Accidents happen; inaction shouldn't
July 13, 2013
There are several lessons to be learned from this column, I hope. The first of these is that, if you or someone whom you know rides a bicycle, encourage them to wear a helmet. I have brought up that theme before.
Every one of the several times when wearing a helmet has saved this columnist's head from a concussion, or worse, I have brought it up.
The Canondale road bike, probably my favorite birthday present ever, is an amazing piece of athletic equipment. It feels as much like flying as is possible, without wings.
The only comparable experience I recall is learning to sail on a Sunfish, the light, fast one-person sailboats. In each case, precision and coordination are the challenges to be met.
The difference is, if you dump a Sunfish going 20 miles an hour or so, you end up in the water. If you dump the Canondale, you end up in the road. I've done both, several times. I prefer the water.
Lesson number two: if you are going to shift grips and move your hands to different locations on the handlebars, do not do this at the same time as you apply the brake. Related to that, for me, is the lesson of, don't forget and do dumb things that you know better than to do. Like forgetting simple lesson number two, an obvious one.
It is important to describe what happened, for those of you who may use this column to convince someone to wear a helmet.
The helmet deflected the road surface from my head, thereby preventing frontal lobe damage, which would be a big problem. It also deflected the road contact from breaking my glasses, which would have been a lesser problem, but still a big one.
So instead, I got off with just the manly looking skinned nose that I used to wear with pride during most of football season as a high school linebacker.
(That's kind of a joke.)
Actually this one was much larger and very close to broken, but still a light sentence in comparison.
Summer, in particular, brings opportunities to participate in some great outdoor activities-hiking the Rio Grande Gorge near Taos, as we were able to do earlier this week-bicycling and swimming or boating in areas near or far, horseback riding-the list goes on.
Accidents will happen, even if you never make a foolish mistake. Wrapping oneself in bubble wrap, as some people seem prone to do (symbolically speaking), is no way to live life.
So get out there and enjoy life, while summer brings you its second half, courtesy of God. Wear a helmet, don a life jacket, use solid grip hiking shoes, and try not to exceed your skill level-or do something silly.
Clyde Davis is a Presbyterian pastor and teacher at Clovis Christian High School. He can be contacted at: