Sunday 15 November 2009

Safety Nazis are out to kill you

I was not the only one riding home in the wet this week. However, I was the only one pulling over several times to wipe what I thought was stinging sweat from my eyes.

I have long thought that when it rains, the rain gets into the foam padding on the inside of my helmet and washes out all the accumulated sweat in the form of a super-salty brine, and it is that brine which has been running into my eyes and causing me to pull over with excrutiating pain in one or both eyes. Apart from regularly washing my helmet in order to remove the salt build up, I figured there was not much else I could do.

This week, I discovered the real cause of my eye aches. I peeled off the foam pads that sit against my forehead, and there under the pads was the remains of a safety sticker. What had been washing into my eyes was not old sweat - it was old glue. No wonder it hurt like buggery.

I'm sure the sticker had some useless Safety Nazi warning on it - like "Do not use this helmet as a serving vessel for hot soup", or "Unsuitable for wrestling badgers", "Do not set fire to this helmet whilst wearing it".

If that glue had run into both my eyes whilst descending at speed, the outcome might not have been pleasant. Think traction, skin grafts and metal things holding your bones together.

I have now removed every Safety Nazi sticker from the helmet, and scrupulously scrubbed every bit of glue off the liner. I think I will now go hang out at the offices of these awful Safety Nazis, and ride over the first one to leave work. I will then claim that I was blinded by the glue from one of their stickers, and failed to see them - even if I just happen to run one of them over in the lobby of their palatial office complex, and even if that lobby is on the 19th floor.

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