Today, a bicycle rider is supposed to wear a bike helmet. Everyone knows that. When I was age 6 – 16, my pal, Biff, and I rode our bikes every day without a helmet. Yes, we fell off, but were lucky and never suffered a brain injury. At least I do not think we suffered any brain injuries. I will admit to having trouble remembering names and that includes my own. Before you think Biff and I were stupid for not wearing our helmets, I hasten to remind you that in the 1950s, bike helmets had not been invented.
Today, everyone knows a bike helmet is a good idea and it is the law.
If you are like me and pay attention to such things, you will frequently see parents applying the old “do as I say, not as I do” approach with their kids when it comes to bicycle safety.
Parents make their kids wear bike helmets, but many adults scoff at the idea of wearing brain protection. If the parents do don a helmet, they leave the unhooked strap flapping in the wind. The law demands that the bike helmet is worn and secured properly. A rider wearing an unsecured helmet can still be issued a traffic ticket for failure to wear a bike helmet.
Once a rider is ejected from his or her bike, the Newtonian laws of centrifugal force, forward motion, and gravity take over controlling the trajectory of the cranial protective device; causing the bike helmet to separate from the rider a good number of moments before the rider’s head slams into the pavement. At the moment the head meets the pavement, the brain rattles around like an egg inside a broken egg shell. In scientific medical terms, the rider’s brain gets scrambled.
For any readers who may doubt my brain management concepts described above, know that I am a credible source when it comes to human behavior. I was a gifted graduate of Miss Gertrude Hansen’s high school Psychology / Sociology class. When I say gifted, what I mean to say is my high school diploma was a gift. Miss Hansen told me the only reason I was going to graduate was my gift of gab.
So guess what kids do after watching their parents ride without a helmet? They dutifully put their helmets on like they are told. They secure the strap properly like they are told. As soon as they are down the road, around the corner and out of sight, they take their bike helmets off and hang them from their handlebars. Aaah, the sweet sense of freedom. Yes, kids are more likely to do as their parents do rather than do as their parents say.
It appears to me that any parent who chooses to ride a bike in front of their kids without a helmet, may not have any brains to protect.
Check out my photo captured up on 6th Avenue in Tacoma. Everyone, including the parents, are wearing their bike helmets properly. This family has to be among the smartest bike riders in America.
Candid photo of intelligent parents riding a bicycle built for two along with their two children. The entire family is wearing their helmets properly. I acknowledge this family is the exception, not the rule.
If you wish to avoid a brain injury, please strap on your bike helmet. Remember, there are two ways to learn something; the easy way and the hard way. If you insist on learning it the hard way, you may end up having trouble remembering your own name. What is worse, as a parent, if you set a bad example, you may be responsible for your child suffering a brain injury.
I recognize some readers may react with anger after reading my opinionated and judgmental statements, but as they say, “If the helmet fits, then wear it.” or was that, “if the shoe fits, then wear it?” Now that is another thing. Do not ride barefoot!