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November 24, 2017
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  • Ryan S

    I still find it amazing helmet usage is questionable by some. I’ve hit my head a few times, and am fortunate it was never serious. It’s not worth the risk of trying to prove some trivial political or social point. Wear one.

    • Ben Greeve

      So the rest of the world is wrong? AFAIK Australia and New Zealand are the only countries that mandate helmet use. Cycling is not inherently unsafe, the type of riding you do can increase the risks, and if you feel the risk of crashing is high for your riding go ahead and wear a helmet, just don’t assume that everyone has the same risks. Here’s some reading on the topic http://ipa.org.au/publications/2019/australia's-helmet-law-disaster

      • Damien Cook

        BS. Just put on a bloody helmet. FULL STOP.

      • Luke Farrugia

        Alas, you can’t control what may happen to you on a bike Ben. Even riding on a bike path in a park might see you have an accident with another fast riding cyclist where a head impact occurs and a helmet may reduce somewhat or significantly any head trauma.

        You are right that cycling isn’t unsafe. Neither is driving a car. But what happens when you are involved in a serious car accident…even if it’s just driving down to the local shops. Similarly for riding a bike. Even crossing from one footpath to the other might see a car knock you off your bike.

        Would you rather say “thank god I was wearing that helmet” or “why on earth didn’t I put on a helmet”.

        Wearing a helmet reduces trauma to the head by at least 50%. That people choose to increase their risks because they feel safer with a helmet is beside the point of a helmet mitigating serious trauma.

      • Sean

        Mate i’m lucky enough to spend several months in France, Belgium and Luxembourg most years (except this year damn it all). Riders on school groups don’t generally wear helmets. In Belgium, racing cyclists training generally do, they also were them while racing. A family riding somewhere to have a sunday lunch or some kid riding to school won’t wear a helmet. But a bunch of old guys smashing themselves up the paterberg or the Oude Kwaremont, will all have helmets on.

      • Steve S

        So you’re saying the rest of the world doesn’t advocate helmets? Er, they do. Got to be honest with you, only real helmets don’t wear them.

      • cthenn

        You’re in line for a Darwin Award with that kind of attitude. People have died simply from slipping and falling from a standing position, now add in ANY kind of additional movement, such as riding a bike. Frankly, it is ignorant to think you don’t run the risk of hitting your head hard enough to kill yourself at any kind of speed. You simply cannot control outside factors, an animal may run into your path, a car may hit you, another cyclist may hit you, there is no way to mitigate risk.

      • Krijsh

        Ben you really don’t know what you’re talking about and citing articles isn’t enough to back up a point of view that might endanger people. Helmets have saved me 3 times from, at the very least, serious head injury. In each case the helmets have split apart and taken the majority of energy from the impact. Twice after being hit by cars and once after hitting rough road and taking a fall. There is absolutely no argument that they are worth wearing. Victoria was the first place require seat belts and proved the rest of the world wrong.

        • Ben Greeve

          You are obviously riding in such a manner that a helmet is useful. And I’m not saying you shouldn’t be allowed to wear a helmet. But using your own experience as an argument for population wide policy is a bad idea. Cycling doesn’t need to be dangerous.

          • Krijsh

            Sorry for the late reply, work and travel getting in the way.
            I was citing personal experience as person experience and first hand knowledge that they are a valuable piece of equipment. In regards to the manner of my riding (?), I was hit by a drunk driver from behind on one occasion and a confused elderly gentleman who turned into me another time. Every cyclist who rides on the road is at risk. Every single one. The level of risk varies, with time of day, location, weather, size etc. Of course cycling doesn’t have to be dangerous, but it is. As cyclists we should look after ourselves and control what we can. Your argument however is pretty weak. Yes other countries have more relaxed approaches and their social contract is fine with that. It in no way means that there are no injuries in those countries. they may have fewer, however, in large part because the social contract between riders, pedestrians and drivers is different. As are the law and infrastructure.

      • bugwan

        I totally agree, Ben. This is a terrible story, but it’s anecdotal. Simone wasn’t on a meander to the shops, she was mountain biking, so it’s sensible to wear a helmet.
        Simply assuming that every single bike ride needs one, actually damages cycling overall. It stops/slows casual rider numbers and keeps people off bikes. It also sends the message that cycling is inherently dangerous, which it’s not. More people are killed on ladders each year than on bikes.
        We are the only country in the world with this rule – do we have fewer head injuries overall than every other country? I’m yet to find evidence.

        Want to wear a helmet for every ride? Then do it. I would too. But remove the legislation that fines even the most innocent use of bikes. We’ll never get to cycling participation rates of Europe if we keep sending the message that cycling is a life-threatening choice.

        • tmana

          I agree with the use of helmets in general, for all rides — and I won’t let anyone borrow *my* bicycle without helmet and gloves. I agree with shops having helmets available to borrow for test rides, and requiring helmets on group rides. That said, I believe that it is every adult’s individual choice whether or not to wear a helmet (or to put one on his child), and I would rather see kids riding without helmets than not riding at all (which is sometimes what the economics of cycling boils down to).
          FWIW, I never saw a bicycle helmet until I was in college, and it wasn’t until 1981 that I purchased my own helmet, when I purchased my first twelve-speed.
          My most-recently-previous helmet was also destroyed as the result of a crash. While my head injury wasn’t quite as serious as Simone’s, I did go through a period of inability to concentrate, and a longer period of headaches at the point of impact (per the damage on my helmet and the main site of head pain). Also FWIW, my road rash kept me away from work for longer than the concussion (I have *scars* from the road rash!).

    • mrp33p3rs

      Except people don’t choose not to wear one just to make a political or social point; and you’re the one who brought up the subject. Get over yourself, pastor.

      • Keep it civil guys. We’re all grown ups here.

        • Ben Greeve

          I find cyclists are often the biggest force to overcome when dealing with cycling safety. I link an article which has reasons and mentions studies about helmet use, and all I get is the same old responses. To be clear I’m against MHL’s, not helmet use by responsible adults. The risk of head injuries in the average cyclist is not significantly more than a pedestrian, or a driver, and to be clear the average cyclist doesn’t hurtle down mountains at 80kmph or ride in a bunch at 40kmph.

    • Callum Dwyer

      You can still get a concussion even if you’re wearing helmet.

    • Antony Daamen

      This shows again that in a decent crash the helmet is useless..
      it broke! It did NOT absorb (enough of) the impact…
      And she had severe concussion!

      • Can’t tell if you’re serious or not?

        • Antony Daamen

          serious.. I have done quite some research on the helmets and the material used.. they were a knee jerk reaction on us (cyclists) protecting ourselves from inattentive dangerous car drivers.
          I come from the NL hence my interest. the cheaper brands are tested for a 20km impact the more expensive (race) helmets for 30km .
          The materials harden over time, hence their (minimal) impact absorbtion dimishes over time.. renders them totaly useles after about 12 mnths of manufacturing (not time of sale!)

          The fact that the helmet broke in several places shows that this helmet did not do its job. if this was a motorbike helmet and it split like this, …

          • Stray Spondonicle

            Hey Antony,
            With a little bit more understanding of physics you’ll see that the two helmets are designed for completely different purposes. In a bike crash the helmet is designed for slow speed direct impacts, such as “head over handlebars”, where the helmet crumpling and splitting apart means the crash takes longer to happen, which reduces the peak force on your head. In a motorbike crash, it’s assumed you’ll be travelling much, much faster and more likely to crash “sliding out on a corner” and as such the helmet must absorb SOME of the initial impact, but then ALSO protect your head from the friction shear force of the road that is bringing you to a stop.
            So in contrary to your opinion, the helmet splitting apart means it did exactly what it was designed to do. The case is not whether a helmet does or doesn’t protect your head in a crash, it’s whether discouraging more people from cycling and the social engineering surrounding the MHL debate is worth it for those who do crash vs general society riding more.

            • Antony Daamen

              thanks for the explanation. the example of the motorbike helmet might not have been a good one. My point still stands: as I have read from many articles written by ppl that are more knowledgeable then me, (like professors on these subjects) the bicycle helmets are not designed for the ‘head over handlebars. the speed the helmets are tested on are to low. also the material that is used in the helmets are not absorbing the direct impact from a straight hit by the head on a object.
              Apart from this. most accidents happen when a car hits us either from behind (we might get catapulted forward but way to fast, -helmet only designed for 20-30km impact) or from the side (which is more often) and then the first point of impact is the shoulder, elbow or hand (broken collarbone). or direct impact on the legs. I landed on the bonnet of a car with my shoulder, my head did hit the bonnet, but was a side swing, so not very powerful . at another incident I was cut of by a white van and I hit the side of the car with my hand, then shoulder/ side of my body.
              so shoulderpads would have been more useful . :) <– dont let the politicians read this !! :P
              Apart from this, the material disintegrates and therefor becomes less at absorbing impact.
              So still the same. this lady would still have had a bad concussion with or without the helmet.
              We need a change of attitude of car drivers, better infrastructure and better designed helmets – for MTB riding like this lady.
              And that is the end of my argument. as this article was not meant to be a pro – con helmet discussion, but awareness of the effects of concussion.

            • Antony Daamen

              “The case is not whether a helmet does or doesn’t protect your head in a crash, it’s whether discouraging more people from cycling and the social engineering surrounding the MHL debate is worth it for those who do crash vs general society riding more.”
              I totally, totally agree with this.

              • Krijsh

                Discouraging people from cycling is unfortunately valid, yet a pathetic excuse

  • David Bonnett

    As Carmen Small said in her tweet above: concussions suck – watching my daughter struggle for months following her crash in a crit last year, long after the physical scars on face, arms and legs healed, was really tough. She wanted to feel better now so that she could just get on with life but her brain just wasn’t ready. Only in retrospect did we realise how badly we (her parents) and her school responded to the daily challenges she was facing.

    Also – for those starting to fight yet another round of the interminable war over helmet use, please take it elsewhere: This article isn’t about that and I suspect I’m won’t be the only reader who really doesn’t want the conversation to degenerate into that squabble, as so many threads seem to do.

  • jules

    This is an important article. Concussion is a big issue and risk with cycling. We don’t fully understand the effects of concussion.

    I suffered a couple of big ones when I started cycling a long time ago when I had zero fear, or clues. I’m unsure whether I was lucky that I was young and bounced back quickly, or whether it affected my brain’s development. The consensus among most people I know seems to be the latter.

    • DaveRides

      And a very timely article too, reading this after the sickening viewing last night as Rohan Dennis floundered around on the road.

    • Andy B

      I always wondered what went wrong but never wanted to ask

  • JM de Leon

    Outside Magazine has a related writeup on this matter and it goes into more depth. But this is a good start and one with a more personal perspective.

    • Simone Giuliani

      Thanks. This certainly wasn’t intended as the definitive piece on all things concussion related but rather was meant to add an additional perspective to the overall coverage – it isn’t our first article on concussion and definitely won’t be our last.

  • Valiant Abello

    I have had three concussions (two from American football, one from a cycling accident). I can attest to how much they hurt, and how they can even change the person, sometimes permanently. Great article, thanks for sharing.

  • Steve S

    Great article… was an education. Hope the author has a speedy recovery.

    Just remember it’s not just head injuries.. a good mate of mine broke her back landing on a d-lock in their backpack.

  • Mike Williams

    A challenge for the doctors is that they usually don’t have a baseline for someone with a head injury to compare against to determine the severity of a concussion. NHL players (and I assume other contact sports) take special tests at the start of every season so their doctors can later assess the damage to the brain from a hit to the head. I was fortunate after a cycling crash when they did a precautionary brain scan (I only had facial injuries), they pulled up a previous scan from years before, that I had forgotten about that had been done for a non-cycling related issue, and were able to determine there was no damage. A couple of years later I had a more serious crash that resulted in 30 or so minutes of memory loss, they used the latest scan to confirm that there wasn’t an issue with my brain. Having brain scans on file is a bit extreme (my friends joke I am like the Patrick Swayze character in Road House) but maybe competitive cyclists should take a page from the ice hockey book and have themselves tested to establish a baseline (make it part of a concussion protocol).

    • Simone Giuliani

      Interesting point Mike. USA Cycling is one group I’ve seen that do include a recommendation of pre-season baseline neurological function testing. http://www.usacycling.org/news/user/story.php?id=6892

      • Mike Williams

        That’s good to hear…thanks for sending the link.

    • jules

      not a bad suggestion. concussions in cycling are almost inevitable if you do enough riding.

  • Mike

    Where I live the chance of an ‘accident’ for a road cyclist is pretty much the same as for a pedestrian. I cannot remember any pressure from fellow pedestrians to wrap myself in body armour, which makes them better company than the type of cyclist who knows what’s good for me.

    • Wily_Quixote

      That’s a bad use of statistics, though.

      Pedestrian death is high in Australia but these deaths do not occur on bike paths, in the bush, descending hills etc. they occur in areas where pedestrians are in opposing vectors to cars (i.e. crossing at lights/crossing roads) or are in close proximity to high speed traffic (walking along the road). pedestrian deaths are extremely disproportionate. Exposure of pedestrians to risk is low but risk during exposure is high.

      Bike helmets, as a risk mitigation, is a quite different scenario as cyclists are more often exposed, even if risk at time of exposure is less.

      This doesn’t mean that we ought to or ought not wear helmets but if you are exposed to risk very often you might choose to mitigate that risk by personal protective equipment.

  • AlOT

    It’s definitely been a long road Simone! Glad that you are getting there.
    In most sports there seems to be this really pervasive attitude about being ‘hard’, & a fetishisation of pain.. All well & good because without learning to tolerate pain we’d never get anywhere. But I wish it’d become a bit more sophisticated & differentiate between the discomfort of effort & the real distress of injury in all forms.

    • jules

      the difficulty is that you can’t ‘see’ the effects of concussion, which naturally leads a lot of people to assume there isn’t any – apart from obvious symptoms (unconsciousness, fractured skull, blurry vision). but the lack of obvious symptoms can be misleading.

  • Srinivas Ganesh

    Excellent article. I am so sorry to hear that you are still dealing with your symptoms and wish you the very best on your continued recovery. Just this past weekend we held a conference in Marin County, California to educate health care professionals about concussions, especially in our pediatric population, in order to increase awareness and aid in the care of our student athletes. Hopefully we will continue to make positive strides in the prevention and management of this important head injury.

  • John Monk

    I crashed in February and its now May i was knocked out untill the ambulance came and took me to hosoital .
    I still suffer with head ackes.
    Can’t stand loud music in the pubs or bars and bright lights and certain television noises.
    My head is still sore to touch.
    Been told it’s post concussion syndrome and it could be months before it eventually goes .

    The helmet saved my life.

    • Nathan Jones

      John, Look out for signs of depression and make sure your friends/family are aware. I had a bad ski accident about 7 years ago with a bad concussion and had similar symptoms . Took me about 2 years before I was back to ‘normal’. I suffered with struggles around confidence and being social, over reactions to silly situations over a long time. My ski helmet saved my life.

  • Simone Giuliani

    Really appreciate the supportive comments and those jumping in and giving some insights into experiences with concussion. As much as I wish none of you had needed to deal with the ongoing consequences of concussion, I think it’s really helpful to put that variety of experiences out there so people have more insight if they have to deal with concussion themselves or support someone close to them that is concussed.

    • Nathan Jones

      Simone – see my response to John above, please ensure your family take the time it needs for you to get back to normal, the brain is a complex(!) organ and doesn’t take to bruising very well…

  • Wily_Quixote

    I don’t support compulsory helmet wearing but in 20+ years of cycling (including many crashes) the only time I have had concussion was whilst commuting on a bike path when both wheels slipped out on a greasy corner – the very scenario where I most support optional helmet wearing.

    The risk is still very low for concussion and traumatic brain injury in cycling but it is a risk every time we saddle up.

    • DaveRides

      I support the French approach – compulsory for minors but not for adults.

      There are other health issues in Australia which are a far higher priority to be dealt with in Australia than consenting adults choosing not to wear a helmet when cycling.

      • Wily_Quixote

        I don’t disagree – helmets ought to be optional for adults.

        But our policy makers do have to accept that there will be a higher incidence of traumatic brain injury in our population if legalising optional helmet wearing means that less people ride with helmets.

        This incidence is likely to be low.

        • DaveRides

          The incidence will certainly be low enough that it will be less of a public health issue than shithouse driving.

          • Wily_Quixote

            It has been and always will be less of a public health issue than shit-house driving.

            We ought to remember that even good drivers can lack attention when cognitively loaded or faced with poor road design. Let alone speeding, drug or sleep affected drivers (not to mention drivers who intentionally harm).

            The idea of personal protective equipment (such as helmets) is to mitigate the accident. it does nothing to reduce exposure and risk of collision. That is the big issue in Australia, IMHO.

  • Mike Williams

    After seeing too many pro cycling crashes where there was clearly a head impact and the rider gets up, hops on the bike, and rides off and then hearing riders say how they don’t remember anything about the race, I came up with an idea for a device (I have a tech background) that I will put out there for consideration: take a simple/cheap micro-controller with built-in accelerometer (a run-of-the-mill thing nowadays), package it on a strip of adhesive tape (so it can be affixed to a helmet) with a red-LED/LCD and a solar “panel” on the outer strip (to provide the power). Have the LED flash if the processor detects an impact above a certain G-force. If this starts flashing, the rider would be taken off their bike…no input from the DS, the rider, etc. it is automatic. Its something that would work for cycling given that a bike helmet is a write-off anyway — this would be a 1-time use device.

    • jules

      good idea. worth investigating the physiology of head strikes though. the G-force varies wildly by the location measures – even between helmet surface to head. head injury/concussion risk is measured by impulse – the product of acceleration (G-force) and duration of acceleration. very short acceleration pulses don’t cause as much damage, as the brain neurons (or whatever they’re called) don’t diffuse far enough to tear.

      • Mike Williams

        I agree but i wouldn’t be so concerned about making it like a diagnostic device…I’d set it for a minimal g-force and live with the false-positives.

        • DaveRides

          You could potentially introduce a rule allowing the rider to rejoin on the following stage (given the time of the last rider on the stage) if they are comprehensively cleared after being given a provisional medical disqualification, or allow the team to pick a replacement rider from the host nation’s U23 national team to ride as a domestique.

          There needs to be less pressure on the riders to come back too quickly after injury or illness. If the teams can’t self-regulate, then the governing body needs to step in – and hopefully the ugly scenes of Rohan Dennis trying to ride on in the Giro the other night will be enough for the UCI to let it go no further.

          Even if cycling was to start taking this seriously now, they would still be late on the scene. Even cricket is looking at modifying their sacred rule of eleven players per team to mitigate the disadvantage for a team in having a potentially concussed player taken off the ground.

          • Mike Williams

            They do need something that allows the rider to be tested (yours) or stopped (mine). In hockey or football the player leaves the ice/field and this let’s the doctors evaluate them without interfering with the results.

            • DaveRides

              I agree the rider should be taken off the road immediately.

              The question is over what happens next, because the changes needed to minimise the interference with the sporting integrity of a multi-day cycling stage race (or a First Class cricket match contested over four days) are nothing like the methods you use to minimise the interference in a ball game under a couple of hours long where substitutions are already a normal part of the game.

    • DaveRides

      This would basically be a copy of the medical light which is on top of every F1 car.

      There’s a very good reason that this exists in F1 and not in cycling – they have a safety culture. If there was a medical disqualification rule, Rohan Dennis wouldn’t have been floundering around in a daze on stage four of the Giro a couple of nights ago.

      • Mike Williams


        I didn’t see the Dennis incident but the more I hear about it I’m glad I didn’t.

        • DaveRides

          He crashed on stage 3 and should have been given a provisional medical disqualification on the spot. Instead he started stage 4 a couple of days later (there was a transfer day between) despite suffering classic concussion symptoms.

    • Steve S

      >>> LED flash if the processor detects an impact above a certain G-force

      That’s actually a really cool idea. Would be good for non-racers too. We’ve all been in crashes / incidents (and not just on the bike) where you think there was no impact then as time goes by the headaches start and all the lumps come up.

      • DaveRides

        The best thing is that the technology already exists and only needs to be adapted. Every car in Formula 1 has the very bright blue medical warning light on top of the car which activates when the accelerometer detects a lateral/longitudinal force of 15G or a vertical force of 20G for longer than 5ms.

        For cycling, you would want the opposite arrangement of the different parameters, with a much lower activation threshold for the vertical axis as would correspond to the nightmare scenario of a rider sliding head first into a solid object with the weight of their body in line with the axis of movement.

  • Rowena

    I was out mountain biking the other day, watched dad go past with kids, all wearing helmets and then mum bringing up the rear without a helmet. I couldn’t be more disappointed, the amount of accidents I have mountain biking from just standing still or almost stationary are ridiculous. I put a helmet on for my family, the value I have for them and the value I have for myself. I’ve been through emergency about 6 times now, for a variety of different things and 4 times as a cyclist, there’s no argument, wearing a helmet reduces the amount of head injuries in the ED all the doctors will tell you that, the statistics tell you that.

    A kid down the road from me died when we were kids, playing on his scooter, he wasn’t wearing a helmet when he took a tumble (not at speed), but he hit his head, the Doctors said he would’ve been fine if he’d been wearing a helmet. Imagine if you did that to your child, you’d never recover, you essentially killed your kid by not insisting on wearing a helmet.

    Anyway, I love my helmet and if you need to respond to my comment against helmets then I wont be listening but you will always see me on the road with a helmet.

    • Ryan

      Not really trying to argue but isn’t the whole “I believe my opinion is right and I’m not going to listen to anyone who thinks otherwise” one of the big issues in our world right now? I’m not necessarily pro- or anti-helmet; I don’t feel there should be mandatory laws for adults, but I nearly always wear one when I ride and I make sure my young daughters are wearing them whenever they’re riding as well.

      Most of the people I’ve talked to who are against wearing them don’t seem to hold their belief just because they want to flaunt risky behavior, they genuinely feel like cyclists as a whole are safer without them (whether that be encouraging more people to ride – “safety in numbers”, or that the helmets even increase the chance of serious injury). And these beliefs do have some studies/data to back them up. While I feel helmets are a good idea in most situations, it would be short-sighted of me to not even consider that I could be wrong. Human history is rife with mistaken “facts” that people were so certain were true.

  • Clint M

    It is interesting how quickly these comments digresses into a “wear a helmet” or “not wear a helmet”. The story is about the author’s struggle with a concussion from a significant impact of her head to the ground while wearing a helmet. Let’s get back to the author’s point… first point of discussion – the human brain is the most complicated thing in the known universe. ummmm… think about that for a minute. How did you read that? with your eyes? no, your eyes just transmitted the information to your brain to process. How did you click that mouse? with your hand? no, your hand is just responding to inputs from your brain. Your brain is making everything happen. Any impact, with or without a helmet, can potentially cause a Mild Traumatic Brain Injury other wise known as a concussion. A concussion is a very difficult injury to protect against. I have witnessed a person receive a concussion without any impact, just a severe whiplash. No helmet can protect against that. Helmets are designed to protect against skull fracture, severe brain damage and death. I have had a ex-girlfriend fall rollerblading without a helmet and die… I carried her casket… she was 33 years old. Tragic. She might still be alive if she was wearing a helmet. What to you think the author’s outcome would have been if she had not been wearing a helmet? A concussion is a lower level injury that can be very debilitating, this is the point of the article. The questions and discussion should be centered around the following items – If you do receive a concussion, how do you treat it? Can different food or supplements help the recovery process? etc… I wish Ms. Guiliani a full and speedy recovery, although it sounds like it has taken much longer than anticipated. A full recovery of cognitive functions is the goal. Cheers.

  • david

    Did the doctors say anything about doing trainer rides?

    I don’t recall how much physical effort students I have seen with concussions were able to do. I HAVE seen the inability to concentrate and the challenge to remember things 5 minutes later.

    • Simone Giuliani

      My experience is that some people I know found the trainer a good option post concussion, others not so as with most things it’s a matter of working with your medical practitioner to find out what’s the right course. I certainly intended to use it to keep my fitness up but activity exacerbated the symptoms too much in the first few weeks, so I’ve only just been able to start doing occasional very short/easy sessions recently.

  • Nonie Elizabeth

    Good write-up Simone. Hitting your head in a fall totally sucks. I have 7 weeks in hospital after a fall from my bike about 5 years ago. I only broke a small bone in my cheek and suffered post-traumatic amnesia with a severe head-injury. The fatigue and mood issues over the following 6-12 months were hard. My Recovery included countless hours on the wind trainer in rehab and then at home. I did so much reading about neuroplasticity and about what foods are useful for brain health and I would have to say my recovery has been pretty amazing. Falling off my bike and hitting my head while racing a crit 13 months after my original accident wasn’t that smart, but no further damage was done, thankfully.

    Concussion is something that all cyclists need to learn about and need to take into account whenever they hit their head in order to ensure they are safe to ride and race.

  • Tom Adams

    Thank you for writing this. I was doored last August and suffered a severe concussion. I felt all those emotions you described.

  • Geoff

    It’s funny how different the experiences of head injuries can be. Almost exactly 2 years ago I had the misfortune of a having a crash where my head and face took most of the impact. The downtube of my bike was broken from the impact. Aside from my helmet being a total write-off I had a “hole” above my lip, which required plastic surgery. I have no recollection of the crash and don’t really remember anything until I was in the ward. I vaguely remember objecting to the neck brace once, but I was passing in and out of consciousness and was probably also affected by the medication that was being pumped into me. I was tentatively back on the bike about 3 weeks later and was in the market for a new road bike about a month later. I still don’t have full sensation above my lip (2 years later).
    I came off very lightly as far as concussion was concerned. I think everyone has their own set of challenges to deal with in recovering from a crash. It’s a process you probably need to follow very carefully, paying attention to your body (which I didn’t do enough).

  • Simon Van Rysewyk

    Thanks so much for sharing, Simone. I am the Communications Manager at Brain Injury Australia. http://www.braininjuryaustralia.org.au/ Are you interested in sharing your important story on BIA’s website? Let me know.

  • Joe H

    Yup. I don’t wear a seatbelt in my car because I don’t “plan” to be in an accident today……. Said no one, ever. No one ever plans to crash while riding their bike. Yes, the odds of a crash may (and I stress the word “may”) be greater when riding off-road or racing, but even that’s not a given. Most of my bad cycling crashes were the fault of a poor driver or other cyclist. Look, I won’t waste my time advocating for everyone to wear a helmet. It’s really just a personal risk vs reward decision, and everyone has different values. So no point in arguing… us helmet zealots will NEVER convince the other side to grab a helmet every time they jump on their bike. Best we can do is insist that kids where helmets until they’re old enough to make their own assessments…. and we’ll let natural selection deal with the adults.

  • Joe H

    Yup. I don’t wear a seatbelt in my car because I don’t “plan” to be in an accident today……. Said no one, ever. No one ever plans to crash while riding their bike. Yes, the odds of a crash may (and I stress the word “may”) be greater when riding off-road or racing, but even that’s not a given. Most of my bad cycling crashes were the fault of a poor driver or other cyclist. Look, I won’t waste my time advocating for everyone to wear a helmet. It’s really just a personal risk vs reward decision, and everyone has different values. So no point in arguing… us helmet zealots will NEVER convince the other side to grab a helmet every time they jump on their bike. Best we can do is insist that kids where helmets until they’re old enough to make their own assessments…. and we’ll let natural selection deal with the adults.


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November 24, 2017
November 23, 2017
November 22, 2017
November 21, 2017
November 20, 2017