I Should Know Better

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Biking with RichardI will chalk this experience up to a temporary lapse in judgment on my part. For someone who preaches safety on a regular basis, I know better than to take unnecessary risks especially when participating in active sports. Here's the story: I was riding my bike with my boyfriend (Richard) 3 weekends ago ... not to worry, we were definitely wearing our sports helmets! We enjoyed a long 2 1/2 hour ride from my apartment to the Brick Works in Toronto and back. Along the final stretch of bike trails, Richard and I were feeling the love! Riding side by side, I reached out to hold his hand and of course the inevitable happened. We collided and fell! Fortunately Richard's injuries were limited to a few scraps and bruises. I didn't fair as well and was just diagnosed with a torn rotator cuff. It's taken me 3 weeks to write this post and admit my stupidity but I decided this story is worth sharing. I am still perplexed by the number of cyclists (kids and adults) who don't wear a sports helmet. I'm sure they aren't as stupid as I am and don't try to hold the hand of the person they are riding beside but accidents can still happen even when people are following the rules of the road. Pot holes, street car tracks, car doors suddenly opening when a cyclist is passing by, as well as bad drivers are everywhere in the city and any one of them can lead to a serious bike accident. My torn rotator cuff will heal eventually although my activity levels will be curtailed for the next 3 to 6 months and I will need physio therapy. But brain injuries are another matter ... brains don't heal as easily as broken bones etc. So why do people take unnecessary risks? I've learned my lesson and will NEVER try to hold Richard's hand again, at least, not while bike riding. What will it take to convince the cyclists in the non-helmet camp they should start wearing a helmet? Hopefully it won't take a concussion or fatal accident of someone they love or themselves before they learn the importance of helmet safety. UnknownStill not convinced? Maybe this statistic will help: 85% of head injuries in bicycle accidents can be prevented by wearing a helmet. (source:

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