Where’s your helmet?

I had an odd experience on the way to work today.  While driving by me and a guy leans over, looks at me and yells out his open passenger side window “Where’s your helmet?” His kid is in the back seat looking at me.  This is a pretty common comment I get, but here is where things get twisted:

As he drives on I can see he is still pointing at his shaking head and looking at me in his rear view mirror, either at me or telling his kid I am crazy to be riding a bike without a helmet. 

I can see he is wearing a hi-vis yellow t-shirt, which makes me think perhaps he is a “cyclist” and is probably giving his kid a lesson on bicycle safety. Then I notice he is not wearing a seat belt. 

We apparently have a long way to go to get people to understand risk. Automobile crashes are the number one killer of children ages 4-14, and 16 (not 15 year olds for some reason) in the US. 

Perhaps people on bicycles should start yelling “Get your kid out of that death trap!” to parents as they drive by us.

People are sure funny.


About daveschlabowske

Cyclechic advocate from Milwaukee
This entry was posted in Helmets, safety and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Where’s your helmet?

  1. One day while riding with my son (he was at trailer age) home from school along Wisconsin Ave I had a similar, but more menacing inquisition from a man in a big ass truck. As we rolled east around 50th street this fella slows to shout at me for being in the road with a child “back there”. Apparently,….according to him, I was puttting my child’s life in danger by having a nice ride after school?! Nevermind that the lunatic in the Big Ass truck has slowed to shout across the passenger seat of his vehicle, distracting both he and I. Hmm, I thought for a moment….slowed and let him charge off in a huff. As he passed I noticed a Fireman’s window decal on the rear window of his Big Ass truck. There is a Union office on the corner of Hawley and Wisconsin and the lot was full. Seems it is only full when there are meetings. It struck me as I rode past and noticed all the big ass vehicles those fireman drive. Perhaps, this fella was himself a fireman? Civil servant and protector of the citizenry. Or just another jackass in a big ass truck with an opinion aboutmy safety and where I should be riding my bike?

  2. Nice observation. Americans are generally dumber than we give them credit for….

    • daveschlabowske says:


      I hope u don’t mind I borrowed the CRC logo. FYI I lived in Mpls back in the day when Gene rode for Bridgestone. I am good pals with Mike Hopp and snow boarded with Geno at Lutsen around the same time. Say hey to Zito if you still see him.

  3. Tim says:

    Well, yes, people get a bit goofy at times. Setting aside that he was yelling at you (and I wish all people would chill out these days with the verbal confrontations) and not paying attention to his driving, you might be a little hard on him for the fact that wearing a helmet has been pushed by numerous organizations over the years. It’s a pervasive PR campaign as you sort of alluded to in your previous blog on the subject. So, you should expect a lot of people to believe that you’re doing something wrong when you’re not wearing your helmet.

  4. michael hopp says:

    the best is the little kid with their mom and dad that DOES have his helmet on, pointing at me accusingly and yelling “how come he doesn’t have to wear a helmet?!” swear it’s happened to me 3 different times. always makes me smile ….

  5. steve says:

    Still always going to loose against a automobile on the road (moving or not moving). I am still here because of my helmet… twice!!

  6. Dave Reid says:

    @Dave How’s this for a response, “where’s yours”?

  7. Russell says:

    Do you suppose he also yells the same thing at Harley riders?

  8. Tony B. says:

    I’m going with Steve on this one. I was hit hard last June and my helmet was cracked and broken in 3 places. I am certain I wouldn’t be able to type this message (or at least not as quickly) if I didn’t have a lid on. I wear one snowboarding too. I’m a fairly decent snowboard and don’t have any fear of hurting myself but I don’t know who is around me and what their ability level is. Just my .02 but thankful I had one on. Now bring on SantaRampage!

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