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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Hard headed

I feel like a parent. A broken record. That "wah wah wah wah" voice on the Charlie Brown cartoon.

What can I say, it's my personal soap box: wear a helmet.

Today, I counted at least eight people who were subject to my mini lecture on the need for a helmet when they came to pick up their newly repaired bicycles and strolled out of the shop and toward the invariable chaos of rainy, cab-mobbed, DC streets without protection. (Keep it clean, people, I was just getting tired of writing "helmet" seventy-five times in a row. But maybe some folks need to read it seventy-five times before they will get around to buying one and wearing it.) There were probably more who escaped my mild mannered but insistent tirade when I was dragging bikes around and showing people bottle cages on the other side of the shop. I'll get to you.

Why don't people wear helmets? Some, I am convinced, have a death wish. Others just don't seem to think about safety and at least politely lower their eyes and act sheepish when I ask if they somehow left their helmet outside. (Obviously they didn't -- I realize this -- but I'm trying to give them some kind of out. You know, like, "Oh, yeah, um, my girlfriend who doesn't want to visit me in the ICU is waiting outside with my extra-protective helmet.") Some have actually told me that they don't want to mess up their hair. Really? Well, I suppose you won't be so worried about your carefully mussed coiffe when it's wrapped under layers of bandages... or worse.

I'm not trying to increase the CHB profit margins by selling more helmets. No. And I am not your mother. But I am really a stickler about helmets. So if you come by the shop with a plan to ride your bike out of the shop without a lecture from yours truly, bring a helmet... or plan on buying one while you're here.

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