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Where were the helmets?

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Posted: Sunday, May 20, 2012 3:04 pm

 "I have a bone to pick with you, Rich."

This was Don, my tennis buddy and a fellow who rides his bike nearly everywhere in Lodi.

"That photo you guys ran on biking week. Where were the helmets?"

Oops. Don had a great point. In our coverage of Bike to Work Week, we highlighted a group of workers from Pacific Coast Producers. A photo of them outside House of Coffee, ready to roll to work, ran page one. 

I remember seeing the photo and enjoying it. These people looked healthy and happy. Lots of smiles. I found it uplifting, and mentioned that to Maggie Creamer, the reporter who wrote the story and shot the photo.

But I didn't even stop and consider the lack of helmets.

And I should have. You see, a couple of years ago, out tooling around Lodi with Judy on our bikes, I sped up, hit a curb, and went tumbling. Busted my arm in two spots.

My head struck the side of a concrete planter box. Hard. The fact that I did not suffer a fractured skull or even a concussion is a testament to the fact that I was indeed wearing a helmet.

It may be that the Bike to Work Week riders had their helmets but put them aside for the photo. I will check with Maggie on that later this week.

A friend who is an experienced rider once told me, "Rich, if you ride your bike a fair amount, it is not a question of whether you are going to fall, only when."

Those are sobering words, and in my circle or recreational riders, largely true.

Lodi is a good biking town, and this time of year is perfect for pedaling.

So enjoy. But wear that helmet.

If you take a spill and your head slams the side of a concrete planter box, you'll be really glad you did.