Kenny Uses His Head…As a Brake

07.22.2007 | 8:12 pm

I’ve got a bunch of pictures to show you today, but I’m not sure you want to see them.

Oh sure, the fact that I just said you may not want to see them probably makes you want to see them, even if you wouldn’t have otherwise cared if you had seen them.

But seriously, if you don’t want the image of a nasty road crash stuck in your skull — and very likely turning you into an incredibly tentative descender for the next several weeks — there’s going to be a point in today’s post when you might want to just bail out.

I will try to give you ample warning.

And for those of you who like this sort of thing, well, thanks to the miracle of cameraphones, today’s your lucky day.

The Backstory
We were going to ride the Mt. Nebo loop last Saturday, but a couple of things got in the way. First of all, not everyone had the freedom to do an 8-10 hour ride. Second of all, Mt. Nebo is on fire (it’s a rare mountain in Utah that isn’t on fire right now).

So we decided to do the Gauntlet again. In deference to the folks who needed to get home by noon, we decided to do a “Good Bits” version — just do all the major hills, skipping anything that didn’t have at least 1800 feet of vertical gain.

So we started at 5:30am, to give us as much time as possible in the cool part of the day.

There were a few interesting factors in this ride:

  • Fast Cyclist Rides With The Fat Cyclist: Robert Lofgran of Lofgran Coaching — who has been coaching both Brad and me this season, came along for the ride. Slumming it, I guess. His style of riding is to say, “I’m not really feeling fast today,” and then drop you so hard you get whiplash. Nobody could hang with him when he felt like going. Not Kenny, not Brad, nobody. It was an interesting dose of perspective.
  • Kenny Makes The Ride A Little Harder: Evidently thinking that 10,000 feet of climbing in about 80 miles isn’t difficult enough, Kenny brought his track bike — modified to have a freewheel and a front brake — as his ride of choice. We thought he’d be walking most of the hard parts of the climbs. Instead, he dropped us like he usually does.
  • Many of Us Wish We Could Ride Like a Girl: Lisa joined us for the ride, and showed us what strong looks like. Mark my words: she’s going to turn in a sub-10 hour time at Leadville in a few weeks.

The Main Event
Frankly, I didn’t plan to mention this ride in the blog. It was, after all, a ride very much like a ride I did earlier in the year, and had already discussed. It was a great group of guys and the ride was fun, but not especially eventful. What’s to write about?

And then came the descent from Squaw Peak.

Squaw Peak (which is not officially named Squaw Peak anymore due to political correctness considerations, but which is nevertheless universally known as Squaw Peak) is a 4.3-mile road with 1800 feet of climbing. It has several blind corners, and several hairpin turns. You can take it fast, but it’s a good idea to keep your speed in check.

Once I got chased by a wild turkey while descending Squaw Peak. Freaked me out. But that’s neither here nor there.

On this particular day, there was a little something different about the road. See if you can spot it:

Yes, yes, there’s Sheriff’s truck coming up the road, but that’s not what’s different. What’s different is that very dark streak hugging the yellow line. I don’t know what substance made that dark streak, but I suspect it’s motor oil. Or WD-40. Or butter.

Something slippery, in any case.

Kenny was one of the first people going down Squaw Peak, and so was one of the first to hit this slick stripe.

Remember how I mentioned that Kenny was riding a modified track bike? With a front brake (i.e., no rear brake)? Well, I honestly don’t whether that contributed to what came next. Kenny, to tell the truth, doesn’t remember whether he ever even touched his brakes.

Oh yes, one more thing: For years, many of us have badgered Kenny about wearing a helmet when road riding.

Without success.

This is About to Get Ugly
I was just far enough behind Kenny — maybe 10-15 seconds — that I didn’t see him go down. I, along with everyone else behind him, pulled over — some of us skidding dangerously on that black stripe. Kenny and his bike were laying in the gravelly shoulder.

Kenny was a bloody mess, with a big flap of skin hanging off the top of his head.

“I think I’m OK to ride,” said Kenny, staggering to his feet.

Everyone shouted at him to sit down.

Rick Sunderlage (not his real name) made a call to 911. Dug got out his iPhone and started taking pictures (I’m really impressed with how good of pictures that phone takes, by the way).

And now, I’m going to show you those pictures. But first, in case you’ve read to this point, but aren’t really all that interested in seeing some gore, here are a couple of buffer images so that nobody who doesn’t want to will see anything gross.

Here’s Coach Lofgran. He’s not wearing his jersey here because he kindly gave it up to Kenny to use as a head compress. Also, I’m including this photo because I’m really pleased with how thin I’m looking these days.

The sheriff arrived before the ambulance, bringing a first aid kit. Always a man of action, Brad ran to help:

Hmm. What else can I use as a buffer between the this story and the pictures of the aftermath? Oh, I know. How about some pictures my sister Kellene recently took of my family? Here’s Susan and the boys:

And here are my twin daughters.

OK, that was your last chance. Everything that follows is going to be considerably less charming.

How To Use Your Head as A Brake
Once Rick Sunderlage had calmly (I’m not kidding; Rick sounded as calm and patient with the 911 dispatcher as if he were ordering a pizza), we had a few minutes to wait. At first, somberness reigned. And then we started making jokes. Oddly, I can’t remember what any of them were, but Kenny must’ve thought at least one of them was funny:

It’s too bad the left half of his face is in shadow; you can hardly see the way his left eye is swollen shut, nor the way the left half of his face is covered in blood.

Once the sheriff arrived, he pulled Coach Lofgran’s blood-soaked jersey off Kenny’s head and we all got an early look at the damage:

Ugh. I’m going to need a minute. I get queasy looking at that one.

OK, I’m all right now.

Here’s Robert’s jersey, having been used to stop the blood flow on Kenny’s head.

Do you think that’ll come out in the wash?

Once the ambulance arrived, they got a neck brace around Kenny — in spite of Kenny’s arguments that he was fine and that he just wanted to finish the ride — and started cutting off his jersey.

That’s a lotta hamburger.

The EMTs strapped Kenny down good and tight and took him away. Bill — the Ben and Jerry’s franchise owner and neighbor of Kenny — was left with the task of taking Kenny’s stuff home and telling his wife what happened.

And the rest of us finished the ride.

But Wait! There’s More!
That would be the end of the story, except Kenny’s wife Natalie also has a cameraphone. So she got some great shots of Kenny at the hospital. Here’s Kenny, shortly after arriving:

And here’s Kenny giving what I think we can all agree is the most terrifiying two-thumbs up ever given:

This one shows you exactly what the damage looks like once the blood’s been cleaned out:

OK, I need to put my head between my knees for a few minutes again. I’ll be right back.

I can continue now.

Here’s Kenny, now all bandaged up.

Kenny Got Lucky
In spite of his osteoporosis, Kenny didn’t break any bones. Just got a bunch of stitches in the top of his head — like getting a free facelift — and some stitches under his left eye.

The square mile or two of road rash will heal on its own, over time.

And best of all, Kenny has finally conceded that helmets are a good idea, even on road bikes.


  1. Comment by Bob | 07.22.2007 | 8:43 pm

    It’s upsetting that Kenny would let a little injury like that convince him to wear a helmet. Show a little backbone, Kenny.

  2. Comment by aussie kev | 07.22.2007 | 8:58 pm

    ouch !!!!!!!!!

  3. Comment by dug | 07.22.2007 | 9:09 pm

    this was almost much worse, since at least 3 following descenders locked up both brakes and slid sideways into the gravel in order to avoid running kenny over.

    you know, the cute cycling cap kenny wears probably protected him almost as much as a helmet would have. that’s the impression i got when kenny kept asking where his hat was. we didn’t have the heart to tell him the hat had vaporized on impact.

  4. Comment by Scoops | 07.22.2007 | 9:09 pm

    Fine start to the picture gallery of where is Waldo? in his team Fatty shirt.

  5. Comment by Mike from Melbourne | 07.22.2007 | 10:29 pm

    Get well soon Kenny. Those photos are a great ad for helmets.

  6. Comment by Al Maviva | 07.23.2007 | 1:35 am

    Descending a for-real mountain, with no helmet? There’s a name for that, Kenny, though I’m not going to use it for fear of insulting kids who ride the short bus.

    I’d say ‘get well soon,’ but honestly, you deserve to hurt for a while to remind you why it is road riders should wear helmets. Yep, we may not go down quite as often as MTB’ers, but when we do, it’s memorable. The average speed of my last 5 crashes? Around 25 MPH. (25, 35, 11, 22, 35). (One of the 35s and the 11 actually *crushed* my helmet… I’m glad as hell I had the thing on otherwise it would have been my head). Please, in the future, would you remember that you’re vincible, and wear a hemmet? I wouldn’t want you to deprive the female readers of this site of major amounts of titillation.

  7. Comment by Born 4 Lycra | 07.23.2007 | 1:43 am

    It’s a sad story – really bad damage a very sad image.
    Is that the first FC Top to be involved in an accident?

  8. Comment by bdarma | 07.23.2007 | 2:18 am

    i think i will start looking for a good helmet right now…

  9. Comment by MAJ Mike | 07.23.2007 | 3:07 am

    “That’s gonna leave a mark.”

  10. Comment by Yukirin Boy | 07.23.2007 | 3:34 am

    Second Ouch!!!!
    And then the paramedics cut up a pink lemonade jersey – ouch!!

    good to see Kenny looks ok.
    Take care!

  11. Comment by Tim D | 07.23.2007 | 3:34 am

    Am I right in saying Kenny is usually the man? He’s the one you rate your selves against, he’s the first up the climbs and first down the descents? Then the Coach shows up, so Kenny has to trump him with the track bike. Then Lisa shows up and this is a body blow that Kenny’s position as pack leader cannot recover from. Desperate times call for desperate measures, the ultimate in attention seeking behaviour.

    Kenny, when your eyes are working normally again, lookup Munchausen’s.

  12. Comment by TIMK | 07.23.2007 | 3:37 am

    No Helmet? As Carlos Mencia would say, “Dee dee dee” Or as my cycling, med school wife says, “dumb dot a$$” Or perhaps this is where the term bonehead comes from.

    It took me hitting my head on a commute to work while I lived in Spain to convince me that I needed to wear a helmet. And I had hair to cushion my fall.

    Hope that you heal quickly, Kenny. That raspberry on your shoulder looks like nice in comparison to the rest of the stuff.

  13. Comment by Yukirin Boy | 07.23.2007 | 3:45 am

    Ok in the sense that the road rash will heal and there’s apparently no “serious” (in a medical way) or permanent damage. Actually the picures look far from “OK”.

  14. Comment by Philly Jen | 07.23.2007 | 3:57 am

    Eeee-owza! Scrapie — it’s not just for sheep anymore. (Goats can get scrapie, too, apparently. Maybe this was a side effect of too many Clif Goat Bloks?)

    I’m with Al Maviva on this one. Folks, if you want skid marks on your head, why not just ride around with some three-day-old undies looped over your ears? As if that could possibly be any nastier than what you just saw.

    BTW, Bell will actually help with the replacement costs of one of their helmets. Giro and Louis Garneau will happily help you select another model of theirs for no discount whatsoever! Which is why I own two Giros and a LG, ‘cuz I’m crazy like that.

    Kenny, I’m glad you’re gonna be okay. Get well soon, knowing that you will be immortalized the next time Fatty posts on how NOT to shave a few ounces off your ride.

  15. Comment by cheapie | 07.23.2007 | 4:27 am

    not to pile on but i do not understand not wearing a helmet while riding. at all.

  16. Comment by Al Maviva | 07.23.2007 | 4:35 am

    Sorry to post twice on the same topic, but I was mulling over Kenny’s noggin knockin’ on my morning training ride – if you look at the closeup-ish picture second from the bottom, the cuts and optional holes in Kenny’s head look like a face – two little eyes, and a big gaping mouth. It’s like there is somebody else inside of Kenny’s head, trying to get out. Either that, or the top of his head is a cheap knockoff of Edvard Munch’s “The Scream.” Hey, if I crashed without a helmet coming down the Valkenburg, you think I’d look like van Gogh, “Self Portrait with Bandaged Ear”?

    Bonus points on Kenny’s bonce, the gift that keeps on giving: Oh my God! They killed Kenny! You b@st@rds!

  17. Comment by Eufemiano Fuentes | 07.23.2007 | 4:48 am

    wow kenny, your head looks like Darth Vaders head. you get a peep show in one of the episodes.

    And even he has learned to wear a helmet now.

    By the way, can you believe my fellow countyman missed that put on the 18th yesterday?

  18. Comment by cheapie | 07.23.2007 | 5:20 am

    btw…very beautiful family. isn’t it great to have both a family and the ability to engage in a sport you love? i have three kids and a wonderful wife who accommodates my love of cycling. i think it’s mostly because i make sure she gets her personal time in as well.

    anyhow…good pics. until they weren’t. ugghh!

  19. Comment by bradk | 07.23.2007 | 5:21 am

    Those pictures don’t do the damage justice. It looked much much worse in person. Blood was spurting out of his head. I was sure he had done some major damage. My favorite lines from yesterday came from Kenny after hearing me say call 911 says, “No, don’t. I’m OK.” quickly followed up with, “has anyone seen my hat?”

  20. Comment by Kathy | 07.23.2007 | 5:54 am

    To state the obvious, Fatty, you are a very lucky man. What a happy, gorgeous clan you have. Thanks for sharing the pictures.

    Was the accident just two days ago? I’d like a pain update from Kenny. That is, if he can move his fingers to type. I’m thinking the day of wasn’t nearly so bad as the couple of days after stiff and soreness.

    I had to have a tetnus shot two weeks ago for a bike related injury. I was wearing sunglasses while out riding, but a bug still managed to get in my eye and with some ill-advised rubbing when it wouldn’t come out, got part of the bug imbedded. My eye was fine the next day, but after two weeks my arm and shoulder are still stiff from the shot.

    Bet that road rash feels, well, a little more painful than my tetnus shot.

  21. Comment by dailytri | 07.23.2007 | 6:26 am

    I’m showing the Massive Head Wound Kenny pics to my kids who continue to bray like donkeys when I ask, “Where’s your helmet?”.

  22. Comment by Mike Roadie | 07.23.2007 | 6:27 am

    Kenny….WEAR YOUR HAT!!!! The Style Guy would say its a fashion statement if nothing else. Safety first…..I’m not sayin’…..I’m just sayin’……..

    What was going through his mind as he crashed???? The Pavement!!!!

    FC….what a great looking family—and Susan looks great–reminds me to wish you all the best of luck!!!!

  23. Comment by Mike Roadie | 07.23.2007 | 6:29 am

    Kenny….WEAR YOUR HAT!!!! The Style Guy would say its a fashion statement if nothing else. Safety first…..I’m not sayin’…..I’m just sayin’……..

    What was going through his mind as he crashed???? The Pavement!!!!

    FC….what a great looking family—and Susan looks great–reminds me to wish you all the best of luck!!!!

    FYI… 74% of the LAF $10,000 goal so far…thanks to all FCers who have helped….


  24. Comment by Craig | 07.23.2007 | 6:37 am

    Man , you could dip your bruschetta in that one big gash.


  25. Comment by chtrich | 07.23.2007 | 7:31 am

    OUCH! Mommy!

  26. Comment by kenny | 07.23.2007 | 7:50 am

    Yes. Ok. I know. Helmet good. No helmet bad. Just to let everyone know, I’m back at work today. I feel sore, but glad to be alive. I’m so fortunate to have great friends and an awsome wife to take care of me. The EMT’s were great. I’ve never had an ambulance ride. That was pretty cool. I just didnt want to be strapped down on a board when i knew that my neck and back were fine. I know what a broken back feels like. The ER docs did a fantastic job cleaning me up and keeping my spirits high. They got a Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Rose to sew up my noggin. I took off the bandages this morning. He did a bang up job. He pulled everything tight. I look 10 years younger. Not much swelling and i think the scar will be minimal. Just big enough to remind me what can happen when there is an oil slick hiding around a blind corner. I was thinking about not going to New York with my family this week, but today I’m feeling much better and should be fine to make the trip. Thanks for all your concerns and for your chastising. I needed a good wake up call. It does seem real convenient to have this reck happen right before my planned rest week. I’m sure I’ll feel like getting back on the bike as soon as I get home.

  27. Comment by Natalie | 07.23.2007 | 8:07 am

    Elden, I love your blog because you never fail to make me laugh, even when the subject matter isn’t particularly funny!

    Finally a picture of Susan on the blog! Thanks Susan for taking time out of your Harry Potter reading to help Elden shuttle Kenny’s car back home.

    For those of you wondering how Kenny is doing today, he actually got up and went to work this morning. We took the bandage off his head for the first time and the wound looks much better than I expected. I’m so glad they called in a plastic surgeon to stitch him up.

    Kenny has refused to wear a helmet for years whenever he goes road biking. I’m just glad he learned his lesson (he promised he’ll wear one ALWAYS from now on) without losing his life in the process. I’m glad he’ll be around to celebrate our 19 anniversary thins coming saturday.

    Mrs K

  28. Comment by Natalie | 07.23.2007 | 8:13 am

    Oh, by the way, the picture you posted of Kenny’s head “after the blood had been cleaned out” was actually a picture of his head after the 1″ by 3″ flap of mangled scalp had been removed. The blood flow wasn’t adequate to keep the skin alive so they just lopped it off and pulled the skin together giving him a “mini facelift.”

  29. Comment by becomingblue | 07.23.2007 | 8:14 am

    Kenny’s at a stage in his life and riding abilities that I’ve never been but I know people like him. First off was the bike with only a front brake. Risky on the flat lands but on huge, twisty downhills, that’s living life to the fullest. So him not wearing a helmet on the ride doesn’t seem out of line. He probably exhibits other habits that some people would look at and say, ‘Sure, go ahead while I stand back here and watch’. But that’s probably Kenny’s profile. Everybody is a total package. To expect him to wear a helmet on a road ride, safe behavior, but not expect him to stop doing the other risky behavoirs in his life may not be possible. And if he stopped risky behaviors altogher, then he wouldn’t be Kenny anymore because the rest of the things about him that make him up, wouldn’t be there anymore either.

  30. Comment by LanterneRouge | 07.23.2007 | 8:32 am

    First off; glad you’re recovering quickly kenny. Second, Fatty and Susan what a great looking brood you have. Finally, this post caused me to examine my own helmet. I found several mini cracks. As a result the Giro Pnuemo is out as soon as the new Lazer Genesis arrives in the mail.

  31. Pingback by A corner of rationality » Blog Archive » Please, please, where your helmet. | 07.23.2007 | 8:36 am

    [...] This lovely story ought to convince you! [...]

  32. Comment by BotchedExperiment | 07.23.2007 | 8:37 am

    Kenny, in the pic dug emailed out, there appeared to be a big hole in your shoulder. What’s up with that?

    Susan appears to have asexually reproduced in creating the boys. They look so much like her, and I can’t see any of you in them, which is probably a good thing.

    Where was dug when kenny went down?

  33. Comment by Ricky | 07.23.2007 | 8:39 am

    I tried hard to think of something funny to include here. I couldn’t come up with anything. I’m glad you’re still with us Kenny. Your dome has been and will continue to be the topic of many of our discussions. Take care of it. I love you.


  34. Comment by Clydesteve | 07.23.2007 | 8:53 am

    I was going to mention that I got some road rash last week when I bit it on some fresh chip n’ seal. (Man those chips are sharp!) But actually, after seeing these images, my unworthy injuries do not qualify for the same name as the injuries Kenny sustained. Of course, for my wreck in March, as well as this one, my head remained intact, protected by one of those hot foam-lined things.

    FC: “Everything that follows is going to be considerably less charming.” Just for the record, every time you put this caption under a picture of your daughters, this will be true – the pictures that follow do not need to be this yucky to make this statement true.

    …just sayin’

  35. Comment by monkeywebb | 07.23.2007 | 8:55 am

    My first thought upon doing a double cartwheel through a rock field at 30 mph was “is my bike okay?” My friend’s first thought was “I’ve never seen anyone die before.” Thanks to my helmet the three large rocks that tried to invade my brainspace got no closer than 1 cm or so. I have no doubts that after that day, in the absence of a helmet, I would have been considered “special” at best, and quite likely I would have been in the past tense.

    And the bike was fine, which can’t be said of Kenny’s Pink Lemonade. My thoughts are with it’s family.

  36. Comment by KT | 07.23.2007 | 8:59 am

    Gasp! They cut the jersey?!?!?!?!? No!!!!

    Kenny, you bad boy. I hope Natalie walloped you a good one for almost getting kilt. We’re glad you survived. Don’t do it again.

    And Fatty– great shots! You’ve got a beautiful family. It’s nice to put a face to a name, at last!

  37. Comment by monkeywebb | 07.23.2007 | 9:01 am

    …and I forgot to mention the lead in pictures. Either your sister is truly gifted in the Photoshop department or Fatty and the missus are gifted in the genes department. Your gang belongs in picture frames in department stores. Well done.

  38. Comment by mdion | 07.23.2007 | 9:12 am

    Something I heard many years ago… “It’s better to look like a mushroom, than be a vegetable.”

  39. Comment by kenny | 07.23.2007 | 9:17 am

    Robert, My wife did a great job cleaning up your jersey. Thanks for sacrificing it, but I think it’s good. As for the pink lemonade, it’s toast.

  40. Comment by Mehera | 07.23.2007 | 9:27 am

    Kenny, you sure give your guardian angels a workout. Whew! I’m so glad you will be OK when all heals. Valerie must have been scared to death!

    And SO glad to have a picture of Susan to think about when I pray for her. What a beautiful family. Which of the guys is Shadow Scythe?

  41. Comment by bikemike | 07.23.2007 | 9:45 am

    oh boy, i see new video from fatty jr. coming.
    now, we’ll know the true story.

    how do you spell out that sound you make just
    before you throw-up?


  42. Comment by sans auto | 07.23.2007 | 9:57 am

    I worked in a nursing home for a couple years and spent time with wonderful people who were “waiting”. It was sad. I decided that wasn’t how I wanted to go, so I planned my own demise. When I’m 90+ and no longer able to commute by bike I am going to take my track bike to the top of L’alp D’huez, get someone to tie me to the pedals, forgo the helmet and start the descent.

    Kenny, you didn’t need to prove that it could be done… I’m glad you failed.

    Fatty, good looking family, I liked the pictures.

  43. Comment by MTB W | 07.23.2007 | 10:00 am

    Thanks for the warning about the pics of Kenny (not of your great family) – he is pretty messed up. That pic of his head wound made me groggy. Cutting off the dead skin flap? Yuck! May have to skip lunch today. On the plus side, all of his female fans are going to see a younger version of him after his plastic surgery (even if the wounds turn into scars, at least women digs scars, right?).

    Kenny is now the posterboy of the need for helmets. Glad he survived with his wits (and brains) intact. The same can’t be said for that poor jersey that gave itself up to protect Kenny. Curious, though – how did he fall? Sliding out sideways or flipping?

  44. Comment by Mike | 07.23.2007 | 10:21 am

    Not that Kenny’s going to need any more reasons to wear a helmet now, but i think my deer collision story illustrates that no matter how safe or good you think you are on a bike, you never really know what’s going to happen out there.

    I landed on the back on my head and just got up and walked it off… in fact, I didn’t realize until later that night when attempting to clean my helmet that I’d landed on my head.

    I wouldn’t ride with a guy who wasn’t wearing a helmet.

  45. Comment by jill | 07.23.2007 | 10:24 am

    Horrifying pictures …

    Get well, Kenny!

  46. Comment by Bitter (formerly known as Lissee) | 07.23.2007 | 10:25 am

    Oh! I’m so glad that Kenny survived the crash!!

  47. Comment by Ed | 07.23.2007 | 10:49 am

    Kenny – I believe we met at the KTR in May. Glad you are alright, get well quickly!


  48. Pingback by Dan Schmatz » Blog Archive » Believe the hype! | 07.23.2007 | 10:51 am

    [...] HELMETS ARE GOOD [...]

  49. Comment by Boz | 07.23.2007 | 11:26 am

    I once crused my head and wrist and arm by running myself over w/ a groomer at a ski area I worked at – and I was driving. 16 skull fractures and 400 stiches, but my crushed wrist and broken arm in three places hurt much worse. Lots of blood from a head wound, but not much pain is probably why Kenny thought he was ok. I’m glad you made it thru that crash relatively unscathed. Maybe some day we can compare scars. As my hairline slowly recedes, the cool scars appear.

  50. Comment by Rick S. | 07.23.2007 | 11:57 am

    we should probably hide Kenny’s bikes for at least another day or two. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him out riding today.

  51. Comment by Mrs. Coach | 07.23.2007 | 12:32 pm

    I feel really bad that I laughed so much during this post.

    Bob told me though that when the EMT’s went to cut off Kenny’s jersey he protested and tried to take it off so it wouldn’t get ruined. I think it was too late for that anyway.

    Anyone else notice Kenny’s left foot poking out of his shoe in his first picture?

  52. Comment by gian | 07.23.2007 | 12:40 pm

    Its pretty hot here in San Antonio, when it isn’t flooding, so there are few hill climbs where I take my helmet off in order to cope with the heat. Lately I have been forgetting to put it back on before the descent. I think kenny has cured me of taking it off at all.

  53. Comment by Mrs. Coach | 07.23.2007 | 12:50 pm

    Natalie, thanks so much for trying to salvage Bob’s jersey, way too cool of you.

  54. Comment by Adam Lisonbee | 07.23.2007 | 1:20 pm

    Wow, Kenny. That looks horrible. If you’d like I can go up to Squaw Peak road and scrape your hat and the rest of your head off the pavement for you.

    I blame the FC cycling clothes. I was wearing my FC socks and had 2 significant crashes on my ride. :)

    Glad to hear you are on the mend. Take care of those injuries, I’m glad to see you will be back to ride another day.

  55. Comment by Jsun | 07.23.2007 | 1:40 pm

    That ‘mini-facelift’ is over the left eye. Does this mean that you will forever have one eyebrow raised, giving a constant look of dismay or doubt? ;)

  56. Comment by Philly Jen | 07.23.2007 | 1:49 pm

    Natalie, what do you mean, 19th wedding anniversary? Did you get married when you were, like, twelve years old? I have to start drinking whatever they put in your water.

    Thank goodness everything came out okay. Instead of being Bride of Frankenstein, now you’re just Mrs. Facelift — kinda like Catherine Zeta-Jones, but blonder, and prettier in pink.

    Congrats on Saturday, and may you have many more happy years with the Once and Future Helmethead.

  57. Comment by Heffalump | 07.23.2007 | 2:21 pm

    This post reminds me of those movies they used to show in drivers ed that show what can happen in a crash if you don’t wear your seatbelt. Kenny can be the poster boy for helmets…maybe he could even have his own brand of them!

  58. Pingback by » Links Of The Day: 23 July 2007 | 07.23.2007 | 2:59 pm

    [...] Kenny Uses His Head…As a Brake [...]

  59. Comment by Born4Lycra | 07.23.2007 | 3:14 pm

    Now that I have recovered from my state of shock and awe following the damage done to the FC top I was wondering will there be any follow up on the substance spilt on the road. Somebody has done the wrong thing here which could have resulted in a death. Is there likely to be an accident investigation. Are Kenny’s medical costs recoverable from the miscreant – none of my business I know – just interested.
    Congrats on the Anniversary N & K – great looking family Mrs and Mrs FC.

  60. Comment by paige | 07.23.2007 | 4:36 pm

    Eww. Kenny, glad to that you’re still around. At our house, if the kids fuss about helmets, Biker Hubby shows them his 7 inch scar on his shoulder, tells them again about the artificial tendon in it and then asks them if they know why he has no corresponding scar on his head.

    Helmet, they sigh in unison.

    Fatty, your family is just gorgeous. Thank for including their lovely images as buffer before the horror of Kenny’s scalping.

    Biker Hubby was partially scalped at work when his ponytail got caught in a fan motor…hm. Maybe he should wear a helmet to work…

  61. Comment by walter | 07.23.2007 | 4:38 pm

    Kenny (& Natalie) — glad you seem to be ok and will be around to celebrate the upcoming anniversary.

    Fatty — are you sure this wasn’t just an elaborate excuse to post that picture of you in profile, looking quite unlike the Fat Cyclist? Seriously, glad to hear it all ended (reasonably) well, and thanks for posting the pics of your beautiful family.

  62. Comment by Aaron | 07.23.2007 | 4:46 pm

    I’ve heard of people shaving their legs to make treating road rash a little easier, but shaving your head for that same purpose is really taking things to a whole new level. I really hate to image what those pictures would have looked like with hair in the mix.

  63. Comment by Aaron | 07.23.2007 | 4:47 pm

    I mean “hate to imagine”

  64. Comment by Kris | 07.23.2007 | 5:30 pm

    Kenny, scary crash! Glad you’re OK (as in “not dead” and “not brain damaged”). Please, man, wear a helmet. Unlike the rest of the body, brains don’t heal sometimes and once your brain is damaged, you’re often not the same person. That thought is enough for me – I wear my brain bucket on every ride.

    I need some clarification. I rode the Nebo Loop on the 14th and it was not on fire (started on the 19th) and unless *I* have some brain damage (not out of the question), I saw Kenny and a bunch of other riders coming up the south side AND KENNY WAS WEARING A HELMET. So Kenny does wear a helmet sometimes, unless I saw wrong.

  65. Comment by Kathy | 07.23.2007 | 5:43 pm

    From my upstairs window I just saw a teenage girl riding her bike slowly down the street … while reading Harry Potter! Really. She turned a page in front of my house! Granted, I couldn’t see the title, but a very thick book, resting on the handle bars, what else could it be?

  66. Comment by Shaun | 07.23.2007 | 6:45 pm

    This reminds me of a couple of racing crashes of mine. The first one was on a Sunday morning in 1977 no helmet just a cloth cap. It was near the end of the race on a downhill when an incident at the front of the bunch caused the rider in front of me to fall. We both left the road & I completely sumasalted breaking my colarbone. I must have just missed my head but took the cap off. The other rider was tangled in both our bikes at the bottom of a gully unharmed. When taken to the hospital the Xray operator told me to remove my tight woollen racing jumper because it had a mettle zipper. Then left the room. So no cutting of jersey. But painful with a broken collarbone.
    The second crash was also at the end of a race when the rider in front of me dug his pedal into the road on the last corner & slid out. Me being 2 inches behind him could only swear at 40 kmph. My bike in hitting him catapulted me headfirst into the tarmac. In those days we only wore thin plastic covered sponge strips as helmets. I split the crown of my head. After stitches my hair never did sit right again. But I do have a neat Xray that was taken through my mouth to check if my neck wasnt broken.

  67. Comment by fatty | 07.23.2007 | 6:53 pm

    kris – yes, that was us riding the nebo loop on the 14th, but kenny was not wearing a helmet. check out the picture in this post:

    kenny’s the one standing on the curb, wearing blue kit and a riding cap. everyone else wore a helmet, tho.

  68. Comment by Solo | 07.23.2007 | 8:09 pm

    Three points………. Fatty you have been blessed with that family, Kenny, looks like you just used up one of your lives, I have been in three nasty crashes that I truly feel would have either killed or V8′d my brainage, not to mention the pedal that would’ve been embedded into my dome from the rider following me, and Three….. guess the next jersey can be a Kenny special with full zippers front and back to keep those nasty EMT scissors in their holsters. Be safe all.

  69. Comment by Vince | 07.23.2007 | 8:16 pm

    Could almost see what’s on his mind!
    Ok, glad he’s ok.

  70. Comment by Lowrydr | 07.24.2007 | 4:30 am

    I don’t think that’s what my granny meant when she said “just use your Noggin”. And here I thought it was just an expression for her to spout every now and then. Glad to hear you’ll be fine Kenny, relatively speaking of course.

    Nice clan you and the Mrs. have there Fatty. It’s good that kids take after their Mothers most of the time.

    Fingers crossed for the results from Friday, Susan.

  71. Comment by TB | 07.24.2007 | 5:41 am

    UNBELIEVABLE… That a person would not wear a helmet. Heck, even little kids konw this one. Lucky he wasn’t killed or fell into a coma. Glad he’s okay!!!

  72. Comment by Bitter (formerly known as Lissee) | 07.24.2007 | 6:14 am


    It looks like your shins are tanner than they used to be. Are you visiting a tanning salon?

  73. Comment by miles archer | 07.24.2007 | 6:31 am

    Sorry Kenny, I don’t know you, but I have to say it -

    No Helmet? what an idiot!

    Thank goodness there weren’t major injuries. Get better soon.

  74. Comment by CLBlood | 07.24.2007 | 7:47 am

    Kenny, I drove 5 miles to go on a ride last year. When I arrived, I discovered I had left my helmet behind. I drove home and got it. That set me back half an hour as the summer day heated up. 11 miles down the trail I t-boned a raccoon and split my helmet on asphalt. Also broke my glasses and had minor road rash. Rode 40 miles the next day.

    If you are helmet-shopping, my new Bell Alchera (like the one I split) has air holes big enough to scratch my head through — a definite plus. Also big enough for small birds and large insects to fly into — not a plus. It sits low enough in front that it provides eye-shade. I love it, but every few hundred miles or so I have to stop, rip it off and let something fly out.

  75. Comment by Badder | 07.24.2007 | 9:44 am

    Its almost a shame they didn’t have to graft skin from your butt to cover the wound on your head. After all riding without a helmet is a butt-head thing to do.

    Glad your okay Kenny

  76. Comment by Charles Darwin | 07.24.2007 | 10:29 am

    I knew I was wrong when I formulated my Theory of Natural Selection . I should have listened to Sedgwick.

  77. Comment by Big Boned | 07.24.2007 | 11:08 am

    Vino…vino…what are we going to do?

  78. Comment by eclecticdeb | 07.24.2007 | 11:14 am

    I’m with Mike. I won’t ride with someone who doesn’t wear a helmet. I know that you guys are all super-cyclists (fat notwithstanding) and have good bike handling skills. But like I tell my son, it’s not ME that I’m worried about, it’s all the other stuff out there — cars, pine cones on the road, slick stuff, etc. “Spit happens” all to quickly.
    Glad to hear that Kenny will BE okay. Notice I did NOT say “glad you ARE okay”, cause anybody with a hole in their scalp is NOT okay.
    Love love LOVE the pics of the family. I’ll work on getting a pic of me loaded in to FLICKR. I’m truly a “fat cyclist”, so it should be great.

  79. Comment by cheapie | 07.24.2007 | 12:11 pm

    if today’s vino episode doesn’t inspire some fake news, i don’t know what will!

  80. Comment by AMG in Texas | 07.24.2007 | 12:27 pm

    Kenny, I hear that Fatty and Twin 6 are working on a new jersey for you… it is red, black, and blue!!! Glad to know that they are not working on the Kenny memorial jersey for Natalie…

    Fatty, great family pictures ;-) Did you get those from Wal-Mart picture frames or are they the real deal???

    I finally got on my bike on the 20th for Susan… I cramped up after 4 miles and my wife had to come to the rescue :-( Cycling is bad on fat cyclists when they dont prepare well. Kenny can attest to that… OUCH!!

    Best wishes for you Susan!!! I cant wait for the next FC movie…

    P.S. Kenny just gave us all a new definition for the word BONK…

  81. Comment by Philly Jen | 07.24.2007 | 1:01 pm

    Intra-Vino, In V. No Veritas, What the Bloody H#$% ???

    The Tour needs this like it needs…well, a hole in the head.

  82. Comment by Cosmo | 07.24.2007 | 1:03 pm

    For every Kenny who rides sans-a-lid and lives to tell the tale, there are a pair who don’t. I would never dream of riding without a melon-saver, and Kenny’s pics only buttress my belief.

    The club rides I connect with here in Idaho are all helmet-required as well. There are just too many variables–not to mention too many kids waiting for Daddy to come home from his ride so they can play with him.

  83. Comment by KatieA | 07.24.2007 | 3:44 pm

    Kenny, helmets are a good idea.

    FC – I’m SO glad I hadn’t eaten my breakfast before I read this. Cause even thought it’s a nice breakfast, I dont’ really want to taste it again. URGH. That’s skull I see in the hospital pic, isn’t it?

    And thanks for the forewarning, but it’s like saying to a five year old “I’m putting a really good present in this box – don’t open it!” Like we’re NOT going to look…

  84. Comment by Christine | 07.24.2007 | 6:02 pm

    Oh the carnage!

    (This calls for a cartoon from Fatty Jr)

  85. Comment by Nik | 07.24.2007 | 9:26 pm

    The hubby had a crash in the gravel on our hill this past winter (we live in the Seattle area and the dump the gravel on our hill when it snows) and he received road rash similar to what Kenny has on his shoulder – Dude, you are going to have a wicked, cool scar! Chicks dig scars :).

  86. Comment by Big Mike In Oz | 07.24.2007 | 11:35 pm

    If Kenny was Australian the protestation of his riding partners wouldn’t have been enough to stop him from remounting and completing the stage. This is, of course, a broad generalisation. If you are dead, unconscious or have broken bones significant enough to appear as though you have extra joints in your limbs you are entitled to a 6 hour riding sabbatical.

    My kids know the score. Since the day they got a bike, NO BIKE NO RIDE. If they want to go to a friends house to play, they come to ask permission already wearing their helmet.

    The absolute last time I rode without a helmet I broke my collarbone. Yes, helmets protect your collarbones too… Before compulsory helmets in Australia it was my personal policy to not bother wearing one if I was riding alone and staying away from the big descents. On that fateful day, halfway through a ride I met up with another rider from our club and a subsequent act of teenage compulsion saw me sailing through the air. As I sailed I remember thinking “I wish I wore my helmet. I wish I wore my helmet. I wish I wore my helmet.” 3 times. As I sailed and thought my thoughts caused me to twist in an attempt to hit the ground with anything other than my head. As it turns out, my head hit the ground an instant after my shoulder so it was a pointless exercise.

    If I’d been wearing a helmet I may have sailed a different trajectory and saved my collarbone. Who knows?

  87. Comment by 2Phat | 07.25.2007 | 9:57 am

    I realize it is too soon to find some humor in the “Kenny Incident,” but with the passage of time I am sure Shadow will find a way to make this event into the Flash cartoon of the decade!

  88. Comment by sasquatch | 07.25.2007 | 10:44 am

    This is exactly the kind of crash where everyone says how lucky the helmeted cyclist was to have on a helmet and how dead he would be without it. Not only is Kenny not dead or brain damaged, he’s walking around and heading off on vacation.

    Furthermore, by his practice of NOT wearing a helmet he has probably saved himself thousands of hours of sweat-headedness and subtle discomfort over his cycling career, and enjoyed cycling in the cranial buff, which is a true pleasure.

    Even when he has one of the worst crashes imaginable where it appears he actually landed on his damn head, the worst he gets is a few stitches in his gourd. I’d say he comes out ahead (no pun intended).

  89. Comment by Doug G. | 07.25.2007 | 3:24 pm

    What about the bike?? Did the bike survive? Thats the important thing! Lol

  90. Comment by Homer Simpson | 07.25.2007 | 8:10 pm


  91. Comment by Ian Hopper | 07.26.2007 | 11:02 am

    Wow Kenny.. that’s a hell of a digger. 97% of the time (and I pulled that number out of a hat) I wear a helmet when I ride, but once in a while, I ride without one so I don’t get too cocky and suffer from risk compensation. Kenny has no doubt had other crashes sans helmet? I’ve seen other people get head knockers sans helmet and other than being dazed a bit, walk away. One crash in particular had me believing the crashee was going to be brain damaged, but other than a slight daze, she was able to ride away in a few minutes.

    The helmet helps, don’t get me wrong: just don’t forget that good bike handling skills will get you out of more head injuries that most of the helmets in the world. All those who are about to lambast me for not pushing the helmet agenda need to realize that if you wanted to be truly protected, you’d wear a motorcycle helmet. Thing is, no one is going to ride a bicycle up a mountain with a motorcycle helmet on. Most bicycle helmets (exluding DH helmets) only protect in a limited number of crashes, though this appears to have been one of them. I’ve had plenty of nasty crashes that did nothing to my helmet. Did anyone actually SEE Kenny go down? See whether it was the bike or the pavement that caused the head injury? Did he tumble or slide into/on something? I wonder if Kenny will resume his helmetless riding after this: at this point he’s beat the odds so he’s got nothing to worry about *tongue firmly in cheek*.

    Kenny, glad to hear yer on the mend. I look forward to seeing close up pictures of the sew up job by the doctors. I think you should take the reminants of the jersey and sew them back together, but use big thread and make the stitches huge, frankenstein style: that would be a worthy jersey!

  92. Comment by highwaymunky | 07.30.2007 | 3:02 am

    Ouch… I feel quite sick now. Get well soon Kenny. Damn!

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