tips, products, comments & interesting stuff – by Laura Dunkley
Okay.. that might be an extreme case, but you just never know when the unexpected can happen.
It seems the debate continues on whether or not we should wear helmets when we go riding. Or perhaps it is more that the debate is about what kind of cycling warrants the need for a helmet. “Of course if you are racing mountain bikes or going down-hilling you should wear a helmet, but I am not going to wear one while I am pedaling my cruiser to the corner store”. I hear those words all the time and if it is not in words, it is observed in action.
I have seen and heard of so many accidents involving my cycling customers and friends over the years, that I am a strong advocate of wearing a helmet ANY time I am riding a bike. One incident was a rider who was riding on a casual mountain bike ride with friends and cracked his head because he misjudged the height of an overhanging tree. Another was someone ‘riding along’ and reached down to get something from his wheel, lost his balance and cracked his brand new helmet on the pavement. Another is a friend who was riding on the rail trail in a freak rain storm to have her helmet save her life as she ran straight into a tree that had fallen over the trail the night before. There are also the many times that I have seen people bring in their old helmets to show me cracks in them. “I didn’t even realize I hit my head” was often the comment.
How many serious injuries and lives have helmets saved over the years? And even if you are just casually riding around town and you are a ‘better’ rider than all of us with the greatest luck in the world that you will never be involved in an accident, what kind of example are you presenting to our young children? The question I ask - “Is it worth the risk?”.
Be one of those ‘cool’ parents and not only make sure your kids are wearing their helmets (because it is law and smart), but wear one too. If you want to encourage the kids in your area to start wearing their helmets.. how about running an event where you will give away some free helmets and make sure they are fitted properly? There is always sponsorship money out there for such a worthy cause (i.e. Rotary clubs, local bike shops, church groups, helmet manufacturers, hospitals, etc.)
Helmets have improved over the years – they are colorful, light-weight and ventilated. So even if this next photo is more your riding style, it is still worth wearing a ‘lid’ to protect what is inside.
Here are some links to learn more:
More information on helmet laws in Ontario, Canada – read here
The Ontario helmet law came into effect from 1st October 1995. Although originally intended to apply to all ages, it was amended by regulation before enactment to exempt adults (18 years of age and over). The penalty for failing to wear a helmet is CAD 105 and applied directly to 16/17 year-olds and to the parents of those under 16.
More head injury statistics – Link