Urban Velo

Always Wear Your Helmet

Taco Anyone?It finally happened. After more than seven years of playing in traffic, I (Jeff) got clipped by a car. Around 8:00 tonight I was speeding down Shady Ave and when a car turned into me. Strangely, as fast as it happened, I got to watch the whole thing almost as though I was having an out-of-body experience. Smacking my helmet-clad head off the road brought me back to reality, though. In one motion I tumbled, then bounced up to my feet. The startled driver looked away from his cell phone and somewhat defensively noted, “I even slowed down to turn!”

Not that it was entirely his fault—it’s a bad idea to pass cars on their right. But the real lesson is, it’s a good idea to wear your helmet. Because while I’m sure the swelling in my right hand will continue to rise, and additional cuts and bruises will probably appear overnight, my cranium is still very much intact.

About Urban Jeff

I'm about to have a nervous breakdown, my head really hurts. Contact me.

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  1. reverendAugust 1, 2007 at 10:45 pm

    Glad to hear you are alright…very good point about the helmet…I myself loathe wearing one and can be found not wearing one quite often. One guy told me a good tip. Buy a nice expensive helmet that you like and think you look good in that way you feel more willing to wear it everyday. Remember everyone looks like a douche in a helmet

  2. danimalAugust 2, 2007 at 2:09 am

    I wear my dorky looking helmet everywhere because I’ve got too many friends that almost didn’t make it because they weren’t wearing helmets. I do wear my sweet cycling caps under it to make me feel better. I know the one day I don’t wear it I’ll get knocked from my bike.

  3. rc73August 2, 2007 at 6:16 am

    Hey Jeff, hope you’re OK and recovering well. The only time I’ve been knocked off my bike was when I wasn’t wearing a helmet – was a really cold day and so put a hat on. Didn’t have too much damage to the head, but since then I always wear a helmet. I don’t think they look dorky (danimal) though – a smashed skull looks a lot worse.

  4. JasonAugust 2, 2007 at 7:27 am

    Helmets are far too important to ever leave behind…unless you simply just don’t like your head or life. They may be dorky, but at least these days they don’t make your head feel like its in a styrofoam oven – especially when you buy the uber pricey ones as the good rev suggests.

    Glad to hear you’re ok.

  5. tedAugust 2, 2007 at 7:45 am

    woah, psychedelic bicycle. I’m totally out of the habit of running my helmet unless I’m racing or feeling extra dangerous. Bad habit, I know.

  6. StevilAugust 2, 2007 at 8:24 am

    If you think your bikes important enough to lock, your heads probably important enough to protect as well.
    -Glad youre intact Jeff.

  7. Donna TocciAugust 2, 2007 at 8:50 am

    OMG – That’s so scary. I’m so glad you are ok!! Hope you aren’t feeling too stiff and sore today and that your hand is feeling better.

  8. Your Cousin JoyceAugust 2, 2007 at 10:14 pm

    Yo Cuz! What the F#*k!!!
    Thank God your okay. Hope the rest of you is okay.
    As for your head…I thought our family was always nuts!
    In all seriousness, I’m glad your okay.
    DAMN!! Talk about living life on the edge..Sheesh!
    Love you Cuz!

  9. EnciAugust 2, 2007 at 10:22 pm

    I’m glad to see that your hands are working as well and you can keep on writing and taking pictures :-)
    I used to hate wearing my helmet. One day, when I was riding down Sunset Blvd. in stop dead traffic, weaving in and out between the cars and hummers and trucks, a women yelled out of her car “Sexy helmet!” Since then I think of my head as sexy and I don’t hate my helmet anymore:-)

  10. markAugust 2, 2007 at 10:44 pm

    Sorry to hear about this, although it happens all too often.

    Get healed up, yo.

    Mark in MPLS

  11. meadeAugust 3, 2007 at 2:09 pm

    what type of schwinn is that frame…world sport?

  12. jeffAugust 4, 2007 at 3:58 pmAuthor

    No, it’s a Schwinn Le Tour.

  13. Terry (peatbog)August 4, 2007 at 8:19 pm

    Oww…glad to see you came away fairly intact. A red bike with yellow tires and the woman didn’t see it? What the heck! And just to create problems, I will admit that I have never even owned a helmet.

  14. meadeAugust 4, 2007 at 9:49 pm

    was the only casualty the wheel…or did you get any frame damage?

  15. phlatAugust 5, 2007 at 11:33 am

    Glad to hear you are alright Jeff. Get healed quick…

    I like wearing my hat.

  16. mikeAugust 6, 2007 at 12:15 pm

    Doored or Deered, I won’t ride without a helmet.

  17. JoeAugust 8, 2007 at 12:44 pm

    Just after moving to Chicago from St. Louis I really felt comfortable about daily riding at all and started doing so. After a few rides my girlfriend found out that I wasn’t wearing a helmet and that I didn’t even own one! I was promptly and sternly told that if I got in an accident and ended up in a wheelchair that she would wheel me right back to my parents house! I went right out and bought one the very next day.

    Seriously, those who don’t wear helmets are selfish, and must think others will take care of them when their day comes?! Don’t let your bike wheels end up side by side on a wheelchair! Keep them in line!

  18. Eric RogersAugust 8, 2007 at 1:44 pm

    I never used to wear a helmet.Two hit and runs later I’ve realized I’ve aged to the point where I don’t bounce as well as I used to. unfortunately after the accidents I’m reading and writing at a third grade level, and keeping with tradition I even had my mother type this up for me. Glad you’re ok.

  19. caitlinAugust 8, 2007 at 2:12 pm

    dammit if you had been eating corn on the cob at my house this wouldn’t have happened!

    it’s ALL MY FAULT

    glad you are ok. now i really owe you that meal.

  20. gwadzillaAugust 8, 2007 at 2:43 pm

    glad everything is cool


    always wear a helmet

    that is a no brainer

  21. ChippsAugust 9, 2007 at 5:01 am

    Sorry to hear that Jeff… Glad you’re about as good as you’ll ever be.

    Take care over there. And then come and play in our traffic again sometime soon… It’s on the wrong side already – you’ll be fine!

  22. trickyAugust 10, 2007 at 9:51 am

    Glad to hear your helmet saved your dome, but I’m much more concerned that you were passing a car on the right!
    Not only was that (obviously) a dangerous and bone-headed thing to do, but also naughty cycling that doesn’t command much respect from motorists!
    Helmets are great, but are in no way a substitute for safe riding. :)

  23. wilbowagginsAugust 25, 2007 at 12:42 pm

    Holy excrement!!!!! I didn’t know !! Did the driver use a signal? Glad you’re OK. I’ll try to check in here a little more often.

  24. SeanLSeptember 11, 2007 at 11:36 am

    The thing about cars turning right…

    The driver is probably looking left, to check for oncoming auto traffic. That’s a bad situation for pedestrians and bikes passing on the right.

    good thing you’re ok.

    Just bought a new helmet yesterday, the webbing on the old one was fraying.

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