I was on the West Side Greenway a few weeks ago, when the gentleman below caught my eye. Anyone who reads this blog or follows me on twitter pretty much knows my stance on mandatory helmet laws and helmet promotion. If you’re new and you don’t, click around. You’ll figure it out. Anyway, I was intrigued.
Cue forward a few weeks and I spotted him again, this time sitting on a bench wearing his construction hat, his bicycle parked next to him. I wanted to find out why he wore the construction hat. Was it for ‘safety’ on a bike or was it for other, more reasonable purposes?
I told him I had snapped the photo of him a few weeks earlier and as respectfully as I could, asked him why he wore the hat. Good question, he answered me. Turns out that he rides his bicycle everyday to find work on construction sites in NYC. Without his hat (and heavy work boots), he wouldn’t be able to get work, since the construction site would be fined heavily.
We ended up having a lovely conversation. I discovered his name was John and he had moved here from Jamaica in 1994. He told me he’s always gotten around the city by bicycle. We both agreed that hands down, it’s the best way to get where you need to go.
I hope to run into John again soon. He’s a lovely soul.
As we celebrate Bike to Work Week, it’s important to remember that some people are biking to find work. I’d hire John in a New York minute. In John’s case, this is one helmet I fully approve of.