Fashionable cycling

Bradley Wiggins has re-ignited the debate about making complusory the wearing of cycle helmets.  I think this is a shame at a time when cycling is suddenly seen so positively.

Let me be clear.  I am not a cyclist and have barely ever been one. I am not the right shape or constitution to cycle and I care too much for my comfort and safety to consider taking up the practice at my advanced age.  I have also spent the last ten years of my life working in a city where by far the most dangerous and unpredictable mode of transport for the pedestrian or any other road user is the bicycle.  However, I will always encourage others to take up the bicycle because it will undoubtedly reduce the NHS bill if it helps people to remain fit and it will make more space on our roads for car drivers like me!

On this basis, I think Bradley Wiggins’s suggestion of compulsory wearing of cycle helmets is unhelpful.

Firstly, it offends my sense of personal freedom.  I have never liked being told to wear a seat belt and I resent the ‘elf & safety industry that has burgeoned and that tells us why we can’t do so many things but rarely tells us how we can do them safely.

Cycling helmet

Secondly and more fundamental, I think the current range of cycling helmets is boringly stereotypical and utterly NAFF.  I would not be seen dead in one.  I have long thought that there is an opportunity here for an entrepreuner with flair and some fashion sense to design something that is protective but looks smart and fashionable.  It must be possible to design a lightweight and small protective helmet that sits on the skull and to which one could attach a variety of stytlish hats to suit the occasion.

Here are a few examples:


Black top hat

Grey top hat

Pith helmet

Panama hat

Trilby hat

….. and before the feminists sharpen

… by popular demand …
The Dunce’s Cap

their quills because of the absence of ladies’ fashion styles with which to cycle to Ascot or Henley, I am afraid I leave ladies’ fashions to those more skilled than me …..

About Keith R Mitchell CBE

Qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1967. Pursued a successful career in financial training and publishing until selling his interests in 1990. Elected a County Councillor for the Bloxham Division in 1989. Leader of Oxfordshire County Council 5 November 2001 to 15 May 2012. Chairman of the South East England Regional Planning Committee July 2002 to July 2005. Chairman of the South East England Regional Assembly July 2005 to July 2008. In HM the Queen’s 2007 Birthday Honours, appointed a Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire in recognition of services to local government.
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3 Responses to Fashionable cycling

  1. Anthony Gearing says:

    As many people who can cycle, should cycle. I personally would wear a helmet as often as possible (mainly to keep sun and rain out my eyes!), but I can see why people find them uncomfortable and cause them difficulty looking round.

    The Cycle Touring Club (CTC) is a major opponent to compelling riders to wear helmets, and praise Boris Johnson’s reaction to Bradley Wiggins.

    Nothing would make me happier than seeing Keith R Mitchell CBE cycling through the Countryside in a Stovepipe!

  2. Al says:

    you missed out the dunce cap Keith

  3. beton says:

    Sweet blog! I found it while browsing on Yahoo News. Do you have any suggestions on how to get listed in Yahoo News? I’ve been trying for a while but I never seem to get there! Thank you

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