Coming soon to a Sky Mall near you... Introducing: the HOVDING.
What's a Hovding, you ask?
Well, my friends, it's a new bike helmet that now only looks terrible if you actually have a bicycle accident! Otherwise it just looks like you might go skiing later, which is totally plausible as a relaxing activity you might partake in after a long bike ride.
You see, Hovding is basically a puffy collar which conveniently conceals an airbag for your head.
And only does it have a name that sounds like a fun New Zealand woodland creature, but it comes with many STYLISH covers you can change out to match your every fashion whim (that you totally care about whilst riding a bike).
Has a mean group of popular kids ever pointed and laughed at you as they passed by in a red sportscar while you bicycled along wearing your sensible bike helmet?
This revolutionary device protects you from brain damage AND fashion faux-pas.
I know what you're thinking--why did no one think of this sooner?
Those Swedes, they do more than just woo Julie Taylor.*
Apparently wearing a bike helmet is now a law in Sweden, and these guys were SO PUT OUT by the mere suggestion that they be caught dead in one of those monstrosities that they invented a more suitable alternative. Passion for fashion makes people go the distance, you guys. (By the way, I'm picturing Sven from HIMYM the entire time I'm reading this article.)
So they set out to revolutionize bicycle fashion, one mean-looking European girl at a time. (see accompanying photo)
The Hovding can apparently sense when your bicycle is flailing out of control and immediately inflates around your head in ONE TENTH OF A SECOND. So good luck if you hit the pavement in one hundredth of a second. You're just out of luck, I suppose.
Never mind the fact that if you just jerk the handlebars suddenly or are a bicyclist in training, your cranium will likely be enveloped in an inflatable polar bear claw and you'll have to ride home like that in an airbag of shame only serving to call unavoidable attention to your failure.
But for us steady-handed cyclists, this neck brace-chic solution is a no-brainer. You might have to wear a ski jacket while biking in order for it to blend in, but it's a step in the right direction, am I right?
I think this might actually be a not-so-subtle attempt at rewarding people for safe bicycle driving. If you drive safely, no bear claw. If you don't, bear claw.
The Hovdig also contains its own black box (LIKE AN AIRPLANE YOU GUYS) so I guess people can review your tumble down Ol' Deathwish Hill over and over again if they want. Oh and also so the Swedes can figure out how to make this thing more useful in the future.
Sure, it's likely to end up in whatever warehouse in Kansas all those segways are collecting dust in, but it's nice to know people are trying.
Maybe one day, we as a society will just man up and decide that bike helmets are just a thing we have to wear so we don't die. Then this nonsense would not be remotely necessary. I'm not sure when or how this association started, perhaps at the conception of the bike helmet, but bike helmets were established as innately uncool.
Until we decide bike helmets are acceptable to be seen in, we are stuck with $600 inflatable polar bear claw neck braces. And that's just no way to live.
[SIDE NOTE: this article uses the phrase "invisible bike helmet," which sounds way better than the contraption I stumbled upon instead.]
Have you ever evaded wearing a bike helmet for fear of being uncool? Or is this solely a 90s-kid problem?
*I can now make Friday Night Lights references because I am halfway through season 2 on Netflix. Clear eyes, full hearts...!