Saturday, August 17, 2013

Should helmets be mandatory on a bike? Perhaps not, but I'm sold on them now.

I remember thinking how stupid it was when helmets became mandatory on a motorcycle in BC. I'd just bought a Yamaha 175 trail bike and was looking forward to feeling the wind in my hair.

I felt the same years later, when they made them mandatory on bicycles too.


A couple of weeks ago I managed to crack a bike helmet, while doing a header off the bike on a major road in Surrey, BC.  I'd just bought the helmet, so to say the least I was somewhat pi**ed - that is until I realized that it could have been my head ;-)

When I got up, I was somewhat dazed, and it took a while to come to my senses, but I managed to get off the road and into a parking lot to inspect the helmet and the bike. I had a few bruises on my arms and legs, but it seems the only read damage was to the helmet. Whew.

The accident resulted from just a momentary lapse of focus on my part. The results could have been much worse. 

A mild headache started later in the day, so I headed over to the emergency ward  to make sure things were ok. It took 5 hours and a CT scan, but the doc assured me there was no blood pooling inside my skull, so I'd be fine. "It's a good thing you were wearing a helmet," he said.

Without the helmet, that crack might have been along the back of my skull. In fact, I remember thinking I was done for when I heard the crack when my head was hitting the pavement.

So I'm sold on helmets now. They won't prevent or reduce every injury on a bike, but they can sure help when your head is involved. And given all the control that blob of grey matter has on your body, it's best to give it all the protection you can.

Now, back to the bike.