All of us Climate Summer riders know how wonderful it is to be faced with a long stretch of downhill after a hard day’s travel. I know I, for one, didn’t see the massive sea of potholes, because I was too preoccupied with the adrenaline rush of an effortless 30 mph ride to cool off my sweaty, smelly body. I tried to brake and swerve around them, but there were too many, and I hit a particularly icky one head-on. I flew over my handlebars, landed on my left shoulder, and skidded off the side of the road amidst quite a few nasty blows to the head. I’m lucky enough to have only ended up with some bruises, a stiff neck, and what will hopefully turn into some totally badass scars, but I realize that it could have been a lot worse.
After the fall, I discovered that my helmet had split in half in multiple sections, and the outer shell was pretty smashed up. When I brought it into the bike shop later that day to buy a replacement, the super-enthusiastic workers there marveled over my bandaged and bloodied self, and proceeded to assess the damage on my helmet. They pondered for a bit and came up with the diagnosis—and I quote—“it’s lucky you were wearing this, that’s the $#!& people die from.”
Though I nervously chuckled along with the bike shop people as they autopsied the helmet to try to come up with a play-by-play analysis of my crash, this isn’t something I’m taking lightly. I realize that I’ve been getting so comfortable on these long journeys that I sometimes forget to keep my eyes on the road. I might not get so lucky next time, and in the future, I would much prefer to keep my body intact. Thank you, Marla, for insisting we always wear a helmet.