Regarding the Invisible Helmet

14 Nov

First, I LOVE that so, so, SOOOOO many of you emailed, texted, and/or FB messaged me about the Hövding Helmet. Whenever y’all ping me with random stuff relating to bikes, bacon, beer, and brains I find myself swimming in a little sea of happiness: They know what I love and they send me more of it! These are good peopleSo, keep it up, friends — especially the bacon stuff. Thanks to your collective consciousness on this topic, this week I also learned about a phenomenally awesome sounding thing called “duck bacon.” Duck bacon! That’s amazing! I assure you, it will be ordered as soon as I’m done with classes this quarter — it is a major motivator to study hard and do well! And, again, I am so, so, SOOOOO happy that you brought this to my attention. Go, team!

Second, I am COMPLETELY mystified as to why y’all are inundating me with all this Hövding stuff now. My pal, G$ first brought this thing to my attention w-a-y back in January and some of y’all even chimed on the wall post she offered regarding it. Why now, people? What force of nature has compelled your sweet little lemming-like activity?  I’m baffled as I swim in my sea of happiness…

Third, after spending w-a-y too much time reviewing all kinds of reviews and videos and statistics and protocols and data and, and, and… I have come to the following conclusion:

  • The Hövding solves a problem that I do not have: Namely, it exists to allow people to emerge from short, leisurely bike rides without having their hair mussed.

When I ride, 98% of the time it is the exact opposite of leisurely. I ride fast(ish) over generally ridiculous amounts of miles. When you are riding for ridiculous amounts of miles and you want to go fast(ish) you will be more successful without excess weight. First, you start with losing your own ample ass anchor. Next you buy a stoopidly expensive carbon fiber bicycle. Finally you winnow down the weight of your components. Ah ha! You’re thinking… This Hövding thing sounds PERFECT for you; after all it is an INVISIBLE helmet!

hovding-invisible-bike-helmets

WRONG! It’s only invisible to people looking at you. It is the exact opposite of invisible to your physiology. The thing weighs 1.5 pounds and you wear it around your neck, which is the part of your body that LEAST wants to have weight bearing down on it while you attempt to maneuver through streets while keeping your head/eyes up and the rest of your body awkwardly canted down. I would gladly add 4lbs back into my “ass anchor” before I’d put a 1.5lb weight around my neck. I’ll stick with my 280g hair-mussing brain bucket, thankyouverymuch.

And for the ~2% of time I spend enjoying short leisurely bike rides, I assure you that I do not give one rat’s ass about how my hair looks after them. If I *did* I would bring a comb with me and fix the problem that way. I definitely would NOT spend €399 (~$550) just to avoid sweat-head.

So, for me, there is absolutely ZERO reason to consider the Hövding given my current riding profile (not to mention that it’s not available in the U.S. anyway).

Now, that’s not to say that I don’t appreciate the heck out of the Hövding!

In fact, I think it’s bloody brilliant and I wish upon 1,000 stars that I could have the opportunity to use it as it’s intended — to enjoy nice, leisurely rides THROUGH THE CITY to GO TO WORK, where –let’s face it, especially in L.A.– good looks and good hair matter quite a lot.

*That* would be a 100% perfect use of the Hövding!

Alas, here in L.A., at least as of right now, there is NO farkin way I would pedal to Bet Tzedek (in Korea Town, on Wilshire Blvd) from my home on the Westside. I wouldn’t do it in a standard helmet, or in an invisible helmet, or in a helmet that shot laser sharks at cars.

Uh. Well, OK. I take that back … I totally would  commute across the dangerous wilds of L.A. if I had a helmet that could send laser shark projectiles at the 2-ton murder weapons that constantly try to kill me. That would be AWESOME!

But I digress…

L.A. is a dangerous fucking place to ride your bike. You need to wear a helmet. Period, end of story.

Does it need to be a brain bucket, sweat machine, hair-messer-upper like mine? No. The Hövding appears to employ truly exemplary engineering and technology. I fully believe in its ability to safely cradle my cranium in the event of a crash. Wearing it would cause me no worry.

What causes me worry is:

(A) again, based on my current riding pattern, I can’t be toting 1.5lbs around on my neck for ~75miles at a time, and

(B) the fact that L.A. cyclists must contend with motorists that regularly use the “I didn’t see you” excuse when they plow into us. I’m already invisible to the vast majority of L.A. drivers. They don’t look for me. They don’t expect me. They want me to disappear.

If I lived in a city like Stockholm, where the Hövding was invented, this would be a “no brainer” (pun fully intended). Drivers EXPECT cyclists there. They DO see you. They watch out for you. They care about you. They do not try to actively murder you. You are able to actually enjoy a leisurely ride through the city to get yourself from home to work and have your only worry be whether your hair might get a little mussed.

If *that* was my reality, you’d better believe I’d fork over the €399. No question in my mind.

Parting Thought: I wear my Viking helmet because the horns define how sharp my brains are. If you try to rub me the wrong way, I will stick you with both of my horns, ~Flavor Flav

2 Responses to “Regarding the Invisible Helmet”

  1. Cheryl Zalenski November 14, 2013 at 8:10 am #

    For some reason, this helmet has gotten A LOT of press in the last 2 weeks, even though, like you, I read about it ages ago. Anyway – definitely a cool idea for the short, upright, wearing-your-street-clothes Euro-style bike commute.

    p.s. If you launch a Kickstarter campaign for the laser shark-shooting helmet, I am in!!!

    • justadventures November 14, 2013 at 7:41 pm #

      I’ve got people working on mini laser shark development now. Getting them loaded-and-ready-to-launch from a helmet, however, will be a more complicated thing. I’ll keep you posted!

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