When I ranted last year, about bike riders who don't seem to know what they're doing, I forgot to mention a very big problem: not many seem to wear a helmet. We all know you're supposed to do it -- in some places, it's even the law -- but then again we all know that you shouldn't drive drunk or without a seatbelt, and look at how well that works. This is probably going to be yet another thing, where the only people who'll listen to me, are the ones who already know not to be this stupid, but I've got to say it anyway.
The other day, while on the job, I saw a thirteen or fourteen year old girl riding her bike, and not only was she not wearing a helmet, but she did something else that just about gave me chills. She was letting her little brother ride on the handlebars -- and he's maybe seven years old. For some reason, this idea is almost considered romantic in some ways, but this is just completely insane. The whole reason people get paranoid about bicycle safety is that if you fall off the thing or hit something, you're just going to shoot head-first into the closest hard surface.
Let me put it this way: earlier this year, actress Natasha Richardson slipped on a ski slope, hit her head on regular ground, and died in two or three days. If falling into a normal hill can kill a fully grown adult, what do you think would happen to a seven year old, taking a skull-plant into cement?
If I ever become crazy enough to have kids, this is definitely something I won't sit still for. Any son or daughter of mine who rides a bike, WILL wear a helmet, even if I have to duct tape it on. Any son or daughter of mine who rides someone else's handlebars, will be automatically grounded, and any son or daughter of mine allowing others to do this on their bikes, will have their bikes taken away. It sounds harsh, and no doubt you won't be on a kid's good side for doing it, but it's better that, than you go to their funeral, and constantly ask yourself why you didn't stop them from dying. Enough said.