Bicycling has grown quite a bit in the last hundred years and even more so in the last 20. With the recent growth of the X Games and popularity Lance Armstrong has brought to the cycling, biking has become immensely popular. America is also recognizing how important a healthy lifestyle is and biking is a big part of people's lives. Beyond the importance of health, the celebrity endorsements and the cult following of BMX cyclist; biking can be a great way to spend some time with your family members, children or partner while getting some good excercise.
Of all the thing Lance Armstrong does well and as heart warming as his story is (it really is), I wish he would emphasize the importance of wearing a bike helmet. Obviously, he follows the rules of the professional sports in that he wears an approved bike helmet. With his popularity and the recognition he has given to the sport, he could really sell the necessity of bike helmets pretty easily.
BMX biking has also grown in recent years and X Games is to thank for that. The venue focuses solely on alternative sports and namely skateboarding and freestyle biking. The amount of air these guys get on the ramp is insane and so are the wrecks. Riding without the proper bike helmet could mean a catastrophic injury if not death, every single time they crash. They risk their lives even with the bike helmets. When you over 200 feet in the air, coming down can be just a little frightening especially if your bike trick doesn't go as planned. Thankfully, X Games thoroughly inspects these guys bike helmets to keep head injuries to a minimum.
Whether you're a professional road racer or a professional BMX bike rider or even a preschooler who just yanked off the training wheels, you always need to keep your head protected with the proper bike helmet. If you don't, you could die. Seriously. Thousands of people die every year from head injuries and biking without the right bmx helmet or bicycle helmet is just increasing your chances of dying. You might as well smoke a cigarette while you're riding without a bicycle half helmet.
Biking is a sport in a lot of countries, but it's at least a recreationaly activity in just about every country. It's a milestone that kids reach and often never forget: you learn how to tie your shoes and then you learn how to ride your bike. With all the coverage that is now given to professional biking, it's that much more important to inform the little ones about bike helmets, how to wear your bicycle helmet and to promote the benefits of wearing a bike helmet. Some have tried scaring kids by showing them graphic content from bike accidents which may or may not work. When it comes down to it, about 540,000 bicyclists visit emergency rooms with injuries every year. Of those, about 67,000 have head injuries, and 27,000 have injuries serious enough to be hospitalized. The underlying cause of most bicycle incidents are due to automobiles. In a typical year over 90 percent of cyclists killed on US roads die in crashes with motor vehicles.
Before go trying some wild stunts without a bike helmet, just know the potential for injury is there and could even be a serious or fatal injury. People underestimate how serious bicycle injuries can be. Some bikers reach speeds of over 50 mph when hitting the hills. You've probably heard and or seen the result of motorcycle crash when they were only traveling at 30 mph; the same applies to biking without a helmet. Before you try your next stupid bike trike, do yourself a favor and get the correct fitting bicycle helmet. If you don't, not only will you look dumber than some of these people, you'd be risking your life and setting a bad example.
Another thing that become a bit of a trend in recent years is building your own custom bike; specifically the tall bikes. You're starting to see more and more of these tall bicycles being built and even more riders not wearing a helmet. Though building your own bike, custom BMX bike or just frankensteining your own bike together is fun and the trends come and go, wearing a bike helmet should apply to all types of riders.
Being higher up in the air only increases the risk for a more serious injury. BMX helmets work just fine. I'm all about having fun, building custom stuff - hell even custom bikes and living on the edge; but I always wear my bike helmet when I'm hitting the streets or the trails. These idiots are just asking for an accident.