City Desk

What Was That Guy Thinking? He Tells Us….

or at least he tells Brightest Young Things.

That's right: The guy that we put on our cover story about helmet use last week has been located. You remember him—he's the guy that we photographed from the rear, on a blue bike. Carrying a helmet—not on his head, but rather around the hip area. We posed a question: "What's This Guy Thinking?" alongside the photograph.

He answers it in his BYT post:

I consider myself a fairly established bike rider, nothing special, but I know what I’m doing. Like many people in the article, I was a bike messenger in Richmond for years. The day that photo was taken, I spent most of my day on the bike path, and only did a small amount of riding in traffic. Trust me – I wore that helmet when dealing with traffic, but found it pointless on the bike path and sidewalks. I know for a fact that cars eat bikes, and I’m not about to let some Maryland driver put me six feet into the ground. OUTRAGEOUSLY, when that photo was taken I WAS ON THE SIDEWALK. And then you ask “What’s this guy thinking?” Tell you what I wasn’t thinking: I wasn’t thinking that before I jumped onto the bike path to head home with my new Tobacco-Use-Only glass pipe in my pocket that some ass clown would take a photo of me and publish it on the cover of the City Paper. That’s the last thing I was thinking.

A couple of points here: 1) That "ass clown" is Darrow Montgomery, a professional photographer who took a priceless shot to illustrate the story. If you want to invest in a helmet and then proceed to not use it—and do all of that in public, then we have every right to grab a shot of it.

2) This whole notion about taking the helmet on and off according to traffic levels: Do you also take off your seat belt when you reach a country road, only to strap it back on when you're in the city again?

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  • Dave

    This dude also posted a comment on the story itself.

  • ross

    Someone else might know better, but I believe that a significant portion of bike accidents occur while entering or exiting sidewalks, perhaps to cross a street. Does he put his helmet on at every intersection?

    I question whether putting your helment on and off frequently doesn't mess up your hair more than just keeping it on. Although, he is somewhat deficient in the hair arena, so that might not be his concern. If it is air flow and temperature, he might consider investing in a breezier helmet rather than that skate variety.

  • Andrew Beaujon

    If he knows what he's doing, why's he wearing his helmet on his pants?

  • Puh-lease

    The back of your head on the cover of CP - you'll live.

    The back of your head on the sidewalk (or the soon to appear pavement) - guess what, you might die.

    1 guess who gets to pick up the tab if the dude crashes with his helmet nearby rather than attached. Hint: not his shiny new pipe!

  • barrel shooter

    Love that the reply was posted to BYT
    He's 1 for 3.

  • Fred

    "OUTRAGEOUSLY, when that photo was taken I WAS ON THE SIDEWALK"

    He's right: it IS outrageous that he was cycling on the sidewalk. If he's cycling, he should be in the road.

    Experienced, my ass.

  • Fred

    I will add that this: "If you want to invest in a helmet and then proceed to not use it—and do all of that in public, then we have every right to grab a shot of it." seems likewise obnoxious.

  • Martin

    this whole thing is priceless! thanks again DC, and BYT, and of course, Washington City Paper!

  • eaton

    From above, the rider looks like Beaujon.

  • Andrew Beaujon

    Darrow says he thought it was you at first, Eaton. And he even shouted "Joe!" as the guy rode by.

  • nikki corndog

    smart, no. irresponsible, maybe. amazing lover, yes.

  • nikki corndog

    Amazing lover of weed and shitty beer, that is.