March 12, 2017

Cycle helmet saved my noggin

One of my favourite things about York is how bicyclable it is. I grew up in the countryside but somewhere decidedly not safe to cycle from, so it’s a very welcome change. Aside from a couple of minor things it’s worked fine for the last 5 years. On Friday (2017-03-10) I had a bit of an accident.

Sam Hand (sdhand) took the initiative to organise some new HackSoc movie nights this year, and I’ve been helping with little bits of logistics. I’d been watching Apollo 13 but skipped Moon because I’d seen it recently.

It was at this bend on Yarburgh Way that I came off. Rather than my bicycle taking the turn it went over, my head slamming into the road surface and about a dozen different areas of me getting scraped, bruised or hurt. I don’t seem to have any bad injuries… but I’ve found it remarkable how incapacitated very bad scrapes on a knee and forearm can make you.

I’m not particularly sure how it happened. My bicycle completely skidded out as if it had no grip, but it was far too warm for ice and I didn’t see any oil in the immediate aftermath. I have to wonder if my speed was just too high for the grip of the tyres - it’s an exceptionally tight bend.

In any case, I was momentarily aware of the bicycle not moving correctly but then I don’t particularly remember anything until picking part of my bicycle bell off the road. I picked myself off the road after a time and was tremendously dazed for 20 minutes or so. A kind passerby walked with me for a time to check I was okay - I think they were worried about a concussion. Let’s face it: I was worried about a concussion.

Now, Helmets aren’t exactly designed to protect against concussions. The foam is a bit too hard. But they do a good job of protection otherwise, and in this case I think that if the helmet didn’t take it the side of my head would have been in a horrible state - and me probably rather more seriously injured.