Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Pros Don't Need Helmets

My geography is bad, I'll admit. It was never one of my strongest subjects. Therefore, I have no idea where the Canary Islands are or anything about them (although I could probably Google it). Even so, I find it exceedingly difficult to believe that even in the Canary Islands they wouldn't recognize Lance Armstrong on sight, particularly when he was riding his bike. So, if you saw Lance Armstrong, who'd just returned to pro cycling, riding his bike, wouldn't you assume the person he was riding with was also a pro cyclist? I would, although I would also know it when I heard the name "Chris Horner."

It seems that Chris Horner, who was riding with Astana teammate Lance Armstrong in the Canary Islands, where they were training, was detained by Spanish police for not wearing a helmet. Apparently, they let him continue his ride after determining he was a pro cyclist because it's only illegal to ride without a helmet if you're not a pro cyclist.

This is messed up for a few reasons. First of all, as I just mentioned, he was clearly and obviously a pro cyclist, so why would you even bother to stop him for riding without a helmet? Secondly, how stupid is it that it's illegal to ride without a helmet unless you're a pro? (I will not even touch the discussion about whether it is or isn't okay to make it illegal for anyone to ride without a helmet because my husband sometimes reads this blog and I don't want to get him started.) The point is, what could they possibly be thinking when they say it's okay for a pro but not for an amateur? Granted, pros have more skill than recreational cyclists, but it would seem that given the speeds at which pros ride and their tendency to ride in pace lines and packs where any small miscalculation could take them down, I would say the danger to their heads is at least equal to that of an amateur cyclist.


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