Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Brain buckets save lives...

I have a confession to make.

When we bought our new bikes, we didn't always wear helmets when we were just running over to our friends' houses. Or to grab food. Sure, when we're riding to Royal Oak, or to Birmingham, no question, but just to go a block? What's the point?

Keep in mind that, on the bike trail, I won't even ride with anyone who doesn't wear a helmet. I am adamant and militant that, if you're going to ride with me on a trail, you will wear a helmet. I will help you get out of the woods should you hurt yourself, but I don't want to ride with someone who's risking a serious closed head injury; I know people who've gotten serious concussions on the trail when the helmet did its job. Sans helmet, they would have been looking at skull fractures.

So where did I get this double standard? Who knows. But no more.

A friend of ours was riding his bike. Same scenario, just running to a friends house, so no helmet. He was hit by a car. He got a serious concussion and seven staples in his head. Serious shit. He was still recovering when we saw him last week.

I now wear my helmet every time I get on my bike.

The other night, we rode our bikes to the Borders in Birmingham (12 or so miles round trip), got some books and rode back to F-town. We stopped in for cocktails with friends, then headed home.

As we made ready to head out, unlocking bikes and putting on the buckets, some douchey hipster walked by with two ladies. He said, "seriously, helmets? Is that necessary?"

A. WTF? Why say anything if you disapprove, other than you want to impress your hipster lady friends?
B. Seriously, WTF? What did I do to you.
C. I mean seriously. W. T. F. you ass?

I started to look daggers at him, then decided it wasn't worth it. Instead, I said flatly, "my friend just got hit by a car."

No response from him, and the girls stopped to turn and glare at him, as if they just realized the dick move he's just made.

I hope he went home alone.

Anyway, helmets save lives, kids. It's sad when you need to be reminded this way.

In Asheville, a bike helmet even stopped a bullet.

Apparently, a guy, who happened to be a firefighter, saw another guy and his son riding their bikes on a busy road (which is legal). The firefighter got upset because the guy wasn't being safe, so he shot him.

The helmet stopped the bullet.

I know a lot of people are wrapped up in how psycho the shooter was (and the fact that the shooter, Charles Alexander Direz, is on paid leave right now!), but I really want to know - where can I get a bulletproof helmet? It could come in handy in Detroit.

Speaking of Detroit, Anthony Bourdain devoted part of an episode to our lovely town last night. I liked what he said, and he hit some great places, but we're worth more than part of an episode. I mean, he didn't even get coneys!


Angeline Rose Larimer said...

Hey, you!
Thanks for the public safety post.
Jack has taken off on his bike this summer. He's pretty determined to wear his helmet, as much as he insists upon seat belts, but of course there are childhood memories of my own, riding around the neighborhood--most times not even wearing shoes, so I was at risk at getting too soft on helmet safety.
But I know it's important, and I will do my darnedest to insist the kid wear their helmets every time they get on a bike.

Not that I'll ever let them ride their bikes again, after reading about psycho bullet to the head guy!

Where did Bourdain go in Detroit??

alpharat said...

I also rode barefoot with no helmet. This was also in the country and I was fearless.

Bourdain went to Pollonia (which is the second best Polish place here, so he missed out there), a Middle-Eastern place in Dearborn (of which there are a ton, many of them good) and Cadieux Cafe, a Belgian place with feather bowling. He missed Mexican town right out...

Jennifer said...

Feather bowling?


(You know I rely heavily on my sparkly pink bike helmet. Did you happen to notice it, hanging at-the-ready by the back door, while you were here? If I used the bike as often as I wear the helmet, I could eliminate my carbon footprint almost entirely!)

I hope your friend is healing well.