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  1. #1
    Senior Member mike's Avatar
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    Saved by my helmet tonight

    Here is another story about helmets doing their job. Time for me to pass the torch of wisdom.

    Something weird happened en route tonight. I'm not sure exactly what, but I was going about 19 mph and had to hit the brakes. The front brake siezed up and I went flying over the handle bars.

    My helmeted head crashed full force into the edge of the curb. There is no doubt that it would have smashed my mellon and either killed me or wiped out half my memory.

    Now the skin on my fingers are peeled like a banana and my neck is getting stiff as the night progresses, but I'm alive and on the bikeforums rather than being in the hospital or worse.

    When I first started cycling for real (for function instead of just for recreation), my full-time bicyclist friend made me promise him that I would always wear a helmet. He was wearing one when he was hit by a car and it saved his life. I made the promise and kept to it for years. Remember that when I made the promise, helmets were a lot dorkier than they are now and they were seriously uncool.

    Now, I pass the torch of wisdom to you. Wear a helmet always. It's not just for when you get hit by a car. Other stuff happens too. Make sure your friends and family wear one too.
    Mike

  2. #2
    Carfree since '82. Grrr! JonR's Avatar
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    I wonder if you shouldn't get checked out anyway, especially since your neck's getting stiff.

    Just yesterday I met a guy at the cafe who showed me his helmet (past time for replacement)--and the dent in it where he was hit by a car door one time. He showed me where he got hit. To judge from the dent, and the location, he would have been killed outright without the helmet.
    On leave of absence as of March 13, 2002. Contact by email.

  3. #3
    Every lane is a bike lane Chris L's Avatar
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    Yes, wearing a helmet is a smart thing to do. Glad to hear you're still in one piece, Mike.

    Chris
    "I am never going to flirt with idleness again" - Roy Keane
    "We invite everyone to question the entire culture we take for granted." - Manic Street Preachers.
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  4. #4
    Just Follow Your Feet! AlphaGeek's Avatar
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    Mike! Several positives here!
    #1 - You are still breathing and know your name!
    #2 - You get to spread the word that helmets can be cool.
    #3 - You've got a good excuse to go buy a SERIOUSLY COOL NEW helmet!!!

    I'm glad your cycling angel was there to keep you from turning into goo. :angel:
    Recumbents rock!

  5. #5
    It's only a hill. Weasel's Avatar
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    Going home one rainy day after work, my front wheel slipped away from underneath me and my body and bike literally aquaplaned across the pavement. I was brought to an abrupt stop by a large red van. My head hit the front bumper hard enough to dent my helmet whilst my body carried on underneath the van. I was alright, bit shaky, but able to carry on even with half of my skin gone.

    What I say is, you may look stupid wearing a helmet, but how stupid are you going to look with brain damage?

    Good to see you're still alive, Mike.

    Wear a helmet, cos tough nuts are hard to crack!
    Last edited by Weasel; 07-19-01 at 11:13 AM.

  6. #6
    Member Stumon's Avatar
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    You made a wise decision.

    I always wear a helmet when cycling... I'd feel somehow not quite dressed without it.

    Plus, helmets cover that giant bald spot... you know, the one I water continuously, but nothing ever seems to grow.

    Finally, I kinda like having a functioning brain, it's my second favorite organ.

    Just ask Gary "How many fingers am I holding up?" Busey about how cool and studly it is to have a brain injury.

  7. #7
    Senior Member nebill's Avatar
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    Gosh, Mike, glad to hear that you are okay! In the dynamic environment that we operate in, things can really change in a hurry!

    I always wear a helmet, one of the local road warriors made me promise!

    Again, glad that you are still with us...and functioning more or less normally!
    Keep Spinning!!
    "It is right that a bike is both Appreciated, and Ridden" David Blessing
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    Bill, rider of classic Paramounts!

  8. #8
    Carfree since '82. Grrr! JonR's Avatar
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    Originally posted by nebill
    ...and functioning more or less normally!
    (The mark of a cyclist in good health.)

    Hope you're all better today, Mike. Tell us what kind of new helmet you're getting!
    On leave of absence as of March 13, 2002. Contact by email.

  9. #9
    Senior Member technogirl's Avatar
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    I'm glad you're doing well, Mike, okay except for the sore neck. I always wear my helmet when I ride, and make sure the kiddies do as well.

    Let's all take an oath...Repeat after me...

    "I"
    I
    "State Your Name"
    State Your Name
    "Swear"
    sh*&% , fu^%, dam^%&
    "That I will always wear"
    That I will always wear
    "My helmet."
    your helmet.

    There! Well, there you go. Sorry, just being plain silly, there.

    Anyway, I'm super glad that you're doing alright. I agree with JonR, you should really get yourself checked out by the doc, and get some physical therapy done for your neck. I've had some awful neck pain in the past, and the physical therapy worked really well. I also think the ultrasound therapy that they incorporate helps tremendously, too.

    Keep safe!

  10. #10
    BFSSFG old timer riderx's Avatar
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    Mike - go get yourself a new helmet if you have not already. Helmets are made for a single impact. A lot of the bigger companies have a crash replacement program where they give you a new helmet for a fraction of the cost. Bell gave me a $90 helmet for $30 when I sent mine back (and a certificate that said "Saved By the Bell" ).

    Glad to hear you made it through relatively unhurt.
    Single Speed Outlaw
    Riding Bikes and Drinking Beer.

  11. #11
    Senior Member mike's Avatar
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    Originally posted by riderx
    Mike - go get yourself a new helmet if you have not already. Helmets are made for a single impact. A lot of the bigger companies have a crash replacement program where they give you a new helmet for a fraction of the cost. Bell gave me a $90 helmet for $30 when I sent mine back (and a certificate that said "Saved By the Bell" ).

    Glad to hear you made it through relatively unhurt.
    Good idea, RiderX. Thanks for the suggestion to return my helmet. Coincidently, I was wearing a Bell helmet. It worked very well and I was surprised at how effectively it saved me.

    I took a real brainer to the head, but the helmet took all the impact. I have never had such a tremendous blow to the skull from a bike accident before, so the effectiveness of the helmet really impressed me.

    The bummer is that my helmet was only about two weeks old.

    Three cheers for Bell's new helmet lines!
    Mike

  12. #12
    Carfree since '82. Grrr! JonR's Avatar
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    OK, you've just helped me reach a decision: I need to get a new helmet as soon as I can scrape together the ca$h, and I was already leaning (listing?) heavily toward Bell. Now it's for sure. (And the newer Bell's look a lot prettier than the old ones!)
    On leave of absence as of March 13, 2002. Contact by email.

  13. #13
    Member snoop_dujour's Avatar
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    I have to admit I dont always wear my helmet, I use all the excuses, "Its too hot" ,"just going for a short ride" ECT.
    Well after reading your posts I SWEAR I will ALWAYS wear my helmet no matter what. I now realize that no matter how safely I ride, there is always the chance of somthing happining. I payed alot of money to educate my brain (still paying student loans) It would be a shame for all that go to waste.

    Cheers,
    Snoop DuJour

  14. #14
    Carfree since '82. Grrr! JonR's Avatar
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    Snoop, a few years ago I rode without a helmet for about half a week, to see what it would be like. It just didn't feel right--my conscience kept nagging at me. I felt I was being irrational. Helmets are not 100% protection, granted, but experiences such as posted here recently show that they're often life- and skin-savers.

    I frankly hate helmets, but I will always wear one, "even to back up in my own driveway." I made the decision "No option, no negotiation," just as I did when I quit drinking 15 years ago.
    On leave of absence as of March 13, 2002. Contact by email.

  15. #15
    Senior Member mike's Avatar
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    Originally posted by snoop_dujour
    I now realize that no matter how safely I ride, there is always the chance of somthing happining.
    Boy, you got that right. I can't blame this accident on a car or anybody else - maybe I can blame it on my own riding skills. The brakes locked up on the front wheel and over I went. It was just a freak thing.

    These days, there are a lot of Laura Kroft (Tomb Raiders chick) wanna-be's roaring around on powerful motorcycles. They don't wear helmets - just pulling their pretty hair behind their head and letting it shake it's tail at danger.

    Damned it is sexy, but I shiver to think at what will happen to those pretty girls if/when they go down on their bikes. It will change their lives. Once the accident starts to happen, there is very little they can do but start praying to God almighty. Fate likes to take over at that point.

    I remember being invincible at twenty something. It was a nice fantasy. Watching my crazy friends get killed around me convinced me that staying alive has a lot to do with luck. In other extremes, the victim doesn't die. They live inside broken bodies - eventually forgotten by the healthy friends who said they would stay with them forever.

    You have to do everything possible to stack the cards in your favor.
    Last edited by mike; 07-19-01 at 04:37 PM.
    Mike

  16. #16
    Carfree since '82. Grrr! JonR's Avatar
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    Mike, your mention of motorcycles reminds me of a sobering piece I read in The Observer (UK) not too long ago. It was written by a correspondent who was vacationing on a Greek island and had to visit a hospital for a minor emergency. He was appalled to see blood everywhere, patients waiting in hallways to be seen, holding their own IV bottles up--it was like a wartime scene.

    He asked what was going on and was told, "It rained, and the British fell off their scooters." The island was a popular playground for well-off British youth--and their motor scooters. The roads were already wearing a coat of olive oil from the local industry, and when a rare shower occurred, this was the result.

    He saw one young English couple, teen-agers, who he could tell had been handsome. But not any more. The boy was disfigured, and the girl's ear and part of her face were gone.

    No mention was made of helmets, as I remember. But I doubt that helmet wearing was prevalent.
    On leave of absence as of March 13, 2002. Contact by email.

  17. #17
    Senior Member mike's Avatar
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    I was in Malaysia last year and saw what the local authorities had done to encourage safe motorcycle riding.

    At one of the large factories I was visiting, they had posted photos of horrific motorcycle accidents. The photos were posted at the main entrance/exit in which all employees had to pass.

    The photos showed one young man who was literally blown to pieces by hitting a truck. His severed legs, arms, head, and torso were spread out on the road like a yard sale.

    My Italian colleague was fascinated by the photos, but puked his guts out about ten minutes later after the weight of the photos settled in.
    Mike

  18. #18
    riding a Pinarello Prince orguasch's Avatar
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    Originally posted by mike
    I was in Malaysia last year and saw what the local authorities had done to encourage safe motorcycle riding.

    At one of the large factories I was visiting, they had posted photos of horrific motorcycle accidents. The photos were posted at the main entrance/exit in which all employees had to pass.

    The photos showed one young man who was literally blown to pieces by hitting a truck. His severed legs, arms, head, and torso were spread out on the road like a yard sale.

    My Italian colleague was fascinated by the photos, but puked his guts out about ten minutes later after the weight of the photos settled in.
    Yes, that can be gross,
    "Racso", the well oiled machine;)

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