56/365: Stackhat

Sent 26 May 2010

I remember as a kid, wearing your helmet when you rode your bicycle simply wasn’t hip. Safety? I chortle in the face of safety and hubristically spit on its friend and spokesperson, Constable Care. Though I did have fond memories of a certain hot pink stackhat from my early bicycling days, by the time I was 13 the last accessory I wanted to go with my Malvern Star was a helmet. I had one of course, because I had loving, dutiful parents, but the minute their loving, dutiful backs were turned I would snap open the buckle and continue to pedal with my helmet dangling from the handle bars, not even considering a future that included the melding of my skull and the rough blue-metal of the road.

Then I shall always remember the day, when cycling with a friend through the pleasant and tranquil back streets of Kalamunda, when we were stopped by the high-pitched wailing of a police car. We were shocked. Mainly because we didn’t realise that the streets of ¬†Kalamunda warranted even a tiny police force. The biggest drama ever to happen in my neighbourhood, was when all the school kids were asked to wear ice-cream containers on their heads into the school playground because there was a particularly motherly magpie in the tree above the monkey bars, who would often swoop when feeling it’s babies were threatened. But, I digress. So as we were stopped by the police for not wearing our helmets, all sorts of excuses started to dribble forth from our mouths.

“My head was getting itchy from the sweat caused by the helmet and I was worried about eczema”, shouted I.

“Mine fell off the moment you came around the corner and I was literally in the process of putting it back on”, exclaimed my friend.

They believed not a word of it, but understanding that our cool kid reputation depended on a lack of helmet, they didn’t chastise us too severely but merely just cautioned us and said we could either get off our bikes and walk them back home…or we could just put out helmets back on. We submitted and put them back on.

Till tomorrow


The beloved pink stackhat - treasured in the days before helmets became uncool.


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