// The Not-So-Invisible Helmet
Posted on Monday, September 24th, 2012
As you may have read before, I rode my bicycle for several years without even owning a helmet. Excuses were made, and consequently my safety was continually put at risk. A first-hand observance of my friend’s helmet in action decisively changed my prerogative, convincing me to finally purchase a helmet for myself. I now never ride without it. When I reminisce about certain circumstances, I am so thankful to have escaped those days uninjured. Even ruminating on recent rides where I do wear a helmet sometimes makes me nervous.
For those cyclists who choose to still ride without any sort of protection, as I very often see, especially among young students around UC Berkeley, there is a new, possibly more enticing option. This one even can be considered fashionable for some. I am talking about the Hövding, an invention made by a couple of Swedish girls for people who would rather not wear a traditional helmet. The design is unique, to say the least. It wraps around your neck, similar to the inflatable pillows one might wear while traveling. Upon sudden impact, it deploys into a giant head-covering cushion to protect you from hitting the asphalt hard.
It’s kinda hard to explain, check it out in action in the promotional video below:
The above video begins with the inventors making bold claim that they’re “going to save the world.”
Before I get into my feelings for the actual device, I must condemn this video’s lame attempt at portraying an inspiring story of women overcoming sexual biases to create something incredible. Honestly, for me it does quite the opposite. They seem to think that we expect women to not be able to accomplish great things. All human beings are capable of great creativeness and invention, expecting great praise for doing so as a woman seems to me to damage all the progress that females have worked for thus far.
Now as for the actual helmet, I am not too keen on it. What they don’t make entirely clear in the video is that it costs $600 and can only be used once. That’s right, one minor fall and poof, there goes $600! I have taken a few spills myself, and although I garnered some wounds, I at least didn’t lose a $600 item while doing so. At that price, I could afford a much newer, nicer bike and a sportier helmet than what I have currently. Also, they repeatedly call it invisible, when you can clearly see a large wrap around their necks, even though it may blend in with their outfit a little more gracefully than a traditional helmet. I honestly feel Bret from the Flight of the Conchords’ “hair helmet” was a better look: