Thanks, Bell helmet

I’m generally pretty safety aware, and I don’t take a lot of chances on the road, but I admit, sometimes when I’m just going for a leisurely ride, I don’t wear my helmet. Today was going to be one of those days. It was a day off work, and I was going for my H1N1 shot, and then stopping by my mom’s to drop off some of her favourite coffee. It wasn’t too cold, and my hair was looking good ;-D

I like riding without a helmet because I enjoy the feeling.

But, though I planned on going sans, I put the helmet on, more by habit than anything. And I’m real glad I did, or I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be here to talk about it.

I had an uneventful ride, got my shot, rode to my mom’s – no problem. I was, literally, feet from the gate. I was riding on her sidewalk and attempting some slow-mo maneuvers I’ve never had a problem with (tight corners). I still have no idea how it happened, but I went down. Fast and hard! I think the sidewalk may have been a little wet with water, and maybe a little snow. I went down harder than I ever have, and the side of my head hit the concrete so hard, I’ll bet you could hear the crack a block away.

I banged up my knee pretty bad, and should have went for stitches (but I’ve heard the clinics are full of people with the flu). It’s still bleeding bad, hours later, but I’ve got it bandaged up pretty good. I also cracked my Garmin watch glass, broke off my rear tail light, twisted my seat, and snapped of some ties for my front light. And I’ve got a few other scrapes. A real bad crash – ironic given I was barely moving, and I spend so much time in far more dangerous circumstances.

But what gets me is the way my head hit the concrete – very hard! I was dizzy for a few minutes, and may have sustained a minor concussion, but I’m absolutely certain that if I wasn’t wearing my helmet, I wouldn’t be writing this. I think I’d be dead, or in very bad condition.

I will never ride without a helmet again. Not even for a short ride on a safe path. I never imagined I’d wipe out in that kind of situation. My helmet may have saved my life.

Thanks, Bell helmets! I’ll be getting a new one tomorrow.

2 Responses

  1. Yikes! I’m glad you’re okay, Jim, and glad your instinct to put on that helmet was a strong one. Sucks about the injuries and bike damage, but glad it wasn’t worse.

    On a related note while I’m thinking about it – I don’t get it when I see folks (usually younger guys in or around their teens) who ride around with a helmet on, but without strapping it. Clearly it’s not a fashion issue or they wouldn’t even bother with the helmet to begin with. And they -have- to realize it’s useless if it’s not strapped under their chin, right?

  2. Yeah, I don’t get it either. Wearing a helmet without the strap done up = ???

    I’m lucky, I got away with one. I got to learn my lesson the easier way. It wasn’t just that I hit my head hard. My shoulder, or something, actually landed on the bike, or something, and, effectively, whipped the side of my head into the concrete,

    I keep looking at the spot I wiped out, and still can’t figure out how it happened. I guess the lesson is, when you least expect it, …

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