An Excuse for a New Helmet

This weekend fooled me by starting off so smoothly; I picked up Anne P at the airport, made her a tasty Southwestern-style dinner, and took her for a walk around the park.

6.24.11 0166.24.11 018
WashParkSpring 002WashParkSpring 006 It was so fun to see her – it’s been way too long! We made the journey up to Boulder, where I’ll join her this afternoon for FHBC.
This morning went as planned; I met Kate at REI for a bike ride along the Cherry Creek Trail. We had about 30 miles (total – out & back) ahead of us, the Denver sun joined us and made it a fiesta. It’s so refreshing to be on the bike in these cool morning temps, with miles ahead.


We cruised along, nice & easy, chatting and enjoying the fact that this route is free of hills, cars & stoplights. Smooth sailing, right??

The bike had other plans – it went down, and not smoothly…

I was riding slightly ahead, turned around to say something to Kate, and veered just enough to the right that my front wheel caught the lip of the paved trail. I looked down, with thoughts that moved just as quickly as the events…

Uh oh, a wheel in the dirt is not good. Uh oh, a wheel catching the trail lip is worse than ‘not good’. If I could just ride a straight line, that’d sure be helpful.
Still moving! Eff, definitely going down…”

Crash! Burn. Ouch.

My shoulder and helmet (thank you, plastic head case!!) hit first; my legs left their skin on the trail (really? hang on tighter!), and my bike took the liberty to land right on top of me.


Casual riders – this is your hint to always wear Sleeves. This shoulder burn would be so much worse if I had done my usual “Eh, it’s hot, I’m putting a tank-top on”. You’ve been warned.

{If you’re not a fan of bloody pics, you should stop here.}

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CCride. 026

From the top left: that happened with my sleeves on. I  repeat; avoid tank-tops!
Road burn, looking a little dirty. Looking like it has more burn in it, waiting for the soap.

I actually sent the bottom-left pic to D when I got home, with the caption “Oops…”

Hey, everyone has to have one good crash, right (toppling over while motionless doesn’t count – but it does hurt)? It was only a matter of time! In a masochistic way, I was sort of pumped about this. I mean, we still had 14 miles to ride home, no time for sulking!

A fellow rider stopped and helped me put the chain back on properly (clueless rider here, guilty), and made sure nothing else was wrong. He was so nice, and happened to be a bike-shop employee – thanks, Karma (or whatever odd coincidental force was behind that one)!

I was still basking in my I-feel-kind-of-badass glory, until I whipped out the wash-cloth. Hydrogen peroxide was next, and let’s just say we are not good friends. Nausea showed up to the party, and was unpleasant as usual.

Lessons learned:
Pay attention to the edge of the sidewalk / trail! Wear sleeves & helmets! Eat or drink something before self-cleaning wounds!

Write all that down.

The good part of this all? I have an excuse to get a new helmet! It’s been on the wish-list for a while now, but when the one you owns functions, there’s no justification. Now? It’s time to start browsing!


Let’s hear it – bike / run / random adventure crash n’ burn stories?



Filed under about me, bike rides, Denver, learning

26 responses to “An Excuse for a New Helmet

  1. Got it. Committed to memory. THANK YOU. I would have gone out in a tank without a second thought.

    But OUCH Heather, that looks painful! Glad it wasn’t more serious and that you got your “reaL’ crash out of the way. No more, I hope!

  2. Ouch! Thanks for sharing your tips. I didn’t know that’s why cyclists wear sleeves. I’m scared of falling, big reason I don’t cycle in the city! I think falls deserve ice cream too. I hear it helps the wounds.

  3. I’m glad you are okay! I was actually riding alone when I crashed last weekend and made it a few more miles before I ended up calling for a ride home. I probably could have made it all the way, but was I was pretty shaken up (more than actually injured). I agree that a real crash is somewhat inevitable though I’m hoping that I can manage to keep it at just one! Before I this crash I had hoped that I could keep my falls to the almost stopped, problem unclipping variety! 🙂

    • Heather C

      Aw man! Last time I went down, D had to go get the car to pick me up (couldn’t put any weight on my arm). No shame! 🙂

  4. Ouchers! Get some ice on those spots even if it hurts. I’ve crashed a few times. Never fun or graceful. The one time it was at the fault of a car who wouldn’t get the hell out of the sidewalk as she was pulling out of the parking lot so I tried to maneuver around her and clipped the edge of the curb. You can bet I was saying a few curse words to her in my head. 🙂 But really I was just being impatient. I want a new helmet too, but no need for one yet. Manfriend got a cool Rudy projects one (charcoal grey and red). His team gets a discount on them.

    • Heather C

      I would’ve had a few ‘choice’ words as well 😉 You’re tough – I hope this is the last mishap for a while!

  5. Elizabeth

    That damn sidewalk lip is the same exact way I crashed. What a conspiracy.

    Glad you’re okay!

    • Heather C

      I thought of you!! I remembered how you seemed to take it in stride – hence, I kind of laughed and was like welp, let’s keep going.

  6. ahhhh!! thats the worst! I’ve done that several times! It burns. You need a good beer and a new helmet to soothe that scrap!

  7. You know what I see? A badge of freaking honor, that’s what.

    Glad you survived. Don’t do it again.

  8. Oh noes! OUCH!!! That is def going to leave a mark and some very ouchie upcoming workouts! Big hugs my friend!

  9. I have had one running wipout. It happened a few weeks ago. I just was in the zone and didn’t realize there was a big crack in the sidewalk. I pretty much went down as if I was getting ready to slip and slide on a summer day! Scraped hands, Garmin, and hip as a reminder! Lol

  10. Anna

    I have been a rollerblading fanatic for years – even though it stopped being cool a LONG time ago! About 2 years ago, I was doing my typical rollerblading workout and on my usual route. The same thing happened to me – my left rollerblade caught the sidewalk lip and I ate it big time. I ended up with a ginormous gash in my left knee. It was actually pretty cool watching it heal and change. I have a scar from it, but it kinda like it. 🙂

  11. As always, love your attitude & perspective on incidents like this.

    I think the scrapes & such give you major street cred., especially in Boulder 🙂

    The lips of sidewalks are evil. I have my own story in which the lips of the sidewalk did me in, but I was merely walking. My flip-flop got caught & I went down. Keep in mind this was around 9:00 in the evening, in a not-so-good part of the city. I should almost mention I might have had a few adult beverages in me. The little fall ended up shattering my foot, the surgeons had to put it back together & well, the hardware is why I always get pulled over while going through airport security 🙂 Graceful, huh? 🙂

  12. GAH you poor thing 😦 I am glad you aren’t seriously hurt but those owies do not look like fun! Hope you feel better soon.

  13. sisrocks1996

    OUCH! That looks beyond painful. Ugh Let’s see I have lost a shoe in a creek had to put it back on in MO in Feb to finish the run can we say numb foot? I crashed the other day and rolled hit everything on the way down. I have a contusion on my leg from like a month ago that won’t heal normal from falling on a rock :/ Crashes are no fun 😦 Hope everything heals quickly!

  14. Scarryyyy! So glad you are okay 🙂 And thanks again for the delicious dinner!

  15. Mamacita

    Ouch! So thankful you wear a helmet. You needed Mamacita there to buy you a snowcone.

    Love, Mamacita

  16. Lacey

    OUCH!!! yep i have been there- once. at the time of the accident and i totally sympathize with how uncomfortable your road burns must be 😦

  17. Oh dear! That’s one of my biggest fears. I’ve had a couple of close calls lately on my bike, and I need to get a new helmet, too! Let me know which one you decide on. I hope your injuries are healing up quickly. 🙂

  18. Oh man. I saw this go by on twitter, of course, and was glad to know that you were okay, but ouch!!! I hope you are already feeling better by now, and I hope the road looks worse than you!

  19. Pingback: Three Things Thursday: Take it Easy | Dietitian on the Run

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