A little over a year ago, I was in DC at a Warmshowers host (turned into good friends) house and I did a classic “Mark Move.” My friends, Tom and Karen, left the house to catch a way-too-early a.m. flight and they gave me instructions on how to exit the house when I left. I was to take my bike out the basement door, lock it, and then leave out the front door because the front door locks automatically.

So, I get my bike and all my gear out the back door and leave out the front. I go around back to grab my bicycle and realize my helmet is hanging inside the now locked house. Smart, I know. I compliment myself on a job well done and search on my phone for a bike shops en route to Annapolis. Found a bike shop just a few miles down the road and went in to buy the least expensive helmet I could find. (Surprise costs from idiot mistakes aren’t fun when you have a tight traveling budget.) Looking around I found a safety orange colored Bell helmet and sheepishly told the clerk my idiot story as I checked out.

After few months of touring around the Northeast, Quebec and Midwest in the sun, the helmet faded to more of a “safety salmon” color (a.k.a. pink). When I first showed up at my buddy’s bike shop (GNOCYCLERY good folks!) in New Orleans, one of his co-workers said “Aren’t you ‘Pink Helmet,’ Ryan’s friend?”

I said, in a joking way, “Yeah, that’s me, but it’s a ‘safety salmon’ colored helmet, not pink.”

Now skip ahead about a year and you’ll find me in Seattle. My boss at the warehouse loaned me a bicycle that matched my helmet perfectly, but unfortunately, my helmet was back in Texas.

I rode to the nearest bike shop to buy a helmet for the three weeks I was going to borrow the bike. I’m now back in Texas with my bike and not one, but two helmets. A decision needs to be made about which one to keep and which one to give away. So…


I’ve decided to put them to a head to head competition. (Don’t pardon the pun.) Since it’s election season, please vote on the helmet you’d like to see me in as I’m touring for the next few months. (Or until I do another classic “Mark move” and lose it.)