to helmet or not to helmet???
This is an age-old debate and has involved the great and the good in the world of cycling, and also of course Boris Johnson. But in a sense the title and the allusion to helmets is something of a red herring here, as I don’t really intend to debate the facts or opinions pertaining to the wearing of a head protector whilst cycling.
My cycling buddy DeHudt and I debated this particular puzzler recently, whilst ensconced in a dark, wood-panelled bar hidden away in a back street in Amsterdam and whilst nursing icy cold draughts of Heineken. You see, my pal is firmly, indeed irrevocably, against the idea of helmet wearing, whereas I, cautious and aware, would not be happy venturing out onto the roads of Suffolk on my Orbea without my helmet.
Thus it is that I find myself impaled upon the horns of a voluminous quandry. It is caused by two things – firstly, the cold causes me discomfort of the head because I get a cold draught through the vents in my helmet, thus causing my head to become numb when the weather gets chilly.
Secondly,let’s be honest, cycle helmets look rubbish. In a sport where so much effort is made to enjoy the aesthetic of the wool jersey, the leather cycling shoe and the whole ‘retro’ look, it seems sad to spoil the effect with the increasingly plasticky and tasteless modern kit that is now available. So, my quandry is two-fold and the end result is the question – how do I combine protection with looks?
I may have found the solution. I have just placed an order online for a superb looking woolen cap, by Walz of California. It combines a rather nice tartan colour scheme with practical features such as ear flaps for the real cold weather, and a flexible, soft peak which allows it to be washed safely. I can also wear it under the helmet, and, perhaps, if I am feeling rather racy, off the bike as well. Because yhou can wear it under your helmet, it seems like it might fulfil both purposes, thus making it a kind of cycling-related golden fleece……