Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Another reason to wear a helmet

This week's Newsweek quotes a bicyclist who got his head run over by a delivery truck. He said, “I didn’t see it coming but I sure felt it roll over my head. It feels really strange to have a truck run over your head.”

I’ve often thought that if you somehow fell over in a bike lane or from a sidewalk on a busy street, you could easily land in the path of an oncoming car. That’s why I avoid these shared arteries like Broadway. In my opinion, that was not the brainiest traffic planning idea in the world. I use the little residential side streets as much as possible.

The guy’s name was Ryan Lipscomb. He suffered only a concussion. It didn’t say what brand of helmet he wore, but his story would make good ad copy for the helmet maker -- like those luggage ads that showed the suitcases falling off the top of a car on the freeway and surviving.

That actually happened to me, about 20 years ago – same brand of suitcase, fell off top of car on I-5, no lie, run over by a semi. My parents still have it in their basement. One of these days I’m going to send it back to the company for a refund. The ad claimed it wouldn’t be squished, and it is too squished. It didn’t open and spill my stuff all over the road, though, which really impressed me. I think that’s what’s holding me up. I’m conflicted about whether my experience differs from the ad enough to warrant a false advertising claim. I can’t decide. Maybe a lawyer could help me.

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At 8:54 AM, Blogger Tuco said...

I saw that Newsweek quote as well. Pretty remarkable that a helmet can (almost) totally protect you when a truck's wheel rolls over your noggin.

At 11:02 AM, Blogger kate gawf said...

On the other hand, Tuco, I wouldn't count on it. I once read a newspaper description of two cyclists that got clobbered on a country road, and their helmets broke up like nut shells. I'd file it away in the "Ripley's Believe It or Not" category and as they say, don't try this at home.


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