New Helmet

We’d been wondering about getting the train into London today to see the Darwin exhibition at the Natural History Museum. The day dawned very grey-looking and, although the weather forecast was advertising bright spells in the afternoon, it didn’t really grab. We vacillated. By the time we’d stopped vacillating time was marching on so it was just as well that we’d decided not to go.

Carol very wisely fancied a safety helmet for her new bicycle. It seems particularly wise when it comes to road bikes because tread have they none; their tyres are essentially slicks. I’m sure safety helmets also make sense on mountain bikes which have bags of tread but we’d thus far avoided them. Given Carol’s mass of tight, curly hair, I was a little concerned about finding a helmet to fit but, undaunted, off we set back to Phil Corley.

Carol's smart new safety helmet You can pay quite a lot of money for a cycle safety helmet. Prices, though not readily visible, seemed to range from about £30 to £150+. It’s possible to buy a perfectly reasonable, albeit cheap, bicycle for the top end of that price range. The bicycle has moving parts which require some mechanical precision. Safety helmets, even those that are expensive, seem to be a pretty simple polystyrene core with a hard plastic outer shell. I know you’ve only got one head (well, unless you happen to be Zaphod Beeblebrox, of course) and it deserves decent protection but the cheap bicycle seems much better value. Nonetheless, Carol found a helmet without a price tag which, after a little adjustment, seemed both to keep her mass of curly hair in check and to fit comfortably. We breathed a sigh of relief when the nice young man at the checkout told her that it was at the lower end of the aforementioned price range. Sold!

Maybe it was time I joined the safety-conscious set. Perhaps I wouldn’t look any sillier than usual with one of these contraptions on my head. I certainly don’t have any hair to get in the way so picking one might be simpler. Apparently not; the shape of the helmets seemed to vary quite considerably and it became clear that you really need one to match the shape of your cranium. I found one: a pleasantly subdued, understated matt black with no garish decorative artwork “adorning” it. Being a Specialized branded helmet it was a little more expensive but not outrageous.

“Do you want anything else?”, enquired the nice young man at the checkout, whose sales figures we kept enhancing.

“Well, you see that matching matt black Specialized Allez 2009 bicycle just over there … could I try it?”, I enquired.

SpecializedAllez Unlike the Trek that I had tried previously, this one felt right immediately. Comfortable is, perhaps, not a word one should use with regard to road bikes but its geometry seemed to match my geometry and it soon felt like mine. It was more than the Trek but, what the hell, money’s not fashionable at the moment and you can’t take it with you. The nice young man’s sales figures were further enhanced and it is now in our garage keeping Carol’s new toy company.

Yes, you’re quite right, neither of the bikes is in the £150 cheap category. 🙂

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