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Need Minimal Bicycle Helmet

PostPosted: Wed Jan 15, 2014 10:39 pm
by jamesndawson
I was stopped by a cop a few days ago for not wearing a bicycle helmet. He asked me if I'd ever been arrested and for my ID and then let me go. I don't believe the government has any right at all to make me wear a helmet, but if this cop, who probably patrols my neighborhood, sees me again without one he may be insulted and antagonized by my ignoring his "friendly" and "concerned" warning, and fine me, or worse, harrass me. So I'm getting a helmet for when I need to ride my bike, because I've been threatened with force, not because I believe it's right. I will probably be riding my bike much less often, because the sense of freedom I've always gotten from it will be taken away with this reminder of state control.

I went looking for a used one. (New, I've only been able to find them in the $100 to $180 range, and buying on-line isn't a good option, because they can't be tried on for fit and appearance.) The only one I could find, used at Goodwill, that would fit my head is hideous and ridiculous looking, and I haven't been able to bring myself to go out in public with it on. It's all big and bulbous and sits mostly on top of my head and it's bright, neon red-orange.

I've seen one young guy riding down the street wearing a very small, round one, that fits more closely onto his head. It's roundish and mostly grayish, not all guaudily mulit-colored like a lot of them are. (I've seen him with and without it, so I think he may have a problem with ugly, embarrassing looking helmets too.) But the one he wears is at least acceptable and I could live with it for the little riding I'll be doing.

Does anyone know what brand or style this helmet might be, so I could look for it? Maybe put a want ad on Craigslist? If you could let me know. Thanks.

Re: Need Minimal Bicycle Helmet

PostPosted: Fri Jan 17, 2014 5:22 am
by Mr. Cleetus
It was probably a bmx or skate helmet like one of these:

as long as they are certified they will probably be worth your money. Do a search for bmx helmets and you will find a gazillion options. While I can appreciate your arguments, there is no shame in wearing a cycling helmet.

Re: Need Minimal Bicycle Helmet

PostPosted: Fri Jan 17, 2014 4:36 pm
by jamesndawson
The helmet I saw on this guy I mentioned looked more minimal than the BMX's I looked at. The one I got used is a Pryme 8, model 16, medium/large and it doesn't look that different from the BMX I'm seeing on-line. It's also hard to see how they'd look on my head.

I appreciate the help, but it's not so much a matter of "shame", but personal aesthetics and autonomy, and the insult of them being ridden roughshod over. Maybe I can find some anti-helmet people who understand my problem and will be able to help me out. But again, appreciate your help.

Re: Need Minimal Bicycle Helmet

PostPosted: Sun Jan 19, 2014 6:11 pm
by VeganGraham
You can't get much more minimal than that BMX one.
How much thinner and how much less of your head covered do you want ?

Are helmets compulsory where you live ?
I don't get why the cop stopped you, but didn't fine you.
Either he stopped you for no reason, because they are not compulsory, or he let you off the fine, because they are.

Re: Need Minimal Bicycle Helmet

PostPosted: Mon Jan 20, 2014 9:51 pm
by jamesndawson
Yes, they're required in Spokane city, but I don't think they are in the county yet, as far as I know.

I can't explain what the type I saw on somebody else looks like. Maybe it was a skate helmet. It was considerably more compact than the BMX's I've seen. The one I have I think is called a Pryme (med./large, model 16) and it doesn't really cover that much of my head, just sits on top of it. I have worn it a couple times. I got one amused comment about it.

My guess would be that the cop didn't fine me because:

1. He felt guilty, having doubts about the law himself.
2. He and all other Spokane cops are sort of "playing angel" now, being in the hot seat for beating up, terrorizing and killing so many innocent people the last 5 years or so. Their PR is through the floor.
3. He was looking for "suspicious" characters and my not wearing a helmet was a good excuse to stop me.

Not wearing helmets is very, very common here and I'd thought it was virtually always tolerated. I'd say a third to half of all bike riders, and 98% of skateboarders ride helmetless. Of course most homeless people ride helmetless. Affording and keeping a helmet would be a ridiculous challenge. And the hypocrisy of giving them free helmets "out of concern for their safety" when 39 of them literally froze to death last year because of the city's policy of not letting them in warming centers unless it's 15 degrees or below would be a little too glaring I would think.

Re: Need Minimal Bicycle Helmet

PostPosted: Mon Jan 20, 2014 10:58 pm
by bob_summers
Was it a Specialized Covert? Should be around $40 or so.

I had similar happen - helmets not required within the city limits but I was stopped just outside them and threatened with a fine (about 200€ iirc), though they let me go. I assumed at the time I wasn't worth the paperwork, but I wonder if they'd stopped me inside the limits of the next town and realised this just before they gave me the ticket. I train with a helmet out of choice but really can't see the point of one when I'm just running errands.

Re: Need Minimal Bicycle Helmet

PostPosted: Mon Jan 20, 2014 11:36 pm
by crapiecorn
There is always the hairnet helmet, but then you look like you're recovering from brain surgery ;-)