Well, technically for my head, but only when I’m on the trike. I’ve had mine (the helmet, not the head) for about 5 years now and it’s starting to look a bit shabby. The shiny blue plastic part that covers the black foamy stuff (sorry if I’m overwhelming you with these technical terms) is cracked in many places and pieces of it have already fallen off. It looks like pretty much everything else that spends a lot of time in the Arizona sun.
When I told Biker Buddy he said, “Doncha have any tape?” He showed me his helmet, where he’d “fixed” cracks in its shiny plastic stuff.
I told him, “I’m a girl. I’m not gonna slap duct tape on something and say, ‘This looks great! I’ll happily wear this out in public!’” He laughed.
So we rode up to Wal-Mart to find me a new helmet. Biker Buddy was all set to cover things like how does it fit and is it adjustable and how does the cost compare to the quality – I was focused on what color is it. We’re a team that way. We found about 30 types of helmets on display! Many bright colors and patterns! Jackpot!
Unfortunately, most were sized for Ages 3-5. I may be a kid at heart, but ‘at head’ I wasn’t gonna get the protection I needed from a tiny helmet. Nor could I use the Ages 5-8 group, nor even most of the 8-14’s. There were some Ages 14-Adult options, but they were all blatantly boring by comparison.
So we rode off wearing the helmets we’d come in with.
Mine still sans tape.
A week or so later I was riding to the grocery store. Second gear had been giving me trouble, so I stopped at my favorite bike shop, which was conveniently on the way. Dale took one look at my trike, whipped out a wrench, and fixed it on the spot. He said there’s an adjustment window by the chain (on the part I like to call “the transmission”) that has two bars and a dot. The dot is supposed to be right between the bars when the trike is in second gear. Mine was off-center. Story of my life.
As long as I was there anyway, I asked him where would be the best place to get a new helmet. He said, “I got helmets right here.” I was astonished! I’d been in his shop many times and I’d never seen helmets. He took me inside and pointed to a couple shelves loaded with brown cardboard boxes. Not one helmet was visible! None on display. No wonder I didn’t know they were there! I told him this wasn’t exactly a perfect marketing strategy and he said, “They don’t get dusty this way.” As he walked toward the shelves he asked if I had a color preference.
I replied, “Bright, shiny, flashy …”
He gave me the same look Biker Buddy gives me almost daily and muttered, “I should’ve known.” He didn’t really have any that “fit the bill,” but he had a pearly white one with some subtle not-quite-flowerish-things on it that wasn’t ugly. It was more expensive than the ones at Wal-Mart – even the ones that fit – but not by a whole lot. I told him I’d keep looking.
Dale then told me a story of helmet history. He said that at one time helmet makers had offered something called “helmet covers”. You could buy the black foamy part in the appropriate size, then get a shiny plastic thing that snapped on over it. There were many styles, and you could even get one custom printed with your own design. I was thinking, “This is what I need!” until he went on … They had to discontinue that program because people who fell while they were wearing those helmets often got broken necks. Seems the shiny, glitzy, fancy part would pop off on impact with, say, pavement, leaving just the black foamy stuff. That’s the part that really protects your head from said impact, but it isn’t slick or slippery at all. Doesn’t slide upon impact. So it would grab the pavement and stop. You’d still be in motion, so your neck would break as you flipped right over your helmet. Your head wasn’t hurt, but your neck didn’t come through nearly as well.
I told him that was a lovely story and I left – but all the way to the grocery store, and then all the way home I couldn’t stop thinking about the spots of black foamy stuff exposed by the missing blue plastic on my helmet. I rode very carefully.
Later I was telling Biker Buddy about all this. I said I thought I’d go ahead and buy the pearly white helmet. I hadn’t seen anything I liked better (at least not that would fit). Besides, Dale’s always helping me with the trike (fixed second gear!) and it pays to shop local and all that. Naturally, by the time I made this decision Dale’s shop was closed, but he’ll be back. And then my head will be fully protected.
Just not fully decorated.
It was great to meet you today! Again, I learned something new from you…awesome post about helmets.