I lurk and seldom post here, but there is some interesting content and I would 
like to weigh in.  I use Bell helmets, for some reason they fit my head best.  

In 2002 I was in a bike lane @ about 18 to 20 mph, and there was a six foot 
wide by six foot deep ditch the width of the lane.  The crew fixing the pipes 
underground failed to put a steel plate over it.  The woman in front of me 
(about 50 yards) crashed, broke her ribs, arm, collarbone, punctured her lung 
and it collapsed.  Her head was fine. Due to her helmet.  

My front wheel went into goes into the ditch.  It was an abyss and my bike 
disappears.  I have over 40 years experience in the martial arts, with lots of 
training in taking falls. I rolled, instinctively  , broke fall , stood, the 
pain that ripped through my body was so intense I fell to the ground.  Another 
rider pulled me to the side of the bike lane and got my bike. He thought my 
roll was cool (LOL), my fork was bent, downtube bent,wheel was true. Riv 
content: I was on my Lemond that day, Riv was spared.
My helmet looked ok, the plastic was lightly cracked. The foam inside had deep 
cracks. And it was a glancing blow from my roll.

Moral of the story: even with all my training for falls, more than most humans 
on Earth, I am glad I was wearing my helmet.
I rode the bent bike home (steel rules).

Mark Rosenberg 

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