Why do I come home with a big grin on my face after a ride wearing an open face helmet?
I know all the reasons I shouldn’t wear one – safety, bugs, sunburn, rain, etc – but there is something about the exposure to the elements and dangers that make it so much more fun.
I don’t always wear an open face helmet, but when I do there are certain aspects that always cross my mind:
I don’t know anyone who chooses a bike over a car for safety. Statistics show that in a crash, 19.4% of the time your chin will hit the ground.
I used to think I rode a little more cautiously when I wore an open face helmet, but maybe I just ride slower because the helmet tries to strangle me at high speeds.
They hurt. No doubt about it. So do stones and even fine dust. But that’s part of the visceral thrill. If you don’t like it, grow a beard or grow a pair. Otherwise, take the car.
People can see you grinning like a moron and they can see when you start to sing along to a song in your head or your earphones. I’ve had a whole school bus full of kids pointing and laughing at me when they caught me singing. I just sang louder!
If you think rain feels like pins being stuck in your face, try hail! It hurts. But light rain tingles and excites. I also love the fine spray you get when you’re behind a car that is washing its windscreen or the overspray from a farmer’s irrigation.
Not just sunburn, but windburn. You come home with your face glowing and slightly stinging. At least you know you’ve been for a ride. A bit of sunblock, a light mask or a beard can solve the problem, though.
Yes, it’s noisier, which means you can hear a lot more clearly the crackle on the overrun as your exhaust bounces back off canyon walls and in tunnels. And that lingering ringing in the ears is another indicator of a great ride. Of course, you can also wear earplugs.
Celebrities like David Beckham say they love riding because of the anonymity you get when you put on a full face helmet. You lose all anonymity when you ride around with an open face helmet. People can see your ugly/handsome face.
Do you wear an open-face helmet? Why, or why not?