This Space for Rent

Another bit of evidence in favor of bicycle helmets

This morning, as I was walking Silas to school, we saw a little kid attempting to ride his bicycle between a SUV and the curb. He almost made it, and was clear of the SUV’s rear bumper when the bicycle veered into the curb and abruptly flipped over, carrying the kid, head-first, into the pavement.

There were quite a few other adults around, all closer, so we didn’t stay to help after they rushed over to assist the now-shrieking child, but, boy, that would have been an unpleasant impact if he’d not been wearing a helmet.

And this is the second time I’ve seen someone headfirst into the ground and have a helmet get in the way (the other time was me, and my helmet did not survive the impact even though I – except for my right shoulder, which obligingly disintegrated with, no doubt, a bunch of twang!s as all the ligaments tore apart – did) of at the very least would be a spectacular bruise. I will note, however, that neither of these accidents happened when the rider was moving at speed, but when the rider was just sort of ambling along at 5-10mph (I have a helmet with a nice dent in it where I didn’t see a hanging branch on Clinton Street until I clipped it at about 23mph, but I didn’t crash that time, nor did I crash the time I was riding along the Historic Columbia River Highway and got whacked in the head by a rock coming off a cliffside, so they don’t count in the “headfirst into the pavement” category.)