Aug. 27, I went out for a quick morning bicycle ride when the bike slid out from underneath me on a curve. Three weeks later I came home. The fall caused my femur to punch through my pelvis, shattering it, and cracked a rib. A 911 call drew a quick response and a short ride to the Loyola trauma center. Ten hours of surgery, three plates and 10 screws later, the pieces of my pelvis were back together again.
I’ve learned from this experience two things: I overestimated the amount of traction on my tires and I underestimated the amount of damage possible in coming off a bike. Yet with having experienced all this physical damage, I feel incredibly blessed for the injury that I did not experience. Close inspection after the accident showed a helmet that was crushed over my left temple. Clearly it took the impact that would have crushed my skull had I not been wearing it.
Having had this experience, it pains me to see teens and adults riding in our village on bikes without helmets as if they do not need this basic safety equipment.
Parents, if you love your children, buy them helmets and have them wear them whenever riding a bike. Teens, if you love your parents, get a helmet and use it. Children, if you love your parents, ask them to buy themselves helmets and use them. They are simple devices that save lives — yours and those of the people you love.