Searching for Clarity in 2021? Start with Your Helmet Visor

There's a lot of news to take in right now. It's been like that for a long time. But do we know what we're looking at, or where we're going?

Maybe you have an answer for those questions. Perhaps you've been narrating what's happening around us since it started, whatever that means to you. This might come as a shock, but I'm not actually asking about what you "know" to see if you're "right." I'm asking about your quality of observation

It's New Years for many Americans, and 2021 for all of us. I tend to celebrate the new year in January, and came across this YouTube video the other day that guides the viewer through an annual journaling exercise. 

By the end of the video, the viewer is supposed to take their goals and apply them on a micro-level. If you want to stop procrastinating, clean a dirty dish at the exact moment you see one in the sink. If you want to build your tolerance for uncomfortable conversations, take cold showers.

That last one may seem harsh, but here's my point...

Maybe you're super focused on the road, and props to you because a lot of people aren't, but when's the last time you cleaned your visor? 

Practicing clarity through helmet care 

The basics dictate the strength of the system overall. If you can't see clearly, if your helmet isn't on straight... it doesn't matter how fancy the rest of your gear is, when your bike was last serviced, or how experienced of a rider you are.

To get anywhere good, your eyes need to see the road for exactly what it is. It comes down to whether you're going to clean the visor this year, or next. 

Depending on your riding schedule, you may need to clean your helmet everyday, twice a month or on an as-you-ride basis. Regardless, practice paying close attention to your helmet as you clean. 

1. Remove Tech 

If you're helmet has any electronic elements to it, always remove those parts before cleaning. They're easier to clean separately anyway. 

2. The Visor

Following instructions for more challenging visors, remove your visor from your helmet. Rather than scrub, place a warm, damp (with only water) microfiber towel on any stains or dead bugs and let sit for 10 or so minutes. If you need to, use Plexus plastic-cleaner gently.

3. The Liner 

Mist and gently wipe your helmets liner with Helmet Fresh. Be sure to let air dry and keep away from heat, which can deteriorate the EPS. It is never a good idea to use excess water or heat on the liner, which should be handled gently. 

4. Overall Clean 

Just like before, you can warm a microfiber towel with warm water and drape it over the entire helmet, sans visor, to leave for 10 or so minutes for an easy and safe cleaning process. 

Afterwards, gently wipe with a new microfiber towel using warm water. This is also a great time to clean an internal sun shield with just water and towel. 

5. Handling Your Helmet 

Every impact your helmet experiences diminishes its ability to protect you in the event of an accident. Dropping your helmet may not seem so serious, because it's a helmet, but protecting your head is serious. Handle your helmet with the same standard of care you want from it when on the road. 

6. Storage 

Use the helmet's protective bag while you're out and not wearing it. Don't randomly hang it on the nearest post when you get back home, so it doesn't fall, bump or scratch. A great place is high up on a shelf or in a storage bag specifically made for helmets. 

7. Gasoline 

Storing your helmet near fuel or with your gloves, which can have gasoline traces, is a general no-no. Gasoline harms the plastic and inner lining of a helmet. In general, your helmet should be stored on its own. 

8. Stickers 

This might be a bummer, but your helmet is smooth for a reason. In the event of a collision, you don't want your helmet to grip the ground, but rather glide. Stickers and sticker glue can compromise this part of safety design.  

9. Replacement 

After five years, or after a crash or major impact, whichever comes first, replace your helmet. 

I'll leave you with this

Like Plato's Allegory of Cave, we all tend to think that we're looking in the "right" direction. To a certain point, I'm not sure how much we can control this. What we do have power over, is our ability to identify truth when it is in front of us. 

A commitment to clear sight is a commitment to clarity overall, and that's an investment in the future. If we start building clarity in our everyday life now, maybe someday we will see clear mindedness and common narrative in our greater world. 

So please, clean your visor.