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  1. #1
    The Flying Scot chewa's Avatar
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    Helmet saved my wife today

    I have just had a hellish day.

    i was going to go cycling myself this morning, but had a slight sore shoulder so didn't. However, decided to go for maybe 20 miles this afternoon, and my wife, Sandra, decided to accompany me.

    It was quite muggy and warm and Sandra hates wearing her helmet (as she has long hair and feels it makes her sweat), and the first part of the trip was climbing for maybe 8 - 10 miles.

    Sure enough, i gl;ance back on one of the hills and S has her helmet tied round her handlebar.

    i stopped and told her that I wouldn't cycle with her if she didn't wear it. After a bit of a discussion she grudgingly put it on.

    On the way back, as we had climbed so much we were going mostly down hill. About 2 miles from home, i was about 30 yds in friont of Sandra on the road. She called "you should be on the cycle track " and then I heard an awful bang and metallic scraping. I turned round to see Sandra sprawled across the path and ran back to see her.

    She was initially unconscious, and bleeding a lot form a deep wound on her chin. She came to and then passed out again, by which time a passing motorist had called for an ambulance.

    Her Giro helmet was wrecked, she had a nylon burn on her face where the helmet had twisted and the strap had gone across her cheek.

    S was strapped to a spinal board and neck brace and in hospital had x rays of skull, jaw, cervical spine, left wrist, lower spine and right leg. Luckily, nothing appeared to be broken, but she looks like she has been mugged. Basically, it is easier to say where she doesn't hurt rather than where she does.

    The point of impact was the front of her helmet and her chin. I hate to think what would have happened if she hadn't been wearing her helmet.

    There is still some suspicion that her jaw might be fractured but we have to wait until the swelling has gone down and they might need to do more x rays.

    I know this has been done to death but please please wear your helmet. 5 hours in casualty wondering if your loved one has fractured her skull or broken her neck is not an experience I want to repeat.

    As it is, hopefully a bit of TLC and she'll be back to normal.

    She can't remember the accident, but I think she clipped the curb when going from road to path. She was going quite fast and the front wheel of her bike is wrecked, which would suggest she hit something solid.
    Last edited by chewa; 07-07-02 at 02:44 PM.
    plus je vois les hommes, plus j'admire les chiens

    1985 Custom built 531c Audax/fast tourer.
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  2. #2
    Almost Immortal The Rob's Avatar
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    That's truly horrifying, Chewa! It's one thing to experience a severe scuffing, quite another to witness a loved one's suffering. All available digits crossed in hopes of an improved prognosis!

    Just as I shake my head in wonder at those who won't wear seatbelts, I do so when I see a cyclist without a helmet. I understand the argument for freedom of choice -- I choose to improve the odds against my spouse having to arrange my funeral, or perhaps worse, bathe and feed me for the remainder of my debilitated existence.

    -Rob
    "Ignorance begets confidence more frequently than does knowledge." -Charles Darwin


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  3. #3
    Love Me....Love My Bike! aerobat's Avatar
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    Sorry to hear about Sandra's accident, Chewa, but glad she wasn't any more seriously injured. Hope she recovers quickely.

    You're right about helmets, you just never know when you'll need it!
    "...perhaps the world needs a little more Canada" - Jean Chretian, 2003.

  4. #4
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    Thanks for posting, and please forward my best wishes for a speedy recovery.
    "Early to bed, early to rise. Work like hell, and advertise." -- George Stahlman
    Capo [dschaw'-poe]: 1959 Modell Campagnolo, S/N 40324; 1960 Sieger, S/N 42624
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  5. #5
    human velocipedio's Avatar
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    Best wishes for your wife's recovery, Chewa. That sounds like a truly horrible accident.
    when walking, just walk. when sitting, just sit. when riding, just ride. above all, don't wobble.

    The Irregular Cycling Club of Montreal
    Cycling irregularly since 2002

  6. #6
    A Heart Needs a Home Rich Clark's Avatar
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    My best wishes for Sandra's recovery. I'm glad she appears to have escaped a serious injury.

    While I personally wear a helmet and required my son to do so as he grew up, and while I believe helmets can be beneficial and wearing them does no harm, I do want to make a point.

    In the US, at least, we have arrived at a state where, in the public consciousness, "bicycle safety" equates with "wear your helmet." And ONLY with "wear your helmet.

    In this regard, I suspect the helmet campaign has done more harm than good, because there is no perceived need for anyone to learn bike-handling skills, traffic rules, the principles of effective cycling, or even how to inspect their own bikes for proper working order.

    We can't control everything that happens to us, and wearing a helmet might protect us in those cases where we can't prevent a collision. But I still believe that most of the injuries that helmets protect us from could be prevented by learning how to handle a bike (how to jump, how to protect yourself in a fall); by knowing how bikes are expected to behave in traffic; by alert, assertive and predictable riding technique; by having brakes that work and pedals your feet won't slip off of.

    None of this is intended as a comment about Sandra's accident. It's just that I believe that, of all the things we can do to be "safe" while cycling, helmet wearing is not all that high on the list.

    RichC

  7. #7
    Senior Member Nobby's Avatar
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    Chewa;
    Thank you for the report. I hated to read it but I'm sure that you and especially Sandra hated the whole experience (which I'm sure isn't completely over yet) much more! While I don't doubt that "being firm" with her about wearing her helmet caused some friction between you, I'm so pleased that you were! I pray that she heals quickly and rides again.

    Yer head - where your helmet is meant to be.
    Bill (Nobby) Clark
    Edson, Alberta
    Vision R-44

  8. #8
    Slow Moving Vehicle Jean Beetham Smith's Avatar
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    I hope you both heal well, and can enjoy cycling soon. Dan's and my thoughts and prayers are with you.

  9. #9
    Senior Member John C. Ratliff's Avatar
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    Chewa and Sanda

    Having experienced a similar accident, and having my Giro helmet in pieces too, I empathize completely. This will take awhile to get over, and I hope the recovery goes very well.

    Helmets are personal protective equipment, and they are definately the last point of protection, but you and I know that without them, there would be much more grieving. I'm pleased you were firm about wearing the helmet. I'm now approaching parents and others about it too, as I see them and praising those who are wearing their helmet.

    Heal well,

    John
    John Ratliff

  10. #10
    bac
    bac is offline
    Senior Member bac's Avatar
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    Wow - I'm sorry to hear of the accident, but happy to hear that all will be well. That's a scary story, indeed!

  11. #11
    Every lane is a bike lane Chris L's Avatar
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    I'm glad to hear the helmet did it's job, Chewa. My own skull was saved by one last October, and I won't ride without one either.

    Best wishes that your wife might have a speedy recovery.
    "I am never going to flirt with idleness again" - Roy Keane
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  12. #12
    Senior Member
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    Chewa, what a story...I'm glad you were firm about the helmet. Best wishes and a speedy recovery for Sandra.

  13. #13
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    Chewa, I am sorry your wife got hurt, hope she has a speedy recovery. After I was hit by a car, I only rode bike paths for several months, then my husband had to ride behind me when we were in the road. He wasn't with me when I got hit, but I think he suffered just as much as I did in the months following. Be glad you were with her, to help her. God be with you both.

  14. #14
    Donating member Richard D's Avatar
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    Best wishes for a speedy recovery.

    Richard
    Currently riding an MTB with a split personality - commuting, touring, riding for the sake of riding, on or off road :)

  15. #15
    Seņor Member Tom_The_Bikeman's Avatar
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    I'm glad to see that you preserved. I hope that she's soon on the mend, and that you're both OK.

    I've been in numerous accidents, but only got to "use" my helmet last April. Then again, it saved me from a skull fracture before it died.

    pay attention out there,
    Tom

  16. #16
    It's the fight in the man Rich's Avatar
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    Wishing a speedy recovery to your wife Chewa...

    Rich
    Making New Zealand a safer place :)

  17. #17
    riding a Pinarello Prince orguasch's Avatar
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    that is really very scary, But good to hear that Sandra is doing okay, she will be in my prayers
    "Racso", the well oiled machine;)

  18. #18
    Senior Member bikehard700's Avatar
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    First, I wish Sandra a speedy recovery, and that you both are riding together once again.

    Second... I too will not ride with someone without a helmut... period!

    And, I aggree that they be allowed the "freedom of choice", and in exercising my "F.O.C.", choose not to ride with an unhelmeted riders... ... ... :confused:
    I feel the pain...
    but there are hills to climb.

  19. #19
    53 miles per burrito urban_assault's Avatar
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    I'll have to get my wife to read your post. She hates wearing her helmet also.

    Best Wishes for a quick recovery.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Redhed's Avatar
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    I certainly hope your wife recovers quickly. Hopefully she will still enjoy riding.

  21. #21
    Queen of the Pea Pile oceanrider's Avatar
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    Chewa, how simply awful but to think what might have happened had you not insisted she wear her helmet. I hope she gets back in the saddle again without much ado but it will take time and patience. Sending healing thoughts.
    Picture yourself on a boat on a river, with tangerine trees and marmalade skies...

  22. #22
    Ich bin ein Lowlander! toolfreak's Avatar
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    Chewa,

    Give Sandra the best wishes and good health.

    She told me she`s didn`t like helmets, me neither, but your story gives me a radical change of mind!

    Hope she recovers fast and will ride again soon,
    Mark







    Dancevalley 2th of august 2003 -> JXL, Laidback luke, Sasha, John Digweed, Monica Krusse.....and on!

  23. #23
    Sprockette wabbit's Avatar
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    I don't think anyone really likes helmets, especially in warm weather. MY advice to Sandra is to get a headsweat and wear it under the helmet- ideal for long hair and absorbs sweat. It sure beats ending up in the hospital! Good thing no serious injuries occurred!

    My stupid sister in law used to cycle but refused to wear a helmet because she has 'too much hair', but of course, it never occurred to her to cut it. It was a real mop. I didn't press the issue. She's so stupid that if she fell on her head, it wouldn't make a difference. She doesn't cycle anymore anyways.
    You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. That's great...if you want to attract vermin.

  24. #24
    Senior Member
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    Chewa!
    I know there is a great argument even amongest the medical professions as to the true value of cyclists wearing helmets,
    On this occasion I am certainly glad you were firm with your wife insisting she put her helmet on,as you mentioned the consiquensous of the accident without wearing it are to frightfull to contemplate.
    As a rider who like Sandra hated the very thought of going out with one of those silly looking lids on my head i have gradually come around to the idea of "better safe than sorry".
    I have now become a cyclist who will not ride a single mile without my helmet on, regardles of how i look.
    Wishing your good wife a speedy recovery.

    regards and god bless.

    Willi`c

  25. #25
    Life is good RonH's Avatar
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    Sorry to hear the terrible news. I'm glad you made her wear her helmet. I'd hate to think what might have happened if she wasn't wearing it.

    My best to you both and please post updates as she recovers.
    My bikes: 2001 Litespeed Tuscany---
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