Friday, April 1, 2011

SKULLS on Gear - What Lies Beneath

I am still searching for the perfect pink helmet. Alas, the perfect combination of fit, function and form has eluded me. Because no matter how much I like the helmet, it is usually covered with...Skulls.

Skulls and flowers. Skulls and flames. Skulls and seashells. Skulls and baby birds, Skulls and Jolly Ranchers, etc...

When I was much younger, I thought Skulls were pretty cool. I wasn't afraid of death. The most suffering I had endured were cramps and hangovers.

I even used skulls in my own designs, and still I own a carved skull & owl mask from Mexico. Back then, death was just a concept and a skull was just another interesting design element with some crazy history.

Aztecs built pyramids of carved skulls, Pirates flew the "Jolly Roger" skull and cross bones, so when you saw it, you knew it was your A$$. Several cultures made drinking cups out of enemies skulls or mounted them to their tents or shelters as trophies. There are so many skulls on motorcycle gear, it is like part of a uniform. I used to think this was interesting.

Years later, after losing many friends to AIDS, cancer, car accidents, and finally, watching my own mother waste away before passing on, skulls as a design element have no appeal to me. Death and suffering are no longer just concepts. They are a very hard reality.

I don't ride to defy Death, I ride because I enjoy Life. I know riding is dangerous and this is always on my mind. But riding is also mind expanding and life expanding.

It is not that I am afraid of death, I am more afraid of disrespecting life. And the best way to disrespect life is to squander it.

Now you can do that by stunting, speeding and taking stupid chances. But you can also squander your life by making it all about your job, or your appearance, or what possessions you acquire, or avoiding your fears, making excuses, and denying yourself joy and freedom or never facing a true challange head-on.

So my search for a skull-free pink helmet continues.


  1. Is there a way of customizing a helmet? Perhaps getting a Nolan and then having what you want put on it by your specs?

    Very good read!

  2. I hate the skulls on helmets and had a terrible time trying to find a pink helmet without the skull theme. I think it is the exact opposite of riding is all about and dates back to when riding was a rebel thing and not the present day enjoyment/lifestyle choice or mode of transportation. Short of buying a helmet that is plain there are no choices. I hope with more female riders the gear companies will start taking notice that we don't like them and would like something more creative.. Riding isn't about a tough image for me. Its about enjoyment, safety and adventure amongst other things. You should get a dragon painted on your helmet to match your beautiful scooter, maybe you could have a pink dragon which would be the zen to the blue dragon.