I Cannot Overstate The Importance Of A Good Motorcycle Helmet
My issue, apparently, is learning to manage the throttle. When I stared down muddy two-track and decided the solution to my problems was power — keeping momentum up as mud tried to slow me down — things went poorly. The front wheel dug into an unexpectedly deep mud patch and turned sideways, stopping the bike in its tracks and sending me flying off the left side — head- and shoulder-first into pavement.
Slamming your head into pavement at 20 miles per hour is, all things considered, not a particularly bad motorcycle fall — I wasn’t doing highway speeds, I didn’t collide with any track barriers, and I’m still here to write the whole thing up. In fact, it’s such a mild accident that it’s barely even worth writing about at all, except as a reminder: Buy the best helmet you can afford.
Still, out of curiosity, I calculated out the force my head would’ve received without a helmet helping me out. I was travelling about 20 mph when I went down, which converts out to about 9 meters per second in communist (metric) units. The average human head weighs about 5 kg, and we can figure it took about three inches of travel for my head to stop — likely an egregious over-estimate, given that I didn’t dent myself three inches into the pavement, but that’ll hopefully give us a sort of floor to our force numbers. Plug those figures into the formula for determining force from a horizontal impact, and: