CORVALLIS, Ore. - Mateo Rodriguez stretched a broken toy ball over the top of his helmet last spring before a ride.
“I was in the garage and I broke a toy,” Mateo said. “I thought of this idea of maybe putting it on my helmet.”
All over town, drivers were honking and giving him the thumbs up. A shop owner asked where he could get one, too.
“A lady stopped at the stoplight with us and wondered where he got it," Mateo's father Hector said. "Well, he made it!”
A business - and a 12-year-old entrepreneur - were born.
"As things started falling into place," Mateo's father said, "I realized maybe he was onto something.”
Mateo calls his product Hectic Helmet Hair.
The helmet cover comes in 6 colors, but it's about more than adding a flash of fun.
Mateo said a bicyclist's head is at eye level for drivers. Putting something fun on a bicyclist's helmet can make a rider more noticeable in traffic.
"It makes their helmet much more visible, and their head and their helmet always going to be at eye level view," Mateo said.
“So Mateo came back and said, 'You know Dad, if I can help one person, one kid be seen, and not get hit or injured, would that be worth it?" Hector recalled "I couldn’t argue with that.”
Meet Mateo and his dad #LiveOnKVAL