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Sunday, August 05, 2012

Safety Third!

This was a hard Critical Mass for me to enjoy.  I saw four crashes, one of whom was a friend, none of whom were wearing helmets.

I know, I'm an old man who remembers when there was no internet, only one phone company and the television had three channels.  There was also no such thing as a bicycle helmet back then.

And I did stunts on my BMX, rode my bike to deliver a paper route, rode skateboards, etc., all with no head protection at all.

I don't think there was much in the way of useful head protection available back then. We're talking about when the plains were black with buffalo, right? Three channels on the TV, and the height of sophisticated, elite communication was the pager (only worn by doctors), a device which allowed you to type in your number so they could call you back from a phone that was connected to yours by wires.

Thing is, helmets won't help when you get rear-ended by a car going 40 miles per hour. They won't help when you get side-swiped by a run away dump truck. But these are scenarios so rare they aren't worth considering. You might as well worry about what you'll do with the big winnings off a lotto ticket.

The slipsy-fallsy thing, though? That happens to us all. And in my experience, I'm down before I know I'm going to fall, and more than once I've realized that gunshot sound was my helmet taking the abuse for me.

The cool kids who go without helmets don't generally mount such a great defense as 'it won't matter when I get run over by a bus.' They say things like 'I forgot' or 'it seems so expensive, a helmet.'

I don't know if the cottage-cheese-and-ketchup special I saw Friday night offered such lame excuses for her helmetlessness. The copious blood on the pavement was seeping out of lots of beautiful, curly hair, so maybe she didn't know that helmet hair is sexy.

The party mood was eventually revived, and by the time we got down to the river there was a girl a couple of guys had tried to likkered up who turned the tables on them. And a good time was had by all, or all who weren't in the ER by then.

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