Posted by: thezedword | December 10, 2008

This Thanksgiving I was thankful for bicycle helmets … or was I?

Stacy just pointed out that my sunglasses are Arnette Swingers. These are they.

Stacy just pointed out that my sunglasses are Arnette Swingers. These are they.

I’ve had my current pair of sunglasses, Arnette Faded Away (so named because the actual model name faded away years ago) since I was in the eleventh grade. I got them one Christmas after I crushed my pervious pair (also Arnettes) in the console of the 1993 Ford Ranger I would borrow from my father during the week while he drove his police car to work. For the past seven years, these shades have served me faithfully and last Sunday, I thought I destroyed them.

Ya see, what had happened was on Sunday morning we carried our bikes down the steps in front of our house and mounted them in the drive that leads up to those steps. Stacy took off ahead of me and I followed. But halfway down the hill, I decided that my Corn Flakes hadn’t quite hit the spot, so I went over the handlebars to add a side of asphalt to them.

I’m still not entirely sure what happened, really, but from what I can piece together, the visor on my helmet flipped up and when I went to put it back in place with my right hand, I lost control of my bike. My natural instinct was to apply the brake and, my left hand being the one that was still on the handlebars, I squeezed down fast and hard and sent myself tumbling forward. Time slowed down and I remember thinking, “That was a bad idea,” then, recalling when I fell off my bike a few years ago at FSU and sprained my wrist pretty badly, I told myself to just fall naturally and let my helmet and wind breaker do their job protecting me.

My forehead hit first and I’d show you the front of my helmet as proof of this if it were still actually part of my helmet. My head bounced up a little, I heard a crack and then the black of the asphalt got a little lighter. I thought my sunglasses had split right down the middle and broken away from my face just before it skidded along the ground. I think because my head had bounced I avoided breaking my nose; instead I just scraped my upper lip, then the road pulled my lower lip down, cut up the inside of it, and took some more skin off of my chin. When I finally came to a stop, my knee, shin and hands were also taking applications for new skin cells.


Of course, I didn’t have time to do a full head-to-toe assessment of myself until after, when I was ran back up to the house and did some first aid. (Grey’s Anatomy has taught me that girls find it hot when you do stitches or staples on yourself, so I just assumed this would carry over to applying Neosporin and Band Aids.) At the time, all I could think to do was jump up and look to make sure I hadn’t lost any teeth. I thought I got to my feet quickly; Stacy, however, told me later on that she had enough time to drop her bike, run back up the hill and get next to me before I even started to move. I may have been unconscious, or, more likely, just in shock.

When I did get up I kept asking Stacy where I was bleeding from, fearing my nose was broken or my that teeth had punctured my lips. Stacy, recalling the first aid training we had the day before, prudently told me to sit down in case I had injured my neck or head. I could still wiggle my fingers and toes; I didn’t have any ringing in my ears and my eyes didn’t hurt in the light, so I quickly ruled out a concussion for myself or anything worse (Note: This is probably not a good way to measure your own health on a regular basis). This all happened just in front of an hotel/apartment building and the lady at the front desk ran out and asked if we were OK and offered her first aid kit. She clearly had not taken the same first aid class Stacy and I had, because she said the exact thing our teacher told us not too. Ooh, owie, owie, that looks bad.

Anyways, I got into the bathroom and realized all the hullaballoo was for nothing. I walked away from the spill with a few scrapes that today – ten days later – have just about healed. They have, however, given me a good excuse to not shave for work: I don’t want to reopen the “wounds” by dragging four angled razor blades over them, or at least that’s my line.  Also, my sunglasses don’t have a scratch on them.

In the end, I was just happy I was wearing my helmet. Without it I could have had actual injuries. Although, as a witty Brit pointed out to me later on, if I hadn’t been wearing my helmet, I wouldn’t have been trying to adjust my visor and I wouldn’t have been in the situation to begin with.

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Responses

  1. The only good part about this article is the fact that you got injured and that you end it with Queen. So overall a good days work.


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