One of my professors is an avid bicyclist.  He uses his bicycle for transportation and fitness and rides during all seasons of the year. His example encouraged me to purchase a used bike as soon as I came back to NC two years ago.  I wanted to be able to commute to campus on my bike.  This is something I did not do any of the other times I went to college.  (yes, I know - I am a frequent student).

 When he was my professor in the past (master's program in public health), I came to appreciate cycling as a way to conserve energy, sustain the planet and burn energy.  I also learned to do all of this safely, by following road rules and wearing a helmet.  Readers are aware of my feelings about and observations of helmet use.

   I also worked with my professor in assessing the amount of helmet use in our town.  The overall percentage of use was low, but it was higher in the over age 26 group.  I am over age 26 and so is my professor.  Several reasons exist for why people do not wear helmets.  They can be silly, "it messes up my hair" or serious "I don't think I will crash."  You can fix your hair, but you cannot so  fix your skull and ANYONE can crash - anywhere - at any speed - into a vehicle or onto the ground.

   My professor had such an accident about two weeks ago.  He was going at a good clip and hit raised pavement.  I do not remember if it was a speed bump or a curb.  He hit hard enough to fly over his handle bars.  He landed in three places.  His hip, shoulder and head.  One part of his body was protected - his head.  It is the only one of those three places that is not broken.  He is in rehab now.  He will be okay, but the surgery on his bones required pins to keep him together.

   You could use this story to make a case not to cycle, but it makes better sense to use it to promote safer cycling.  Wear a helmet and watch where you are going.  

One of these riders appears to have a brain they'd like to keep.