I bought the helmet because my dad was worried I’d get in a wreck and suffer another head injury. Little did he know it was the helmet that helped cause the wreck.
I’m making great time on my bike, really covering a lot more ground than the last time, in less time, and I was feeling like I was about ready to be done rehabbing my legs and back and get back into real training, hard core training like I’m a professionally athlete again. It’s when I start feeling like this that I’m usually brought an experience to humble myself rather quickly.
I see something fly at me, just above my head, and I can’t tell what it is—I’m too busy listening to Lloyd Banks rap Warrior, and I’m feeling like a warrior, someone not to be toyed with because the consequences could be irreversible. It’s then that I feel something in my helmet. It’s not a leaf, or some other harmless piece of a tree or bush, but a bee. This bee is stuck in my helmet, can’t fly out, so it’s stinging me. It’s hurting, but I’m really moving fast on the bike, so I can’t just pull over. It’s still stinging me, I’m starting to panic at this point, so I’m moving my helmet around on my head, trying to get the bee out, but it’s not working—it’s still stinging me. I’m still panicking, a little bit, so I’m trying to take the helmet off and stop the bike which is like trying talk and cough at the same time: neither is all that successful. I start to pull my bike off the concrete trail, my right hand fumbling with the helmet strap, my left hand applying the front brake. This was not a good thing: the tires on my bike are really skinny, and turning the front tire while applying the brake like a desperate man, brought my two hundred forty pounds forward rather quickly. I’m not sure if I jumped off the bike, or fell, but at some point I was up and to the left of the bike, executing I’m sure what must have looked like a cartwheel with my hands, knee and butt, but I’m not sure what handed first. My head is still stinging, but at this point I’m inspecting my hands, making sure they aren’t a bloody mess, which they weren’t, then unsnapped the helmet, something I was unable to do while on the bike, flung it off, and saw the bee on the ground, and I could see it’s stinger, part of it’s mid section ripped. It was unable to fly. I remember reading an article about how bees were dying, and steps needed to be taken to help save the bees, how important they were for pollination. I stood up, stepped on him and smeared his insides over the concrete next to where my outsides were smeared on the concrete.
I was bleeding from my right calf, my left knee, my left elbow—which hurt, but I didn’t remember it being a part of the afore mentioned cartwheel—my hands bruised from absorbing the weight of my fall, and I’m mad. I’m thinking, “If I hadn’t worn my helmet, I’d be fine right now,” but I did almost get into a head on collision with another biker who had crossed the center line, but I’m still mad. My bike chain is off, so I have to fix that, and I’m debating if I need to go home, or if I can wash up, clean my cuts and scrapes in the sink with soap, of if I need to go the route of hydrogen peroxide. And then, I realize I’ll have to make my way through all the people who are in Old Town, all the freaks—guys wearing dresses, girls wearing gymnastics leotards, people wearing the most bizarre costumes while riding their bikes—who stand in my way, while I’m bleeding on a bike—I could see the blood slowly moving down my leg. Once I made my way back to the freaks, I hollered, “Move! I’m bleeding!” and I wished I had rode the stationary bike instead. But, I also knew, once I was cleaned, and bandaged, I'd have something to write about.