I’ve crashed, but, I don’t have personal crash experience with helmets. The only concussion I ever had was from crashing a bike, but kids weren’t required to have a helmet back then, and no one ever suggested it, or, bought me one, so I didn’t. I was coming home from a summer program and thought this really big hill looked so very exciting, And, it was. I woke up in my bed and still have a coupla scars I could find if I thought about for a minute.
I also flipped over my handlebars as an adult a few years back. I was waving at my postal carrier and hit a curb. I was wearing a helmet that time, but it didn’t hit anything as far as I know. I didn’t feel or hear any hits and there were no scratches, not on the helmet anyway. I landed mostly on my bum and had some really impressive bruises on my legs too. Doing an unexpected flip is a kind of mystery trip. You have to look at the injuries to figure out just what happened. I was so angry while flying through the air. I had plans to be a race official for a balloon race the next week. It was the first time, and I was sure I had just ended them. I was stif to my core for a week, but I did get to go to my race.
There’s a newish safety system called MIPS to help me out should I ever go flying again. As of 2019, 100 plus brands use it, including newer versions of my favorite helmet. This seems like a feature that should be a part of every future helmet buying decision I make, but also, something that all the reputable helmets will adopt, so I shouldn’t have to worry too much.
My favorite helmet is a Lumos and we bought ours from their initial Kickstarter. We were thinking that we’d ride more centuries and roads and we really liked the turn signal and brake light concept they were developing. We stopped riding on roads though, and I left mine in the closet while using the old one for way too long. We supported the Kickstarter and bought the helmets for the added safety, visibility and communication on roads. I was so happy to see someone bringing that smart technology into the marketplace. I’m sure it has saved lives. But, that’s not why I’m currently wearing mine. It’s still my favorite even though we’re riding on trails now. The fit on my head is what I like. It’s that simple. I like the way it sits on my head and I also like the straps better than all the other helmets I have ever had. So, while I ride on trails and only see cars when I see security patrols, or cross an intersection, the Lumos is the helmet I want on my head. I’m really glad that they made a successful business out of it and are still producing helmets. It makes me feel good about the support and the product. My original Lumos doesn’t have MIPS though. I should probably replace it soon. For current riding choices the MIPS is more important to my safety than the smart features.
Other needs might cause me to drift from my first Lumos love though. There’s just too much going on around my ears right now. I’d like a helmet with goggles. I don’t really care for sunglasses. My sensitive skin breaks out where the glasses touch, even if it isn’t in constant contact. I need the protection though, not just the UV protection, but also the wind protection. And, believe it or not, I’ve had a pinecone fall off a tree and hit me right in the glasses while riding, Pine cones have points that are still really hard and sharp when they’re fresh off the tree. So, yes, I need an eye shield for freak impact protection too. The annoyance of the pine cone would have been a doctor visit without the eye protection, and possibly some loss of vision.
Something like this looks like it would be nice. Not only would that get the eyeprocection off my ears, cheeks and nose, it keeps the goggles or safety screen secure. The other day I was coming down one of the few places on the Silver Comet where there is a steep hill and a sharp curve together on the whole trail. And, I guess, really, thay by “one of the few” what I actually mean is “the only.” My glasses somehow became akilter, I had probably pulled them out and off my face a little. I needed my hands on the handlebars for control, but I couldn’t see very well. I was looking through and around the glasses at the same time. I had to wait to fix them until it wasn’t nearly so important for me to be able to see what I was doing. It was a difficult awkwardness in a tight spot that wouldn’t have happened with eye protection securely attached to the helmet. So, as much as I love my Lumos, I could venture out looking for that same fit from a helmet with attachable eye protection.
BTW, did you know Oakley has designed a helmet with a non-interference zone and clips on top for storage when you don’t want to wear them? The non-interference zone is pretty cool, but I’d need to see how it works to know if it’s relevant to me.
Beyond attachable eye protection, I’d like a little hook or button for a face mask. One that is the helmet equivalent of that button on a headband for masks. With any luck, the need for that will disappear before anyone could bring it to production. But seriously, for right now, there’s no warning before someone gets too close, and we’re all a little vulnerable to the unexpected. The ability to whip out a mask and hang it in front of your face is just not there when you’re wearing, glasses and a helmet and a headband under the helmet, especially if it’s a headband that warms and covers your ears. I’m going to be really happy to get my glasses on the helmet, but I’d like to find a way to mask up quick that does nothing to interfere with the effectiveness of the helmet or anything attached to it.. It would be pretty cool if there were a universal attachment that would allow people everywhere to mask up safely and quickly.