Playing With My Food ~
A journal about food, thought, travel, and life; by Chef & Raconteur Chaz French.

An open letter to Pat L.

Dear Pat L. (who works at a Peet’s in the East Bay),

You serve me my coffee somewhat regularly, your beard and tattoos make you easily recognizable and I often see you riding your bike around town, without a helmet.  Look, I’m not a preacher, I’m an atheist, but I feel compelled to share a bit of my life with you.

As most people who know me already know, for environmental, financial, health/fitness, and enjoyment reasons, I don’t drive, it’s a choice I’ve made to never even learn.  So I ride a bike, a lot.  And today I got hurt.

I’m currently living at the top of the Berkeley hills near Tilden, so I put my bike on the bus and ride to the top when coming home.  (my commute is downhill, both ways!) Being the hills of Berkeley, there are a lot of steep, winding, crazy curves, and a few hairpin turns.

There are two of those hairpins on the way home.  As I was negotiating that second one today, I hit a patch of evergreen needles and suddenly my bike just went out from under me; but pulled me along for the crash.

If I hadn’t been wearing a helmet, the sides of my head  would look like this too (yes, both sides, I managed to get turned around while scraping pavement).

Left forearm

Right arm

Left hand

I also have screwed up my left shoulder, hopefully it’s just strained, I’ll see my doc tomorrow.   There are other scrapes and cuts, not as severe as these photos, but, the point is Pat, that without a helmet, at a minimum, the right side of my head would have looked like the first photo. When my helmet met the pavement it was loud, I’d probably have a concussion too (I may have a slight one now), my ears, (particularly the right one) could have been badly ripped up, and I’d likely be spending the night in the hospital.  (With no insurance, and no way to pay).

I survived, the helmet survived, the bike has some damage.

If you look closely you’ll see the front wheel is pointing straight ahead, the handlebars however, not so much.

Thankfully I was able to straighten them, mostly.  It’s going to the shop for a full inspection.

Additionally, one of my favorite shirts is ruined.

Although… My thrift store Banana Republic jeans, have some new character

I have a rule in life, that one always has to find a silver lining, somewhere in every bad event.

A second bright spot would be that my iPhone which was in the now ripped up pocket, came out without a scratch.  Please wear a helmet Pat, it would suck to see you splattered on the pavement.

See you soon,

For regular readers: Yes, I plan to hand Pat a note with this post’s URL.  I’d been waiting for him to wait on me again so I could tell him to stop being douchey and wear a helmet, today’s event makes it a little more relevant.