Hello! Welcome to this month's newsletter. This time around, we'll be talking about
concussion in cycling (well, sports in general, but we're cyclists here).
We'll also talk about helmets and why they are so important, for adults as well as children.
And this is because we recently found a bike for my brother and when he was asked, "Do you have a helmet?" he replied, "Helmet? What's a helmet?" Earned himself a dirty look and a lecture (he is Jenn's *little* brother, after all, 6-inch height difference notwithstanding). Given the concussions we've sustained and the evidence of changes in personality we've witnessed, we thought a helmet talk was a good thing.
It occurred to Jenn during that exchange with her brother that we see many people out riding without their helmets. The other day, we witnessed a family out riding: mom, dad, and two kids riding in between. Out front was Mom; Dad brought up the rear. One of them wasn't wearing a helmet. Can you guess who?
Nope. The mom.
It was obvious neither of them had considered what a fall could do to her. Let's say it's a minor fall, doesn't actually hit her head but her shoulders and upper back take the brunt, through her hands and up, her head bounces a bit. At this point, she's jolted her spine and her brain, which is basically folded gelatin, has bounced from its place to the front and back of her skull, resulting in a minor concussion. Fatigue, a brief headache that lingers. Maybe more.
But what happens if she hits her head? She's gone over the handlebars and has now bounced her head off the pavement. Let's say, for the sake of showing intensity, she has a bleeding head wound. Her brain has definitely sloshed around and she's now got a concussion known as a minor traumatic brain injury (mTBI)
There are all sorts of symptoms with the mTBI, far too many to list here so check them out on the Mayo Clinic site here. Go ahead, I'll wait.
Now, did you also read the 'When to call the doctor'? It all sounds very serious, doesn't it?
Jenn suffered a concussion last September. She's still dealing with lingering effects: headaches, anxiety, fatigue, and inability to concentrate.
How do helmets help? We are super glad you asked! Concussion is basically a strain of the brain tissue (slosh some jello around in a container, you'll see). According to a study by Madelen Fahlstedt, Peter Halldin and Svein Kleiven, (published in Science Direct), helmets reduce the strain on the brain by 43% and concussion by 54%. That's pretty impressive. They do that because they absorb the impact - most of it anyway. For something really cool, you should check out the MIPS technology for helmets.
So what's being done? Especially given that multiple concussions can have some pretty serious consequences. Cycling Canada has begun to impose some pretty impressive protocols regarding potential head injuries for parents, athletes, trainers and pretty well everyone involves. Athletes are being given strict dos and don'ts for returning to their sport. Worldwide, other associations are also working on setting strict protocols.
The long and short of it is: Wear your helmet. It protects who you are; it protects your family from something like this happening to you. The story of Kelley Catlin is a tragic one. And it doesn't have to be your story. Wear a helmet.
More info, multiple concussions
Contest! (Contest is closed)
Despite the looks given to her, Jenn got a Chia Pet. It's a Predator (obviously) but he needs a
name. So we are giving away a chain lock to the winner. How it's going to work: Go to our Instagram page, find the photo of our buddy here and comment with your name choice. Or vote on any others there. The top three will go onto a chart in the shop and the number one voted on name will win a Bike Guard Rockstafarian chain lock. Click the button below to find the photo. There is only one rule: Use your imagination. Okay, two. We'd prefer it if you were able to pick it up.
Since we are doing the MS Ride this year, it is necessary to fundraise. We want to help MS Research as much as we can. To that end, we will be having two fundraising BBQ-and-bake-sales (cookies, cupcakes, things like that). The first of which will be either Saturday, May 28th or June 4th. Confirmation will be posted to Facebook and Instagram. The other will be in July sometime. We do hope you'll join us. If you can't, please consider donating through the button below. Speaking of joining us, if you want to ride with us, you are more than welcome to join the team. (Click on 'Join our team' to the right of the team name). MS Bike Team Page
That's it for us this month. We hope to see you on the pathways and in the shop looking after your bike. PS: It's Mother's Day this month (May 8th). We have gift certificates! Favourite quote this month: “The bicycle has a soul. If you succeed to love it, it will give you emotions that you will never forget.” Mario Cipollini