To helmet or not to helmet?

I grew up in a world where everyone whore helmets when riding a motorcycle and no one wore them for skiing or cycling except when  racing. That conditioned how I felt about them.

I see people in Colorado riding their motorcycles without helmets and think it is pretty stupid. To me it is one of the big loopholes in our law. Of course everyone riding a motorcycle for decades without a helmet will strongly disagree. Nothing ever happened to them and they’ve got it under control.

I would argue the riding a bicycle is different since you are usually further away from the cars and move at a much slower pace. Helmets for kids are ok but any adult falling of their bike would have to be a real bad rider. To me it feels like an faster form of walking or running. you don’t wear a helmet for that either.

Just like many other things in my life riding bikes or skiing usually takes place in the fast lane. I don’t like to go slow. I actually do own a bicycle helmet but was only wearing it in the mountains.

That was my take until October 16th. I lost control of my bike, landed hard and broke my hip. My reflexes brought my hands up to protect my head from hitting the concrete. My biggest fear were always snakes appearing out of nowhere.  What I hadn’t factored in was a technical malfunction other than a blown tire. My rear wheel came loose and locked up the bike in a split second. I didn’t have a chance and was lucky to end up only with a fractured pelvis. The paramedics saw me and my bike some 30 ft away and wondered where my helmet was. They didn’t say anything but I could read their minds. No one with a sane mind would go that fast without a helmet. And they were totally right.

I really don’t like those things. They are ugly. I like the wind in my hair. But I know how lucky I was and how much of an idiot I’d be if I would continue to ride without a helmet. I needed that painful lesson for my take on helmets to change. Hopefully for some of you a blog post like this or hearing my story might make the difference.

I hope I’ll never have an accident like that again but the next time it happens the rescuers won’t have to ask where my helmet is

Alpine skiing? Ditto. I have a helmet and will actually begin to wear it when I am flying down the mountains.

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