On the Hill: Hard-headed
The Aspen Times
Aspen CO, Colorado
ASPEN ” As a reporter covering City Hall, I’ve heard Mayor Mick Ireland’s lecture about the importance of wearing a helmet more than once. In the summer, he gives me the same speech when he sees me cruising around town on my bike.
I don’t like wearing helmets for a variety of reasons, but decided this ski season to try it out. I reasoned that I ski way too fast and without eye glasses to not protect my noggin. So I bought a cheap, used one at the ski swap this past fall. My head is small enough that I was able to pick up a child size for $20 (thanks go out to the Seyffert children; I hope you don’t have lice).
So far this season, the helmet has come in handy with all the snow and cold weather we’ve had. I’ve been quite pleased with how it keeps my head dry and warm, and prevents my goggles from steaming up.
This past Tuesday, the weather was so beautiful that I considered going back to my old ways by letting my hair down and let it whip in the wind while I got a nice face tan, sans helmet.
Before suiting up, I mentioned to my editor and a co-worker that I might not wear a helmet. Both of them said I should wear it, especially if I planned on cutting up some corduroy with fast top-to-bottoms.
I took their advice, and it paid off. My last run of the day was down Corkscrew on Aspen Mountain. I jumped in way too fast and bit it within a few turns. I slid head first about 100 feet, with my head slamming into the bumps and hard snow all the way down.
If I didn’t have that helmet, I would have surely not come back to work that day, and my editor may have had some choice words for me.
So following the advice of the mayor and my boss turned out to be a wise decision. I can’t guarantee I’ll be wearing one while I ride around on my beach cruiser this summer since apparently I break all falls with my extremities ” I fractured my pinky finger last year during a late- night spill, and it will never be the same again. No helmet could have helped that.
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A speeding car on Tuesday morning crashed into and destroyed part of the winter closure gate on Maroon Creek Road.