I can bite my tongue no longer. One too many Australian bike retailers, has told me they need mandatory helmet laws, to stay in business. If only bicycle retailers had not wasted their youths as tour-de-france wannabes, and had learned, how, to, think. They would see how helmet laws are driving them under. Abolish helmet laws, and Australians would drag out their bikes (1.4 per Aussie household), find they need fixing, and wheel them straight to their nearest bike shop for repairs.
It is through repairs that local bike stores pay their bills. Unless they are nationwide distributers for particular bike brands, they only profit a little from the sale of new bikes—they would sell more, of course, were it not those helmet laws! However, their mainstay is mechanical repairs, and the sale of parts like chains and cables, that go along with repairs. Most aren’t really bike shops, but mechanics shops, with a few things for sale out the front. Furthermore, it is importers who make the best mark-ups on helmets, not the hapless retailers, who are left holding all the XXS models when the new season stock comes. K-Mart makes more money than either, moving equally safe and comfortable helmets in bulk, for $12 each.
So next time a bike retailer tells you that Aussie standards approved helmets are the only accessories left to them to sell, without competition from overseas, howl them down with your superior reasoning.
As for me, instead of buying new pads for my Laser Garmin at $20 a piece, I’m going to start racing in $12 helmets from K-Mart, with “$12 from K-Mart” proudly written all over them, with marking pen. I’ll buy a new one each time I stop at the shops to buy milk, and I won’t cut the tags off. I might even keep that blue cardboard visor.