Driving home on Monday afternoon, I gasped so loud my boyfriend almost slammed on the brakes. What? What happened? Did I hit something? What did you see?
A little boy was riding his bike at top speed, racing with his older brother on a narrow sidewalk pressed against a busy road. Cars whizzed by and he went faster and faster, and the faster he went the more he wobbled. He teetered back and forth, peddling as fast as his little legs would take him.
And then he fell.
Heart racing, stomach sick, I gasped.
“Can we go see if he’s OK?”
He was sitting on a bench with his brother. No blood, head unscathed—I breathed a sigh of relief.
When I was 6, my mom received a phone call from her doctor’s office. Her appointment had been cancelled due to her physician’s death. When I asked what happened to her, she told me what the nurse said: she was riding her bike without her helmet, ran over a rock, lost her balance, fell, hit her head and died.
My high school history teacher lost her brother the same way when he was a teenager.
Just the other day a co-worker told me about a guy he knows, a fitness enthusiast, who fell off his bike and broke his jaw, broke his collarbone and lost several teeth. His helmet’s the only reason he’s still here.
I think about these things every time I see a person riding their bike without a helmet.
Bike riding is a great summer activity for kids and adults. It’s good exercise, it’s free, it’s environmentally friendly transportation, it’s a chance to enjoy the nice weather—but just like you wear a seat belt in a car, it’s important to wear helmet on a bike.
Your head is too important not to!
Northfield Ambulance Garage (call to arrange pickup)