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My Helmet Saved Me

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My Helmet Saved Me

Old 10-07-12, 01:12 PM
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My Helmet Saved Me

......at least from a serious head injury, if not worse yesterday. I was riding in the Epic Rides Show Low Bluff Tour of the White Mountains https://www.epicrides.com/index.php?contentCat=4 in the 35 mile event. The course was rough and rocky and I was riding on fumes near the 30 mile mark going downhill when I missed my line and then turned my front wheel a little too sharply to avoid a large rock, which caused me and the bike to endo. First part of me to hit the ground was my head! Helmet absorbed the impact good...other than my neck being a little stiff, I was ok and picked myself and bike up, got back on and rode on. Oh, this also caused another guy who was on my rear wheel to go down, and he was not too happy with me.
BTW, I know this is MTB related and would be better suited to the MTB forum......but I AM A ROADIE (as I so obviously and not so gracefully demonstrated yesterday)!
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Old 10-07-12, 01:20 PM
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Well if it's a club I'm in it too. Had a rather nasty one point landing, same point as yours.
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Old 10-07-12, 01:25 PM
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This will be good.
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Old 10-07-12, 01:37 PM
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I am glad you are OK.

The guy behind you can only blame himself for going down. It is his responsibility to stay far enough back so that when the rider in front of him goes down, he does not go down too. Riding too close on a single track is just asking for trouble. When I notice someone is following me too closely, at the next opportunity I pull over and them them pass. I don't want them running me over if I should wipe out.
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Old 10-07-12, 01:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Bah Humbug
This will be good.
Not for long. This is destined for the merge.
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Old 10-07-12, 01:48 PM
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Glad you're OK

Good news that you did not suffer any worse injuries.

I had two crashes myself this July, both at 20+ MPH in peloton's....on concrete. Cracked a helmet both times, in the back. Went down hard to say the least.

Needless to say I never get on a bike without a helmet.
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Old 10-07-12, 05:11 PM
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Just replaced my helmet this week after it cracked saving my noggin. My crash was caused by a clueless cyclist cutting me off while on a charity ride. The helmet wasn't cracked after the fall. It cracked last weekend when it fell off my bike while it was leaning against my van. The crack was in the same spot that hit the road when I crashed.
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Old 10-07-12, 06:29 PM
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I'll join in...

8 days removed from going down at 25mph while participate in a local grand fondo type event. Not sure what happened to cause the events, but I do know I touched wheels with the rider in front. Went down on my right side contacting the ground with my shoulder, helmet and cheek. Nothing broken on the body, only road rash and a mild concussion.

I was on the bike two days later, riding very easy...

I do not give a crap what anyone says! If I was not wearing a helmet I would have suffered a way worse injury. I'm certain I would have broken my cheekbone, and suffered a way more significant head injury.
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Old 10-07-12, 07:08 PM
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Glad you are ok!
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Old 10-08-12, 12:03 AM
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Originally Posted by John_V
Just replaced my helmet this week after it cracked saving my noggin. My crash was caused by a clueless cyclist cutting me off while on a charity ride. The helmet wasn't cracked after the fall. It cracked last weekend when it fell off my bike while it was leaning against my van. The crack was in the same spot that hit the road when I crashed.
Just goes to show how true " one and done" is. One impact and it's time to get a new lid even it looks okay.

Back in the 90's I had a specialized helmet that was just 3 inches or so of styrofoam and a strap - no hard cover. I was coming down a hill really fast when I rounded a bend and saw the road ahead had an oily sheen to it ( there must have just been a very isolated shower). Thought I better bleed off some speed so I feathered the breaks. I must have already hit the slick cuz the bike came out from under me and slid towards the shoulder while I slid-still very fast-towards the oncoming lane.


I actually had a soft landing-considering the speed-and would have gotten away with just a very small patch of road rash on my thigh (probably cuz the road was so lubed) but I had to stop immediately or I'd have slid under the front wheel of an oncoming car. I threw my arm down in front of me and wound up vaulting myself about 4 1/2 feet in the air ( according to the driver) and landed head first.


You can see exactly where I landed because the styrofoam is compacted down to about an inch at that spot. I wasn't even knocked out but I'm sure if not for the 3 inches of foam I'd be dealing with a concussion at the very least. I did, however wake up the next morning with a hyperextended arm that was bruised solid black from wrist to shoulder.
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Old 10-08-12, 01:50 AM
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I've only done one charity ride and it was a bit scary when you get up to speed. I started wondering what protocol was for riding in a group and i wonder if any of these people bothered to learn? Crashing at 15-20mph must not be fun (there are a bunch of crazy fixie riders out there and they don't even wear helmets!)
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Old 10-08-12, 05:07 AM
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I too am a member of the "over the handlebars club".
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Old 10-08-12, 05:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Astrozombie
I've only done one charity ride and it was a bit scary when you get up to speed. I started wondering what protocol was for riding in a group and i wonder if any of these people bothered to learn? Crashing at 15-20mph must not be fun (there are a bunch of crazy fixie riders out there and they don't even wear helmets!)
I have never done a charity ride that has a specific protocol to follow, other than you must wear a helmet. Although some do have some safety tips as guidelines, they aren't written in stone as something you must follow. I retired from the fire department and still ride with their cycling team. Being a public safety organization, we commit to 10-12 charity rides throughout the year. Charity rides aren't that bad after you've done several of them, but you do have to pay extra attention when you are around other cyclist. This was the first crash in a charity ride that I have had, although there have been some other close call incidences.
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Old 10-08-12, 06:00 AM
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Speaking of charity rides and such...

The last time my wife and I did a charity ride, 3 yrs ago, she crashed and got a concussion. At that point we swore them off until this latest ride and I crash.

To be honest I find that in these rides you get lots of riders who have no clue how to ride in a very large group and that a large number ride way above their ability and that's what causes the majority of problems...
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Old 10-08-12, 09:20 AM
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Over the summer I was on vacation and was just ending a 35 mile ride with a friend when the front tire developed a bulge while i was doing around 23 mph and just going into a sharp right turn.

Bike spilled me onto my left side and after i tucked and messed up my shoulder and elbow, the left top front of my head met the asphalt. I remember thinking at that moment...holy s..the helmet just saved me! and it was true. No facial/head injury at all except maybe a little shock from the violence of the spill.


just last week I finally fell over from the clippless shoes (after no fall for 6 months)and wacked the back of my head on a curb...again the helmet took the blow.


BTW i am only using $25.00-30.00 Bell helmets. I cringe when i see someone w/o a helmet even when its just a beach bike going 7 or 8 mph.

Its a cheap and effective protection...especially compared to face, mouth, dental, and head trauma, pain, medical bills, insurance costs, plastic surgery, brain damage and even death...

Here in NJ children up to the age of 17 must wear a helmet...it really should be mandatory for all ages even if its not really going to be enforced.

Last edited by musicman1; 10-09-12 at 10:22 AM.
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Old 10-08-12, 12:18 PM
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Originally Posted by John_V
Just replaced my helmet this week after it cracked saving my noggin. My crash was caused by a clueless cyclist cutting me off while on a charity ride. The helmet wasn't cracked after the fall. It cracked last weekend when it fell off my bike while it was leaning against my van. The crack was in the same spot that hit the road when I crashed.
This is exactly why you replace the helmet anytime you have a crash, even though you might not see any damage or a crack. Both times I went down in July I really checked the helmet for a crack. The first crash "crack" in the helmet was very difficult to see and only showed up after I really put some pressure on the helmet in the area of the crash. I have kept both of those "cracked" helmets to show to anyone in case they think a helmet is unnecessary.

Personally I'd rather read stories of how a helmet saved a cyclist from busting their head rather than the opposite.

John, after I went down twice in July I now am more leery of the charity rides and really keep my distance and don't take any extra chances. Some people really try to show off in the rides and it can be a recipe for disaster. I really hate it when large groups in charity events start running red lights just because they think it is OK....that is when I just drop back. Had one of those in September. What i don't understand it is usually the faster riders who have all the nicer bikes, etc that take those chances. Just does not make sense.

Glad you found the crack in your helmet before it became an issue.
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Old 10-08-12, 01:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Nbob
I wasn't even knocked out but I'm sure if not for the 3 inches of foam I'd be dealing with a concussion at the very least.
...all of the data I have been exposed to as part of hockey and football coaching instruction says that while helmets are a VERY VERY good idea, they haven't been proven to be very effective in preventing concussions. NFL players wear massive, expensive helmets, and yet that player population is sadly all too familiar with the long- and short-term effects of many, many concussions. Concussions result from brain slamming into skull, and a helmet outside the skull simply can't directly eliminate that impact. Bike and other sport helmets DO clearly and obviously protect against skull fractures, brain hematomas (internal bleeding) and other skin and bone trauma, and every day they protect countless people from seriously messing up their heads and faces.

My layperson's take is that you should always wear a helmet when riding at speed or in traffic, but have realistic expectations about what it will and won't prevent. If you have been in a crash, be aware of the symptoms of a concussion (headache, nausea, irritability, light sensitivity, memory issues, etc.) regardless of whether your helmet prevented head trauma.
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Old 10-08-12, 10:03 PM
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Originally Posted by SilverStretch
...all of the data I have been exposed to as part of hockey and football coaching instruction says that while helmets are a VERY VERY good idea, they haven't been proven to be very effective in preventing concussions.
I stand corrected. Funny enough when I woke up this morning there was an article in the paper about helmets that pointed that out - here's a clip:

To set the record straight, helmets won’t necessarily protect against concussion, Dr. Tator explains. “Concussion is due to the jiggle of the brain in the skull and the jiggle is related to rotational acceleration, something which helmets don’t protect against.”
What helmets can do for cyclists, he adds, is to protect against “the big injuries. By big injuries to the brain we mean blood clots in the brain, torn brain and bruised brain.”
These so-called catastrophic brain injuries are due to linear acceleration, which means the brain continues to move against the skull even though the skull has hit the ground.
“That crashing around of the brain against the skull can cause bruising, tearing and blood clots. So yes, cyclists wearing helmets may still get a concussion but they’re protected against the big injuries; they won’t die and won’t end up in a chronic hospital for the rest of their lives,” he says.
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Old 10-08-12, 11:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Nbob
I stand corrected. Funny enough when I woke up this morning there was an article in the paper about helmets that pointed that out - here's a clip:

To set the record straight, helmets won’t necessarily protect against concussion, Dr. Tator explains. “Concussion is due to the jiggle of the brain in the skull and the jiggle is related to rotational acceleration, something which helmets don’t protect against.”
What helmets can do for cyclists, he adds, is to protect against “the big injuries. By big injuries to the brain we mean blood clots in the brain, torn brain and bruised brain.”
These so-called catastrophic brain injuries are due to linear acceleration, which means the brain continues to move against the skull even though the skull has hit the ground.
“That crashing around of the brain against the skull can cause bruising, tearing and blood clots. So yes, cyclists wearing helmets may still get a concussion but they’re protected against the big injuries; they won’t die and won’t end up in a chronic hospital for the rest of their lives,” he says.
How can a doctor predict that a cyclist wearing a helmet won't die? That's nonsense.
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Old 10-09-12, 06:50 AM
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Not much argument from the other side here.

Fact is, if you could freeze time at the exact moment a cyclist first knows he's going down and offer him a helmet, we're all strapping one on before time resumes.

If you say you wouldn't, I'll call you a liar.
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Old 10-09-12, 08:15 AM
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I feel like the deformation of the helmet during crash would lower the impulse to the brain, but maybe they don't deform a whole lot when you crash.
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Old 10-09-12, 08:52 AM
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I bought a helmet shortly after getting my KHS in 2006. It was my first "real" bike since the big-box store bike I got when I was a kid, and also my first helmet. I grew up in the 80's and we never wore helmets, and rode our bikes all over the neighborhood. But I never rode very fast and never really in traffic. If there was traffic I rode on the sidewalk when I was a kid. So I figured a helmet would be a good idea as an adult where I might be riding near traffic and at faster speeds.

I can say that I have never actually crashed while on the bike. I fell over while trying to unclip from my road bike last week, and I wasn't wearing my helmet that time (was just riding up and down my street), but thankfully I got lucky that I was able to hold my head up off the ground as my body impacted.

I witnessed a girl go down on a group ride a few months back, with no helmet, and her skull impacted the concrete curb and blood started running down the gutter. That only reinforces why I think helmets are a necessity.
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Old 10-09-12, 09:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Reynolds
How can a doctor predict that a cyclist wearing a helmet won't die? That's nonsense.
He moonlighted as a fortune teller while in med school?
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Old 10-09-12, 09:13 AM
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Originally Posted by thump55
Not much argument from the other side here.

Fact is, if you could freeze time at the exact moment a cyclist first knows he's going down and offer him a helmet, we're all strapping one on before time resumes.

If you say you wouldn't, I'll call you a liar.
and I would make a liar out of you. If I know I am going down, worrying about what I am wearing or not wearing isn't high on my priority list. Maybe if you worried more about mitigating your many falls and less about shoulda/woulda/couldas, you wouldn't land on your head all the time.
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Old 10-09-12, 09:25 AM
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Originally Posted by chipcom
and I would make a liar out of you. If I know I am going down, worrying about what I am wearing or not wearing isn't high on my priority list. Maybe if you worried more about mitigating your many falls and less about shoulda/woulda/couldas, you wouldn't land on your head all the time.
That wasnt the point. The scenario is that you are falling and about to hit your head and you know it. Time freezes and someone offers you a helmet. You can't sit and think about anything else, or find away to avoid hitting your head. You can take the helmet or not. Would you prefer to hit your head with or without the helmet?
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