Coincidentally, I was sorting through some old stacks of Endurance News magazines a few days ago, and found a helmet-safety article I'd written for the January 2007 issue, entitled "Confessions of a former head-banger."
(Troy is the editor at EN, and she loves a catchy title, can you tell?)
|This photo was taken about 2 minutes before the fun started|
Then on Sunday, who do you s'pose came up positive on the gravity test...
...and got to walk back to the trailhead?
|Patty practices tailing up a hill.|
Because, why waste a perfectly good training opportunity?
There's been a bit of helmet chatter on the 'web lately, following the tragic death of a rider at an endurance event. The woman was riding fast, her pony's foot hit a hole, and she hit the ground hard. The helmet didn't save her.
Because even a really good helmet can't save everyone from everything, unfortunately.
|Some of the helmet-bling is now permanently part of the trail|
But here's the thing: just because sunscreen won't protect you from colon cancer, do you go outside without it? (Not if you're a pale-skinned Swamplander, you don't!).
And just because wearing a seatbelt won't save you if a tree falls on the car as you drive down the highway, do you leave off the belt? (It sounds unlikely, but three people in our area died that way last winter.)
|The un-damaged side of the helmet|
I talked to a nice lady at the trailhead a few weeks ago, who always wears a helmet, except on this horse (she nodded at the sweet little Rocky Mountain gelding standing quietly at the trailer) on these trails, "because we only walk out here, no fast stuff."
Well, Patty and Flower were walking, with the group, on a mostly-flat road when Flower stumbled (a baby-horse thing), and Patty did an elegant triple-somersault and coasted to a graceful stop in the weeds.
She banged up her shoulder, she strained some muscles in her neck, and...well, let's take another look at that helmet, shall we?
|Could be worse. Could be her brains.|
That looks pretty awesome on plastic. Would look much less awesome on somebody's head.
So please, y'all: Every ride. Every time.
Here's a poem from that 2007 article:
Don't wanna wear a helmet because
You think your hair is
More important than your brain?
You're probably right.