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Tuesday, June 7, 2011

People, wear the helmet!

While I'm off the bike I don't have much to blog about.  I can only clack at the keyboard while trying to think of things to say.  Here's something that occurred to me: I clunked my head in Campo and in spite of knocking myself out I recovered quickly.  Not one bone broken.  No lasting effects (at least none I'm aware of; I still have a follow-up appointment with the neurologist).

So I was lucky.  Lucky that the accident wasn't worse.  And lucky that I was wearing a helmet at the time of the crash.

The helmet was split.  It's trash now.  I'm not going to enjoy throwing it in the recycle bin and maybe instead I'll keep it as a reminder to always wear a helmet when riding.

This particular helmet was the Citi Helmet by Bell.  I got it for 2 reasons: (1) it got the highest recommendation from Consumer Reports, and (2) I got the "titanium" color (sort of a lime green) because it glows in the dark, and I thought that would be cool!

In fact, the lime green faded to white very quickly.  That wasn't such a negative because the white is also highly visible to traffic.  And the helmet did indeed glow in the dark.  If I kept it in the tent at night it acted as sort of a night light.  And, yes, that did look very, very cool.

If you consider that I was knocked out from the impact through the helmet, you can imagine how hard I hit the ground.  In fact, I have no recollection of the actual crash.  I vaguely remember understanding I was going over.  All memory beyond that moment to the time I regained consciousness has been knocked out of me.

At the hospital 2 cat scans revealed bleeding from the brain, or subdural hematoma, indicating that I smacked my head with considerable force.  One neurologist told me that if it weren't for the helmet I would probably have been killed.  I can't think of a higher recommendation for a product than that. 

I encourage you to research the Bell Citi Helmet for your own bicycling adventures.  And for those of you who ride without a helmet, let me assure you that in the event of sudden accident you won't have time to react and protect your head.  The helmet - silly as they look, confining as they might feel, terrible as they may be for your hair - is essential as a piece of riding gear.  Wear one, people.  Wear the helmet.

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