Thursday, January 21, 2010

Helmets: Unnecessary accessibility

We spoke yesterday about the fact that "looking good" and "being good" is not the same thing.  But, at least all things considered as such still look good.  That's something, at least.  But far too frequently, there are those items which neither look good nor serve a purposeful function, and one has to question if necessity is really the mother of invention....But no doubt, these things are born out of the attempt to make their use more accessible.

Take this series of photos of a new bike helmet a reader sent me:

I have no idea from whence this came, and therefore I give myself the right to do some promotional marketing for it.  As you can see, it appears to be a collapsible helmet.  With a couple of quick motions, our young female cyclist draws the banana-shaped object from her purse and pops it open to reveal a helmet-esque device, which she then dons, lickety-split.  With such foldable headgear, the great dilemma of having to suffer the indignity of hearing the phrase, "Is that a bicycle helmet in your purse, or are you just happy to see me?" is solved.  Of course the greater dilemmas that result are that #1) should this young lass fall on her noggin while riding this piece of origami, she's likely to bust her skull, and #2) the deep red color of this particular melon-lid, paired with her pink shirt makes this woman look like a penis.

But I think the penis has probably served as the natural design inspiration for this helmet:  Shrink it down when not in use, puff it up when it's business time.  And apparently there is a desire for such things as I also stumbled upon this one. Called the 'Tattoo', this, too, is a helmet which is able to be flaccid-ized for transport purposes, and then assembles into a rigid shape once the need arises....aka business time.

Unlike the Penis helmet, the Tattoo doesn't make this cyclist appear phallic, but does make her look a little like that hot chick from the 80's anime cartoon, G-Force: Battle of the Planets......

Ok, maybe not that much....

But if not looking  like the one-eyed wrestler while wearing your helmet is of dire concern, then you should take a look at's line of bicycle head gear.  They are so supersensitive of the penile-associated helmet appearance that the gallery of their products is actually titled: 

"Finally! Bike Helmets That Don't Make You Look Like a Dork!"

Unfortunately, they follow that up with this photograph, and all credibility is lost.

And these other fine examples don't help their cause.

Of obvious importance here, is that any bicycle helmet purchased and worn, should meet the minimum safety requirements set forth by the Consumer Product Safety Commission.  Not wearing a bicycle helmet can lead to brain damage or worse.  As a public service announcement, I've included a video below that demonstrates the kind of debilitating brain injury that can result from NOT wearing a helmet and the effect this may have on cycling abilities.  WARNING:  This video contains graphic material which may not be suitable for everyone.

Sad, I know.  Don't let this happen to you.....

Pedal on!

1 comment:

  1. I like the penis helmet and the anime helmet. The dorky hat-helmets are cute too. Cyclists are destined to look like dorks. It's part of the definition. Just ask my teenage daughter.