The short answer, is to protect your brain. If you've ever considered going anywhere on your bike without your helmet, these stories may change your mind. To those who contributed, I say thanks. You may have saved someone's life.
July 17, 2011
To my dear tennis, golf and bike buddies,
Alas, I am out of commission for 6-12 weeks, or 3 - 6 months, depending upon which doctor I listen to and how my body heals. I was on a bike ride this Sunday morning (55 miles of the Gold Coast) and at mile 1.7 another cyclist fell into me, obviously by accident, as her wheel caught the edge between the shoulder and main road. I was her cushion and I went down hard and fast. My head probably hit first and I likely would be dead if I had not been wearing my helmet. My helmet cracked big time and it clearly would have been my skull if....... I couldn't walk as I also fell on my hip. After the ambulance came and 7 hours in the emergency room, and after a catscan of my head and X-rays of my hip, my brain is in tact (thank goodness for my hard head), I broke my pelvis in two places and needed a plastic surgeon to close a pretty nasty gash on my shin. I'm in a wheelchair as I can't walk but I did get a walker which will allow me to hopefully walk to the bathroom, just at an incredibly slow pace. The broken pelvis bones are similar to broken ribs in that they don't need surgery, just a lot of time to rest and keep them somewhat immobile.
Sooooo, anyway, I will not be playing tennis or golf or riding my bike for the rest of July and August. And since I drive a stick shift, driving will be a problem . I'm hoping for some September activities. Next week I was supposed to go on a weeklong bike ride called the Bon-Ton Roulet, where several friends and I were driving to Cortland NY and biking 300-500 miles around the Finger Lakes. Not happening. My spirits are good as I'm intimately in touch with how it really could have been so much worse. While waiting in the ER for the plastic surgeon, a 23 year old girl came in also from a bike accident. The plastic surgeon said she has no bottom lip from her fall. I don't know if she had on her helmet?? I have to confess, there were times that if I were biking on a bike path, like the Jones Beach run or Bethpage State Park, where there are no cars, I have occasionally taken off my helmet, thinking that cars were the main danger. Well, I won't bike out of my driveway without a helmet going forward. No car was involved in this accident and I really have my helmet to thank for saving my life.
I'm also attaching a picture of a shirt I had made up (By the way, that's you, trail-boss next to me in the photo).
helmet had a major crack running almost its full length...and she didn't even
know I had ridden over it!
She, being the trooper she is, wanted to get up and ride right away, before seeing the damage to her helmet. I suggested she sit down and wait at least 5 minutes while she examines herself and we do the same for her bike. Her bike was OK but she noticed that she had several puncture wounds in her elbow and knees. During her self examination her enthusiasm waned as a psychologically based sense of illness started taking over. We called an ambulance and arranged bike transport for her.
The helmet worked as it was supposed to. Oh, she's a doctor but in the "heat of battle" was still capable of not realizing that, after any accident, take 5 minutes to examine thing and then make a decision to continue riding...or not.
A bee was buzzing my face on Wolf Hill Rd. way
back in the 80's b4 I wore a helmet. I kept swatting at it rather than stop
riding. I flipped over my handlebars w/o a helmet. Lucky me, as I was able to
land on my rear. But it took 2 months to heal from the tailbone injury. It made
me realize I needed the head gear.
Along came Trail Boss, and I learned I also needed gloves and a rearview mirror. I've been riding nearly every nice day for 39 years. If you ride enough, stuff happens -- BE PREPARED!!!