Sunday, June 7, 2009

May is Bike Month in NYC

I'm a big fan of the theory of Bike Month. Borough and city bike rides, events, information sessions and classes, along with great weather and a celebration of the official end of the hibernation season in New York City. But, you know what? May happens to be a month that seems to go by in a heartbeat, and for one reason or another, I completely missed out on Bike Month. I think I had dreams of riding around with friends, getting friends acquainted with bike riding, taking the Women's DIY bicycle repair and maintenance class, but all I did was what I always do. I rode my bike to the places I ride my bike to, and that was about it.

The one thing I can report is that I decided to be smarter about my bike riding. After Rob's near death experience (nah, not really) on the Manhattan Bridge, I decided to commit to wearing a helmet.

My explanation behind my stupidity on this matter:
My friend Angela visited and she couldn't believe how many beautiful and cool people there were in my neighborhood. I think I felt more part of this cool crowd without a helmet, because there are so many people that don't wear them, and look cool on bicycles. I mean, most people look dorky in a helmet. And, I don't like the heat of helmets. I'm a sweaty person to begin with, I don't need to keep the heat in.

Last fall, I bought a helmet, and vowed to wear it every time I went out on my bike. I left it at school one day and did not take it home for..more than 4 months, maybe 6. I had never really looked at myself in the mirror in it, so I didn't know how actually stupid I looked, but I just hated it.

Then Rob fell and vowed to buy a helmet after hearing similar stories of people flipping over their handle bars like he did and had become paralyzed. Whoa. So, despite convincing myself that statistics didn't really prove that helmets save lives, I decided it might be better not to bet my life on that. While Rob was looking for a helmet, I found a white one that reminded me a little of the white jammer! helmet that I had growing up...although that helmet was really ugly and spent more time on the handle bars than on my head-it was early rebellion of a town law put in place when I was 10 years old..but I liked this white helmet, and it had a good shape, more of a skaters helmet rather than the sporty racers bike helmets. I figured it would reflect the summer sun's rays better than my current red helmet. I spent the money and I have worn my helmet every time.

A week after I bought it, I left it hanging on my handlebars after rushing to the Jay St train, avoiding the weekend G train. I figured it would be gone but thankfully Caitlin checked it out and retrieved my helmet for me. What a great friend.

Anyway, I am now convinced. Why take the risk of not wearing a helmet?! And celebrate Bike Month, every month-especially if May passed you by...I guess those are the great morals of this story.