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Friend with brain injury has strong message on helmets

May 20, 2014 - By Craig Blumenshine, Staff Writer

It didn't take him long last week just before we started our cycling class, to ask me how I made my way to work.

Because the day was warm, I told my classmate that I had ridden my scooter.

"Did you wear a helmet?" he asked.

I had. But I admit that sometimes I don't.

Another classmate today was was asked the same question.

She had ridden her bike, and our friend knows that she often uses her bike to get around town.

She responded that she hadn't worn her helmet but said she knew she should have, even though her trip was relatively short.

Our caring friend is concerned. He wasn't mean. He was trying to be helpful.

He made an impression on me, and I think he would on you also. He has a traumatic brain injury.

If you think about it, our town has not been designed to be bike friendly. There are very few designated bike lanes on our city streets (maybe some planning will include bike paths some day).

Even new construction, such as what is happening now on South Federal and planned next year for North Federal, will be void of paths for cyclists.

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 70 percent of bicycle deaths in 2010 happened to those who were not wearing helmets.

We can help bend the statistics in our favor.

As you ride around town this summer, on your bike, or on your motorcycle, consider riding with your helmet on.

And parents, make sure your kids wear their helmets. If you are riding with your children, set a positive example.

Maybe it's time you buy your first helmet.

Our generation zipped around town on our cool bikes without helmets back in the day.

But times change, and we can learn.

Our friend, who has a traumatic brain injury, hopes his message gets through to you.

Have a great sports week. Go Big Red!

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