Let me start off by saying that Angkas has taken a good chunk of the transport vehicle network service (TNVS) pie and has been a convenient and relatively affordable way to beat Metro Manila traffic. Their success is well-deserved, and despite all the legal hurdles (red tape?), there's a lot to like about making it to appointments, meetings, and work on time. It also helps that most of their riders are properly trained and courteous, making those iffy with two-wheeled commuting feel slightly at ease. But I’m going to be that one person to bring up what might be a minor thing to some, but a big deal as a motorcyclist – helmet hygiene.
Let’s face it, while steps are taken to keep Angkas passenger helmets as clean as possible, if the rider gets several trips in succession, chances are he won’t have time to wipe down and disinfect the helmet after each use. So the sweat, dirt, and other secretions make their way into the inner liner of the helmets where they are left to fester and give off bad odours and even become a breeding ground for bacteria. Oh, and how about lice and bedbugs that can transfer from host to host? Uh. No. So, remember when your parents used to tell you to never share combs or hairbrushes when growing up? That’s the same idea here.
Now we all know that those who regularly use Angkas don’t carry around personal helmets to use. They can be bulky and having your hands carrying another item is simply too inconvenient for some. What we can do, however, is invest in our own balaclavas or helmet socks. They are light, foldable, and easy to throw into your purse or bag. And the best part is that it’s just for you, so you are free to disinfect or give the fabric a good washing after a day of use. It’ll keep most of the stuff off your face, your hair, and you’ll be pretty safe from the head lice that can hang onto human hair pretty easily. Just remember to keep it clean before and after each use.
In fact, let me segue by saying that you should wear a balaclava everytime you wear a helmet, even if the helmet is yours. You want to protect the liner from sweat and wear, as well as help wick moisture when you ride around in a tropical country. When on longer rides up in colder areas of the country, a balaclava will help keep your face warm from wind chill. So spend a few hundred bucks and get a whole lot of benefits, both for the commuter and the motorcycle rider.