I know many of us think it’s silly to ride with a proper helmet, simply because it makes us look like a doofus. But, let it be known, helmets are the only things that’ll truly keep your brains safe if ever in a severe accident. Allow me to expound on this serious subject. Just two days before Christmas, a fellow SJFixed member lost control and went down. He ended up in the hospital and laid in a coma for weeks. It wasn’t until a week or so ago that he regained consciousness from his vegetable state. He couldn’t remember who his mom was, he was partially paralyzed on his right side, and will be going through rehabilitation and therapy to regain control of his body. To add to this, he wasn’t wearing a helmet.
What I am trying to convey is the fact that his severe injuries could have been greatly reduced, if not prevented, had he worn a helmet. In spite of this tragedy, it is a blessing that he is still alive. From what I understand, he is still a kid and still in high school. There are definite dangers when riding a fixed-gear bicycle that we should all be cautious of. There is no way to predict an accident, so the best we can do is be prepared for such accidents by wearing a proper fitting helmet.
Photo Credit: Massan Fluker
If you haven’t heard yet, Dirt of Mash SF was recently struck down by a New York yellow cab. Last week, the court decided that 5 years in prison was fitting for Dr. Christopher Thompson on assault chargers for slamming on the brakes in front of an LA cyclist, which inevitably hospitalized the victim and putting him in the emergency room. We also can’t forget the firefighter who gets 120 days for shooting a cyclist in the head. So who is to say that these things can’t happen to you? As cyclists, we all encounter crazy motorists who disregard cyclists. It can happen to any one of us. $65 is a pittance to pay compared to thousands of dollars in medical bills, or dare I say the cost of a coffin and cemetary plot. I’m not trying to scare you into wearing a helmet. It’s just the smart thing to do.
The fact of the matter remains that you will not win against a 2 ton vehicle. Wearing a helmet paired with defensive riding skills are the only things that will save you in a tight situation. So ride safely, and safely ride. Purchasing a proper fitting helmet is an invaluable investment that you will not regret.