It’s not “safe” – well, it’s less theoretically safe than wearing one. But it’s most definitely pleasant – much more pleasant than wearing one. You feel the breeze, the sun on your face. And you hear the world around you – the sounds that are otherwise muffled by the helmet. Instead of being an astronaut on a two-wheeled Moonwalker, your senses removed from the actuality around you by the external filters between you and it – you are physically embraced by it, all around you.
Of course, if you go down, you will also kiss the pavement and that will hurt – possibly permanently.
But here’s the thing that makes about as much sense as keeping your freezer door half-closed all the time:
In every state that has a mandatory helmet law, there is no requirement that the rest of your body be similarly protected. You can ride wearing a T-shirt, for example. Or shorts. I don’t think there’s a single state that requires long pants – let alone armored pants specifically designed to stand up to being dragged on asphalt at 40 MPH for 50 yards or so. So long as you’ve got a helmet on, you’re cool. Stupid, maybe. But cool – at least insofar as the law is concerned.
Some states even have age-allowances amended to their helmet laws. That is, if you’re older, you can ride without a helmet but if you’re younger not. Apparently, only young heads break – or older heads are less valuable…. hard to say which it is.
I’m not advocating that full gear (armored leathers, gloves, boots) be required – or that everyone, irrespective of their age, be required to wear a helmet. Just making an observation. It’s a case in point of the terminal Know-Nothingness that afflicts the politicos and bureaucratic busybees who spend their days thinking up new ways to control other people, always “for their own good,” or because it’s “safer.”
Except it’s not.
Sure, wearing a helmet will reduce the risk of head trauma if you go down. But it also may do little more than assure your family can have an open casket funeral. Or – worse – that you’ll survive a wreck that leaves your body crippled for life.
This business is not unlike the mandatory buckle-up laws I have ridiculed in previous columns. There is pungent irony in being pulled over by a cop who is 30 pounds heavy in the gut, with explosive blood pressure, who lives on chili dogs, doughnuts and bad coffee … because he spied you driving around not buckled up and that’s “unsafe.”
Such things are the product of a mindset that I call Cloverite, for reasons familiar to anyone who’s a regular visitor to this site. The Clover bleats – Safety! Security! – always missing the obvious, that whatever he’s advocating won’t actually make things safer or more secure, just less free. He also misses the global perspective, or what you could call What Goes Around Comes Around. The same logic the Clover uses to press for things like buckle-up laws can be turned with just as much force on him, to mandate jumping jacks and BMI checks, with lectures and – let’s hope – fines for noncompliance.
I’d like to be able to ride without a helmet, without worrying about some costumed goon (a cop) peeling out to intercept me for…. well… possibly putting my noggin (but who cares about the rest of me) at risk. Maybe. If I go down, which isn’t likely but I suppose that’s neither here nor there when it comes to Cloverism. The mere possibility that I might go down, in which case a helmet might be helpful to me, justifies what amounts to an assault by an armed stranger, the spear tip of our Cloverite state.
I’d like to see the principle of equality applied, since Clovers are such fans of the concept.
If I am endangering myself by not wearing a helmet and this risk to myself justifies the intervention of The Law – fines, guns, the works – then I want The Law to intervene in other areas, too. Areas where I am impeccably responsible and safe – such as maintaining the same size 32 waistline I had in college, because I hit the gym like a fiend 4-5 times a week and also run 5-6 miles every third day and never smoke and hardly drink, etc. – but where I suspect, many cops (and the Clovers behind them) are sadly – most unsafely – deficient. I want their diets monitored – and their calories rationed. I want the calipers to come out at Body Fat Checkpoints – and summons to the gym and morning calisthenics given out to every single fat SOB, buckled-up or not. Their fatness imposes costs on society, too. They might for example have a heart attack while driving and thus represent a safety hazard.
All the crap arguments they use against me I can use on them, too.
Since we don’t seem to be having much luck rolling back the tsunami of Cloverism that’s washing over this land, I say we go all the way and make sure the Clovers get wet, just like the rest of us.
Besides. . . seatbelts (and helmets) can and do kill those who use them, on occasion.
Therefore, I call for the repeal of all seatbelt and helmet laws – “If it saves just ONE life, it’s worth it.”
Isn’t that the nonsense “they” used to get those laws passed in the first place?
Sure! But don’t expect to get anywhere using reason with Clovers. Especially when you use it to expose their double standards…
The reason they make helmets required for children but not adults is because children don’t vote and in their minds all children belong to the state.
Automobile crashes have a high incidence of head injury. It’d be a hoot to see blue haired old lady cage drivers messing up their hair with helmets mandated for their own good. Or a sex police regulating gay bathhouses to prevent AIDS. “Cost to society” vs indidual liberty. It’s “no brainer” for eith side. Good luck getting the message through to either.
Excellent points! But of course, our government is still quite selective. Only certain categories of “risk” incur sanctions. The Clovers don’t grasp this. They don’t see that what goes around, comes around. That one fine day, something they like to do or some personal lifestyle choice of theirs is going to be targeted on the basis of “safety” or its “costs to society.” Clover I likes to ski, for instance. But skiers are not required by law to wear helmets or protective gear (or carry extra-cost skiing insurance) even though skiing is daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaangerous and riiiiiiiiiiiiiisky and “we all” pay more for the “costs” of the injuries suffered by skiiers and after all, what about the children? Etc.
I agree with you Eric. If you do not want to wear a helmet or seatbelts then go for it. I am 100% for it. I really do not have a problem with a middle aged person that makes it his religion not to do anything unsafe then you should be able to do whatever as long as you do not cause injury to others.
Well, I am glad I have gotten through at last! So, I must assume based on your statement that you have also changed your mind about seat belt checkpoints, fines for not wearing them and the like?
No Eric I have not changed my mind one bit. I think you should have to register as certified middle aged idiot to qualify for not having to wear them.
The rest of the world says it is better to have some type of safety in the world. Seat belt laws save hundreds of lives and thousands of major injuries for our teenagers and young adult drivers and hundreds of kids each year not flying through the windshield. I have to say that I do not think our country would ever go back to allowing that to happen.
I know that you want more people to die and get injured but our government and people do not. I had a niece that was less than 2 years old that would start screaming in the car until everyone had their seat belt on but you have less intelligence than she had.
Sigh. We go ’round and ’round… attempting to reason with a Clover is like trying to explain particle physics to a goldfish.
The issue isn’t “safety.” It’s whether one adult has the right to impose by force his notions of safety on other adults. Wearing seat belts is safer than not wearing them (usually). Of course. So is not eating too much red meat, and regular exercise… and many other things, besides. The list is potentially endless. Shall we also use the state’s police power to make sure people make the “right” (according to Clover) choices there as well? If not, why not? Once you cross that line and start making laws interfering with personal choices in one area, you have opened up Pandora’s box. I know you don not see this – after all, you are a Clover. But that is precisely the problem….
“The rest of the world says…” you say. In other words, majority rule. Whatever the majority says is right, by definition. Like slavery used to be, for example. Oh. Yes. I forget. Appealing to reason doesn’t work with Clovers.
“I want more people to die…” Are you an old woman? You sure have that old lady hysteria down pat. You say I make things up? Wow! Once again: I never wrote or even implied that I “want more people to die.” What I did write – and openly advocate – is each individual’s right to choose for himself what’s best without some Clover stepping into his business.
But, again – this is a concept alien to the Cloverite brain.
Eric the fact is that you did say you want more people to die. YOu said the world has too many people and 99% of them are sttupid and do not belong on this earth. You said that people should make their own decisions and at the same time you say that you can get people not to do the wrong thing just by telling them. Eric it is the wrong thing to allow kids to be flying around in a car during an accident and people have been told that but require a law to to them they need to do it otherwise they are people like you that say it is your choice and you will never get into an accident. You have said yourself that you have been in two accidents and you have half of an average lifetime yet of driving or riding in a vehicle. Eric you are right that people are stupid. Who else would argue for not wearing seatbelts or have air bags when the stats out there say they are so good for our people and the econcomy. Who else would tell the world to do things unsafe just for a principal that no one else agrees with. 90 percent of the people that do get a ticket agree that they should be wearing a seat belt. The rest are like you. Just plain stupid. You say that you are so good of a driver that you will never get into an accident. Somewhere around 50% of the time the driver that gets into an accident it is not their fault. It is either someone else hitting them or a quick change in road conditions or a drunk on the roadway.
Can you distinguish between posts I’ve made and posts made by others? Is that too challenging for the Cloverite brain? The post that said what you claim I said was posted by someone else (FenimoreNeon). I never once wrote or even suggested that I “want people to die.” So, the “fact is,” I did not say any such thing.
Sometimes, it’s amusing to deal with the mentally challenged but in your case I have about reached my limit. You are on the verge of being thrown in the woods… for good!
Wow, you’re not Clover! What did you do with Clover?
Don’t hold yer breath… he’ll still defend seatbelt laws/checkpoints and so on, not seeing the contradiction. But maybe I’m wrong. Perhaps Clover has seen the light!
We should all make a citizen’s arrest on others and ourselves! -doh
Since so many of the Clovers who push for more laws based on “safety” and “for your own good” are fatties, I especially want to see their fat asses ticketed for being… well, disgusting fat asses!
Thanks Eric again for calling me a fatty, I will compare my weight and dimensions against yours and Dom’s any day. It just goes to show if something is not true for you then make it up. Do you write any factual articles or is it all nonfiction that you write?
No, Herr Clover – you are merely an archetype; the ur Clover. Hence, not necessarily fat. But most certainly a Clover!