Lawrence often covered as many as 500 miles per day—almost unthinkable given the road conditions of the time—and claimed, in an endorsement written to George Brough in 1926, to have ridden more than 100,000 miles in four years. He famously rode like there was no tomorrow, and inevitably, one day there wasn’t. In May 1935, just two months after exiting the service, Lawrence crested a blind rise near his Clouds Hill cottage in Dorset and collided with a boy on a bicycle. The boy survived. Lawrence, who suffered severe head injuries, did not. His death was not for naught, however: His attending neurosurgeon, Hugh Cairns, was so distraught over what he considered Lawrence’s “unnecessary death” that he launched a definitive head-injury research campaign that led to a huge increase in the use of motorcycle crash helmets.