Archive for the 'Bikes' Category

Why I Wear A Bike Helmet

Monday, January 29th, 2007

Second in a series of “reasons it’s really hard to be a parent.”

Hi. I wear a bike helmet. I have two, actually. One for when it’s hot out and one for when it’s cold out. The one for when it’s cold out is a snowboarding helmet that looks like what the rebels wore on the Forest moon of Endor, but that’s neither here nor there. Except it’s awesome. Anyway, I used to not wear a bike helmet, despite several run-ins with the Evanston bike helmet guy (It’s at the bottom of the page.)

Isn’t that guy in front a little old to be fighting the Empire?

Now, I’ve gotten into lots of accidents on my bike. (The tandem, that is.) Me and my friends used to play a game called “Close Your Eyes And Stick Up Your Head.” It was when we had pegs on the back wheel so we could fit 3 people on it. The person on the back would, well, close his eyes and stick up his head. The others would then ride through low hanging branches. Once I was on the back, closing my eyes and sticking up my head, when my friends rode through a low hanging limb. It hit me in the face and knocked me off. But that’s not why I wear a helmet.

And that time one of the pegs broke off (with someone on them) and messed up the back wheel so bad that we crashed into a cement post? That’s not why I wear a helmet either… although it is why I wear a cup…

One day I was riding my bike when I ended up stopped at a corner near a mother and her son. Both of them were on bikes. I overheard the following conversation:

MOTHER: Put on your helmet.
SON: I don’t want to.
MOTHER: If you don’t wear your helmet, you can’t ride your bike.
SON (Pointing at me): But he’s not wearing a helmet!

That look his mother game me? That’s why I wear a helmet.

One-Person Bike

Thursday, January 18th, 2007

I got a one-person bike today. I keep calling it a one-person bike because I’ve spent the last 15 years riding around on “The Fastest Bike In The World:” a metallic purple 1966 Schwinn Twinn Tandem bike.

What with the Montrose L station closed for a year, I figured I should find some alternative transportation. As much as I like the tandem, I can only take people yelling “you lost someone” so many times. Also, it is equipped with a Tire Of Perpetual Flatness (-2 Dexterity.) Also-also, the thing is not the most efficient piece of machinery in the cyclesphere. It weighs, like, 5000 pounds. Also-also-also, one of the pedals keeps falling off. So I bit the bullet and got a one-person bike.

Before it begins its long, solitary life next to the hot water heater, I thought I’d share a tandem story with you. There are many to choose from: The time we ran into a tree. The time we ran into a wall. The time we ran into that other tree. The time we ran into an old lady. The time we got hit by a car. The time we got arrested for trying to catch a duck… they’re all good stories, but here’s my favorite tandem story and it happened about a year ago…
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