Sidney rider says her head was likely saved by helmet advice

Two falls on Salt Spring Island ride raises awareness of the value of wearing a bike helmet.

Aaron Mankowske of Russ Hays The Bicycle Shop in Sidney shows the model of bike helmet that could have saved local resident Sally Atton from a head injury.

After seeing two cracks in her bike helmet following a pair of crashes while riding on Salt Spring Island, Sally Atton hopes her example will encourage others to be safe.

Atton, who recently moved to Sidney, says she’s an avid recreational cyclist. She was heading out to ride with her son, who was visiting recently from the U.K., and stopped in at Russ Hays The Bicycle Shop on Bevan Avenue.

“The helmet I had was around 10 years old,” she said. “Aaron (Mankowske) at Russ Hays saw that it was an older helmet and said it was no longer safe.”

So, her son bought her a new one. They had their bikes tuned up and headed over to Salt Spring Island to ride.

That’s where Atton experienced two falls. She said she wasn’t quite ready for the steep hill when they got off the ferry at Ganges Harbour and as she tried to stop, she fell over. With a little help from her son, she got back up, shook it off, and continued the ride.

Later, her bike’s thin road tire caught something on the road and she fell again while traveling at a moderate speed, this time injuring her arm. She visited the hospital on the island to receive stitches. Atton said she had no idea she’d hit her head. It was when she brought her bike back to the shop in Sidney that Mankowske noticed a spidering pattern and two cracks in her helmet’s foam padding.

“I hadn’t noticed them at first,” Atton said.

Mankowske said it’s surprising she hadn’t felt anything when she crashed, but the helmet definitely had sustained damage where it protects the side of the head. He agreed it appears the helmet did its job.

He said modern helmets are designed to withstand a single impact. The foam padding is set up to absorb an impact, dispersing the effect throughout the helmet. Once that foam is damaged, it no longer provides the same protection level and the helmet itself should be replaced.

Mankowske said the helmets they carry are built to meet Canadian and European safety standards.

Properly fitted and in good shape, he said they should protect cyclists who experience similar falls.

He encourages riders with older helmets to inspect them for cracks or other damage. And if they want to keep their heads safe, consider getting a new one if the helmets are past their prime.

Having experienced first hand how a bike helmet can save someone from injury, Atton said she wants other cyclists to check the age of their helmets, and make sure they’re still in good condition.

Just Posted

Green Team tackles weeds in North Saanich

Greater Victoria group working to connect people with local green groups

UPDATE: Two rescued after falling from ferry at Swartz Bay

One crew member is injured after rescue boat mechanism fails, causing it to fall from the ferry

New scholarship a memorial to Tally-Ho’s Larry Friedlander

Victoria carriage tours company helping youth participate in equine studies

Higher revenues and cuts add to lower tax bill in Saanich

Last-minute disagreements over the police budget defined the final round of deliberations… Continue reading

Saanich Peninsula French Immersion grads welcome new students

School District 63 ceremony marks student transition

VIDEO: Work is play for this B.C. avalanche rescue dog

CARDA certified Joss’s Job is to save lives — but to her, it’s all a game

Pedestrian struck at Sidney intersection

One person appeared conscious as they were treated by paramedics

Spring Home Show this weekend in Colwood

West Shore Parks and Recreation will be transformed to showcase everything home related

Black Press Media acquires two new Alaska newspapers

New Media Investment Group to acquire the Akron (OH) Beacon Journal while Black Press Media takes on daily newspapers in Juneau and Kenai Alaska

Thieves target B.C. firefighters helping flood victims

The service has been helping with sandbagging efforts, as rural Oliver battles flooding

Housing crisis amplified on Denman Island

High rental prices, density caps, and a shortage of housing stock have led to island-wide struggles

B.C. towns rank in top honeymoon destination worldwide

Vernon, Kaslo, Sunshine Coast and the Island hit Expedia.ca’s list of top 18 honeymoon destinations

Men arrested at Starbucks say they feared for their lives

Rashon Nelson and Donte Robinson were arrested in a Philadelphia Starbucks, becoming viral video

Olympic gold now official for B.C. weightlifter

Christine Girard’s bronze medal from 2012 Olympics upgraded to gold, IOC announces

Most Read