My helmet saved me

Saturday morning I went out for a muni ride intending to do a fairly long, fast ride. Within the first 5 miles I could tell It wasn’t going to be a good day for that. The heat and humidity were bad and I just didn’t have a good rhythm, so I decided to just mess around and do whatever came to mind. I ended up at a bridge and spent some time practicing my climbing and pecking on the steep concrete aprons (a la this previous thread). Then, I decided to practice my “other foot” one foot riding under the bridge. This was actually more of a set of culvert pipes than a bridge. It is made up of 8 separate 8’ x 8’ square concrete “boxes” that water flows through in a flood. They are about 80’ long and smooth on the bottom, and it was cool inside them. On about the third try, I got my foot on the crown and made a couple of revs and thought “hey, I can do this”. At that point something went terribly wrong and my foot slipped off the crown and the pedal hit me in the back of my calf, tipping my body backward very quickly. I seemed to hover horizontally at seat height for a second, then slammed to the concrete with surprising force. I must have been in a “high gravity” area. I landed on the back of my helmet, and my lumbar hydration pack. The force was enough to compress the foam nubs on the back of my helmet and stun me a little, and it really scared me to think what would have happened if I had not been wearing a helmet. What is really scary is that if I had been knocked unconscious, or worse, it may have taken days for anyone to find me in that pipe.
I now wear my helmet even if I’m just messing around learning a new trick in the street. You never know, and the result can be disastrous.

Sorry to be a downer, just thought I should share.
Positive note: Last night I got pretty good on my “other foot” one foot riding, I hope gliding is next. Eventually. Maybe.


Sorry to be a downer? That’s an excellent story! You’re still alive, no broken bones, and one more excellent reason to wear a helmet.
I wasn’t a helmet advocate until recently. But repeated stories like that make me think that I’m going to almost always wear mine.
Glad you’re okay. The unicycling world would be a little more somber if something major happened to one of our own.

Wow! You compressed the foam? Some impact!

One more good reason to wear a helmet. I only ride without one when performing or doing very simple practice on a flat surface. For MUni, it’s daft not to wear one.

Glad you’re OK.

yeah,your you get buy a new lid.dont you love how that works?

wow scott. i’m glad you were saved. i hope my non-helmet wearing friends take note. they will probably rationalize that it will never happen to them or some other crap.


I know that you are supposed to replace a helmet after any impact, but…

  1. Mine has little pointy things protruding to the back so the slight crushing was confined to those.
  2. I just bought this one a couple of months ago.
  3. I just spend way too much money on Profiles and a plane ticket to Caleefornya.
  4. I will make it a point to fall on a different area of the helmet next time.

Thanks for the concern, and yes, Eric, I was hoping this would lead others to rethink their helmet wearing while they can still think.


Let me know when you find those shoes, Eric.:slight_smile:

ok, i regret my lecturing tone. i realize we all make our own decisions. i’m probably a little more paraniod than most about injuries.

-eric (looking for steel-toed bmx shoes)

Glad to know you’ll live to ride another day!!!

Re: My helmet saved me

Ever notice how they do that in cartoons? The character runs off the edge of the cliff or building, then hangs there for a second–just long enough to react, then falls at hyper speed. I have felt this in real life also. Then gravity pulls you down with a vengance. I think it’s gravity’s way of getting even with you for balancing on one wheel all the time.

Congratulations on getting your money’s worth on your helmet! Yours is paid off. I’m still in the red with all of mine, though I did graze the ground (while riding a bike) with mine last year.

A lumbar-based hydration pack may possibly heighten the danger of a head impact in a fall like the one you described. I’ve fallen like that when learning wheel walking skills, but don’t remember my head ever touching down. It’s probably more to do with the angle of your body before hitting the ground though.

Sorry to all the non-Californians for having to be subjected to news about our crazy recall process. If Arnold Schwarzenegger becomes our next govenor, I think that’s what we’re all going to have to start calling our state… :slight_smile:

Wow, wasn’t that the day that I almost went out riding with you? Too bad I didn’t go… I would have either slowed you down enough to where you wouldn’t have done that or at least been there if you needed help! Anyway, glad you’re alright… wanna try and finish off your helmet this Saturday? :smiley:

It’s great you’re okay, I hate falling on my head! I must emphasize that oyou should immediately buy a new lid. The old one won’t be adaquate. Really, the helmet damage won’t be confined to the pointy things, too. I shattered one of mine without even noticing. before I threw it away I took the cover off and I saw a monster crack running straight down the middle. But, when I put the plastic cover back on it looked good as new (except it was in the trash). Really, you don’t wanna be knocked oput or worse if your helmet fails.
Ride Safely, bye.

Yes, it happened about 20 minutes after I called you from the trail. If you would have been there we would have been riding the trails and not doodling around in a culvert. So, yes, it is all your fault.
I think I can ride Saturday.

Great, vengeful gravity. Something else to worry about.

Actually, I feel like it pays of regularly because I am always konking my head on tree branches, and occasionally the ground.

There could be a situation where that is true, but in this case I hit slightly head-first, from what I remember. I like my new pack too much to worry about that slight risk.

Don’t apologize, it’s great entertainment. It takes the focus away from our Texas Democrat senators hiding in New Mexico :roll_eyes:

I always wear a helmet unless I’m just commuting a short distance. Short as in 1 hundred yards or so.

Re: My helmet saved me

Scott, so glad to hear you are OK after that fall. I never wear a helmet while uni riding, your story makes me rethink my reasoning.

I have a bridge very close to my work. It is indeed very cool under the bridge. I would guess it to be 10 to 15 degrees cooler, and always shady. Also, no matter the time of day, a great breeze gets sucked through the holes, almost like air conditioning. However, the holes through my bridge are huge, approximately 20’ x 20’, no boxed in feeling at all.

As you say, these are great places to try new tricks. Super smooth floor an always a wall to touch for “assistance!” --chirokid–

YEAH! Glad to hear that I have such a positive impact on other people’s lives… :sunglasses:
Saturday could work… gimme a call if you end up doing it…