To each their own.


Today we’re gonna come hot out of the gate with a piece that’s been making the rounds regarding an individual’s choice in wearing a helmet, or not;
Ü-wee, does that appear to be a hot topic among bikecyclists… To wear a helmet or not, apparently that is the question. Personally, I tend to wear one, but not because a bunch of busy bodies on the internet said I should. I do because it’s a personal choice, and a personal choice it should stay.

Clearly, anyone who is a bikecyclist and spends any mount of time on the internet has at one time or another been inundated with story after story detailing cyclists who’ve been hit by cars, and regardless of the situation, media always, and I mean, every single time feels compelled to make mention of whether or not the cyclist was wearing a helmet.

A drunk driver blows a red light at sixty miles and hour, completely vaporizes a person riding a bicycle and you’d better believe that the article will mention that the cyclist was or was not wearing anything on their head.

Like, uh- for example

In a sense this is a form of victim blaming, and only encourages those in power eager to legally require bike riders to wear helmets, reflective orange vests, have lights all over their bikes, bubble wrap suits, and whatever other laws they and their other buddies who I suspect have never once thrown a leg over a bike in traffic feel to be best for us.

Personally I feel that these efforts are a band-aid on a much bigger wound. Instead of addressing the fact that infrastructure is sorely lacking, and that any of us are at risk any time we leave the house, the powers that be then simply insist that it’s our responsibility to pad all the corners and be solely responsible for our own safety.

To quote this piece written by The Bike Snob;

Here’s why the auto industry, the insurance industry and the officials they lobby want helmet laws. First, forcing people to wear helmets shifts responsibilities onto cyclists and absolves governments from having to build better cycling infrastructure and drivers from having to obey traffic laws. “Want to be safer? We’re not gonna build any bike lanes. They take up too much free parking. Put this foam dunce cap on your head, you’ll be fine!” Done, and done.

Lots of people have a story about getting hit or falling down, and being thankful they were wearing one, and some of those same lots of people are very vocal about sharing those stories when confronted with the opinion of an individual who declares they don’t want to wear one.

As I said, I generally always don some form of helmet or another. I didn’t for many years, and it was finally when I began seeing my then girlfriend/now wife and saw it a ridiculous thing suggesting she wear one when I wasn’t. Still, it was our choice, and I find it silly that The Man might eventually force me to wear one, but nearly sillier still for any of us to cast judgement on someone who doesn’t make that same choice.

Ironically, just when I typed the period on that sentence, Sally from Raleigh Bikes texted me and said “Corndog is on the front page of the Seattle Times website I guess.”

I replied, “is he wearing a helmet?

And I’ll be damned if that’s not exactly what the article is about;
Aside from the coincidence, and though it’s neither here nor there, I also found it interesting that the article concludes with a mention that one of the city’s most prolific ticket writers was just last year charged with child molestation.

As I said, above. Wear one or don’t. Just as we wish for those who drive past us and feel compelled to make an exclamation regarding our presumed sexuality, or that we should perhaps be riding on the sidewalk, just keep your pie hole shut about it.

Anyway, with all of that being said, let’s move on to other topics.

One thing I like to do here on the All Hail The Black Market, besides make people who choose to wear helmets mad about the fact that sometimes people don’t, is to spread occasional love from Cranpa of FBM Bikecycle Company, kinda like the sort he sent the other day;


Check this bitch out!


Besides the fact that all of those kids had nothing on their heads but hats and hair, which assuredly will knock the planet off its axis, I like the cut of FBM’s jib.

Then in other corners of the world, and other axes to grind, Chip of Velocb came though with his own personal issues;

Hey Stevil,

We have a new plague descending on our trails. Its possibly more evil than poop bags. Its akin to shitting on our trails and its being done by our own kind. Well not you or my kind… But two wheeled locusts who call themselves “mountain bikers”

Here is my little rant about it. Feel free to share it if you like.

People telling me what I should put on my head irks me, poop bags really irk me;
(Seriously- This was but a sampling I collected in a short section of a short ride.)
-And people rampantly destroying trails in the name of laziness and/or faster Strava times also really, super irks me.

It’s a regular irk fest over here today, and I echo Chip’s sentiment.

If you can’t be bothered to help ensure that single track stays single, you yourself are a part of the problem.

In my former temporary home of Santa Cruz, this was a pretty huge issue, and one that no one but me seemed to ever to try and resolve. Case (kind of) in point, while I agree, this does look like a fun chute, remember that at one point not so very long ago it used to be single track;
Once the rainy season comes, this will do nothing but get worse.

Still, here in Oakland I see examples of this all the time and I’m more than willing to stop my ride to cover up necessarily widened trails, cut switchbacks;
and the random short cuts;
Yeah, I’m that guy.

When in doubt, ride like this fellow;

Though that one does always soothe my brain meat, there sure are a lot of things to get bent out of shape about. Maybe I’ll temporarily resolve some of them for a little while by simply going and protecting my head under a pillow.

I just gotta make sure it’s on there the right way.

Spread this like it's sick

Leave a Reply

12 Responses to “To each their own.”

  1. pedalman July 17, 2015 at 6:01 am #

    The Friday FBM videos always get me smiling. Cheers!

  2. dnugz July 17, 2015 at 6:23 am #

    You know I did I face plant once when I was 20 and fractured my orbital and all anyone cared was if I was wearing a helmet. The helmet didn’t prevent the injury but that didn’t stop arm chair doctors/safety experts from giving me a lecture.

  3. Largo July 17, 2015 at 6:56 am #

    “Keep the single track single”. Sound familiar? If you know Troy, it’s like a mantra, and a good one. Bumper stickers anyone?
    And don’t worry, another Bush will soon be in the Oval Office, and all the madness will end…….

  4. somedudeinFLA July 17, 2015 at 9:32 am #

    Every time i put on a helmet i seem to get buzzed constantly. Last time, i was pushed into a curb by a city bus. Lets face it, when getting run over by a bus, a cute little foamy hat is not gonna matter. So no more helmet for road rides. Singletrack is a different story because i suck and therefore my chances of eating shit are quite high…

  5. somedudeinFLA July 17, 2015 at 9:35 am #

    …not that anyone asked of course. =)

  6. Phomma July 17, 2015 at 9:40 am #

    My hairnet makes me safe and drunk

  7. Nived July 17, 2015 at 2:37 pm #

    I wear one when I pedal and it has saved my life,, but for some reason only wear one when I am required to when playing on my rollerboard.

  8. JoshRVA July 17, 2015 at 2:59 pm #

    Not too long ago I read something somewhere to the effect of: the number one priority of driving a vehicle is to not run into anything or anyone. The right to get to your job, the grocery or liquor store whatever is totally trumped by the right of everyone and everyone in your path of travel to not get hit by you.

  9. Zach Schwarzbach July 17, 2015 at 3:15 pm #

    If the video of that kid on the cross bike doesn’t make you want to disappear alone into the forest on a bike for like four hours every time you watch it , then you’re dead inside…am I right?

  10. heyjamesguesswhat July 19, 2015 at 9:38 am #

    looks like Druncle borrowed your TT bike again.

  11. Ben July 20, 2015 at 11:53 am #

    It’s funny, why isn’t the helmet debate more prevalent with motorcycles then? Some states have helmet laws, some don’t, but you almost never hear people in non-law states going off on a tirade about making them mandatory. What you also almost never see is an article about a moto rider crashing off the side of some road into the river and dying and the tagline being “he/she was not wearing a helmet”. Is it because drivers consider motos to be vehicles, whereas the underlying sentiment with american drivers is that bikes are “toys” and do not belong on the road to begin with (unless we can force them to be licensed and taxed for using “our roads”)?

    I could honestly care less whether cyclists wear helmets or not. Most of the time I don’t, some of the time I do. All depends on where I’m riding. On the other hand, I NEVER get on a moto without a helmet and pretty much actively consider anyone who does to be an idiot.

  12. sst July 23, 2015 at 10:48 am #

    Ive got a buddy who’s been hit twice.. no helmet either time. broken but alive.. on the other hand,, another buddy get hit last year with a helmet on and he died.. the point? IDK. fuck.. live and let live, live and let die.. but what I wanted to get to is this.. everybody always says “be careful” when we head out for a ride.. but you know what.. fuck that. “you fucking be careful”

    “Personally I feel that these efforts are a band-aid on a much bigger wound. Instead of addressing the fact that infrastructure is sorely lacking, and that any of us are at risk any time we leave the house, the powers that be then simply insist that it’s our responsibility to pad all the corners and be solely responsible for our own safety”

    goddamn right.