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Crash!!!

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Old 11-01-09, 10:53 PM
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mtnwalker
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Crash!!!

(Sorry, long read)
I became a statistic last Wednesday.

It was really windy here in the bay area and I was dealing with some really strong head wind as I headed north on Sunnyvale/Saratoga around 1130 am. The last thing I remember was looking at my computer and thinking "Man, its windy and I am going so slow." This street is mainly downhill northbound but I was only going 14 mph.

I looked up then I kinda remember falling. It still feels more like a dream up to this day. Then I must have blacked out on impact because I don't remember it. When I came to there were voices telling me to stay down and not get up. Must have passed out again because when I opened my eyes I was in an ambulance while they placed an IV on my arm. I was asked some questions "What month is it?", "What day?" "What time?" and I didn't know the anwer any of them. Passed out.

When I came to again I was inside a CT scanner and must have passed out again cuz the next thing I know I was on a bed in the ER with a neck brace.

I have an abrasion on my left cheek about an inch long and half an inch wide and some scratches on my fingers. My knees were saved by my leg warmers because all I got are major scrapes but no loss of flesh. The back of my helmet was smashed and I was told that I was lucky to have had it on. Otherwise I will be suffering more than just a concussion.

My wife told me that there was only one witness and he/she told the police that responded that it happened so quickly and I must have rolled on the ground at least 3 times before stopping. When I spoke to the police the next day he asked if I remembered anything like getting hit by a car, running over something, anything? I said, "No." He then told me that as he investigated the area he noticed a crushed pine cone behind where I crashed.

I'm still not sure to this day exactly what happened but I'm pretty sure now that a pine cone did me in.
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Old 11-01-09, 11:03 PM
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I am sorry to hear about the fall. A coworker took a spill this summer with similar results. Found on side of road unconscious, loss of memory, etc.

I am looking into additional insurance should I be out of work for an extended period. And I will do some research into a better helmet for myself short of a fullface motorcycle helmet.

I wish you the best in your recovery and return to cycling.
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Old 11-02-09, 09:39 AM
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The helmet I was wearing was just a $30 Bell Solar helmet. It did its job perfectly which is to protect my head from impact. I thought about getting one of those expensive helmets in the past too. Now it doesn't seem to make any sense to get any helmet over $50.
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Old 11-02-09, 11:04 AM
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Ouch, sorry to hear about your crash. How long are you out of commission for?
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Old 11-02-09, 11:05 AM
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Originally Posted by mtnwalker View Post
The helmet I was wearing was just a $30 Bell Solar helmet. It did its job perfectly which is to protect my head from impact. I thought about getting one of those expensive helmets in the past too. Now it doesn't seem to make any sense to get any helmet over $50.
Glad you are alright. I dont really think just because you fell and need a new helmet that $50+ helmets dont make sense... It just matters what you are looking for in the helmet. As long as they fit and are worn properly they should help your head on impact. More expensive helmets might not be useful to you right now, but they do have many benefits.
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Old 11-02-09, 11:16 AM
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wow! That certainly does qualify as a crash. Happy to hear the helmet did its job. I've always wondered how well those helmets work.

. . . damn pine cones.
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Old 11-02-09, 12:13 PM
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I had a similar situation ten years ago.

Riding toward home, about 1.5 miles way, I looked back and saw that the road was clear. After that the next thing I remember is standing in my driveway with no idea how I got there, still wearing the CamelBak despite a broken collarbone.

The next thing I remember is entering a big machine (MRI or CAT scan), and the next was leaving the hospital with my wife. Everything between those brief moments of lucidity is gone, victim of a concussion that broke my helmet.

After I healed (had 3 broken ribs, too), I rode the route often, thinking that it might trigger some memory of the accident, or whatever it was. But there's just nothing there. Minimal damage to the bike- scraped bar tape and a small scuff on the saddle.

I got a new helmet and a "Saved By The Bell" certificate from the folks at Bell.

Be careful out there.
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Old 11-02-09, 01:43 PM
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Originally Posted by audi666 View Post
Glad you are alright. I dont really think just because you fell and need a new helmet that $50+ helmets dont make sense... It just matters what you are looking for in the helmet. As long as they fit and are worn properly they should help your head on impact. More expensive helmets might not be useful to you right now, but they do have many benefits.
Don't get me wrong. I would still love to get one of the new $200+ helmets out there. I've been eyeing the Giro IONOS after all and still want one. And I am aware of their benefits like lighter, more vents, more aero, looks cooler etc.

Maybe I'm just being frugal right now but I sure am glad that my $30 helmet worked just as well as the more expensive ones. Thats all.
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Old 11-02-09, 01:47 PM
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Originally Posted by seawind161 View Post
I had a similar situation ten years ago.

Riding toward home, about 1.5 miles way, I looked back and saw that the road was clear. After that the next thing I remember is standing in my driveway with no idea how I got there, still wearing the CamelBak despite a broken collarbone.

The next thing I remember is entering a big machine (MRI or CAT scan), and the next was leaving the hospital with my wife. Everything between those brief moments of lucidity is gone, victim of a concussion that broke my helmet.

After I healed (had 3 broken ribs, too), I rode the route often, thinking that it might trigger some memory of the accident, or whatever it was. But there's just nothing there. Minimal damage to the bike- scraped bar tape and a small scuff on the saddle.

I got a new helmet and a "Saved By The Bell" certificate from the folks at Bell.

Be careful out there.
I still can't remember exactly where I crashed too. All I know is the name of the main street. I've looked at the maps and based it on my trip computer but I don't even remember passing any of the cross streets I supposed to have passed.
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Old 11-02-09, 03:50 PM
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Originally Posted by mtnwalker View Post
Don't get me wrong. I would still love to get one of the new $200+ helmets out there. I've been eyeing the Giro IONOS after all and still want one. And I am aware of their benefits like lighter, more vents, more aero, looks cooler etc.

Maybe I'm just being frugal right now but I sure am glad that my $30 helmet worked just as well as the more expensive ones. Thats all.
Get the LiveStrong version and 20% of the cost goes to the foundation. That is how I sold myself on getting one, plus some LiveStrong Oakleys.
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Old 11-02-09, 06:29 PM
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I mentioned about researching a better helmet for myself because my coworker impacted on one side of his head above the eyebrow. I think his helmet lifted up when he hit exposing the area.
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Old 11-02-09, 06:45 PM
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mtn, what a frightening story. hope you're ok.
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Old 11-02-09, 08:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Luddite View Post
mtn, what a frightening story. hope you're ok.
Thanks for the concern. Overall I believe I am fine except for some minor aches and pain and some short term memory issues. But my biggest concern is the concussion. I was told that side effects on the brain doesn't really come about until days, weeks, months or even years later.

I'm having a follow up in two weeks. We'll see then.
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Old 11-02-09, 08:34 PM
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Originally Posted by cmburch View Post
I mentioned about researching a better helmet for myself because my coworker impacted on one side of his head above the eyebrow. I think his helmet lifted up when he hit exposing the area.
This could be a case of an improperly fitted helmet or he kept his chin strap too loose. The last thing I do before riding off is to make sure that I've adjusted the helmet tightness and that the chin strap is set right.

I always found it odd when I see riders with chin straps hanging loosely from their chin. It defeats the purpose.
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Old 11-02-09, 10:07 PM
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Man, that's scary. I've always been somewhat paranoid of debris when riding on skinnies; doubly so since a tiny pebble wrecked me on a downhill S-curve. I live in an area with a lot of trees, so in fall/winter we've got a lot of pine cones, acorns, leaves, etc.

Because of all that crap on the road (and my inability to see it all while riding in the dark) I pretty well retire my road bike for winter, preferring my hybrid with 37mm tires that roll over anything. I've always wondered if I was being overly paranoid, now I think not.

Glad you're better. Damn pine cones!
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Old 11-02-09, 10:20 PM
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That's a scary story. Glad you are OK. More expensive helmets are not necessarily better; they look cooler and have more vents. Get one that fits properly and don't keep the strap too loose.

And that really windy day was last Tuesday. I was scared ****less going down Fair Oaks over the train tracks. I didn't think it was *that* windy nor did I expect a small overpass to be so frightening.
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Old 11-02-09, 11:10 PM
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Originally Posted by a1penguin View Post
That's a scary story. Glad you are OK. More expensive helmets are not necessarily better; they look cooler and have more vents. Get one that fits properly and don't keep the strap too loose.

And that really windy day was last Tuesday. I was scared ****less going down Fair Oaks over the train tracks. I didn't think it was *that* windy nor did I expect a small overpass to be so frightening.
Now that I've thought about it I'm starting to think that its the combination of the head wind and really slow speeds that took me out. I mean, I've ran over pine cones at speed before and not crash. The fast momentum have allowed me to recover and keep going. But, maybe, because of the slow speeds, 14mph> I quickly lost momentum when I hit that pine cone. I'm not really sure but it kinda fits.
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Old 11-03-09, 12:26 AM
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At least you crashed in a civilized country. Here in NOLA, you would wake up with no bike, then no wallet, then no shoes. Then you would be hauled off to jail for vagrancy.

Glad people took care of you. Scary stuff.
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Old 11-03-09, 12:43 AM
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Frame Pinecone and Medical bill..
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Old 11-03-09, 12:49 AM
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This inspires me to wear my helmet more often.
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