To helmet or not to helmet – a constant presence

©Barry Sandland/TIMB - Woman and her bicycle safety equipment

©Barry Sandland/TIMB – Vest and helmet as the constant

“I did not wear a hemet and then I heard about a friend of mine who had an accident. And I kind of value my brain. So I spent quite a bit of money and got one that fits and had lots of ventilation. It took me a long time to get used to it because I used to feel claustrophobic. But now I would not go out without it. Funny, though, because they tell you sometimes it gives you a false sense of security and I go faster and I think, ‘I have a helmet on’ and if I fall .. and I go fast down these hills.”

So, there is this bicycle story about an old axe

©Barry Sandland/TIMB - Woman with her vintage bike in Ottawa

©Barry Sandland/TIMB – If you keep your bike long enough, you get the best comparisons.

“Everything is functional. It has quick release wheels so I can get into a car, if I need to. But then, I take my wheel with me often, so if somebody does get through this lock, they cannot ride away on my bike. There are bikes out there that cost thousands. I would be so afraid my bike would be stolen. I keep this looking kind of ratty, with tape and stuff. And I keep it that way so nobody wants to steal it. So I just put money in every year to keep it tuned up. I just use the bike to get around on nice days. And this bike is 35 years old. It is a good frame but it is the only thing that has really stayed the same. I have had to replace cables and tires and still it is a good bike. As the old adage goes, ‘We have had this axe in our family for 150 years and we have only had to change the handle twice and the blade once’.”