Saturday, April 5, 2008

Back In the Saddle - With No Batteries


Today was the first beautiful day that I was free to ride - and it was glorious.
I pumped up my tires, lubed my chain, and set out across the Manhattan Bridge.
I left some basic tools down in Miami with my other bike, so I needed to replace those. Also, I was determined to solve one of the problems that dogged me all through last summer - my misfitting helmet.

I don't like things on me when I ride for fun. No backpacks, camelbacks, fanny packs, messenger bags, hydration belts, lycra, or compression shorts... I don't even wear a watch. What I do wear is a helmet, because honestly, if you ride anywhere in NYC you have to be a total moron not to wear a helmet. Personally, when I see a helmetless rider go by, I give them a Darwin Award for improving the odds that they remove themselves from the gene pool.

Given how I dress when I ride it's no surprise that when I bought a helmet last year, I bought one that was way too big. I thought it was great. No binding, no pinching. I perched it on my head, clipped the chinstrap, and off I went.
This was fine on the commuter bike, but when I got the Centurion it all changed. Leaning over drop handlebars for the first time, my helmet dipping over my eyes, I realized I had a problem - that I didn't fix for an entire year.

Hello new Trek 'Vapor' helmet, and thank you yet again to the nice guys at Metro Bikes on Hudson.

Did you know that a properly fitted bike helmet should stay on your head if you tip forward without the chinstrap closed? And I don't mean with your ponytail shoved through the back. You need to take some time fitting these, and the guys at Metro Bikes are wonderfully patient.

The fit between a Giro, a Bell, and a Trek are significantly different, so don't just get one that looks cool. It seems like a no-brainer, but most of us are riding around in helmets that won't do crap to stop our brains from splattering when we flip over that cab - because they don't fit.
Here's a link to a little checklist to make sure your helmet fits correctly.

Got my gear, hopped on my honey and headed out over the Williamsburg Bridge to go meet up with a friend. Whipped out my trusty camera to take a shot of the spectacular view - cloudless spring skies over Manhattan, and discovered...



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