• kaz August 19, 2013 at 3:23 pm

    This cartoon irritated me when I read it on the Hairpin. The last thing I need is Yet Another Dude telling me I’m doing biking wrong.

    I know we champion helmets here, and I wear mine 90% of the time, but I am also an adult who can make choices that you may not agree with, and I don’t need a guy or anyone else thinking it’s their business what choice I make for any given ride. A random dude yelling at me to wear a helmet is no more welcome than a random dude yelling at me that he likes my ass or to get off the road.

    It’s like the time a pedestrian told me I should tighten my chain while I was stopped at a light on my morning commute. I know my chain is slack and I need to buy a new one; I ride fixed and feel the play with every pedal stroke. If he had paid a little more attention than just “girl needs man help with bike” be would have seen the rear wheel is as far back in the dropouts as it is safe to go, so I can’t just “tighten the chain.” (Yes I could pull out a link but the fact the chain has stretched this much means I need a new one.)

  • Nadarine August 21, 2013 at 3:31 pm

    That’s a perspective that didn’t occur to me, Kaz- I didn’t read the piece so much as “dude telling me how to bike” as “probably a fellow cyclist who really wants everyone to default to helmet-wearing”. And yup, I know that me yelling at cyclists “I wish you were wearing a helmet!” probably won’t do anything to change their behavior, but I have the compulsion to yell that anyway in the hopes that it will reinforce the idea that yes, someone cares about their safety.

    What came through for me most in the cartoon, other than the “I wish you had helmets on just in case!”, was the fact that concern for safety overrides what you think will happen- that you assume a male bystander will be too smitten with the looks of a pretty lady to do anything but gape, but that gets flipped.


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