Bike helmets really are a necessity

In the Sept. 6 edition of The Last Word, a reader thoughtfully submitted a plea to all bicyclists to wear helmets. As an avid and reasonably skilled cyclist for more than 40 years and a former racer, I strongly second that plea. It is distressing to see helmetless cyclists on The Virginia Capital Trail and, worse, on public roads. I never had a wreck while racing, but have had a few when I was not. Sadly, while most were not my fault, a couple were due to my own neglect. Because I was wearing a helmet, I avoided serious injury.

The Capital Trail, a magnificent off-road, paved multi-use path can give one a false sense of security. But there are many novice cyclists and pre-occupied walkers and joggers on the trail who can cause accidents. And on the public roads the advent of texting while driving has added a new dimension to the dangers of cycling there.

So, just as it is wise to wear a seat belt while driving or riding in a motor vehicle, it just makes sense to wear a helmet when cycling. And for those parents I see cycling helmetless with their helmeted children, please consider what will happen to those children if you fall, hit your head and die or sustain a debilitating injury.

Ted Moreland

James City County

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