An unidentified man passed away this weekend while riding his motorcycle on a walking path in Caldwell.

The sad part? It could very likely have been prevented.

KBOI reports that on Saturday, a motorcyclist was riding his/her (again, the rider has not yet been identified) motorcycle on a walking path near Spruce and Fircrest. The rider then struck a chain strewn across the sidewalk designed to keep traffic out, crashed, and was pronounced dead at the scene.

The rider was not wearing a helmet at the time of the accident.

I most certainly do not want to disrespect the dead. However, as a fellow motorcyclist, I feel I must say my piece.

This person was riding their motorcycle on a walkway (which, to the best of my knowledge, is illegal) without the proper safety equipment. Yes, it is Idaho state law that you do not have to wear a helmet while operating a motorcycle (unless you're under 18 years of age). However, every motorcyclist is required to take a safety class in which we're taught about the utter importance of wearing a helmet. When they say a helmet can save your life, it is no exaggeration. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says helmets are about 37% effective in preventing fatalities in motorcycle crashes.

Isn't saving your life worth wearing a helmet? I know it looks "cool" when you're riding your steed with no helmet and sunglasses on. You know what's cooler? Living to tell about it. I do wish this rider's family peace, and I hope that this can be a lesson to all my fellow riders: Protect yourself. It's worth it.