I’m lucky to live in beautiful Colorado where, given the proper equipment, I have the option to ride my bike year round. When I started cycling seriously, I only had very old equipment and warm weather riding gear. So when I started training for my first race in the fall of 2011, I had to make some investments in quality, warm clothing that would enable me to train outside on my bike throughout the upcoming winter.
My helmet never made it into a classification of warm weather gear nor cold weather gear. It was just a piece of equipment that I don before departing on each and every ride. I had a fairly serious mountain biking crash last fall which left a gash in the old helmet, so I was a little suspect of it’s ability to adequately protect my melon. When the opportunity for a team issue Cannondale Cypher helmet presented itself through Treads, our team store, I decided to buy one.
It turns out that the new helmet has more airflow! Which in the summer will be great for keeping my head cool, however in the winter, it means brrrrrrr! Now I was in need of another layer between my head and the helmet. Being that I am both a knitter and a somewhat frugal cyclist, I did consider knitting up a nice little wool beanie to do the job. But that would have cut into the precious little riding time available this time of the year, so I ended up with this:
First of all: I promise that I’m not trying to look like a gangster! This beanie is from Halo and it is wonderful not because of its name (Anti Freeze Skull Cap), but because of the ear flaps, its thinness, and the fact that it keeps sweat from running into your eyes. Yes, you will eventually sweat enough to warrant this feature when riding outside in the winter.
As I was pedaling along the other day in my helmet and skull cap, it occurred to me that a helmet’s airflow is similar to our willingness and ability to be open to new life experiences. Remember when you were a kid and anything was possible? Think waaaay back to before you became skeptical; before you felt hurt, rejection, or failure. That’s when you were going through life wearing the invisible helmet with the great airflow. As you rolled through life, you began to close off portions of your heart and mind to the pain that inevitably results from life experiences. This is when you replaced the helmet with the great airflow with a helmet that restricted airflow. Maybe you went so far as to place a buffer around your feelings, like a skull cap. Between the two, you may have created a very safe place for yourself… but if it’s a place void of new life experiences, may I suggest a new helmet??