It’s springtime. It’s sunny and warm outside (when it’s not raining). Pheremones are floating on the breeze. It’s a great time to ride your bicycle. It’s also a great time to strap on a helmet.
Perhaps because I live between the University of North Carolina-Asheville and downtown Asheville, I’ve seen lots of folks riding bikes without brain buckets in recent weeks.
I realize I’m part of the generation that went from “What’s a bike helmet?” to “You must wear one, my children.” Pretty much no one wore bike helmets until I was in my 20s, when mountain bikes hit the scene, and folks realized head protection while biking was wise.
My kids, on the other hand, have never so much as sat down on a bike without a helmet, just as they’ve never ridden in a car without being strapped in. Basically, both helmets and seat belts are no brainers.
Plus, as one of the organizers of Asheville on Bikes says, “Helmets are sexy.”
Oh wait, I’m not ready for my kids to be sexy.
But you crazy UNCA students, and other 20 somethings, who think you’re invincible? Helmets are sexy.
If you want to attract a mate (or a friend with benefits), a proven way to do so is to show you’re healthy and a survivor. Seriously.
Research into sexuality shows that we’re all turned on by people who seem to be long-time survivors (our hormones respond to the appearance of health and longevity). So what’s one way to look like a survivor, y’all? That’s right—strap on a fricking helmet when you’re biking. And, who knows, perhaps the dates will start pouring—or at least trickling—in.
If sexy doesn’t work for you, here are some stats. Depending on where you live, between 75 and 97 percent of bicycle-related deaths happen to those who aren’t wearing helmets (the 97 percent is from New York City—where it’s a really bad idea to bike helmetless). According to the National Highway Traffic Administration, 630 bicyclists died on U.S. roads in 2009 (the most recent numbers released). Younger cyclists are more likely to die from head injuries than older cyclists. Males are seven times more likely to die in bicycle accidents than females. I’m not sure if this is because males are less likely to wear helmets or less cautious cyclists—or both.
I know of at least two Asheville folks who sustained serious long-term brain injuries from falling off bikes while not wearing helmets. I know of at least one person who died that way here.
You may say those were freak accidents and could’ve happened as easily if the person had slipped and fell down the stairs. Regardless, those accidents occurred while those people were on bicycles, and they possibly could’ve been avoided by a layer of Styrofoam and plastic. They were what us moms refer to as preventable accidents.
So prove to the opposite sex that you’re a smart survivor. Put on your bike helmet. Look in the mirror and tell yourself you’re bringing the sexy. Then go ride your bike around town and check out all the other young survivors wearing their helmets.
Edgy Mama—helping college students get laid (and survive into adulthood).