This I Believe

Miguel - Frederick, Maryland
Entered on October 13, 2006
Age Group: 30 - 50

This I Believe…

You cannot spend “too much” money for a bicycle helmet.

I was just riding along on my bike as I had for the past 8-10 weekends on my weekend “long ride” as I trained for my third “Century” bike ride. A century is an event where participants cycle 100-miles in a single day. I had already ridden between 65 and 70 miles on September 30th, 2006 and although I had left my house at 7:am, it was approaching noon as I went down a long downhill stretch which eventually crossed over what could be the most scenic single lane steel bridge that I had ever seen. .

Having just discovered the bridge a few weeks earlier, I had only ridden over it a half a dozen times in the past. Each time gaining more and more confidence with the speed at which I could ride across it. Recently I began taking it at full speed, which is about 22-25 mph at the bottom of the hill. Since it had just begun sprinkling a few minutes earlier, I weighted out my options and chose what I thought was a delicate balance between the two extremes.

First, I could scrub off all of the hard-earned speed and forward momentum, get off the bike and walk across. I saw the other extreme of going full throttle and just hoping for the best as irresponsible. So I chose something in between and felt sure that I have cleverly opted for a well-balanced merger between the two and that I would soon be home celebrating with my heaven-sent wife and our 4-year-old daughter.

As I awoke on that beautiful steel bridge I started a new life, I almost immediately began to realize how lucky I was to be alive. Not just to have survived the fall, but also that no one had run over me, as I laid there unconscious. Or that I did not slide off the side of that bridge into that scenic Monocacy River which I love so much.

A certain “peacefulness” came over me as I laid there broken and battered and I hope it never leaves me again until I reach the end of my days. As I had rose and stumbled off of that bridge to dial 911, and those two angels put a blanket over me and prayed as we guided the rescue personnel to my location, I BEGAN LIVING ANEW! Like my 4-year old daughter lives her life. In the moment.

My bike helmet has hardly left my side since and this experience and my goal is to convince 100 people per year for the rest of my life, to wear a helmet! I am adding this new mantra to the growing list of wisdoms that guide my life.

“You cannot spend “too much” money on your bicycle helmet.”

This I Believe