Thursday, July 8, 2010

Why Wear a Helmet?

After seeing all the crashes at Le Tour (not so bad yesterday, fortunately), I thought I’d make some observations on the importance of helmets. Strangely, there are still those who don’t see the need. The proverb about the number of words a picture can be worth applies here, so I will just stick with the pictures of my busted helmet (and explanations of how it got that way). I was out for a spin on a relatively warm day last February when I passed the residence of a mostly harmless dog. I guess the cool-but-not-frigid weather had made him frisky, so on this particular day, he decided to give chase. He managed to dart in front of my wheel, and a few seconds later I was sitting in a ditch next to a fencepost after going over the handlebars. The dog was running back whence he came, presumably. Despite the fact that I was wearing my helmet and my bike was relatively unscathed, I spent the next few minutes trying to figure out which way I had been going before I crashed. Keep in mind that I have been down that road a hundred times, and the dog was bound to be running back toward his house, which we had already passed. So I must have been slightly concussed to be so confused about which way to go. Nevertheless, after inspecting the damage done to my helmet by the fencepost and pavement, I did figure out which way was home, and managed to ride there without further incident. Now, people say I am hard-headed. But not so much that, had I neglected to wear a helmet that day, I am confident I would have been on my way to the hospital, at best, instead of home.