View Full Version : Why you should always wear your helmet, or how I found God in a holly bush!

05-15-2006, 02:33 PM
Okay. I was going on an organised ride yesterday that even had the bonus of offering a bit of a skills clinic. Schweet. Alas the 6 miles/10km from the train station to the meeting point should have been easy for my friend T and I to cover in the 50 minutes we had to do so. One problem: it was ALL uphill, some of it quite seriously so. Combine that with a slight map issue at the beginning of our journey and we were 20 minutes late for our ride. Oh well. We decided to go for our own ride. If we located the group, sweet; if not, nevermind, we'd head back to the carpark/meeting point and at least go to lunch with the group (T knows some of them).

Alas, I don't actually remember any of our actual mtb ride; in case you haven't guessed yet, I stacked it BIG TIME.

From what T and I have mutually pieced together (she didn't see it and I don't remember it), my need for speed got the best of me. I was going downhill at Warp 5 (relative speed as compared to appropriate speed for skill-set) when a corner leapt out from behind a tree and caused me to skid through a fence and into a holly bush, all belonging to a churchyard. The scrapes and bruises are all on my right side, so I guess that's the side I landed on. Looking at the dents the adjusto-knob thingy has made in the back of my helmet, I'm guessing the back of my head thunked into the ground in supplication to plants with spikes. Jesus may have worn a crown of thorns, but holly is just so much more festive. ;) (P.S. Don't worry, it's going back to Giro with my £15 cheque for crash replacement - they'd better not send me a pink one!)

Anyway, before I get completely sidetracked (not to mention start to offend folks who don't appreciate my heathenish ways - oh, maybe my crash was a punishment from on high... ;)), T eventually located me ("Heeeeelp! I'm in the f***ing holly bush!") and draged me and my bike out. I was still in one piece, as was the bike (although she's going for a check-up when I get her back). As I said, we'd been planning on heading back to the carpark to meet folks for lunch, so we decided to just head straight back there. As we were riding, I became more and more disoriented so we (well, probably T - doubt I was good for much by then) decided to ride to a house and get help and the lovely people, whom I wouldn't know from a bar of soap were I to meet them in the street, tucked our bikes away and called the ambulance. No, they didn't put the siren on. (Someone here has to have been wondering - apparently I asked at least 84763901 times.)

Don't remember the ambo ride (bugger). Don't remember anything about being admitted to the hospital. Have a tiny memory of having my CT scan (results: normal) and telling folks that my dad was a radiologist and would want to see the pictures (he is and he would). Repeated this piece of info 19764208 times (highly conservative estimate). First room I remember being in was the observation room, or whatever the one they put me into to spend the night was called. Was unduly worried that I might have been confessing my deep, undying love to complete strangers. Asked all and sundry if this had in fact occurred. I remember one of the nurses laughing at me (the one with chin- to shoulder-length dark-brown hair tied in a ponytail, as opposed to the one with long dark hair or the bloke) when I asked her yet again. Perhaps I was worried I had confessed my deep and undying love for her and she wouldn't like that..? (What's not to love about me though? ;)) Who knows!

I also asked for something to eat 120849763 times (incredibly conservative estimate). It wasn't that I had forgotten I'd asked, or even that I'd forgotten they'd said no; they just aren't into feeding patients until they're sure they don't need surgery. At long last I was presented with an "NHS Snackbox", which I immediately dubbed "the Happy Meal for grown-ups" and was absolutely delighted with! My memory may be hazy in other directions, but I know that that snackbox contained a tomato and cheese sandwich made with brown bread, an individually wrapped piece of red leicester (sp?), a not-that-nice pottle of peach yoghurt (You bet I ate it anyway!) a banana, a Milky Way bar (Chocky! Score!) and a garden vegetable flavoured Cuppa Soup [NZ spelling ;) - 'tis different in British].

The bit where having a concussion means they wake you up every hour to take your blood pressure and pulse (was fascinated by the machine that showed you the numbers and squiggly lines and all) and shine a light in your eyes (cruel and unusual, yet necessary punishment) rather sucked. I kept waking up and wondering the same things and scrolling through my inbox and sent texts and reading the note T left me to find the answers. Eventually I wrote myself a note and remebered how I never did see that movie Memento with Guy Pierce (I think) in it. Then I woke up a couple of times and wondered how I knew that T was coming to pick me up and that work knew I wasn't coming in. Eventually I gave up wondering and figured that it must have been right, else I wouldn't have written it.

The bit where I was sleeping in the clothes I'd been riding in was kinda gross. I thought I smelled bad - must have actually smelled awful. I did at least peel off the padded liners at some point because I was too hot.

T got up at the crack of Gawd-knows-what past bloody ridiculous to come and get me (I owe that girl a beverage of her choice and I'm comping her the inner-tube she borrowed) but she could have slept in: I wasn't discharged until the doctor had seen me and I'd been under observation for 24 hours, so two o'clock. She kept me entertained, which is just as well - I was sorely tempted to get out my multi-tool and dismantle the call button to see how it worked (well, it's hardly a complicated piece of electronics, but I really was that bored).

Eventually, we got out and found a bus back to Guildford Station. Guess I owe T two drinks - just remembered she paid for that. Anyway, then we got the train to Waterloo and parted ways once there. I didn't take the quickest route to get to the Jubilee Line (I walked outside and along the road and back in the Jubilee Line end), but I figured knowing exactly where I was going was important! Went to Boots in Jubilee Place Mall for Panandol (Cheaper than filling the script they wrote me!) and tissues (have cold, had run out). Hopped on the DLR and got myself home at last. Had a much needed and deserved shower as soon as the water had had time to heat up a bit.

All in all, no harm done and feeling tired, but fine. Decided to take the day off from work tomorrow anyway just so I could have a nice sleep-in - reckon I've earned it!

05-15-2006, 03:00 PM
OMG! This is the most hysterically funny account of what could have been a disastrous event I have ever read.

I'm so glad you weren't (seriously) injured, and moreover am relieved that you were left with such a good amount of your wit and humor intact that you could provide us with this wonderful account of your (mis)adventure!

kiwi girl
05-15-2006, 03:02 PM

I hope everything is ka pai now

05-15-2006, 03:02 PM
Wow - TL what an adventure!

I'm so glad you survived relatively unscathed, and with sense of humor obviously intact! That may be the funniest telling of a fall I've ever read! I think your friend T deserves all the drinks she wants!

How's your head now? Rest up and take very good care, and enjoy your day off!

(P.S. When I told you I had taken all your clipping-related falls, I didn't expect you to make up for it with such a whopper!)

05-15-2006, 03:18 PM
ATABOY GRRL! What a fall! And what a story!!!

Glad you made the best of it. I'll have an Advil in your honour later today...

Heal quickly...

05-15-2006, 03:41 PM
I don't think I've ever giggled so much at somebody's misfortune. You need to submit this somewhere for publishing.

I do hope you're on the mend now. TrekHawk would have offered you a cupper with Aussie spelling (I know, I've heard her say it. ;) ).

05-15-2006, 04:45 PM
Although the offer to sacrifice your head to the gods of plants with spikes is much appreciated, we must decline the offer right now. Thank you and do come again.....

Glad you came out of it relatively unscathed...

edit: I think a small holly sticker somewhere on the new helmet is called for.

Bike Goddess
05-15-2006, 05:08 PM
Yep- a darned good report considering the specifics! Falling in a holly bush???OMG-that in itself doesn't sound too pleasant. Then getting lights in your eyes- eew. I can just imagine what that was like.

Glad you are home safe and sound. Hopefully the bike is sound as well!

Thanks for your humor in what could have been a very different outcome!:) :) :) :) :)

05-15-2006, 05:09 PM
OK is it rude to say that that is hilarious......well Im an Aussie and we are not know for our good manners so hey THAT IS HILARIOUS. Honest though I am glad you are ok. Hold on to that mate she sounds like a good one.

I think a nice cup of tea does sound in order perhaps with a little dash of something . Oh thats right not suppose to give a head injury patient any of the hard stuff so I may just have to add that dash to my brew for you.:D

Rest up.

short cut sally
05-15-2006, 06:01 PM
tlkiwi, that was such a funny little story, the best part was the asking of questions 84793901 times, that is sooo true from my job experience. I am so glad you are okay, and nothing major happened to you or your bike. If you figured out how to dismantle those darn callbells without doing cosmetic injury to them, would you send me your tip. I could, I mean WE could make all nurses (at least the ones' I know) very happy. Well wishes and enjoy your day off, you deserve it..shelly

05-15-2006, 06:14 PM
I was snorting out loud as I read your post! So glad you emerged relatively ok!

Yes, I think a holly sticker on the new helmet is definitely in order. And tell your friend she has a fan club here on TE.:D

05-15-2006, 06:21 PM
How can I be laughing at your story of landing on your head? Not very nice of me, is it?

Your tale did make me laugh though... more important than a little laughter, I'm so glad you're OK. No more falls on your head are allowed - but helmet shopping is definitely in order.

--- Denise

05-15-2006, 07:17 PM
*coffs diplomatically*

Dirt is Gooood! Remember?


(glad you're ok - bike has not too many scritches and scratches?)

05-15-2006, 07:27 PM
You got some our right guffaws out of me with this. :p How can someone's accident be so funny?!?

Hope all turns out to be hunky dory.


05-15-2006, 07:53 PM
So was there any Ivy with that Holly?? Just thought I'd ask since it sounds like you had an upclose and personal relationship going on there!! I am most delighted to hear you survived your attempt to pass the Enterprise without a warp engine, and I'm ever gladder (is that a word?) to hear the nurses survived the night of waking you up every hour! :p Holly Sticker heck - you should have a crown of Holly painted on your new cap!! Gods love ya TL - and were watching over you that day my friend!! Glad to have you safe and sound! (who else would I have to follow my one liners??)

05-15-2006, 08:12 PM
OH yeah... do I know that one. I told the young English volunteer in the ambulance "You have the most beautiful eyes " and called the nurse in Accident and Emergency a Goddess...
It's a perfectly normal reaction to the feeling that people are not falling in love with you quickly enough! (That is, immediately) ;)

Glad to hear you're on-the-mend.
Take it real easy till the brain has got over being joggled about like a jelly (jello) in a box. :eek:
Good thing we have a skull, innit?

Btw DavidDuffield was saying in his Giro commentary the other day that helmets are about 98% air in teeny-tiny little bubbles all thru the foam (which is most of the 2%, the rest being paint and stickers)

05-15-2006, 08:40 PM
God love ya tlkiwi,

I thank me lucky charms that you are (relatively) o.k. You are truly a good sport and generous to entertain us cycling fans.

I hope you can take it easy for a few days and monitor for potential problems. You brought back memories of shining bright little lights in my patient's eyes. :cool:

Quillfred (Granddaughter of an Aussie transplant)

05-15-2006, 11:08 PM
~~~~~GOOD. LORD.~~~~~

When you do it, you do it up right, eh?!? I'm voting for the holly crown decorated new helmet. :D Glad to hear you're here to tell the tale. That "T" is a keeper. I do think a bit better of the NHS now. Our adult happy meals are significantly less interesting or tasty. :o Heal up and let us know how it's going! L.

05-16-2006, 06:22 AM
Oh, goodness, I about sprayed tea all over my monitors! :p Thanks for the laugh. Hope you are back on your bike soon!

05-16-2006, 07:11 AM
*That's* an adventure. Holly stickers on helmet and bike, and hope everything is back rolling soon! HOly Holly, indeed!

05-16-2006, 09:35 AM
Well, at least you know how to make the most of trying to brain yourself ;)

Excessive warp speeds have been shown to rip the fabric of space time, so it is recommended that you go no faster than Warp 4 until your engines can be upgraded to the newer, less destructive models.

Glad to hear you survived (mostly) intact. What a ride.

05-16-2006, 11:06 AM
What a crack up!

I mean the way you told the story, of course ;) ! So glad to hear you're all right. And that T does deserve a beverage or 6!

05-16-2006, 12:45 PM
Thank you for all your well wishes. I'm glad I could entertain with my tale of misadventure. I certainly enjoyed recounting it - had the giggles so badly by the time I'd finished writing that I couldn't get to sleep. I still can't believe that of all the plants I could have landed in I ended up in the prickly one. :rolleyes: :p

T and I have decided it is not safe for us to go riding together without adult supervision (after our previous outing she had to have x-rays to make sure she hadn't broken any ribs in a remarkable ditch dive)!!! :eek:

05-16-2006, 04:57 PM
"Heeeeelp! I'm in the f***ing holly bush!"

Classic. Great story. Glad you're ok :)

05-17-2006, 07:52 AM
I was also laughing and feeling guilty about it! You have a great sense of humor. Hope you and your bike are okay!


05-17-2006, 10:27 AM

I sure am glad your o.k. and well enough to write the funniest crash story I have ever read.:D


06-13-2006, 05:17 PM
Holy cow, Woman! You had me laughing like crazy and feeling quite guilty for doing so. :) I'm so glad you're all right. Keep us posted. I'll never hear that old Christmas carol, "The Holly and the Ivy" without thinking of you. ;)

06-14-2006, 09:37 AM
What you're saying is that you didn't make it back to the carpark to meet those folks for lunch?

I'm certainly glad you're ok b/c that story just made my day.:p

06-16-2006, 12:21 PM
You know, I sent a copy of my tale to the Giro distributors along with my crashed helmet and they've never cashed the cheque... :D

06-16-2006, 02:36 PM
Thanks for the hilarious tale of a major misadventure! Glad you're pretty much OK and can at least have a good laugh over it!