Tuesday, July 19, 2016

"I appreciate your concern for my well-being. Have a nice day!"

This is my family bike, a.k.a. my Smugness Flotilla Mark II (with all due respect to the Smugness Flotilla Mark I, which has since been re-homed):


Every weekday morning I load my larger human child onto the front seat and strap my smaller human child into the rear seat, then I take the middle perch and we all ship out together to bring the former child to day camp.  According to a popular Internet mapping application, it's a journey of exactly 1.1 miles.  (Or a whopping 2.2 miles round-trip.)  And of that 1.1 miles, .7 miles (or approximately 70% of the total one-way trip) is within the confines of a sub-neighborhood in the Bronx called Fieldston.

Fieldston is a privately-owned neighborhood consisting entirely of very large and expensive single-family homes, and it was established early in the last century as sort of a "residential park."  While not gated, truck traffic is forbidden, as is street parking for anybody who is not a Fieldston resident.  Apart from the Ubers and luxury cars headed to and from the local prep schools in the morning and the afternoon, automotive traffic is light.  Because there are no parked cars lining the curb the sight lines are ample, and because the streets follow the topography of the land rather than a grid it's that much more difficult for drivers to speed.

What I'm establishing here is that this is not exactly a hardcore bicycle commute.

Indeed, the only challenging aspect of this ride is that it takes you over a fairly steep hill.  Sure, it's not quite Mont Ventoux, but it's enough that with two kids and a 50lb bicycle I'm going slightly faster than walking speed.  Also, by the time I'm about halfway up I'm generally pretty winded and not in a position to answer my older child's incessant questions about science and the nature of the universe.

And it was at exactly this moment that I passed the Helmet Mime.

So what is a "Helmet Mime?"  A Helmet Mime is someone who points repeatedly to his or her head and mouths the word "Helmet!" admonishingly over and over again as you pass.  Occasionally these Helmet Mimes also speak, which I realize is not exactly in keeping with the whole "mime" analogy, but it's still a fitting term in that gratuitous gesticulating is the main feature of this bizarre behavior.

This particular Helmet Mime happened to be an older woman.  She was walking in the street along the curb, which is what you do in Fieldston because: 1) The bluestone sidewalks are often bulging due to tree roots and are therefore generally unwalkable; and 2) Fieldston is one of those exceedingly rare places in New York City where an older woman can walk safely and comfortably in the street.  She was walking down the hill and I was grinding up it.  She smiled, which is what people often do when they see us all on the bike together, because it's fucking adorable.  So I assumed that's what was going on here too.  But then the miming began:

"Helmet, helmet, helmet!," she repeated over and over again while pointing to her head repeatedly and idiotically with both index fingers, like she was drawing the McDonald's arches over her head.

By the way, in case you're wondering, here was the helmet breakdown on the Smugness Flotilla this morning (and every morning):

--Me: no helmet
--Elder child: no helmet
--Younger child: helmet

This might seem like a haphazard arrangement, but indeed it is quite the opposite, and it's one I've arrived upon after a lifetime of cycling.  Now I'm not saying I know all there is to know about riding bikes--far from it.  Indeed, my life as a semi-professional bike blogger has afforded me the opportunity to meet all manner of cycling luminaries, which in turn has only served to remind me of what a relative neophyte I am.  Trust me, when you talk to someone who's won a Grand Tour, or run a successful bike company, or helped get bike lanes installed and legislation passed, the first thing you realize is that in the grand scheme of things you don't know shit.

Still, at this point in my life I maintain I'm allowed to say I've been around the block as far as bikes are concerned.  I've crashed coming out of the gate at a BMX race and heard the pounding of bear trap pedals against my helmet as my fellow competitors rode right over me.  I've ridden a hybrid shirtless and wearing half-shorts.  I've attempted to race the Five Boro Bike Tour.  I've stood outside a building at 7:00pm in the freezing December rain, near tears because I had a modeling portfolio still to deliver, everyone in the office had already gone home, and I'd have done anything to do the same.  I've placed second in a park race and won like $20.  I've attacked Lance Armstrong on the slopes of the River Road ranger station climb while a documentary film crew was rolling.  I've experienced the wide spectrum of motor-vehicular intimidation and assault, and since starting this blog I've lived eyeball-deep in such stories from around the world.

I could go on.  The point is that as a cyclist I am the sum total of decades of experiences good, bad, and embarrassing, and that the way my children and I are outfitted on the bike at any given moment is not happenstance.  It's me concluding quite judiciously that you don't need a fucking foam hat to safely ride a bike through a "residential park" for five fucking minutes, and neither do your kids--though it's also me concluding I'll put one on the baby anyway because of the goddamn Helment Mimes.

But alas this concession to the illusion of safety was not enough, for here was this woman pointing to the two spots on her skull where her antennae should be and bleating the word "Helmet."

My entire cycling life passed before my eyes as I watched this woman do her inane jumping jacks at me, and at that moment it was as if there were no dumber person on Earth than her.  Who was she to chastise me as she perambulated in her bubble of privilege?  Could she possibly think what I was doing was unduly dangerous or irresponsible?  Or is she simply under the delusion that I'm setting a bad example for my child by not making him wear a foam totem on his head for the five minutes he's going to be sitting on a slow-moving bicycle?  Because let's be totally honest here: Who's going to learn more about safety?  The helmetless kid who spends every day on a bike with a father who lives and breathes cycling and shows him all the ways drivers kill, or the one with five inches of helmet strap slack on the Spider-man bike from Toys R Us who has never seen his parents operate any vehicle that isn't an SUV?

Speaking of SUVs, what would you rather be passed by as you walk in the street?  A family on a bike who are two-thirds helmetless, or a two-ton motor vehicle?  Because here's what camp drop-off and pick-up looks like around the corner from where we passed the Helmet Mime:


This is not my kid's camp; this is another one right nearby.  But pretty much every camp and school everywhere is beset by a cluster of cars twice a day.  And while I'm in no position to get all "One Less Car" on anybody (I do drive a car that a bank owns until I finish paying them back), the fact is that I'm basically doing the Helmet Mime and everyone else in the neighborhood a personal favor by not adding to this kind of shitshow on a daily basis.

Of course, I was able to communicate exactly none of this to the Helmet Mime, owning mostly to the fact that to confront her would have been to set a bad example for my children.  (Though I suppose there's already no hope for them since I'm subjecting them to a life of flagrant helmetless, so what does it matter anyway?)  Therefore, I had to content myself with congratulating her for successfully pointing to her own head as I passed.

Anyway, incredibly and against all odds, we made it to camp unscathed despite our reckless behavior.

And sure, I could forgive this woman for her concern, but to do so would be to surrender to both brainwashing and victim-blaming, as embodied by this now-deleted tweet from "Brainpicker:"


This ghost bike belongs to Olga Evgleska Cook, who was killed by a hit-and-run driver while riding on the Hudson River Greenway.  (And, as other tweeters pointed out, was apparently wearing a helmet.)

As for Popova, she mounted a brave yet wrongheaded defense of her stupid and insulting tweet before ultimately taking it down.

As for me, after the camp drop-off I headed north, where I encountered this deer:


As I passed, I pointed to my head and repeated "Antlers!" over and over again:


I hope it learned its lesson.


130 comments:

Anonymous said...

Good afternoon.

dnk said...

The deer need helments.

sTONEdEADLAND said...

Huffin' at the top!

Anonymous said...

"Antlers" would be a good response to Helmet Mimes.

Anonymous said...

And thank you for your efforts.

N/A said...

Wildcat Rock Machine, you're my hero!

youcancallmeAl said...

the fact is, you and your kid have a better chance of not having a head injury wearing a helmet than not wearing one if , for any reason, you fall off your bike. you choose not to minimize the risk for you and your kid.

Kenny Banya said...

top ten Kenny

Anonymous said...

Get any dirty looks from those in the car drop off lane while cat SIXING to the front of the line.

Chazu said...

Top Ten!?

BikeSnobNYC said...

youcancallmeAl,

That's why we always wear our helmets while walking on those treacherous bluestone sidewalks.

--Wildcat Rock Machine

Anonymous said...

youcancallmeAl,

Yes, I suppose but an experienced and careful cyclist doing like 8mphs is not going to just "fall off" their bike. You would minimize the risk of a head injury in the shower if you slip and fall by wearing a helmet, but do you wear a helmet in the shower?

Pathetic Old Cyclist said...

I could have taken the yellow, but I stopped to read the Goddam blog!

Snobby, it looks like it's time to take the helmet off the little one as well. Why not mess with her head? Tomorrow, put a helmet on you and your older child, leave the little one uncovered.

That line of traffic is embarrassing....guaranteed 90 per cent of the kids in those cars live less than a mile from the camp. Has some moron, mired in that line of idling SUV's, dared to confront you about squeezing to the front of the line on your bike?

N/A said...

"better chance of..."

Do you wear knee and elbow pads when you ride? What if you tip over? You have a better chance of fending off a skinned knee/elbow if you're wearing your pads!

What about a life jacket? What if you accidentally ride into a lake? Better chance of not drowning if you're wearing it!

BikeSnobNYC said...

Anonymous 1:45pm,

Nastiest spills kids take is when they're running on the sidewalk, trip, and take a header. Yet nobody is advocating for kids' running helmets...yet.

--Wildcat Rock machine

anon 1:45 said...

I am only advocating for shower helmets, they will be water proof.

mike said...

Wear a toddler,s helmet as a codpiece aka pelment.People in UK give way more space to the pelmented,believe me.

Anonymous said...

People are fucking idiots. Once you realize that, you will not be surprised by stupid things that people say or do but will come to expect it.

Neil said...

From http://www.alz.org/dementia/traumatic-brain-injury-head-trauma-symptoms.asp
"Falls are the leading cause of traumatic brain injury for all ages. Those aged 75 and older have the highest rates of traumatic brain injury-related hospitalization and death due to falls."
If this is true, then perhaps that older woman was just asking you where she could buy a helmet...

SomeDude said...

Yeah, I used to scoff at my mom when she told me to wear a helmet. I cycled for years without having an accident.

Then one day I decided to go to the park and--seriously--thought I'd better wear a hat to prevent sunburn and skin cancer etc. The hat blew off and, grabbing for it, I crashed into the pavement. I awoke to a circle of useless strangers standing around and had a ride to the ER in a big red fire truck. Concussion and shattered collar bone. Doc said "Usually it's the second big hit to the skull that kills you."

Since then I have had two other major crashes, both at low to moderate speeds, one caused by a small well-placed asphalt bump and the other by SF's notorious streetcar tracks. I had a helmet on both times and am damn happy I did. Totaled the helmet both times. Cars never involved.

I fully expect my kids to scoff at me at some point when I try to get them to put helmets on. Karma. But me, I learned my lesson.

dancesonpedals said...

Bobby Kennedy grew up in Fieldston almost 90 years ago. (I couldn't contain myself). When he ran for the senate in '64, all you heard was cries of, "carpetbagger". He was a good New York kid.

youcancallmeAl said...

the higher the elevation the fall is taken from, the more chance of injury. you use a helmet on one kid but not the other. hope you dont have to explain that choice to the brain damaged one some day. he/she may not understand your preferences.

JLRB said...

My helmet did not prevent the driver who "had to pass me" just to slow and make a right turn in front of me on this morning's commute. Of course, like most experienced (aka old) cyclists, I saw it coming and was positioning myself to go around the car. But then the driver chose to stop. I think just to fugh with me. I had to do a little side slide skid before calling the driver a Kant (clearly a metaphysical moralist).

Tanlinegoddess said...

Nothing like a bald man with a tanline from his helmet

N/A said...

I'm advocating we all enjoy a nice gin & tonic. The quinine in the tonic water gives us a better chance of surviving exposure to malaria. Safety first!

BikeSnobNYC said...

youcancallmeAl,

Yeah, on the WorkCycles the kid's head is at about the same altitude it's at when he's running, but you make a good point and I'll probably retire our tall bike now.

Thanks for the brain damage comment too. You're a Helmet Mime in real life, aren't you?

--Wildcat Rock Machine

Chazu said...

Local and regional population density are more influential factors, than whether or not you're wearing a helmet. Clusterfucks of stupidity are difficult to mitigate.

McFly said...

My momma insisted on getting me a new lid for my bday. So I opted for the Granate Red POC Octal and I don't really even care that it's the shit but all the Fred's love it and freak out over it so I wear it for a cool factor...ish.

Plus it's got huge Scalp Scratching Portal's....which is nice.

youcancallmeAl said...

nope! I could care less if you or your kids have an accident or not. I just enjoy pointing out phony logic.

BikeSnobNYC said...

youcancallmeAl,

Actual logic: our slow bike ride of just over a mile is not particularly risky;

Phony logic: We're going to fall over at 6mph and everyone not wearing a helmet is going to be a vegetable.

--Wildcat Rock Machine

youcancallmeIllogical said...

He is explaining that choice to the brain damaged.

Over, and over, and over...

Victor Kaminski said...

vsk said ...

Helment Mimes don't care if you know about cycling or not...

they just come TO SAVE YOOOUUUU !!!

I just wanted to scream the Rudy line from last night.

One fine Saturday I was ascending the weird wiggly path up to the George Wash Bridge (which will have a fucktonne more traffique on it now due to the Tappan Zeezee crane booboo) path. There was a murder of freds coming at me. Alpha/Papa/Jockstrap lead fred gave me the articulate experienced authoritative helment preach. I forgot the witty retort I shot back, probably due to the loss of oxygen from me having to add the slightest bit of altitude.

To borrow from my evil biker days... let those who ride decide.

vsk


Anonymous said...

I always put a Foam Hat on my little cousin but it's just because he's a wriggly little bastard who's likely to try to jump off if he sees a dog that he wants to pet or something.

billyhacker said...

In a comment space that adores trolls, youcancallmeAl has beautifully flipped the script by being sincere. Lovely.

For everyone not named Al, obviously the science does not support wearing the @!#$# helmets even if total risk avoidance was the goal, which it isn't and is why you can see people in bathing suits and no helmet riding on the freeway in Pennsylvania at 75 MPH on motorcycles.

Compelling the wearing of helmets lead to worse health outcomes versus a neighboring community that didn't compel it in France. It caused drivers to drive closer to cyclists wearing helmets than the same cyclists not wearing helmets in England. In New Jersey and in NYC wearing helmets increased the incidence of severe spine injury in those wearing helmets proportionally to reductions in skull injuries below a certain trauma threshold, above the threshold, the brain is hitting the inside of the skull and the helmet is irrelevant. Helmets have so many behavioral liabilities - people never wear them correctly anyway but engage in riskier behavior because they feel safer, unlike with seat belts where they actually get some health benefit despite the increased risk-taking. It's the stupidest subject in the world.

wle said...

you said:
" Trust me, when you talk to someone who's won a Grand Tour, or run a successful bike company, or helped get bike lanes installed and legislation passed, the first thing you realize is that in the grand scheme of things you don't know shit."

i said:
"your position in the food chain is "ETERNALLY DISGRUNTLED BACK SEAT RIDER!" :)

wle

Joe said...

[Incisive helmet comment that makes you realize the errors of your ways]. You're welcome.

Anonymous said...

I frequently(50%±) ride w/o a helmet depending on the roads I'll be on, time of day, if I'm riding with others, etc. At 58 I'll do what I want although that was just as true at 16 when I never wore a helmet.

When I run into a helmet mime I just give them a giant & friendly "THANKS MOM!!" They typically seem to get the point as they always stop w the miming although I've never stopped to discuss it with them.

Pete

nahmean said...

I don't wear a helmet, but I put one on the toddler I have in a seat in front of me. The way I ride with her, I figure the worst that will happen is we'll fall over, which is exactly the kind of head-clonking a helmet is good for.

I would consider wearing a helmet just to mount a dashcam on I could get a video of her cooing and clapping her hands from the fun she's having, basically the whole ride every day.

youcancallmeAl said...

poor snob, those goalposts must be gettin heavy!! lol. no one said 6 mph was overly risky and no one said everyone would get hurt. the fact remains you put a helmet on one kid but not the other! In view of your feelings on helmets, thats hilarious.

Lieutenant Oblivious said...

Wildcat Rock Machine, you need to teach the older child to thank the helment mime for her concern and then say something to throw them off their game. Maybe ask her if she realizes she's left her house in her pajamas. Or if she's lost and is there someone who can be called to come get her. Something cute and innocent that will just get the helment mime to shut the f*** up and realize she should mind her own business.

If you do it right, the child won't realize what's going on until he is much older and looks back!

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

You do insist your cat wears his helment when you take him for a ride right?

robertduvall said...

I love the smell of helmet wars in the morning.

Eric the Infrequent said...

Well Al does wear a helment in the shower as well as walking the sidewalks, so no inconsistencies there.

Fredder said...

Antlers! Antlers!!

I may be ambivalent about your position on helmets but I loved that. Thanks.

BikeSnobNYC said...

youcancallmeAl,

This was your first comment:

the fact is, you and your kid have a better chance of not having a head injury wearing a helmet than not wearing one if , for any reason, you fall off your bike. you choose not to minimize the risk for you and your kid.

Now this time move the goalpost underneath your ass and sit down quickly.

--Wildcat Rock Machine

Anonymous said...

Right on, Neil,

My foot developed a tripping hazard ~ 15 years ago (some doctor... long story) -- The big risk is falling and hitting my head. Hitting your head kills a lot of older folks. Lately I seem to bump my head all the time on the bus rear view mirror. Sequence is: Bus lowers the front for me, I lift my bike a little less to load it on the front. I step up, onto the curb, toward the door, and BONG, my head bumps the bus rear view mirror. Good thing I'm wearing a helmet. In fact, the only other helmet benefit for me in the last 10 years was during an emergency stop, riding on the bus (my head+helmet hit a pole.)

Based on this, I should strap the helmet to the handlebars so I can wear it on the bus...

I'd wear it in the car, too, but it just does not fit... not enough helmet-room.

wishiwasmerckx said...

I am rushing out to buy another copy of Snob's latest book so that he will have enough money to buy a second helmet for his older child.

It must be hell playing Sophie's Choice every morning at camp-departure time.

wishiwasmerckx said...

...and what's with all this talk about polishing the helmet in the shower?

Serial Retrogrouch said...

...youcancallmeAl,

...if you wear a helment on your ass before you sit on the post, it will minimize your risk of getting hemorrhoids.

Esteemed Commenter DaddoOne said...

so you wear a helmet all day?
.... you know, for risk minimization, yes?

youcancallmeAl said...

the odds of falling off a bike are far higher. and yes snob, the odds of no head injury are better with the helmet, like i said. the fact you put a helmet on your favourite kid indicates you agree. hope the less favoured one understands.

Anonymous said...

I wildly point to my scranus and mouth "Brooks!" when I see a rider on one of those thick gel bike seats, but somehow the message seems to get lost in translation.

Sax Huret said...

You should teach the little ones about constructive conflict resolution, Snob.

Tangent: In my part of the U.S. helmets are not an expected piece of attire and thus we have no helmet mimes. Unfortunately we have many salmon who swim upstream so it's not quite Snob Heaven.

Jamin said...

In similar scenarios I reply "I'm pro choice" to the helmet fascists intent on denying, or or at least shaming, my right to make informed, legal, decisions regarding my personal safety while cycling. It's a concern about the health of others that I assume only applies towards individuals who chose to cycle. I can't imagine these same do-gooders counsel the overweight about their meal choices at restaurants, lecture smokers they encounter on the sidewalk, etc.

Anonymous said...

Anyone know if Boardman's mom was wearing a helmet? Or was it the wheels across her chest that killed her. (This post was verified with sandwiches)

BikeSnobNYC said...

youcancallmeAl,

Well done, you've now successfully inserted the goalpost. Now fuck off.

--Wildcat Rock Machine

youcancallmeAl said...

hahahaahahahaha! so the world famous sophisticated big city cycle cynic does have feet of clay after all!! like all phonies, when he's backed into a corner he falls back on the old "fuck off" gambit!! next up is the ban!! lol

Anonymous said...

Helmet laws prevent exercise. My wife no longer grocery shops by bike since our new mandatory helmet laws came into place (thanks government of British Columbia!). She cant be bothered messing up her hair. I suspect there are a ton of people who would run errands by bike if they didn't have to risk hundreds in fines for leaving the lid at home.

Grump said...

Snobby, do you also fight against "seatbelt laws"?? Do you buckle your 17 youngin' into your S-Class??
The word "forbidden" is often ignored by Trucks and drunk, off duty officers of the law (as you well know)
.
PS. do you at least have "air bags" installed on your bicycle (along with lane keeping assist, and auto-breaking)????

PSS. Just kiddin'.......I would never be caught dead on a "thing" like that. I would drive my kids a half mile in my Hyundai.


Serial Retrogrouch said...

...youcancallmeAl

...no you little shit. you should fuck off because you don't seem to have a shred of decency... rattling off and trying to instigate, and then patting yourself on the back for 'cornering' with your twisted logic. Little shits like you exist all over the world. snob treated your comment with decency like he does with every one's. and all you are doing is apparently wishing injury upon innocent children.

...you won't accomplish anything by instigating. just go and fuck off. make sure you stick that goal post deep in there so you can walk upright.

BikeSnobNYC said...

youcancallmeAl,

Hey, if being told to fuck off makes you feel like you accomplished something I'm happy to oblige.

--Wildcat Rock Machine

bieks said...

Fight mime with mime: pat your head, act all surprised with your hand placed over your mouth. Shrug your shoulders and ride on.

PS. You Americans have seriously long term options on your car loans. Or are you on your 3rd Hyundai now.

bikeshepherd said...

Back in the Olden days when I was a kid, there were no bike helmets. There were a LOT more kids out there riding bikes (yes I am a Boomer), doing stupid things on them and I know of only one kid who fell off his bike and got a concussion. He was riding down a hill as fast as he could and hit a patch of gravel. Our mothers didn't freak over the accident. We still went out the next day and rode around without supervision.

Riding a bike without a helmet is a hell of a lot safer than playing football with a helmet firmly in place.

Dooth said...

Helmet Mime: " Helmet, helmet, helmet"!


Me: "Mummenschanz"!

youcancallmeAl said...

Lol! refusing to excercise so you wont mess up your hair is as hilarious as refusing to quit smoking so you wont gain weight!!

Anonymous said...

Spare me the fucking trolls like Al. I don't have kids so I don't have to deal with that quandry and I wear a helmet about 99% of the time but like most people I don't want others telling me what to do and especially not people who don't ride. I ocassionally write a cycling column for the town I live in and these dorks who publish the town paper, who ride maybe 50 miles a year, want me to end every column by telling people to wear a helmet. I will not be a helmet nag or a helmet mime for anyone and I damn sure don't want to hear that shit from anyone else, especially not trolls.

Anonymous said...

youcancallmeAl,

Maybe one day you'll meet an actual, real-life woman, then you will understand.

Matt Boulanger said...

You need to do what I do and when you go helmetless, just make sure you put on the complete "I don't give a fXck" uniform- jorts, dirty shirt, flip-flops, etc. I just do my best to dress the part of carless DUI cyclist, and nobody bugs me.

Have on of the kids grow a rattail, it'll help.

BikeSnobNYC said...

Matt Boulanger,

I can assure you I was wearing flip-flops and was positively filthy.

Plus my younger son has an accidental mullet--though I guess the problem was it was covered by the helmet.

--Wildcat Rock Machine

JLRB said...

"to confront her would have been to set a bad example for my children"

I'd say confronting her would be OK - knocking her out might cross the line into bad example land....

Of course, this is from someone who forgot his child was in the backseat and called someone a f'n d-bag for cutting me off - only to feel the stare from the back seat a minute later...

dem_bieks! said...

Al,
you keep reposting claims as if you are providing a rebuttal to new information. And then you launch the personal attacks. Here's an example.

"You are wrong because I say so."
"No I'm not."
"Yes you are, because I say so."
"Yeah, but.."
"You are wrong because I say so."
"Ok, whatever."
"Hahaha! Where are you going, coward? You know I'm right."



youcancallmeAl said...

bonus points for twisting serial retrocrotch's knickers!

JLRB said...

Al is clearly an abbreviation for AsshoLe

Trolls are a dime a dozen, kid. Go play in traffic, but be sure to wear a helmet.

nscadu 9 said...

Great post. It still astounds me that while the majority of cyclists around the world simply throw a leg over and pedal away without a worry, here and in particular my part of the world (British Columbia, Canada where legally adults must wear helmets) helmet mimes abound.

Serial Retrogrouch said...

...mr. Al.

...there you go again patting yourself on the back.

...you might do really well playing Pokémon Go... rack up points there--pat yourself on the back often. and don't forget to lubricate the goal post before you shove it up inside. put on the helment for bonus points.

youcancallmeAl said...

JLRB, Just Like the Rest of the Buffoons

youcancallmeAl said...

oh, retrocrotch rallies with a devastating anal reference! what a loon!

bad boy of the north said...

hey,youcancallmeanal,just because you're upset about brexit,and now have a new prime minister to contend with,doesn't mean you can start your shite here...so be a good lad and pedal off and give us rest already.hahahahahahahahahaha!

youcancallmeAl said...

big boy tries his best to demonstrate a worldly personna. fails.

Anonymous said...

What's the weight limit on that land yacht, and did it come with any of those safety stickers that lawyers came up with?

dancesonpedals said...

Matching Test. Match the beginning of the cliché in column A with its partner in column B:

A....................... B......................................

Never wrestle with a pig You both get dirty and the pig likes it

Never get in a pissing match with a skunk You both get dirty and the pig likes it

Never feed the trolls You both get dirty and the pig likes it

bad boy of the north said...

..an empty blogger with nothing to say and a thief to boot.

bad boy of the north said...

g'night,irene.

bad boy of the north said...

thanks,dop,for reminding us.

crosspalms said...

I wear a helmet because youcancallmeRudy says WE"RE ALL GOING TO DIE if we don't. What I could really use is helmets for my ankles and shins, cause that's where I usually hurt myself. Plus, the kitten used my ankle as a scratching post the other morning, which was an unwelcome surprise. Helmet would have helped.

Eric the Infrequent said...

I prefer the playing chess with pigeons phrase.

dancesonpedals said...

I don't follow you, Eric.
"Never play chess with pigeons. You both get dirty and the pig likes it" doesn't make sense to me.

bieks said...

crosspalms, you're onto something. Shinguards and boots all around.

Anonymous said...

I can't stand it any longer! If we have to talk about headcoverings, it's HELMENTS, or HEALMENTS. Think of the children, FFS.

Chazu said...

I smell low self esteem in some of the troll's comments. But that's redundant, isn't it?

bad boy of the north said...

I sweated walking to one of our local gin mill...perhaps meself needs armpit healmets...hmmm.nah....tanquery and tonic..better protection.

Anonymous said...

I rode in NYC & other U.S cities for 20 odd years and have suffered every imaginable form of road-rage. I wear a helmet when ‘fred-sledding’ (Mt.Diablo was a favoite ride of mine during my Oakland days) and mountain biking. I gave up wearing a helmet commuting in NYC based on the logic that I was kidding msyelf. Now I happily pedal along ‘bareback’ in Japan —feeling safe as a clown. In Tokyo, a city with +3 times the population of NY and a far greated percentage of cyclists there is a fraction of the road—bike, car or pedestrian—fatalities and almost no-one wears a helmet. (cycling, walking, driving or singing karaoke)

Why safer? I put it down to human deceny and a serious attitude towards driving. Sadly I had to sacrifice my 'freedoms' in order to live in a society where cycling is broadly respected and roads are silky smooth. I can drink in the streets, smoke in the bars and if I so choose legally indulge in proclivities where cash is exchanged ...I can also lock my fancy shiny Italian steed day or night with a flimsy wee lock and know it will be just fine. Such is the price of sacrificing freedom and my AR-15

In my experience Americans don’t respect cyclists or (as a sweeping generalization) one another. Keep on fighting the good fight.

Anonymous said...

Amen about the football

wishiwasmerckx said...

Is life better in Tokyo? You do the math.

(Ooh, he sneaked in a racist Asian stereotype joke in there...)

Holy Roller said...

As I've mentioned before, I always make sure to don the helmet of righteousness before I venture forth upon one of my Jesus saves rides. This disenfranchises the helmet mimes of their holier than thou podium and also allows me the possibility of a politically correct requiem if I so happen to be crushed and mangled by a careening suv behemoth.

dancesonpedals said...

Forget helmets....once you appear in public with your children you become s magnet for unwanted advice

96 said...

97

microcord said...

Anonymous 6:47, perhaps there are parallel, different Tokyos. In mine, helmets are common, though only worn by a minority of adults. I believe that they're mandatory for small children -- certainly they encase the majority of toddler heads. Policemen, and I do mean MEN, routinely ride push-bikes and are so keen to encourage responsible riding that, uh, they never wear helmets. Most mysterious for me is the number of cyclists who barrel along at 25 km/h at night with no lights. Now that's what I call stupid.

97 said...

98

BamaPhred said...

Century!

BamaPhred said...

I'd like to thank all the helmented heads I stepped on as I road cleated my way up the ladder of successful podiuming.

microcord said...

25 km/h plus, I mentersay. Not that I ever berate them for this, or even want to. A surprising number of cars also go without lights, and I do point that out to the drivers. Politely of course, because this is Japan.

Bicycle Dundee said...

You might want to pay more attention while riding mate

Arizona redneck said...

Being brain damaged they won't understand many things

Arizona redneck said...

NOW yer talkin'!

Grump said...

Wow, I can't remember the last time there were so many jerky comments here, but this is America, land of the free, and home of the "If you don't do it my way, you're a terrible person".
Goddess bless America.

crosspalms said...

Grump,
I can't wait for the true/false helment question on the Friday quiz...

Fuck The Helmet Nazis said...

youcancallmeAl reminds me of the complete fucking asshole at a bicycle shop in Australia who told me "if you wear that helmet you will die" about my $10 K-mart helmet after I didn't buy one of his $200 helmets. Where the fuck do these dickheads come from? And why the fuck do they think people give a damn about their fear mongering sanctimonious nonsense?

youcancallmeAl said...

fuck etc seems slightly illiterate. i dont give a damn one way or the other if he or anyone else wears a helmet or not. try reading sometime goofus!

smugness x2 said...

Beams of smugness shooting out of my butt like rainbows;

I'm moving to PORTLAND!!!

...from Hawaii!!!

That is what we call a twofer.

Anonymous said...

youcancallmeAl

You are gay.

Fuck The Helmet Nazis said...

youcancallmeAl, so which part of what you wrote isn't "fear mongering sanctimonious nonsense"?

"the fact is, you and your kid have a better chance of not having a head injury wearing a helmet than not wearing one if , for any reason, you fall off your bike. you choose not to minimize the risk for you and your kid."

Let me clue you in, it is ALL fear mongering sanctimonious nonsense.

And if you don't give a damn about helmet wearing why are you so vociferous in your indifference? Fucking dweeb.

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Benjamin Mack said...

I once had a helmet mime, slow down next to me whilst driving towards oncoming traffic! It's amazing how strong the the urge to give unsolicited advice is!

McFly said...

Every parent knows you love the 2nd child more than the 1st one. #1 is just for practice and when #2 comes along you get it all dialed in and the relationship is more textbook perfect.

Geez I mean for real. That's parenting 101.

bad boy of the north said...

Tanqueray.....it's Tanqueray,bad boy.yeesh!

bcstractor said...

Hmm - when I was riding with my youngest in a rear seat I was riding down a slope on grass when one of the wheels went into an animal burrow. Bike stops and falls over sideways - BOTH are wearing helmets as the heads hit the dirt. No scratches and no injuries.

New Brighton Clown said...

Surely the real question here is (Pacino's voice) 'What. The. FUCK. Is. Kid's Camp?'

Unknown said...

Smile and wave. Smile and wave.

Unknown said...

Ok. I'll share. My kids, aged 4, 6 and 8 ride on the back of my bike to school, to the shops, to after school clubs sans melmhents. I manage the risk. We're all happy. Sometimes I wonder if a rogue mime, wandering, aimless, lonely as a cloud will pipe up with some inanity, some subjective, uninformed bullshit as we sail by; but then the thought passes and I do not linger.
Happy riding y'all

Tia said...

Someguy who has learned your lesson" awoke to a circle of useless strangers standing around and had a ride to the ER in a big red fire truck. Concussion and shattered collar bone. "

Just so you know, helmets do not protect against concussions or shattered collar bones. Bike helmets protect against skull fractures, and bleeding head injuries - that is is.

So your lesson learned is incorrect.

skelter weeks said...

The upcoming heat wave is the perfect opportunity to stick it to any annoying helmetheads.
Just point at your bare head while cycling along in the heat and ask "How's the helmet?"
To twist the helmetless knife further in, add "I just had a haircut (I'm getting one today) and then proceed to slowly pour a bottle of water on your freely ventilated follicles and exclaim "Ah! That hits the spot!" Soak up their ignorance- and fear-fueled envy and discomfort. Refreshing!
On a serious note, it wasn't even hot in Chicago on Wednesday (no hotter than usual), but the TV news weather fearmongers were telling everyone they were going to die in the coming heatwave, and scared off half the trail users. These are the same people that disappear whenever it gets slightly chilly. If only they would stay away forever.

Lee Mcgough said...

I feel that an actual hardhat offers greater protection when walking. Sure, it is uncomfortable, and idiotic looking, but SAFETY FIRST, DAMNIT!!!

Lee Mcgough said...

I'm pretty sure the old lady you passed on the way to day camp is named Al.

Lee Mcgough said...

I'm pretty sure the old lady you passed on the way to day camp is named Al.

Anonymous said...

I don't know that I've ever met a "helmet mime" while riding. If someone gestures to me during a ride, I just smile and wave back, and don't give it another thought.

About bicycling helmets... I don't like the way they look, and haven't since the 1970s [when I first began to notice them--I didn't wear a helmet then, like most other cyclists].

Nowadays, I wear a skateboarder's-type helmet when I ride.

Anonymous said...

I have had people comment on my helmetlessness and I always tell them I have a kevlar plate in my skull so I don't need a foam hat. I must be convincing because they often get quite sympathetic to my plight.

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Anonymous said...

I have a middle finger that I use for helmet mimes. If my child saw me, I'd explain what the finger means.

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