I wrecked my mountain bike two months ago, began riding again about 3 weeks after the accident, and have been riding it regularly ever since.
In all that time, I never once took a good look at the helmet I’d been wearing the day of the wreck. It appeared intact, and felt solid.
But yesterday, as I was preparing for a ride, I noticed something wasn’t right.
The helmet was misshapen on the right side. On closer inspection, I found that the helmet was cracked. And embedded within the crack was a small stick, a half-inch-long chunk of wood about the diameter of a #2 pencil.
Thinking back on the accident, I don’t even remember wanging my head, and there were no abrasions, no bruising, and no pain.
Yet I’d hit my head hard enough to lodge this twig into the helmet — and keep it stuck in there through sometime like 27 hours of riding since then.
So for all who prefer to ride without a helmet, take a look at this. If I hadn’t been wearing a helmet during this relatively minor and low-speed accident, that stick could have been lodged in my head. And instead of a cracked helmet, I could have had a cracked skull.
A broken head is a lot more hassle to deal with than a broken helmet.
The helmet: A fairly low-end Bell Aquila. Nothing fancy, but it certainly worked.
I still can’t believe it took me so long to notice the crack. Jeez, that was dumb…