Saturday, December 1, 2018

Researching and Presenting-Sample Speech PM1, "A BMW Safety Tip"

This is my 16th prepared speech under Pathways. The speech was delivered at the BF Community TMC in Las Piñas City in the Dec 1, 2018 Toastmasters Meeting.

A BMW Safety Tip
(Researching and Presenting Speech, Level 1 Presentation Mastery, Dec 1, 2018, BF Community TMC, Cassalu Restaurant, Las Piñas City. Evaluated by Russell Santos TM)


Some of you here know that I serve as a Lector at our parish. But no one among you know that I get to ride a BMW every time I go to serve during Sundays. Yup, you heard that right. I do, I do ride a BMW. This is my BMW, Bisikletang Mabagal ang Wheels. It’s nothing special. It’s not a mountain bike. It’s not a racing bike. It’s just your ordinary single-speed bicycle.

Look at this photo. What do you think is missing from my attire? Can anybody guess? Here’s a clue. I go out of our village and bike on a national road to go to the Parish Church. Here’s what’s missing. A bicycle helmet. You’ve seen them right?

The first thing I immediately noticed about bike helmets is how flimsy and very lightweight they are. Looking at one, you might think, “Hey, I could destroy that helmet if I just sat on it!” Well, maybe.

But bike helmets are made like that for a reason. They need to be lightweight. They cannot be compared to the heavier motorcycle helmets. Unlike motorcycle riders, bicycle riders exert extra effort to power the bikes. So bicycle riders don’t need nor want any more extra weight

There’s a downside for being lightweight. Bike helmets are designed only for a single impact. Single. I never knew that. They’re not like motorcycle helmets that are designed to be used for multiple impacts. So, when you hit them on a pavement or anywhere else, you replace them. They’re disposable. Nowadays, you can buy one for Php700.

But are they effective? According to an article in the Manila Standard by Joel Zurbano in Dec, 2017, the MMDA has recorded 932 bicycle-related road-crashes. 26 were fatalities. That means 26 bicycle-riders died. And they died from head injuries, none of them were wearing helmets.

What about the rest of the 932 none-fatal accidents? They were probably wearing helmets. Or maybe the rest was a cornucopia (Word of the Day) of injuries that were not life-threatening like abrasions, fractures and so on.

If a bicycle rider had a head-on collision with a dump truck at 60 kilometers per hour, a bike helmet will not protect him. Neither would a motorcycle helmet. The most common bicycle accidents aren’t head-on collisions. It’s usually getting hit by a vehicle or hitting something, falling off your bike and hitting your head on the pavement. That’s the most common and it is the type of injury that a bike helmet will prevent.

Speaking of road safety, one Sunday, I was on my way to church, riding my BMW. A tricycle driver-friend asked me, “why are you even wearing a helmet, the church isn’t very far?” I was so surprised at his question because it only shows the low regard that we have for road safety.

The church may not be far, but I have to pass through a national road! I was so annoyed that all I could tell him was “You know why I wear a helmet? It is because there are so many idiotic motorists driving buses, cars, jeepneys and even tricycles! So I have to be careful.” I just left him at that.

Now you might say there are countries where bike helmets are not even required. Sure. But in those countries, they have bicycle lanes everywhere, speed limits are strictly observed and bicycle riders are respected. Here, well, we’re not there yet.

So, whenever you need to go out riding a bicycle on busy national roads or highways, protect what matters most – the grey matter inside your head. Whether you ride a mountain bike, a racing bike or even a BMW like I do, here’s a safety tip. Always wear a bicycle helmet. Toastmaster of the Day.