It was as serene a moment as I have enjoyed for some time. Lying on the gravel track, I could hear the birds warbling as the gentle breeze wafted across my body. I thought that now would be an opportune moment for a doze. Coming to a few seconds later, I sat bolt upright before repeating the dozing process. Unceremoniously, I was awoken from my slumber by the soothing sounds of a skidding tyre, before a female Norwegian mountain biker directed me to stay awake as she was going to get some help. Feeling rather content, I replied’ whatever’ before grinning and becoming transfixed by the picture-perfect cloud formations above me.

Still confused as to how I managed to come a cropper on a bike trail I have ridden over a hundred times, I then enjoyed the imbroglio of being taken on the back of a quad bike, a minibus and a car to Merthyr Hospital A&E where, after a 20-minute wait (take heed, England) I was diagnosed as having concussion and a possible broken hip.

The rest of the weekend was a write off as I limped back to Bikepark Wales, tail between my legs, to retrieve my bike that had been ‘rescued’ off the mountain side. To total your bike is one thing: to do it less than a mile into the first run on a two-day jolly is another. I consoled myself with a re-run of Cash in the Attic and a Chinese buffet from the Oriental Garden on the industrial estate before driving home the following morning.

It wasn’t the worst crash I have ever encountered by any means, and took place at just shy of 20mph, according to my battered Garmin wrist piece, but, although smashing up my £250 helmet, the justification for purchasing such an expensive piece of biking paraphernalia was evident. "The helmet saved your life," I was told, despite it cracking right through and me being knocked out as I hit the rock. Yet still, this summer, I go out and about and see adults and, mainly kids, riding without such basic equipment.

Now, this is not the sexiest topic for a column I have ever written, I confess, but if just one of you wears a lid from now on in, then mine will be a job well done. It is a struggle to get my kids to wear one. "It's uncomfortable", "None of our friends wear them" (they don’t) and "I won't crash, so what’s the point?" are all soundbites I hear regularly, but the rule in my house is ‘no helmet, no ride’.

Today, a full four weeks after the accident, I finally jumped back in the saddle despite having a cricket ball shaped lump on my hip that makes my side profile look like Beyoncé’s derriere.

After nearly toppling over in the driveway, I flew like the wind on my normal route and am back in the game, which flies in the face of my advice to the bairns: if you fall off, jump straight back on! Thankfully they haven’t noticed my hypocrisy, instead choosing to focus their attention on 'accidentally' repeatedly knocking into my hip, which now resembles John Merrick on a good day.

Maybe, at 46, I am getting too old for such ‘extreme’ pursuits. As the fresh young 20-somethings come flying past the old chap struggling with a bad back and newly acquired dodgy hip, I pull over, smile and let them go. Life is a marathon not a sprint my friends, and, with my new helmet in situ, I broached the possibility of getting another pass to face my demons at Bikepark Walesa few weeks hence. The conversation went a little like this:

"Laura... I was thinking... I’ve got the new helmet and need to break it in so I was thinking of going back to Wales next month…."

"You are f****** joking, right?" was the response I deserved but didn’t expect from a woman who last swore in 2007. Despite the marital naysayer, I again urge you to wear a helmet at all times. I am glad for my new helmet, which is dual purpose. Not only does it save serious head injury while riding, but as I plan to broach the subject of going back to BPW again later today, I believe it could come in more than handy during the upcoming conversation.