French Braid Kate

After several days of swamp weatherFren followed by a monsoon, I was relieved to see sunny skies and feel cool, dry, breezy air this morning. This is perfect New England running weather, but it will do just fine for a DC bike commute. There have been a spate of articles lately about bike helmets. It turns out helmets are pretty useless for anything but the worst kind of crash and don’t do a blessed thing to prevent concussions. In all my years riding with one on, I’ve hit my head on the ground once, and that was a glancing blow that I may have avoided altogether but for the weight of the helmet. (My daughter’s helmet once kept her head from going down a storm drain, but that’s a story for another day.)

I can understand the concern about head injuries but you’d think they’d design helmets with the most common head injury in mind. Nope. What seems strange is that there is no call for widespread use of body armor by cyclists. I have smashed my left arm dozen times or so. At one point I took to wearing rollerblade elbow pads because my left arm was running out of meat for crashes!  Nobody has ever required me to wear elbow pads at a cycling event. (I have since learned to sacrifice my left butt cheek during crashes.)

All this helmet talk is preamble to the fact that today I eschewed (yes, he used “eschew” again!) my helmet for my official 2004 Boston Red Sox World Series Champion baseball cap. It doesn’t protect me against a concussion either but at least it shades my eyes and I can doff it at pretty girls as I ride past.

Speaking of pretty girls, I saw French Braid Girl on the way to work. She is relentless. I’d bet I see her on 90 percent of my commutes.She pretty much has the same expression every time we pass. (It says, “What a pathetic dude you are.”)  I also saw Hardware Store Guy on his Serotta, and The Hun on the way to work. The Hun is a new regular. He looks like he should have horns coming out of the side of his helmet. He has dark facial hair to complete the look.

I keep trying to get pictures of my regulars but they come and go so quickly that I can’t get my camera up and ready in time. Today, I got a picture of French Braid Girl. My photography skills being only slightly better than my climbing ability, her mother would be lucky to ID her from this picture. I’m betting her name is Kate though.

French Braid Girl

The ride home was as splendid as bike commuting can get. An asshat on a mountain bike passed me as another bike approached and a runner jogged in front of me. Mr. Studjumper nearly causing a four person accident. Seconds later, I was lost in the bliss of cruising along at 20 miles per hour with the wind in my fairing. Life is good.

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