Apparently one biff isn’t enough. I had to go for a round two. Think of the Mortal Kombat game that you may have played as a kid, when the announcer says “Round 2…FIGHT!” And then you get K.O.’ed….
This is more of a “make you think” post than one sharing the glories of our beautiful Iowa landscape, or things to experience. I hope this post may prove useful in terms of bike safety, because no matter where you bike in Northeast Iowa, safety comes first. I cannot stress to you how important a helmet is.
Had I not been wearing a helmet, or a helmet built like the one I was wearing (a visor screwed in securely, not removable by unclipping), I would’ve likely sustained a broken nose and teeth.
My accident happened at an area where I’ve biked several times before. Yes, I was on a different bike, and maybe went at the ledge a little faster than I would on my commuter bike. Who knows? It’s likely I will never remember what exactly I did, and no one actually saw firsthand.
I crashed at a spot I’ve ridden before. I crashed doing something similar to what I’ve done other times. You cannot take for granted having ridden in an area multiple times. You cannot take for granted successfully doing something on your bike multiple times. There may be that one time you do something not quite the same as before, and you end up with a concussion, stitches, scrapes and bruises.
The next day I heard someone had a crash on Trout Run Trail. This is the third time I heard about someone having some kind of accident out there. (Note, my accident was not on the trail.) It happens, and it’s very real! You are riding on what you could call a machine, built of a frame and two tires. You do not have protection on this machine. There is no shell around your body. The only shell you have is what you put on yourself. That would be the helmet.
I know there will be die-hard riders or beginners, or anyone in-betwee,n saying that they do not “need” a helmet. “I don’t ride fast!” “I don’t do tricks!” “I’m safe!” “I know what I’m doing, and obviously you don’t.” I am sure there are more responses, and some of them I will call out for being downright stupid.
So what if it messes your hair up, doesn't match every outfit, doesn't match your bike(s), or whatever? Those are all excuses, plain and simple. My ER visit will be expensive enough (the joy of a high deductable). I could also be paying for dental, had my teeth been broken out. I could also be nursing a broken nose or a broken jaw. I was darn lucky.
So the next time you venture off on your bike without a helmet, think about it. If you have an accident, it truly affects everyone around you. Co-workers, friends, family,your significant other, even your pets! Would you rather be out of work for a few days and have (overall) minor cosmetic damage, or be in a hospital, and/or suffer from broken bones?
The choice is yours. Helmets may not be perfect or a “cure all” but they do help protect that brain box!