Ethical Decisions

My Covid brain fog is starting to affect my cycling now. Today I packed up the car and drove an hour into the Cévennes for what I hoped would be my 2nd climb of Mont Lozère in as many rides. I got dressed in the parking lot and then wondered where my helmet was. Back home, hanging on the hoods of the Bianchi, came the quick answer.

I actually can’t blame Covid for this one beause it was known to happen before the pandemic struck, and even before I turned 50.

Anyway, I had some choices to make. There I was, in the mountains already, with a plan on climbing to a pretty high peak, which has a more than 30 km descent off the top. Add to that the potential disapproving looks from my fellow cyclists. A real conundrum.

In the end I gathered my courage and did an abbreviated ride and only passed 3 cyclists (1 of whom was going Full Head Monty like me). And I’m safe and sound on the sofa now, except for my hair, which hasn’t really come down after the long descent back to the car.

Have any of you had this happen? 20 years ago I wouldn’t have thought twice about riding without a helmet, but the times they are a changin’.

12 thoughts on “Ethical Decisions

  1. Yes, it happened to me. But it was for an MTB ride in Burnaby BC so the solution was easy: buy another helmet at the LBS. If there had been no LBS, there might not have been a ride: the social stigma to riding sans helmet in Canada is just too strong. But that was also when I was an impressionable 30-something, and also before living in France and their more tolerant/liberticide attitude towards helmets.

    • Helmets probably weren’t that expensive back then, so that sounds like a suitable solution. And yeah, I’d be much more concerned if I’d done that in Canada, where people don’t hesitate to let you know when they disapprove of your behaviour.

  2. I have been known to cycle up Ventoux on some really hot days where the helmet made it unbearable. One of the reasons I wear a cycling cap is so that I can actually look retro at least.

    • I’ve seen that rogue way you climb Ventoux, Pierre. I should really take along my cycling cap on rides. Like you said, it’ll at least look good.

  3. Don’t feel bad. I did the same thing about a decade ago, so I couldn’t claim it as a “senior moment” either. Fortunately I was only 30 mins one way back to my house, but instead of my helmet, it was my shoes, so I had no choice but to return home to fetch them. The thought of just cancelling my ride for the day crossed my mind for about 1 nanosecond. So I made the 60 minute drive to ensure I got my workout in. Not sure I’m that committed now.

    I do however have a recurring dream that I show up to a triathlon, and I’m in a panic because just minutes before the start I realize I’ve forgotten to bring an important piece of equipment, like my wetsuit and the water temperature is in the low 60’s, or my running shoes, or quite often I notice I forgot my bike. I always wake up in a sweat just before the gun goes off to start of the race. Where is Sigmund Freud when you need him?

    As for the hair thing, that would never happen to me or Marco Pantani.

    • No, you and Pantani would have a burnt head in this case, but then again, I think I remember you ride with a headband…a la The Pirate.

      Shoes. I wonder what I’d do? If the soles were stiff enough on the shoes I was wearing, I might try and do the ride, but you have Speedplay, which I don’t think would be very comfortably with tennis shoes. You made the right decision. I’ve actually forgotten my water bottles on a guided ride and borrowed the client’s. I suppose if you do enough of these things, it’s bound to happen once in a while.

  4. Great hair. The last time that I left my helmet behind, I was happily quite near a bike shop and easily persuaded myself that I really needed a new one. It didn’t last long as I cracked it when falling off on an icy puddle. Luckily it was good quality but I don’t think that I could go for a ride without one these days.

  5. Helmet, Shoes, money. Happens.rode without a helmet, bought a helmet. At least i now have a old hwlmet in the car. Saved friends twice…

  6. Gerry, as others have indicated, you’re not special in this. I’ve forgotten almost every key item at one time or another, except maybe the bike itself. I think I even arrived at a ride one time with no pedals on the bike.

    Twice I’ve started a solo ride from my house without a helmet, and not realized it for quite a while. In one case a passing rider pointed pointedly to my head, as if to say, “You’re as dumb as you look.” The interesting thing to me about this was that in both cases I started out feeling like I was riding really well. Then when I realized my goof I suddenly was half-paralyzed with self-consciousness and indecision. All this when objectively nothing had changed!

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