Ali Post, an 80-year-old Ponoka resident, is reminding the public — including adults — to wear a helmet, after suffering a nasty fall while bicycling in Lacombe on Aug. 16.
Post is an avid biker, however, she was unaccustomed to the size and weight of the bike she was on at the time. She was visiting her son and was leaving his property she lost her balance and fell.
She hit her head hard and has extensive bruising on her face, as well as a gash on her arm and scuffed knees, but says “I was fortunate I didn’t break anything.”
Post admits she doesn’t usually wear a helmet.
She’s lived in Canada for 50 years and is originally from Holland. There, all Grade 3 school children receive bike safety instruction, but adults don’t typically wear helmets.
On the street where she lives, she sees a lot of cyclists, mostly riding on the sidewalk, and although the kids seem to be good at wearing their helmets, she says most adults she sees don’t wear one.
In Alberta, only those younger than 18 are required to wear a bike helmet by law. However, MyHealth.Alberta.ca recommends everyone dons a helmet, saying, “Protect your head. Bike helmets protect riders of all ages.”
According to the site, a bicycle is classified as a vehicle that belongs on the road and cyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as drivers of motor vehicles.
Make sure your helmet is approved by the Canadian Standards Association — and that goes for biking, skateboarding, or riding a scooter as well.
Each municipality may also have its own bylaws regarding bicycles that go beyond the Traffic Safety Act.
The Town of Ponoka’s bylaw states, “No person shall ride a bicycle in an unsafe manner on a sidewalk within the town and shall yield to pedestrian traffic.”
According to the Canada Safety Council, the most common causes of bicycle injuries are actually due to falls caused by the bicyclist losing control or collisions with stationary objects or other bikes rather that motor vehicles.
Most bike accidents also occur less than five blocks from home, in familiar surroundings (candasafetycouncil.org).