Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Wearing a bicycle helmet

while riding is law where I live. It is not a bad idea. I am certainly not opposed to it. You are very vulnerable on a bicycle or a tricycle. My father wears one when he rides his gopher.
I know at least one person who would have sustained much more serious injuries if he had not been wearing his helmet. Stories also surface in the media from time to time.
I have long since given up worrying about what my hair looks like. I keep it clean. I keep it tied back and I accept it will get flattened under the helmet. Safety and obeying the law come first.
There is also another problem with bicycle/tricycle/gopher riding. You are exposed to the elements. Walkers can take an umbrella to shield them from sun and rain. We cannot.
So there are two competing pieces in this morning's paper. One says "ride a bicycle" and the other says "cover up, use sunscreen, do not expose your skin to too much sunlight". Right. Both things are good advice.
I always cover up. I wear trousers. I wear tops with long sleeves. I should probably wear summer mittens as well as winter mittens. I wear my helmet
The helmet is the problem. When I bought the helmet it was possible to buy a helmet cover. The helmet cover had a peak and a flap. The peak helped to shade the face. The flap protected the back of the neck.
Exposed to the elements these helmet covers wore out, indeed disintegrated. The last time I went to buy one I was told they did not make them any more. My helmet is old-fashioned. It has gone out of style. How, I asked, were cyclists supposed to protect themselves from the elements? They shrugged. Even the people at the Cancer Council shrugged. I found this extraordinary.
I made my own helmet cover. I knitted it from two balls of cotton out of the bargain bin in an untidy shop some distance away. It was an experiment. It is far from perfect but it has a peak and a flap. It caused a lot of comment when I first used it. It is now getting faded and worn looking.
That the competing articles should appear in today's paper is of interest. Yesterday a complete stranger was standing by my tricycle when I returned with the milk. There is nothing unusual about this. They usually want to know where the tricycle came from. This person was different. Where, she asked, had I bought the helmet cover. I had to explain I had made it. Oh. Could she knit I asked? No - but she could crochet. It will work just as well.
But, this should not be necessary. It is all very well being creative and producing something I need or she needs but many other people need the same thing. I am truly puzzled as to why nobody has taken to manufacturing helmet covers - or helmets with peaks and flaps.


Anonymous said...


Helmet covers could now appear in every craft shop in the state ... until some bright spark in industry works out that they could be part of the helmet. Bet the latter manufactures them in China!

Judy B

Sheep Rustler said...

Interesting point! I thoroughly agree with you. And we had a recent illustration of the usefulness of the helmet - the boy had a cycling accident and I am eternally grateful that the dent was in the helmet and not the skull! He was shocked and grzed but otherwise mostly unhurt; it could have been a very different tale without the helmet.

Sarah Pearson said...

I was thinking the same way as virtualquilter - definitely a niche in the market for some enterprising soul :-)

Rachel Fenton said...

My daughter wore a sun hat under her helmet to deal with this problem - not ideal but better than a burnt face/neck - though I doubt it will be "cool" this summer!

JO said...

Please Cat - post a photo!

catdownunder said...

Jo, you do not want to see it I promise you! I am considering the wisdom of making a new one...but Rachel's idea has merit. Like Judy and Sarah, I cannot understand why it has not been done!
Sheep Rustler (another Judy) - it certainly shows the wisdom of wearing a helmet! Glad he was not too badly hurt.

nicobulus said...

i have an image of Cat running a multi-national network of helmet-cover-crocheting crafties who stand on street corners selling them to cyclists as they stop at the lights...

Katherine Langrish said...

They could be like jockeys' helmet covers! (Silks, do they call them?) In bright colours, They have to have soft peaks, otherwise the helmet could be forced backwards on hitting the ground, and break the jockey's neck.

I don't know where I picked up thaty bit of information...

Anonymous said...

its not a problem to wear helmet. infact its cool to wear helmet. let me say this, would you want to use car that steal the air that you breath or use a helmet and ride a bike to breath clean air?

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