 15th, 2014: Unfortunately Curbside Cycle no longer carry Yakkay brand helmets)
So now that I've done my shameless plug of Yakkay helments (can I have my money now!?), I expect to see a higher number of cyclists out there wearing >French spitty accent< PLUS SUPER CHIC! helmets!
Wearing a helmet, no brainer. Not wearing a helmet, no brains.