Be Safe While Riding Your Bike

A story about an injury I had and how it helped me in my life.

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Everywhere in the world there are people getting hurt when riding bicycles. Injuries incurred can be anything from a couple scratches or a bruise to a major concussion.  One of the reasons that people’s injuries when riding are so bad is because most people don’t wear a helmet. A lot of people are not proactive before they ride or as they ride.  I personally had an incident when riding my bike in which my helmet ended up between the pavement and my head, and my helmet prevented me from having a concussion. Everyone should wear a helmet while they ride a bike regardless of what others think or how they think it looks.

I was riding my bike home from Mitchell Intermediate School, the school I went to in eighth grade in The Woodlands, Texas, with a couple of friends who lived near me.  There was a sidewalk which led all the way to my house from the school, which I had taken almost every day to and from school.  Connected to the sidewalk were some other dirt paths that had sticks and other leaves on the trail.  The beaten paths we took were mostly shortcuts, but they were there almost only for fun.  The dirt trails were only wide enough for a bike wheel to fit on and people would not walk upon it.

When my friends and I were riding our bikes home from school one day, one of them went onto a dirt trail, and I followed because I loved riding on them.  When he was about to go back up on the sidewalk his wheel caught the end of a small rotting tree stump which was barely noticeable.  Riding too closely behind my friend resulted in me flipping over his back wheel and my helmet breaking my fall to the ground.  My unfortunate accident was the worst in the crash.  I scratched up my face and bruised every limb on my body.  I was actually lucky, as I was able to pick myself up, and get back on my scuffed bike.  Aside from a couple scrapes, my bike was also fine, but my helmet was cracked badly.  

While we were finishing our long ride home, a cheerful fireman was standing at one of the sidewalk crosswalks which we were going to cross.  He excitingly was handing out Chick-Fil-A coupons.  The coupons were only presented to those kids who were wearing a helmet while riding their bike, and I ended up being the only one to receive a coupon out of my friends.  I looked down at the coupon and it read, “A free pack of four piece chicken nuggets at Chick-Fil-A”, where I enjoy eating! I thought how strange it was that the fireman didn’t notice a single thing wrong with me as I passed him.  My scrapes looked pretty bad, but they could have been worse if I wasn’t wearing my hard helmet.

There are no smart reasons for you to not wear your helmet.  Your helmet is the only thing to protect you from hitting your head when you crash.  There are about 540,000 people every year who are injured from bicycle accidents who hurt themselves bad enough to visit the emergency room.  Just because you think a helmet makes you look funny is not a good excuse at all for the cost you might pay if you have an accident.  Don’t let any kind of peer pressure result in your not taking the proper precautions when riding your bike. Other people may tell you not to wear a helmet or distract you when riding, but you should tell them the reasons you want to keep your body to stay safe. 

The situation in which I crashed helped me to realize the safety precautions I should take when riding a bike.  I encourage everyone else to do the same and not put your head in jeopardy.  An accident can happen to anyone at anytime. Do what’s right to keep yourself safe, without harm, and out of the hospital.  I think everyone should wear their helmet and pay attention to their surroundings as they bike ride.  The choice is for each one to decide on your own, so you can wear it or take the risk of receiving a serious injury.

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