Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Bulletproof helmets?

As I posted on Monday, off-duty firefighter Charles Alexander Diez recently shot at and hit cyclist Alan Simons, who was riding with his 3 year old in a baby seat on the back of his bike. The altercation took place in Asheville, which brings it home to all of you North Carolinians, but it's also getting national attention from biking blogs and various newspapers.

The facts of the case are pretty bizarre: Diez stopped to tell Simons that he was endangering his child by riding on a busy road, but then shot (at) him when Simons turned to walk away. (The irony here is too sweet: "It became necessary to destroy the cyclist in order to save him.") But one point that's gotten a lot of attention is the fact that Diez's bullet went through Simon's helmet, but did not actually hit his head. Someone was living right that day.

Which brings me to today's thought: several people have commented on how this is yet one more reason to wear your helmet, and while I don't disagree with that (despite any number of qualifications I'd like to make to the statement), you should wear it correctly. To wit, this picture from a story about bike helmets:

Dude, push your helmet down! As much as I like the 'jauntily askew' look that you're going for here, it doesn't do a damn thing to protect your forehead, and with it cocked back like that any impact is just going to knock it off your (fashionable, but now cracked) dome.

So, for any poor soul who should stumble across this site looking for information on how to correctly wear a bike helmet, I offer this link to a triathlete who provide both a rationale behind wearing a helmet, as well as a short video about helmet fitting. After all, if you're going to put the silly looking piece of foam on your head, you might as well have the damn thing on in such a way that will render it protective, and not just a questionable fashion accessory.


bikinghawk said...

But . . . would wearing your helmet cocked back on your head increase the chances that if you were shot in the helmet the bullet would not hit your skull?

DukePirate said...

Good point! Maybe he's trying to fool any angry motorists with this positioning, or simply distract them with anti-bikesnob fashion sense. Cunning.