PSA: Bike Helmets are Good


It’s been a while since I’ve been able to take a nice bike ride. I figured it was a holiday, I suppossedly had the time, I’m going biking.

Had to fill up my front tire, it was low on air. The first gas station the air didn’t work. Went to the second gas station, buzzing down Harlem, take a soft right into the station. Somewhere in the turn my bike started sliding sideways. I knew it was unrecoverable pretty quick.

The bike and I went down as a unit. I didn’t have time to unhook my shoes from the peddles. For the third time today, time was going slow motion. The first two were when I was in the air jumping from a five meter platform into a pool for the end of my Summer Love project, more tears on that later, and it almost is tears.

So I’m going down locked into my bike, my whole body contacts at just about the same time. I don’t remember much about much of my body hitting the ground. I do remember my head smacking into the pavement. This wasn’t a light fluffy smack either, my head hit hard, viciously hard. When my head was bouncing of the pavement I remember actually thinking to myself, “Wow, I’m glad I’m wearing this helmet, because my head is hitting really hard.” I love real life slow-mo time.

My bet, no helmet, one concussion. One helmet, I walked away with a scrapped-up elbow, no big deal there, I’m probably going to develop bruises on my right hip, and my right shoulder hurts when I move it, but all and all, a mighty fine crash. Bike sustained no major damage, I sustained no major damage, thanks to the helmet, and I even got to go for my bike ride after the whole incident was done. Perhaps the biggest problem is that every time I wince in pain I start laughing which just doesn’t make it feel any better.

On a massive tangent, I will say that there was one problematic side effect. After riding for the a bit, and thinking about all the slow-mo time during the day, I came to a conclusion, I need to jump out of an airplane again, and preferably soon. I mean I’m just jonesing to jump. Anyone want to join me? I prefer jumping with people, but not many like to jump (theme of the summer, jumping) but I highly recommend it.

In my experience I’d say, at least right now, that there are three major intense experiences in life. The first two I’m not sure on the order. (Just to give you an idea what I think these beat, and mind you, I try really hard to live a quite life: having a gun pointed at you (this was tempered by knowing she didn’t really want to shot me, just get my attention. And before you say anything, this wasn’t anyone I dated, though I will say if your girlfriend/boyfriend suggests not having sharp knives in the house, listen to them. And when you start thinking they’ll use them, it’s a good idea to leave then, it’s great idea to have left when they suggested not having the sharp knives in the house. I love love, I hate love.) these experiences are more intense than flying upside-down in airplanes, firing big guns, floating on Lake Superior under the stars and many others which I just can’t remember right now. Okay, done being a show-off dork, back to the three most intense experiences in life….)

There is the moment when you capture, and you now you’ve captured a great image, or story. The fulfillment that courses through my veins when I know I’ve hit, it’s like nothing else. Day to day, life is good, those moments when you get the great images, those are the reason for all the other days. It may happen only a few times a year, but it makes the year worthwhile.

The second intense moment isn’t so much usually a moment but a day, culminating in moments. It’s that day you get to spend with a woman you love. The day you get to do nothing but love her, and show her that you do. Just let that pour out. And at the end of the day make love to her (get over the scandalous reaction, none of us are twelve, we’ve all been there.) And I mean savior her, with every sense, for as long as you both can, as much as you both can, not about the sex, but about each other, and loving each other. Where everything is just about showing each other, openly, unreservedly and without the existence of the rest of the world, just how you feel about each other. Nothing else exists.

The third moment, and it’s definitely third in my experience but it beats out so many others, is jumping out of an airplane. It’s a overwhelming, it’s hard to remember because it so much, and impossible to forget for the same damn reason. The rush of falling, straight into the ground, at 120 mph, nothing there, nothing to do but wow at the wonder of the smallness of everything, and how it’s now just a little bit bigger than it was at the beginning of the sentence. Followed by floating in the air, alone (okay, usually with your jump-master because you’re not certified to jump alone.) Just hanging out, slowly descending, looking at the world around you, with just the wind blowing by. It’s both the most intense adrenaline rush and the one of the calmest, most free moments, wrapped into one.

So anyhow, if you want to jump out of an airplane, let me know. I’m ready to rock and roll.

For those who are curious, all the images are from my Summer Love project. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, okay, if you want to know more though, great, it starts here and you can find out more in the stories section. There will also shortly be a rambling post about my lose from the end of this project. It hurts, but it was wonderful.

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