Sunday, May 18, 2008

Dad, why do I have to wear a bike helmet?

Well, son, for the simple reason that a $40 helmet is cheaper than a new head. As I so capably demonstrated today. First let's set the scene...

I'm riding in the Red Hook Haul Ash ride, from Woodinville out to Fremont and back. I'm riding with several friends and about, oh, 200 other people. We head out on the Samamish River Trail up to Bothell, the cross over to the Burke Gilman. All heavily traveled, all familiar, and all really busy today. So we get up to Kenmore and there's this area where they're widening the road and have therefore closed the trail. So we dump down on to a surface street and keep going. Easy peasy.

Well, along in there at some point this chick passes me and her bike's making a weird clicky noise. So I'm looking at the bike trying to figure out where it's coming from when I hear someone yelling "look out! Look out!" So I look out, and see about 30 feet in front of me a couple walking a dog heading right for me, 3 abreast. So I hit the brakes.

The only problem is I failed to follow rule #1 of bike riding: Hit the rear break hard first, then the front. I don't know if I was riding off the rear break or what, but I SLAMMED on the front and over I went. Thinking (or maybe thinking after I landed), "gee, this is exactly how Cousin Gerry died..."

So, now to the gory details. Here's why you wear a that all this damage doesn't happen to your head!

My helmet - which I bought about a month ago because my old one didn't fit right - performed exactly as it should: it crushed, it scraped, and it kept my skull from crushing and scraping. Not so much for my face...

One thing to note: the shininess in the picture is from bacitracin, not from rampant bleeding.

The glasses took a nice hit too, probably saving me more damage to the eye area:

So instead of spending a lovely Sunday riding my bike for a few hours and then drinking beer, I instead spent it sitting in the Group Health Urgent Care where, after 4 or so hours and a CT Scan I learned that I have a minor fracture to my outer left orbit (I'm sure there's some fancy medical term, but I don't have a medical dictionary handy and don't feel like looking it up). According to the ER doc that probably doesn't mean anything, but I get to blow off work tomorrow and go spend more hours with the eye doctor to make sure. Fun!

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