|Trace The Mitten|
Happenings, Reflections, Ideas, Analysis
When I started riding a bike as a kid helmets were not on our radar. When my kids started riding they were starting to promote them in bike safety classes at school. I did not see the importance, even though I used them on tours and races; don't ask me to rationalize that.
When I started riding steady and seriously ten years ago I bought a good helmet. I had read that my old helmets could not remain safety rated effective. I use a helmet close to 100% of the time now.
Five years I experienced a fall that showed the value of my helmet. I was riding a single track connecting two paved walkways. I was going less than 10 miles an hour when I touched the pavement. My street smooth tires grabbed hold and wrenched the tires 90°. I immediately hit the pavement! My head hit the hard surface, my glasses flew into the grass. Skinned elbow and knee paled to my embarrassment. I looked around with an air of bravado for anyone who might have seen me. As I removed my helmet to replace my glasses, I noted a crack in the helmet from the impact.
Wo! A cracked helmet from that speed.
Soon into my ride today my chain came off as I downshifted going up a hill. The photo above shows how the chain was wedged between the gears and bottom bracket.
There was no way my fingers could pry the chain out. I travel with a bike multi-tool and a leatherman type multi-tool. I was able to use the pliers to loosen the grip on the chain.
I do not use tools each outing, but when I need them; I am glad to have them.