I remember when my mother bought my first helmet. It was a Bell, and it must have cost $80 at the time. My father had a fit...
It came in handy during my first major accident. Riding down the main road to town, I went into the gravel on the side when I car came up behind me, then as I came back onto the road, my wheels caught on a 2 inch gap between the edge of the road and the gravel side.
My bike catapulted forward, and I ended up sliding on the road on my face, dragging my bike behind me with my feet. At the end of the day, all I had was a big fat lip, worn away plastic shifters, and a few scrapes.
My helmet came in handy...
The second major accident, I was going down the main thoroughfare in town, when someone passed me, pulled into my lane, and slammed on the brakes deliberately. I was looking down a side street and all I saw were the two big red brake lights in front of me before slamming into the truck's tailgate.
My helmet cracked, my glasses and watch flew off, and my bike was toasted.
My helmet saved my life.
There have been other close calls over the years. My policy is to wear a helmet whenever I'm on my bike. There are exceptions to this; I don't wear one when taking my son to day-care on my wife's mama-chari or if I'm riding around town on my mountain bike. I probably should wear something at these times.
There are things I will and will not do.
-I will chide pedestrians and cyclists for not having a light or wearing dark clothes at night along the Tamagawa.
- I will ring a bell to let someone know that I am behind them and/or call out. Last week, I came up behind a couple. The wife was in the middle of the trail and the husband was on the right. As I shouted, "passing on the left," she immediately bolts left and her husband had to grab her and pull her towards himself. Pavlov's dog...
- I will have front and rear lights on at all times while riding. It is not so that I can see, but so others can see me. I cannot tell you how many times people have said, "your light is on." Good, I'm glad you noticed.
- I will hope that people who don't wear a helmet have signed up to be an organ donor. My rule is simple. I trust myself but on the bike, I don't trust other people.
- I will not yell at people or criticise them for not wearing one. The world needs more organ donors.