When I was a boy my mom would make me dive onto the floorboards of the car (before seat belts) for safety! Now today this does not sound too safe but the thought was good. Find a way to mitigate injury if the worst happens.
Fast forward to my adult life riding bicycles. In my 20′s I got a child seat for my bike. I dutifully bought my son a helmet (after all safety first!). Then I would go on rides with out a helmet!!!?
I started hearing about bicycle accidents on the news with car vs. bicycle. I never did hear about one where the bicycle won.
On the news the emergency room doctors made the point that most bicycle deaths were cause by a lack of helmet. I finally wised up.
Fast forward to my mountain bike purchase a couple of years back. I bought a helmet even though in California it is NOT a law that adults have to wear a helmet.
I can remember three crashes where my head hit the ground. The first two did not seem to be too bad but I did fly over the handle bars on hills. Perhaps it was wishful thinking that I was never in any danger.
A couple of weeks ago I was pushing myself going on a long ride (2 1/2 hours) over new terrain and ended up bending up my front wheel a bit. Near the end of my ride when I was going to bunny hop over the center divider of a street that would take me home – I made a near fateful mistake if not for my helmet.
I did not want to ride over to the intersection as there was a break in the traffic. I looked both ways and headed for the divider across a couple of lanes when it was clear.
I looked one more time before hopping onto the center island but was shocked to see a car in the fast lane on the other two lanes. I turned the handle bar and started to break but I did not realize the island was so close (my shock to see a car appear over the rise of the other two lanes).
My wheel slammed into the center island sideways and I went over the side of my bike as the wheels slipped out from under me – slamming my head into the curb and my face into the asphalt!
Luckily I was wearing my helmet because I did not get knocked out – just a little road rash. I was able to get up and out of the path of oncoming traffic.
So no more fooling myself – this last time the helmet saved my bacon!
Moral Grasshopper – use a helmet – ride another day.