Today, I would like to share the story of the moment that changed my rides forever.
It was November 18th, 2021. I left the office -I work at a Big Tech company right outside Milano- at around 6 PM. It had been an exhausting day. I remember the evening being particularly dark and quiet.
I grabbed my wheel and began my 6km ride home. The sensors immediately detected it was nighttime already, so the lights automatically turned on.
Riding from home to work and vice-versa had always been the best part of my days. For me, the wheel is synonymous with freedom. When I ride, I flow in liberty. It makes me feel alive, I guess.
Anyway, everything seemed to be elapsing normally. Having been a monowheel instructor at the Scuola Italiana Monoruota for some years, I certainly did not believe my commute was dangerous.
The wheel started to turn. After a minute or two, I entered the roundabout right across work. Then I saw my fate: a girl driving her car at amazingly high speed, approaching the roundabout from the East entrance.
“She must stop,” I recall telling myself.
But she did not. The last thing I remember, I was lying -face to the ground- on the freezing pavement, burning in pain. Luckily, I was still conscious.
Rapidly, other car drivers stopped to check if I needed help. The girl who had hit me tried to run away, but people stopped her.
A few minutes later, as soon as people noticed I was not seriously injured, the situation changed dramatically. All of a sudden, everyone started blaming me for not having made myself visible enough.
“You don’t have enough lights,” they claimed. “How could this girl possibly see you in the dark?“, others shouted.
Although I was as mad as a hatter, I knew there was some truth in their words.
At that moment, I made up my mind: I decided I would start protecting my brain with a helmet. One with lights.
And, boy, ask me if I found one that I love. What can I say? The UNIT 1 FARO makes me feel safe while driving my wheel – without looking like a funny moron.
Being an instructor, I fully regret underestimating the risk of night riding and the ability of drivers to see me in the dark. Safety must stand as my top priority. And no matter how good I can be riding my wheel, risk -a giant one- is always there.
All in all, I feel it necessary to share my experience with the world. I desire no one needs to go through what I went to become fully aware of how dangerous riding can be and how important it is to protect your head with a suitable helmet with lights. It can be expensive, but how much is your life worth?
If just one rider gets himself or herself a helmet with lights after reading my story, then my accident will have borne fruit.
By Roby Crocco, Italian FARO user.