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Posts Tagged ‘helmets’

bandstandI fell off the bike today.    Only my pride was hurt though!  But still, even though this wasn’t serious, I’m reluctant to wear a helmet! 

Weekly cycle lesson had been cancelled so I went to Battersea Park, the sister park to Dulwich Park. It’s nestled on the south side between Albert and Chelsea Bridges in the heart of inner city London.

pagodaThere’s a myraid of things to do but I was extremely disappointed to walk around for nearly two hours trying to find the cycle hire place but instead found everything else. 

I walked past the Bandstand (above), Pagoda (left), frozen lakes and swans, people playing tennis & football in minus 3 degree weather, The Pumphouse, various frosted gardens, empty children’s zoo, cafe, loads of joggers along the Thames several times! I was going round and round in circles but it was also annoying because of the time limit in the car park and there were no signposted directions to bicycle hire shop.

All the ‘you are here’ maps of the park  indicated bicycle hire, the same company as in Dulwich Park.  But I couldn’t find it. I could never read a map!

Ever had that experience where you ask someone the way and they send you in the wrong direction.  Its just up there, pass the Arena, you can’t miss it.  Well I did miss it!  Several times.

One thing I noticed though, was the abundance of  ‘no cycling’ signs!  How ridiculous. What’s the point of  having a cycle hire in the park, if you’re limited to the perimeter.

Finally, nearly two hours later, I found  the shop, London Recumbents, but the time limit on the car park was up. The sales assistant expressed concerns that they were not included on any signs at this popular park. So it wasn’t just my lack of map reading skills after all! 

Disappointed, I decided to go to Dulwich Park as it was on my way home.  Pleased as punch to be on a bicycle again, I seemed  to have gained more confidence and went of the main paths onto the gravel.  As I turned left, something moved in the dustbin just on the grassy corner. Not even a second later, something jumped out. Startled,  I lost my grip and tumbled off  the bike.  No one was around. I wasn’t hurt and got up straight away. When I looked, it was a squirrel jumping out of the dustbin!  Then another and another. Pesky squirrels.  Still they looked cute!

Hope the lessons are on for next week.

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instructorsI don’t particularly like to wear helmets as I have thick hair, they’re not particularly fashionable and I certainly don’t like to wear any lycra stuff either.

So the thought of donning all that cycling gear is definitely not for me.  The instructors gently mock the different boots that I’ve been wearing every week. But when I start to ride normally,  that’s what I’ll be wearing, I told them. 

Just my normal clothes. The contrast between myself and another learner is vast.  Starting off just like me, she now she arrives in full cycling gear from head to toe.  She’s another full convert. Whereas I still like to wear my normal clothes.  She does look amazing, though!  So we went after the lesson she took me to the cheap store Lidls where I brought lycra thermals with padding in all the right places to wear under my normal clothes as it was getting colder.

Looking for on  the Whycycle website section ‘Safety and Security’.  I learned it is not legal to wear a helmet but up to the individual’s discretion.

Brake.org seems to advocate children wearing helmets by law and preferably adults as well.  This website cites success in other countries.

I found this great website and I couldn’t stop reading because it seems to be aimed just at me! A beginner.  Anyway Cyclinginfo.co.uk states in Reasons to Wear a Cycle Helmet that:-

It is difficult to know how many lives would be saved from compulsory helmet wearing. It would probably be very small, because the number of cycling deaths resulting from head injuries is quite small. Also there is no guarantee that wearing a helmet would prevent all head injuries.

This is the view of my instructors who are,  of course, required to wear helmets for insurance purposes of the Bikeability course but don’t wear it when not training.

So to helmet or not to helmet? Haven’t mind up my mind. Have to wear it whilst training but not sure about when I’m competent. What about you? Do you wear a helmet?  Take the poll.    Anyway I just love cycling.

Love Cycling! Love It!

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