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Mary on a Roll

Posted on: June 4, 2017

Why I always wear a helmet

Mary on a Roll

have had spills while cycling on the Trail that are unquestionably my fault, but also when I and a vehicle driver have miscommunicated.

AltTextI consider myself a cycling “enthusiast.” I track my miles and watch my average speed. There are day trippers who only ride the Withlacoochee State Trail intermittently, usually for fun. There are the serious riders who blow past me, sometimes in a peloton, often leaving a strong whiff of testosterone behind. On sunshine-filled days, others rely on their bicycles to get to shopping, schools and work.

As someone who regularly bicycles, I have acquired proper attire along the way. Without question I wear a bicycle helmet for safety – always! I have had spills while cycling on the Trail that are unquestionably my fault, but also when I and a vehicle driver have miscommunicated. This is as good a time as any to remind us cyclists that vehicles always, always win. There are stop signs on the Trail at intersections with streets. As familiarity with the Withlacoochee Trail is gained, cyclists get to know which intersections offer the greatest challenge to safety and act accordingly.

OK, back to the essential helmet. Some recumbent riders do not feel a helmet is necessary as they are closer to the ground and often on three wheels; for the record, I disagree. Along with the helmet, I wear padded gloves to protect my hands and cycling-specific shoes. I also wear shorts or pants that hug my legs so that there’s no material flapping in the wind that could get caught in my bicycle – and yes, for me that means spandex. Padded pants are great for riding regular upright bicycles, too.

Rain showers can come up at any time, so I usually have a windbreaker or rain jacket tucked away somewhere. And for sun I have added longer brims to my helmets, wear sunglasses and carry sunscreen. In addition to water, I often have electrolyte supplements and protein bars in case I start flagging.

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