Always Wear Your Helmet

17 Mar

Jeff Helmet
I was riding the other day along a trail I had ridden 100’s of times over the years. When BANG!! I felt like I had been hit in the head with a big hammer. I was dazed to the point that I couldn’t stay on my bike and I fell over.
Let’s back up two hours or so. My buddy and riding partner Kevin and I talked and decided we could get home from work and go ride. We texted back and forth to decide on riding MtBikes. I chose the 2005 GF HiFi (FS)[see “my stable” post]. I wanted to shred some single track. We meet up and I offered to show Kevin a new trail option. Now you need to understand that the City Public Works has had heavy construction equipment down in the Leon Creek Greenbelt for the last few weeks. I think they are upgrading some of the underground pipes that follow the creek bed. The work has been finished in the lower parts. These machines have opened up the creek bed so you can now ride these areas. This promises to be some fast double track as soon as the soil gets some rain on it to flatten the dozer tracks and to pack it down. Right now it’s rough but it would be good for a full suspension MtBike. We turned into this new section and maybe 50 feet in “Pow” the rear tire let go.
I have been running tubeless for about a year now and have sung the praise of tubeless. I found if you run over a big enough hunk of steel rod just right you can flatten the tire. I carry some CO2 cartridges and an inflator, so I spun the wheel around and refilled it. I was trying to get the sealant to plug the hole. It was having nothing to do with it. No way was the sealant going to fix a hole that big. So I pulled out my spare tube and went thru changing the tire by pulling out the tubeless rim liner and putting in the tube. It was a used tube that had been patched. When I got it together it wouldn’t hold air. So I went to pull the wheel back apart when I did a kind MtBiker going by gave me a new tube. By the way rider “Thank you very much”. Then I put the new tube in and aired it up. We took off up this new trail.
Not half a mile later the rear tire is going soft again. I was out of CO2 cartridges and didn’t feel like changing that tire again. So I called my loving wife for a bike change. She was so nice to stop what she was doing and load my 29er in the back of her Toyota 4runner and bring it to me. I walked the half mile or so up into OP Schnabel Park to the pavilion. It is not everyone or every day you can call for a bike change. It is a special feeling to know somebody will help you out like that.
We rode for an hour or so and we set a good fast pace down to Bandera Rd. bridge and back. On the way back I was leading and was cranking along on trails I was very familiar with. This trail I had ridden 100’s of times over the years. When BANG!! I felt like I had been hit in the head with a sledge hammer. I was dazed to the point that I couldn’t stay on my bike and I fell over. I laid on the trail on my back with my legs around my bike and feet still clipped in to the peddles. I took stock of myself, nothing seemed broken. Why was I on the ground? Why was I dizzy? Why is it dark around the edges of my vision? This soon cleared and I sat up and felt dizzy again. I untangled myself from my bike. Kevin was asking if my head was alright. How was my neck? That’s about the time I figured out that my head had hit something hard. I took off my helmet only to find a big hole in it. I had struck a large oak tree that had a limb knot sticking out. I have ridden by that thing for years, never a problem. The moral of the story always wear your helmet! It is on a trail you know well and you’re just cranking along minding your own business that disaster strikes. If I had not had my helmet on I would have been in the hospital, very minimum with a lot of stiches and a concussion. At worst I would never ride again if you know what I mean. Always wear your helmet.
photo (4)
I see riders every time I ride that don’t wear a helmet. What are they thinking? Are they not thinking? Do they believe they are invincible? Do they really think it could never happen to them? You see a family riding along all the sweet little kids on their bikes wearing helmets and the mother also but then you see dad no helmet. He is responsible for his kids welfare he makes sure they are wearing a helmet but won’t wear one himself. “I just don’t need it” he may say, or “We are going slow”. Well buddy it isn’t always the speed that gets you, it is that six foot fall head first on the concrete. As a parent you need to be there for your kids when they are growing up. Not someone brain damaged. How sad it would be to deprive a kid of their parent just because you think a helmet looks dumb. Riding without a helmet LOOKS REAL DUMB!

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One Response to “Always Wear Your Helmet”

  1. Daniel Weise March 19, 2013 at 9:28 am #

    OUCH!!!! Glad you are OK! Its so true that the most accidents happen on the most familiar territory, primarily due to lack of focus.

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