Thursday, October 19, 2006

Bicycle Helmets

When I was a kid, we never wore bike helmets, and I don't ever remember seeing my friends wear them. After a couple of nasty head bumps in my youth you'd think I'd learn, but let's just say that there is only occasional evidence of lasting damage, and let's drop the subject. (Seriously, I've always wondered......)

Then I started thinking about when people started wearing bike helmets, and found a great article on the Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute's website. I doubt if Amelia Earhart's helmet (pictured above) would have done much good in a crash, but it probably did a lot to keep a head warm in a cold airplane. Then I came across an interesting article by Susan Levine that really drives home the need for kids to wear bicycle helmets. (hmmmm, more reason to suspect lasting damage...)
If only I had worn a basket on my head with a pillow tucked inside like the sport ballooning pioneer, Auguste Piccard. There are always iron helmets, which I'm sure would protect my head in a hard crash on my recumbent, but what about protecting the rest of my body from the helmet? I suppose something very soft like a basket of fruit would provide some comfort, but the fruit flies would be bothersome on a warm day.

A fully enclosed helmet would provide lots of protection, but I hope the wearer of this helmet doesn't require much air. May be a fresh cactus smell would be nice. Just don't tip your head.

Jack

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