Welcome to 2017!
Normally we start out by saying it will be a better year than last year so, here’s hoping although it hasn’t started so well for me!
Back in 2013 I wrote an article which was headed, ‘Time to heed safety message for quad bikes’. In the article I related my quadding misdeeds and outlined several areas which were of concern to me and most bike owners or riders.
I also pointed out that I considered the bikes so easy to use it often resulted in off-roaders becoming too complacent and not taking proper care. There are, of course, many bad habits that come with quads but, unfortunately, one does not always learn by experience.
Following that original article I received a letter which, in light of what I am about to relate, needs to be reprinted.
– Reprinted from Rural Living, February 2013
The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment was pleased to read the recent feature “Time to heed safety message on quad bikes’ published in the January 2013 Rural Living.
While we appreciate quad bike safety being promoted, the message was contradicted by the accompanying photo, which shows Mr Neben riding his quad bike without a helmet. Quad bike safety is a priority for the Ministry and one of the key safety steps in our Quad Bike Safety campaign is ‘always wear a helmet’.
It is important to send a consistent message to the rural community and we would greatly appreciate if images in future articles support the same safety measures that are promoted in this article, Kind regards, Hazel
Well, you may have guessed, I didn’t follow the advice given regarding the wearing of a helmet and as a result I’m sitting here writing this article, with my head swathed in bandages following a mishap three days ago.
My accident happened so quickly that I can’t really remember how it occurred. One minute I was reversing my quad with trailer attached when the trailer jack-knifed causing the bike’s rear wheel to ride up on the bar of the trailer which attaches to the quad’s tow ball.
As the quad tipped to one side I was flipped out into the fish pond with surrounding rockery.
No damage to the quad but 20 or so stitches in my head, a big black eye and lots of cuts and bruises. I was lucky, it could have been a lot worse.
Why wasn’t I wearing a helmet? Mainly because I don’t own one and (famous last words) I never thought I would be thrown off the bike – the helmet is on its way!
Brian Neben publishes Rural Living and is also an avid lifestyle farmer