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Katy Trail Rock Island Spur Comments
Helmet recommended


I was pulled off of the trail by a patch of soft moist gravel while riding with a temporarily non-functioning front brake this weekend west of Pilot grove. My head hit a tree as I went down in the ditch. No major injuries, but a lacerated ear and dented helmet have made a believer out of me.

Of the 25 or so other riders that I saw that day, only 5 that I recall were wearing helmets. Thanks Al in Clifton City for helping me in getting the front brake back to working order.

So the moral of the story is 1) wear a helmet as bad things can happen even to experienced riders on these "easy" trails 2) Make certain your gear is in perfect working order every time 3) Stay in the middle of the trail when possible. 4) Don't ride alone if you can avoid it.
posted Jul 15 2009 11:44AM - MLH, Overland Park, KS

Amen to that. It always amazes me to see people with no helmets when right next the trail are rocks, boulders, trees, logs, benches, etc. Any of these would be just as bad as hitting a concrete curb out on the streets.
posted Jul 15 2009 12:20PM - MAH, Blue Springs, MO

If I'm on my bike I'm never without my helmet. It is amazing how many people don't wear one. It's a simple thing (like putting on a seat belt) that could save you from injury or worse.

And FWIW - you should never ride in the middle of the trail unless there is debris etc. that forces you to do so. Always stay on the right please!
posted Jul 15 2009 12:52PM - Speedy

Good point Speedy! More times than not there is a nice lane to ride in on the right that is free of the loose stuff.

Ride to the right....pass to the left!
posted Jul 15 2009 1:16PM - Trek

Right you all, I guess my point was to ride in the bike lanes that are usually pretty well sorted towards the center, not over in the loose stuff. I didn't think I was THAT far over to the right but the rain softened things up more.

And for God's sake, when riding in groups, how much effort does it take to get in to a single file to let oncoming people pass? Another subject perhaps.
posted Jul 15 2009 1:46PM - MLH, Overland Park, KS

Right you all, I guess my point was to ride in the bike lanes that are usually pretty well sorted towards the center, not over in the loose stuff. I didn't think I was THAT far over to the right but the rain softened things up more.

And for God's sake, when riding in groups, how much effort does it take to get in to a single file to let oncoming people pass? Another subject perhaps.
posted Jul 15 2009 1:47PM - MLH, Overland Park, KS

Moist gravel - reason number 50,875 that I personally find gravel trails MORE dangerous
than roads. I know so many people injured by our gravel trails here in Columbia. One of my
friends hit some loose gravel right before a bridge and hit his head on the side of the bridge!
ouch.

I'm NOT suggesting paving the KATY just trying to point out that I think its silly to do what I
see many people do....wear a helmet until they get to the trail and then take it off.
posted Jul 15 2009 4:23PM - Robert Johnson, columbia

Moist wood deck bridges - reason number 50,876 that trails are MORE dangerous than roads. I know of a couple of guys that were nursemaiding themselves into this cycling thing by riding on trails and suddenly found themselves horizontal on a dewy morning. That is if they got past the dog on a long leash, but that's 50,877.
posted Jul 16 2009 9:57PM - Paul Toigo

I, too, am a real advocate for wearing a helmet. Every time I have ended up on the ground (from a stupid move on my part) I have hit my head. I work in Illinois and am just amazed at the number of people I see riding without helmets in the town where I work. If's there's one thing to teach the youngsters it is "ride with a helmet at all times, no matter how short the trip."
posted Aug 9 2009 9:37AM - ktytrfan, Hannibal, Mo.

I'll echo the sentiment that you need a helmet on "safe" trails. Here's an account of a ride on the Lake Okeechobee Scenic Trail, where my riding partner and I never rode with helmets because we assumed we were in more danger from heat stroke than head injury.

http://www.palmbeachbiketours.com/2008/07/09/do-bike-helmets-really-save-your-life/

She did an endo on a perfectly straight stretch baby-butt smoth blacktop and fractured her skull in five places. More than two years later she still can't ride a bike nor work.

Y'all be careful out there.

I'm hoping to do the KATY this fall. I'll be the guy on a Surly Long Haul Trucker wearing a red helmet.
posted Aug 15 2009 12:24PM - ksteinhoff, West Palm Beach

Tags: Pilot Grove, Clifton City, Columbia, Benches, Weather, Animals and Plants, Bikes and gear Modify Tags
         




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