I'm a bike commuter, and I have epilepsy. Normally, I've been lucky enough to keep those two parts of my life separate, but..
A few days ago, as I left my house, I mused, "It's a nice day, maybe I'll just go without my helmet. Plus, all the hipsters ride that way- they probably think I'm a goon with this thing on..". Luckily, that foolish train of thought stopped, and I put it on.
As I cruised on my fixie down the road to the train station a couple of minutes later, I blacked out then came to in an ambulance. I'd had a seizure while riding and fallen over on my right. My knee was pretty bashed up and my chest had a good bruise, but nothing broken. The handlebars slightly bent, tape shredded. The rest of my beloved bike was alright, apart from the front wheel going a bit out of true.
Worse yet, my laptop in its bag on my back was sickeningly smashed into a shallow curve- screen shattered, internals luckily still alive enough to glean data from.
My helmet had a large dent in its plastic-coated section. I realized over time that my head might have had a rather larger dent in it had I not been protected.
So, doc/ambulance bills and computer replacement not withstanding (rassle-frackin'-fricker-frackker!&$), I do feel plenty lucky to be alive and without serious injury, and I owe a rather large debt to my trusty helmet. Wear them, folks, even for dumb commuting tasks. You never know when fate might strike.
A question- the helmet is still structurally sound (owing to bell's tough intercasting process, I'd imagine). Do I need to trash it immediately and get a new helmet? I've put quite a bit of pressure on it to test and there are no cracks or anything- just a bit of a smoosh on one side.
As an aside, I'd like to join in the waxing lyrical about Brooks saddles happening here. I'm a ~185lb rider and I picked up a B17 standard-width a little while back. Some 80 miles later, sure enough, it is so comfortable I look forward to riding just to interface with it. Some have said that heavier riders seem to have better initial experiences with them- it's certainly been my experience.
The slipperiness was annoying for the first week of riding but it's lessened now. It's vitally important to get saddle height and tilt correct with these- for the most part I seem to have the best feel with a straight-across tilt and a seatpost height just under where I sat with my old gel monstrosity (owing to the tall rails on the Brooks more than anything, probably).
There's just something about the look that makes my bike look fricking serious, as well.. Petty, I know.