On this day, the first day of Summer, I can’t help but reflect on a decision I made in my past. At an age, when I felt invincible.
If nothing else, let my story serve as a reminder on the importance of bicycle safety. I have to live with my poor choice, it’s not too late for you to save yourselves.
It was on, or around the Summer Solstice in 1994 that I decided to hop on my bike while my head was still sopping wet from the shower. The weather was gorgeous, and I couldn’t wait to get out the door.
I shot a fleeting glance at my bike helmet and chose to leave it on the bookcase. That was a decision that would alter my life forever.
I was heading to Jackson Park, about 9 miles to the south, when I stopped at the Lincoln Park Zoo to use the bathroom. I saw my reflection in the mirror, my hair was no longer wet, thanks to the wind-whipping along Lake Michigan. I drizzled some water on my mane hoping it would lie down a bit.
I walked my bike around the Zoo alternately looking at animals, and the Chicago skyline.
A group of workers inched up behind me in a golf cart. One said, “Excuse me, sir can we get around you?”
I moved over to the right and he had enough room to pass, and said, “Thank you, sir have a great day.”
Before I could respond he added, “Nice Michael Douglas hair, you got there.”
Then his workmate contributed, “Man, you got yourself a Michael Douglas chin, too.”
A third man said, “He sure does. He’s got the hair and the damn chin, too. How are those Streets of San Francisco treating you my friend?”
They chortled as I hopped on my bike. The second man spoke again: “Say hi to Karl Malden.”
“Michael Douglas Hair.” Twenty years later, their words, these caustic words still haunt me. How could anybody be so cruel?
Don’t let this happen to you or your children, please wear a bike helmet.
For God’s sake, protect your hair!