Nothing has made me slam on my brakes harder than the time my friend catapulted over his handlebars and smashed onto the pavement – head first.
We were riding our bikes on a breezy spring day in Northern Liberties. Somewhere along the way, a hidden hazard in the road suddenly put a jolt in our bike adventure. My friend’s front tire hit a miniscule bump, and it sent him airborne. Fortunately, he only suffered some minor cuts and bruises. One thing saved him from a concussion and possible brain damage-his helmet.
As the Biker Chick, I am obligated to preach about bicycle safety and the importance of wearing a helmet.
But I must regrettably admit that I do not wear a helmet while cruising on my two wheels. Nor do I wear a seatbelt when in a car. I also walk around dark alleys at 3 a.m. brandishing money in my hand. I even leave the stove on when I leave my apartment. Okay, I lied about not wearing a seatbelt.
I’m sure after you read this you will be pacing around your room fretting over my safety. Fear not my fellow bicyclists, for I, the Biker Chick, am invincible. Well, maybe I’m just dumb.
Once my friend recovered from his accident, he realized he was incredibly grateful that he had worn a helmet. It was such a strange and unexpected occurrence, being caused by an unnoticeable bump in the road. Just imagine if he had been hit by a car or one of those monolithic SEPTA buses.
Let’s get serious here Temple bikers-you have to lose the “too cool for a helmet” attitude, because you will end up like Humpty Dumpty -they might not be able to put you back together again either.
I’m adamant about having a choice of whether or not to wear a helmet. In my opinion, imposing a law that requires wearing a helmet while riding a bike is too strict. At the same time, I believe that wearing a helmet is an imperative safety precaution when riding a bicycle, especially if you ride on the road frequently.
According to the Bike Helmet Safety Institute (BHSI) Web site, “A very high percentage of cyclists’ brain injuries can be prevented by a helmet, estimated at anywhere from 45 percent to 88 percent.”
Whatever excuse you are using to let your head go nude is probably not valid. I don’t have any reasons; I just like to live dangerously. Many people argue that wearing a helmet can be cumbersome. This is not true; helmets are made to be lightweight with plenty of ventilation. Others might say that they can’t find a helmet to fit their giant head. This too is a fallacy. On the BHSI Web site, any person with any size cranium can find the perfect helmet to protect his or her melon.
The comprehensive site is great for bicyclists who are new to the world of helmets (it’s more complicated than you’d think). The site also has a bunch of statistics on bike accidents, lists of new models of helmets, information on helmet laws and even gives advice for bald people who wear helmets. Check out the site at www.bhsi.org.
Be sure to learn how to scare your younger sister or brother by demonstrating how a helmet-less head might splatter in a bike accident. It’s under “Demonstrations with melons and gelatin brains.” You might learn from it yourself. Strap that helmet on-because mid-terms are lurking around the corner, and you’ll need all of your brain.
Ellen Minsavage can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.