The Observer's reporter Greg Bray is encouraging people to wear the appropriate helmet.
The Observer's reporter Greg Bray is encouraging people to wear the appropriate helmet. Matt Taylor GLA200918BIKE

If you've got a cheap head buy a cheap helmet

Folks, there's an old saying when it comes to all safety helmets -$100 helmet, $100 head.

My current bicycle helmet cost me $20.

Of course it's still a step up (albeit a tiny one), from not wearing a helmet at all.

Which is what I did for most of my childhood.

Except for the time I tied an empty ice-cream bucket to my scone just before the worst go-kart accident of my life.

Fortunately, I had a thick mop of hair which is roughly the same shape and density as a bike helmet.

Actually, it still is, (although the black colouring has faded considerably over the years possibly due to the harsh Central Queensland sun).

The biggest downside of not wearing a helmet during my boyhood were the numerous head traumas I suffered from spectacular accidents involving scooters, skateboards, bicycles and pogo sticks.

On top of this there were all the other injuries my skull received from football, cricket, tennis, totem tennis, soccer, the school bully and games of Monopoly that had gone horribly wrong.

The other problem with not wearing a helmet occurred around this time of year was when bird-brained magpies swooped on us unsuspecting kids if we strayed within a thousand feet of their nest.

You really haven't lived until you've had an angry magpie savagely pecking your head because it's claw got snagged in your hair.

Which is one reason why I'll never ride without a bike helmet again.

As one of Gladstone's cycling elder statesmen, I probably should be setting a better example for the next generation.

Also, after hearing Jenni McGuire's harrowing tale about how an expensive helmet literally saved her son's Harrison's life a couple of weeks ago I've been thinking of upgrading my old brain protector.

Harrison's helmet cost about $200 which, up until last week, I would have scoffed at paying.

Yet, as rough as it is, I've kind of grown attached to my head; and staying alive.

So I've been having a bit of a re-think on just how valuable my scone is. It's probably worth more than $20.



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