Many of us have bicycles or rent them from the bike co-op.
We are, after all, college students on a budget and not all of us can afford cars.
We all know it is common knowledge that wearing your bicycle helmet can prevent injuries and save lives.
You don’t have to wear your helmet over the age of 16, but let’s face it; it would be a good idea.
Not all of us wear bike helmets and I myself have been guilty of this. But have we ever really thought about why we aren’t wearing helmets?
I have ridden my bike into town a few times and it’s not exactly the safest place for a cyclist.
There are not many bike lanes, and the bike lanes that are present are in pretty bad condition.
Three weeks ago I fell off my bike three miles off campus on Highway 99. I was trying to turn into a driveway so I could get up onto the sidewalk.
Instead, my bike hit some divots in the road and I slid across the sidewalk scraping up my hands, a knee and bruising my other leg.
I am really lucky that I did not fall into the road, especially since I was not wearing my helmet.
A pedestrian about 20 feet behind me did not bother to see if I was okay. Nor did the cars driving past bother to stop or even slow down.
Not knowing what else to do, I got up and with bloody hands, I grabbed my bike and continued to my destination where I was able to wash my hands and put on Band-Aids.
Now, I have scars on both hands and I am afraid to bike anywhere.
The part that bothered me the most was the fact that cars did not even bother to slow down.
This is a college town and there are a lot of bicycles on this campus so you would think that McMinnville would be more bicycle friendly by having clearly marked bike lanes, free from divots or potholes, and that drivers would be considerate of bicycles.
Bikers beware! Read the bicycle manual, available at the DMV and learn the turn and stop signals.
Then use them.
It will help keep us safe against these angry transforming monsters. But most importantly, wear your helmets!
Kiera Downs can be reached at email@example.com.