Headbanging. Safely.

WoodpeckerThey slam their heads into trees thousands of times a day. No brain damage and, as far as we know, no headaches. Woodpeckers.

Now industrial designer Anirudha Surabhi has created a new, super-strong bike helmet, which protects cyclists’ heads by mimicking features of the woodpecker’s distinctive anatomy. The woodpecker is not built like other birds; its head shape and structure protects it from those endless impacts as it searches for food in trees.

And so came the helmet from Surabhi. He was inspired by the woodpecker, but only after he took a minor fall from his bike and found his helmet cracked.

I enjoy my woodpeckers. My back yard has a lot of Downey and some Hairy woodpeckers, quite a few Red Bellied woodpeckers and even the occasional Red Headed woodpecker and the Pileated. Still looking for the Red Cockaded because I know he’s out there, and for the Ivory Billed,  although I’m pretty sure he’s not. There are one or two smaller, lesser-known birds of the woodpecker clan like sapsuckers out there too. My suet feeder gives them  a really soft , silent target, but I hear them in the trees even if I can’t always see them.

For the next few weeks I’ll hear them and wonder why they didn’t inspire me to design a fortune-making bicycle helmet.