Reflections on Bikes and Brains


Recently I had the honour to be a speaker at an event designed to raise awareness about brain injuries and bike safety, Bikes ‘n Brains: Bike Safety & Brain Injury Awareness & Prevention Ride & Symposium. The evening included both a bike ride and  speakers. The force of nature behind the the event was Joy Cameron.

The event marked the one year anniversary of a crash that changed Joy Cameron’s life. You can read more about that here.

“Motivational speaker Joy Cameron doesn’t remember being struck by a car while cycling on Sarnia Road last year, but some of the details are difficult to forget. The collision happened almost exactly one year ago, for example, on September 26, 2013. Joy said she was cycling at night and was told afterwards a vehicle struck her travelling at about 60 km/h. Cameron said she had lights on her bike and was wearing a helmet, which perhaps saved her life.”

I loved the community bike ride which I thought was a super touch. I am hoping that next year Joy will be well enough to take part in both the ride and presiding over the speaking part of the night.  This year she didn’t think her still recovering brain could do both even though she is back on her bike at other times.

My remarks focused on the history of women’s cycling, on why bike friendly cities have a higher percent of women riding, and why it matters for everyone that we get more women on their bikes.  Short version: the biggest factor that affects safe cycling is the overall number of people riding. See Tracy’s post  women unite, take back the bike. The other speaker focused on recovering from brain injuries. He was Jamie Fairles, a brain injury survivor and a peer support co-ordinator at the Brain Injury Association of London and Region.

Thanks to Debra Franke and Sam Boyce for the photos below. You can see more photos on Joy’s Facebook page.

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