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I’ve always thought they looked not only pretty cool, but also very practical. The first mile or so of my commute heads Southeast into the morning sun, and my tinted glasses don’t do the job on the brightest of days. No visored helmets I’ve ever used did a good job or anything except hitting me in the face in a crash when one broke off. For the sake of my eyes (i.e., keeping them in my head), I went visorless this time around. But I assumed it was either a cap or a helmet. Because, having smashed my head into the ground before, I don’t go anywhere without my shell-hat, AKA, my helmet.
But, duh. (I’m admitting a high level of density here.) I could just wear a cap under my helmet. I mean, at least, I assume I could. I do have the largest size helmet, with the thin pads, and it’s a tight fit. I have an enormous head, seriously. But maybe I’ll shave my head and get everything under there.
Also, if you’ve worn a Nutcase helmet, you’ve probably noticed the oddly-shaped pads. While “normal” helmets usually give you “striped” helmet head, these sorta make it look like something pooped on you or that you stuck your head into a watermelon or something. A different helmet head when I show up at work would be nice.
Anyone have any experience with, or recommendations for, cycling caps?
[Image, Walz Caps.]
[Pardon the terrible camera-phone picture.]
After last night’s rain and this morning’s wind, there’s stuff all over Baltimore’s streets and paths, waiting to get in your way on your ride to/from work/school. I was dodging sticks and wet clumps of gravel this morning, when I happened upon this big mess on the Jones Falls Trail, just South of the 28th and 29th Street[s] bridges. If I were not already late for work and had a saw/ax on me, I might have contributed to getting it out of the way.
I also saw an open box of Trek bike frames near the Streetcar Museum’s shed. Bizarre. They looked new?
Also, in a score for cyclists, a piece of my apartment building’s slate roof was on the walkway when I left this morning. It was large enough, sharp enough and came from high enough that it would probably have killed you if it landed on your head. In a Nutcase-esque helmet, though, I don’t know. Maybe not. Though, damn. It’s scary to think of what a piece of slate the size of a small pizza could do, from the top of 4 1/2 stories.
Anyway, I made it to the Maryland Avenue bridge, two blocks from my office this morning, before the rain started. I heard these bangs and thought, “What the @#$% is that?” It was huge rain drops hitting my hardshell helmet. In the two blocks in which I sped to work, I got completely drenched. But on my entire ride up to that point, the very very wet roads and paths didn’t affect my sandal-clad feet, as my excellent fenders kept me very dry. I’m wearing wet jeans and wet flannel now at work on my lunchbreak, though. Not very comfortable.
It was a good ride. With the wind that woke me up two hours before my alarm, I almost took the bus. But with how nice it’s going to be this afternoon, I’d have felt like a schmuck standing on Charles Street and watching everyone else have all the fun. To boot, the rain window during rush hour probably beckoned more folks than just me who were teetering on whether to ride or not in that wind. Until the end, the skies were dry, if very cloudy.
And the wind: a moderate headwind for my entire ride, with some scary gusts. I had to pedal downhill. But it was good. I need the exercise. My bike was drenched, so I carried up the 14 flights to my office. That hurt more than I want to admit. My big ass is very out of shape.
I was standing at the bus stop yesterday, on my way home from work, and I saw a gent on a bike that I’ve seen a million times. And yesterday, I realized that we’d met at least twice and chatted. But, in the midst of traffic and far-away-ness (I’m near-sighted), I have missed the connection between these “two” people and their being the same person until exactly yesterday. And then I felt like a jerk for never saying, “Hi!”
I think helmets have a lot to do with recognizing someone on/off his or her bike. I certainly do not want to start a fight wherein everyone calls everyone else a Nazi for how they feel about helmets. I always wear one, but I’ve also had more than my share of non-cycling head injuries, and my helmet saved my brain in April when I crashed on my head/face. Anyway, helmets seem (to me at least) to throw off the recognition we have of folks. People’s heads are shaped differently, and there’s no hair to see. The straps even change the shape of a person’s face. And sometimes one’s usual motion/posture are shifted a bit by wearing a helmet and leaning over a bike.
Certainly, I’ve recognized folks by their bikes, and some people I see so often, I can’t miss them. But if I meet a cyclist (like the gent I see most days) who’s not holding his or her bike and not wearing her or his helmet, I totally wonder she or he gives me a funny look when I see them riding. Maybe I’m just dense. I do rely on recognizing walking styles (etc.) to recognize people from afar. Maybe I should use helmet types? I mean, I’ve been recognized by my orange helmet a few times in my short ownership of it.
Am I the only one who has trouble identifying folks in helmets and in traffic?
I hope Treehugger meant this jokingly. Because the comments already show that, baby, it ain’t over.