Modern Moto Magazine ISSUE No. 4 - September 2017 - Page 15

carving canyons, tearing up the track or off -roading! But seriously, when riding, it only takes a momentary slip of concentra on to turn a fun day out into a nightmare. I was lucky. Last, my base layer was bogus. As Jill Dunphy pointed out in the May 2017 issue, due to its superior absorbency, co on “ul mately traps hot air between the skin and the T-shirt.” This no food/no drink/wrong base layer trifecta of judgment lapses led to my fall and, in short, several weeks as a hermit. Fortunately, I didn’t hit my head, though the impact mixed up my marbles (aka ear crystals) causing ver go, the symptoms of which include dizziness, headaches, vision problems and drowsiness. Dehydra on causes similar symptoms; however, ver go presented four days a er my mishap, which is not uncommon for a fall and my hydra on levels should have normalized by then. Regardless, weeks of feeling like gum on the bo om of someone’s shoe made me consider whether or not my colorful, sunny-feeling helmet could’ve contributed to my condi on. Was the fi tment wrong? According to a GirlRiders Network 2015 interview with Sarah Schilke (formerly of Schuberth), to get the best fi t, you need a head reading. Not of the psychic kind but of the circumference kind. This is best performed at any shop where large volumes of helmets are sold. Start with the size that best corresponds to your head circumference, and let the try-ons commence. The helmet shouldn’t fl op around when you shake your head back-and-forth. In fact, your skin and the helmet should move as one. If you can squeeze fi ngers between the cheek pads or crown liner and your face, chances are the fi t is wrong. And don’t forget to test for ver cal (“yes”) movement in addi on to horizontal (“no”) movement. Remember, helmets should fi t snugly, and new helmets may feel slightly uncomfortable before broken in (but should not cause pain). Can’t fi nd the right fi t? Don’t forget about head shape. According to, there are three basic head shapes: long oval, intermediate oval and round oval. Take into considera on the head shape suited for the helmet you’re trying on, and be sure to ask the salesperson any ques ons you have regarding helmet fi tment. Your dealer or retailer may be able to custom- fi t a helmet by using diff erent sized cheek pads or crown liners. So, was my helmet properly fi t? Indeed it was. But could a new technology have prevented my symptoms? Maybe. Typically, a rider won’t fall off a bike the same way an unexpectedly paralyzed bat might drop from a tree (i.e., straight down in a linear mo on). Instead, most crashes involve fast, angled impacts, which generate rota onal mo on. MIPS, or Mul -direc onal Impact Protec on System, is a Swedish-born helmet technology intended to mi gate the eff ects of rota onal mo on on the brain. In helmets with MIPS, like the Bell Qualifi er DLX MIPS line or the Bell MX-9 Adventure MIPS line, a MIPS layer at the crown creates a slip-plane that moves inside the helmet, absorbing and transferring rota onal energy away from the brain. Why is rota onal mo on important? According to the MIPS website, rota onal energy has been linked to concussions as well as severe brain injuries. Though my MRI was clean (no sign of concussion), I can’t help but wonder if a helmet equipped with MIPS tech could’ve prevented my noggin scrambling. That said, how can you avoid my mistakes? Well, for starters, eat, drink and consider swapping co on base layers for more technical performance wear. If you don’t have me to eat, pack some energy gels in your purse, backpack or tank bag. GU Energy Gels pack vital brain food into 100 ny vegan/gluten free/kosher calories. For water on the run, consider a hydra on pack. The Fox Racing Low Pro Hydra on Backpack off ers a 1.5-liter capacity (roughly 51 ounces) for just over $50. Need more storage for longer rides? A few companies, such as Kriega, American Kargo, USWE and Ogio, off er solidly- rated 3-liter hydra on rucksacks. Addi onally, check out the May 2017 issue for ps on choosing base layers where Jill Dunphy covers the ins and outs of keeping your cool when summer heats things up. As a rela vely new rider with fewer than 4,000 miles under my belt, I’m s ll learning. And I hope I never stop. - Jessica Van den Ancker, 15