One of the things I was super scared of when I went on my first bike ride post surgery was falling off my bike and on my knee. But then again I thought: You didn’t have a single bike crash in more than 3 years – so why should you now?
I still didn’t have a single bike crash with my roadbike (well, except of on my first bike ride with clipless pedals three years ago – you know what I’m talking about) – but quite unexpected I fell off my city bike.
I still feel like this whole bike crash was caused by some kind of instant karma: I wanted to see my friends in the city and as it was super sunny outside I wanted to take my (super pretty and old) city bike. Like I always do. Without a helmet. Like I always do. Because what should happen? I never fell off my bike. Why should I now?
My boyfriend said: “Take your helmet” and I was like “Naaah”. Helmet ruins your hair. Helmet looks stupid. Nobody wears a helmet in the city. I’m a good cyclist. I don’t need a helmet.
5 minutes later I fell off my bike and landed on my shoulder and my hip – and also on my head. Without a helmet. Because you know, a helmet looks stupid.
I was just riding downhill from our flat to the city, on a small bike path through some gardens, I wasn’t going fast and I was extra careful on one part of the bike path because I knew it was uneven and had kind of a little ramp in it. I rode of the little ramp and suddenly lost the control of my handlebar which turned to one side and then out of panic I hit my brakes.
I think nothing bad would’ve happened if I didn’t hit my brakes – but I panicked and hit my brakes really hard. It’s easy physics that you fall over your bike when you go downhill, hit your brakes, your bike stops and your body still moves. I knew that – but well, that crash happened so much faster than I was able to realize what was happening.
The first thing I noticed when I hit the asphalt was that horrible pain going through my head – in that moment I promised that I didn’t wanted to feel something like this ever again in my life. My bike was on top of me, so I put it to the side and got up. My head hurt like crazy. And then my shoulder hurt as well. And my hip. And my hand. I touched my head and found blood on my head which made me panic even more.
I called my boyfriend and I said: “You need to pick me up, I fell of my bike, my head is bleeding.”
He thought it was a joke. But it wasn’t.
I don’t know why I was so lucky. I only had a small bruise on my head, a really small one. And a little headache in the following days. My shoulder hurts since three weeks now, my hip is fine.
I was extremely lucky. And I know that not everybody is that happy.
The thing is, when it comes to roadcycling, a helmet is part of the uniform and you think because you go faster on your roadbike you should wear a helmet. Which makes sense – somehow.
But in the city you find so many sources of danger: streets crossing, cars, more cars, other cyclist, people waking on the bike course, so many things. You go slower than on your roadbike – but it’s definitely not less dangerous.
My boyfriend had to fall on his head to start wearing a helmet, and I had to learn it the same way. But as I don’t want everybody else to experience the same I shared this reminder on Instagram and also on this blog. I feel stupid for not wearing a helmet – and I feel sorry for my family and my friends, because I put myself into a really big risk on purpose. I feel stupid, yes, but this message is too important not to be shared.
Wear your helmet. Save your brain. Save your life. Be careful.