Barack Obama's helmetless bike ride on Martha's Vineyard on Thursday has sparked a mini-controversy for those who thought the move set a bad example.I bike a lot, and never, ever wear a helmet. I mean, c'mon, they're heavy, make your head sweat way too much, and aren't even proven to help prevent head injuries in the event of an accident. Plus, they make preteens look like total wusses, so you could only imagine how dumb a grown assed man looks like a but cone on his head.
"Yes, I know, President Obama is on a vacation, riding a bike, at a slow cadence, so what if he is not wearing a helmet, right?" wrote Martha Castro, a California doctor, on her website.
On Babble.com, a website for parents, Josh Loposer write, "Truly despicable isn't it? What kind of example is he setting for the nation’s youth?"
David Mozer, director of the International Bicycle Fund, told the New York Daily News, "Most bike accidents just happen. Bicycles up and turn over by themselves, and head injuries are a possible consequence of that. ... It would be great if the president set an example."
The Chicago Tribune wrote that one of its photo editors was outraged ("What kind of fool doesn't wear a helmet while biking?") and wrote the White House in protest.
And it was all enough to warrant an explanation. White House spokesman Bill Burton told reporters Thursday afternoon that "I know that he generally does wear a helmet when he rides a bicycle. He supports the wearing of bicycle helmets."
Obama wasn't the only one not practicing proper bike safety. A Secret Service agent also went helmet-free, and Obama friend Erik Whitaker wore a helmet, but did not fasten it. Fortunately, Obama made sure that his daughters, Sasha and Malia, wore helmets. Massachusetts law requires bike helmets for those under 16.
It's likely that this dust-up will quickly pass, but for a moment, it seemed as if the photo of a helmetless Obama could be this vacation's version of the most buzzed-about photo-op.
During the presidential campaign, Obama was photographed riding his bike with a helmet and his signature dorky jeans. He later told a fundraiser crowd:
"I had an internal debate," said Obama. "I knew that the AP was going to take a picture, and they were trying to portray it like Dukakis wearing that tank helmet. But I wanted to make sure that the children who saw that picture knew that even the Democratic nominee for president wears a helmet when he goes biking.”
On a side note, who the hell goes biking wearing Dockers? And who the hell wears Dockers on vacation? Who the hell wears Dockers, period?
Seriously folks, let it go.
Question: Is this yet another example of much ado about absolutely nothing Obama-related? Can we chalk this up to a slow news cycle, or are some in the media simply obsessed with the Obama family?
No-helmet Obama sparks ire [Politico]
Obama defies safety advocates, shuns bike helmet, looks great, ignites debate [LATimes]