Monday, November 15, 2010

Cyclists and Mountain bikers, use your heads, wear a helmet!

By: Dr. Terry Weyman

While riding along the trails surrounding sycamore canyon in Newbury Park, Ca, I was shocked at how many riders do not wear their helmets! I applaud people for climbing on their bikes, both new and old, and forging out to “feel the burn”. Just don’t forget the most important piece of cycling equipment, a helmet. The excuses that riders come up with shock me, from “its too hot” to “I’m not going that fast or far”. I don’t remember leaving my house saying, “I better wear my helmet since I plan on having an accident today”. What is worse is when I see the parent of a helmet wearing child without their helmet. The example we are setting is what, when you grow up your brain goes to mush so its not worth protecting?

A Cycling helmet is more than a fashion accessory, it is as important as the bike you are sitting on. According to the U.S. emergency room stats there are 600,000 cycling injuries a year with 1,000 of these leading to death. Head injuries lead the list of injuries and account for the most serious injuries and causes of death. As a Sports Doctor and an ex bike racer, I have seen serious head injuries from falls where the rider was going less than 5 mph. The hills surrounding Ventura County attract all forms of cycling enthusiasts from Moms and Pops out for a Sunday Cruise to advanced racers training for the next race. With this diversity comes a wide range of skill levels. The trails themselves have so many “blind curves” and ever changing terrain that even the most skilled rider must pay attention if he/she wants to stay upright. Head on collisions, getting caught in a tricky rut, a stick jumping up and going in your front wheel,or simply loosing control sliding around a corner, without a helmet your brain does not have a chance. If you’re too lazy to don a helmet for a cruise to the beach, think of the other rider who may not see you and comes tearing around a blind turn and takes you out. What thoughts will be going through your head while you lay in a hospital bed wondering if you will ever be able to feed yourself again. Folks, invest in a good helmet, set an example to your kids and remember, you only have one head!

Dr. Terry has been involved with high level cycling his entire 20+ year career. For more infomation visit our website at

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