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The Sexiest Part of You

No, it’s not your ripped abs or deep blue eyes or the way you swagger into a room… it’s your brain.

Which is why I was happy to see this blog post from the NYTimes about how to choose the correct cycling helmet. I cringe every time I see an otherwise adorable Austinite cruising down the street on a bike with no helmet. You’re super cute in your sundress or camo shorts… until your brains are splatted on the street.

Whether you ride on hectic city streets or bucolic back roads, helmets are essential armor. Bicycle helmets have been shown to reduce the risk of head injuries by up to 88 percent and facial injuries by 65 percent, according to a Cochrane Database Systemic Review published in 2000. Bike riders who play against those odds do not fare well in accidents. More than 90 percent of the 714 bicyclists killed in 2008 were not wearing helmets, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Think you don’t need to wear a helmet if you’re just “going for a little ride on the sidewalk to the grocery store”?

Think again.

“You don’t have to be going fast to hurt your brain,” said Dr. Angela F. Gardner, president of the American College of Emergency Physicians. A simple concussion can be debilitating, keeping you off the job or operating at half speed for weeks. “And every concussion increases the likelihood that you will have an injury to the brain if another concussion occurs,” Dr. Gardner said.

“As you age, your brain shrinks, but your skull does not,” Dr. Gardner said. “That extra space means that the brain can bounce around inside the skull and may be more easily damaged from a blow.”

I totally think you should ride bikes this weekend. But if you do, please wear a helmet. And if you don’t own a helmet YET, the NYTimes offers tips for how to find a good one, without dropping a lot of dough.

According to a study by the Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute, a nonprofit organization based in Arlington, Va., $10 helmets from Wal-Mart Stores and Target held up just as well as more expensive models from high-end outlets.

(All of this reminds of my favorite non-dirty joke. Remind me to tell it to you if we run into each other!)

One Response to “The Sexiest Part of You”

  1. Jesse Richards says:

    But… how will I color coordinate with my outfit?

    Good stuff, makes me think I should get one before hitting the trail again.

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