Tuesday, January 19, 2010

blood and bikes

a friend to the blog, mr. cyclelicious, got into a minor accident the other day with a car. while he seems to be doing ok (right?), it got me thinking about the not so pretty part of riding around.

Post Crash Panda

i'm sure we all have some minor accident stories and whatnot. i've had a few, a memorable one was with a car in brooklyn, a couple were completely all my fault, some were near misses.

the following pics are from my last one that falls into the completely my fault category. (hi mom!)

this fall didn't even result from me riding my bike, but merely walking around. when i mentioned this to the doctor at the hospital, she immediately asked if i was wearing my helmet. i told her i wasn't, but repeated that i was walking on the sidewalk and hit the bottom of my face. she had this funny look on her face after i said that.

suture day: they sewed me up on the inside because i bit through my lip,

bikes give you bruises sometimes

day three: swelling is down a bit. can eat a little better.

day 3: swelling is down...

day 8: i can sort of smile, but the scar tissue is building up. ouch.

the most I've been able to smile in a week :)

sigh. i still have that scar on the outside of my lip, i still have scar tissue on the inside where they sewed me up. (and i bit around the inside scar rather hard the other day i might add...ouch)

how about you dear readers? did you learn anything from your experience? for example, i learned that wearing helmets on the sidewalk is a good policy and is a good and insightful question for doctors to ask. i'm joking. oh, and to not trip while walking home. while tipsy. over that, i'm not joking.


  1. At one point, I was trying to keep track of how many serious (takes more than a week to heal to functional level) falls I had taken. By the time I was fifteen, I had lost count. Every fall has its lesson, and I am nearing genius class by now. I also tend to fall a lot less, and manage the falls a lot better. This is the most important thing: since it is giong to happen (even while walking; let's not get into stairs - that's a whole separate hazard), you need to know how to fall, so that you can minimize damage. Basic gymnastics lessons help (seriously), and it is highly recommended to actually practice falling off the bike on a nice soft surface, like grass. I got all my practice on gravel and pavement, so I can attest to the value of cushy grass in this context. Val

  2. Stitches inside the lip, ouch!!! Funny they asked for your helmet use while walking.

    It hurts for me to laugh -- stretches the stitches out or something.

  3. yeah, i thought so too. it hurt for me to smile for a long time. then she told me that meant that scar tissue was growing, so i tried to stretch out that area a lot. but that was after the stitches were gone.

  4. Fritz- Cali kinda forgot to put in the post that she was pushing her bike at the time : ) Hence the helmet question.

  5. Nobody online has asked me yet, but to answer the unasked the question: I was not wearing a helmet.

    Now because of the way medical stuff is tracked, this facial injury is recorded as a head injury while bicycling with no helmet, so when somebody decides to track these statistics in a meta analysis, I'll contribute to the idea that bicycling without a helmet will lead to head trauma!

  6. If you don't wear an Ursus MkVII 24/7 you hate children and probably kick kittens.

    And when you stub your toe on a kitten just see if you get any sympathy from me.

  7. ade: it's embarrassing that i was walking and pushing, so i was purposefully vague ;) but putting it up on the web, well, embarrass me away! :D

  8. kfg: You had to mention it: http://www.copenhagenize.com/2009/05/copenhagenize-injury-alert.html Remember folks: ALWAYS wear a helmet. Val

  9. Darn. I thought that would be a link. Here, this one's easier: http://tinyurl.com/d3duy3 Val

  10. At least you tripped over something! I usually fall over myself with nothing helping me along : )

  11. I almost ran into my beloved as she backed out of the driveway. I learned that even your own vehicle in your own driveway can instantly become the bumper about to hit your head.

  12. I hate (hateHatehate) even the idea of falling - the one time I did (on my own road, gravel incline, too fast downhill) I broke my foot. Which I didn't realize (my pain receptors are lazy) and biked 25 miles on it and then was in a boot for 2 months. Just reading this post gives me the heebies - maybe I should go out and practice falling so I can convince my body all falls aren't so major!

    What I learned: if even I can see a little white line on the X-ray on the bone that kind of hurts a little I should IMMEDIATELY get a second opinion when the doctor says, "Looks fine to me - and if you biked and walked around on it, it's definitely not broken," and then sends me home so that I can walk around on it some more (and climb and lift heavy root-bagged trees for planting a hillside) until the bone slips and dislocates - hence the boot and 2 months. And stunted toe forevermore :(