My first motorcycle was a bright yellow 50cc Honda Mini Trail. That little gem was quite possibly the best Christmas present in the universe, followed closely by the silver sparkle helmet to go with it. Rule one in our house was no helmet, no motorcycle riding. The rule didn’t apply to bicycles, which was ironic considering the fact that we were far more insane on bicycles than we ever were on motorcycles (three of the worst injuries I had as a kid were on a bicycle, though a helmet wouldn’t have made a difference in any of those cases).
I pretty quickly figured out that silver sparkle wasn’t so cool, and that real motocross riders don’t ride Hondas (this was around 1972). This was a result of hanging out with the older kids on their CZs and Bultacos, with their European riding gear and mysterious brand names and logos spelled out in Italian and Spanish. The allure of the exotic was irresistible, and looking back on it, it’s sad to think my little Honda with its silver sparkle helmet so quickly and completely lost its wonderment and appeal.
Fast forward to 2010 and, serendipitously, a silver sparkle helmet has once again made its way into my life. I was lucky enough to win a photo contest and one of the prizes was a Nutcase helmet. Michael was due for a replacement, so I asked her to choose one for herself. She ended up picking a silver sparkle beauty that took me on an unexpected trip down memory lane. The helmet reminded me that innocence is fleeting and fragile, and that we’re much too quick to toss aside the simple and pure for the worldly and sophisticated. I suppose silver sparkle will always represent that innocence for me.