I Don’t Want To Die Doing It

Let’s see how many people wonder what this post is about.

I’ll give you what I would normally save to the end of my blog right now, that being the point of the blog:

No matter how much I love doing something, no, I am not going to be happy if I die while I’m doing it.

Now the rest of the blog.

Today we went on a bike ride.  Nice ride.  No pressures.  No racing.  No place to hurry up and get to or hurry up and leave from.

I passed a little girl of maybe 3 or 4 on her little bike with training wheels.  Her mom was in running clothes about 50 feet behind her.  Talking on her cell phone.  The little girl did not have a helmet on.  That’s what got me to thinking.   That little girl could have tipped over in a second.   Not enough time for mom to get to her and prevent tippage.   And no helmet on her precious little head to protect it.   Cuts and bruises we can usually heal better from.   Cracked heads not so much.

I know a lot of people who don’t think it’s necessary to put helmets on themselves or their children.   I see lots of comments on social media sights saying “like this if you rode a bike as a kid without a helmet and survived”.   That’s all well and good.   But lets remember that the people who rode bikes as kids (or adults) and didn’t have a helmet on and died or are permanently damaged can’t click dislike on that.

I started thinking about a lot of different things I’ve seen over my years as a biker.   Some of them good.   Some of them not so good.  I remember the breeze in my hair and on my face as a kid.   That was a great and liberating feeling.  Back when I didn’t wear a helmet.   So what.  If you want the breeze in your hair that bad take the hair dryer, put it on the cold setting and blow away.

One day a fellow biker and I were riding along and came across a man sitting in the middle of the bike trail.  Odd.  A bike was laying splayed out.   We asked if he was okay and he said no.  We stopped.   He has no idea how he wiped out but he did.  Helmet -less.  His friend rode on for help.  Face and head bleeding.   Collarbone broken.   Other damages.   The other biker with me had to sit on the ground and let the damaged biker lean up against him.   He couldn’t hold himself up, he couldn’t lie down.   He was a mess.   At least his head would of been protected had he been wearing his helmet.

On another day on another bike ride  I was with a group of teenage boys riding almost thirty miles.  I was the last rider of the group keeping an eye on the boys to make sure everyone was okay.   One of the boys was pedaling along and with no rhyme or reason or object in the way he wiped out.   Hit his head.   Had a helmet.  He was fine.

I’ve had two wipe outs and took two direct hits to my head.  One with no head injury.  One with a concussion.  I’ve had other wipe outs where the direct hit wasn’t to my head but the head still bounced.

I was riding with my kids once and another family.   I was busy getting everyone else ready.   Getting bikes unloaded.  Water bottles on the bikes.   Helmets on heads.  Gloves on hands.   We pedal away.   After three miles I realized I felt kind of naked and actually looked down to make sure I had my clothes on.   It took me a minute to realize I didn’t have my helmet on.   I could not enjoy the rest of the ride.  We passed a couple of mom’s pulling kid trailers and one mom passed and said “mom you should wear a helmet too”.   I felt, quite literally, stupid.  I totally agreed with her.

It is a choice to wear a helmet.  It just seems stupid not to.   Husband always says to those who don’t want to wear a helmet:

Sit on top of your kitchen table or a counter.   Cross your arms.  Tip yourself over and fall on your head.   Don’t let your arms catch you.  Don’t protect your head with a helmet.   Sounds pretty stupid doesn’t it?

Yeah.  I survived my childhood by riding a bike without a helmet.  But I’ve also survived adulthood because I do wear a helmet.

Anyway.   Whilst thinking about all of that it made me reflect on so many bikers being killed this year in accidents.  Some wearing helmets, some not.   But being hit by a car with or without a helmet is not something that I would enjoy.   I enjoy the biking.  I don’t want to die doing it.  There is no enjoyment in that.

Rest assured if I am having fun biking (or insert your favorite fun activity) I would be much happier being able to continue living and loving life.

Amen.