For many years in various areas of motorsport there have been discussions about helmet design. I’d like to update you about a recent episode in the Blackwood/Hogan families about the value of top quality helmets and what a wonderful country this is.
July 3, 2022 saw CLA members Jen and David Hogan (my daughter and son-in-law) competing once again at Hattah Desert Race near Mildura. This is an event they love and have competed in a number of times. This year they headed off with their Gang of Two (Penny and Lincoln) along with David’s parents who babysit as well as pit crew.
Saturday’s prologue/qualifying showed a new track layout including straights 2 km+ long that were not usually in the event. David was getting to 131 kph and Jen 112 kph on their KTM’s. Please bear in mind this is through fine red bull dust.
Sunday was fine and dry and they headed off to the spectacular start – which is an epic event and should be seen via YouTube – of hundreds of riders. David was expected to do 8 x 37 km laps (4 hours of riding) and Jen 4 x 37 km laps (2 hours of riding.)
I’m not sure when everything turned to shit for David but he came off his bike and was rag-dolled down the track resulting in eight units of blood transfused, broken hip, ruptured spleen, shattered collarbone, broken ribs, pulmonary embolism, pneumonia – but no concussion. Here lies the story of the $10 helmet.
Jen having worked in the motor bike industry for 20+ years has always been a stickler for top quality helmets – usually Arai or Shoei. David’s helmet was destroyed. For a few weeks following the accident he was still expelling red bulldust from his eyes, ears, throat and nose and I repeat, no head injury.
The spleen was removed at Mildura and he and Jen were airlifted to The Alfred in Melbourne where he stayed for two weeks which was difficult being in the time of Covid. David’s parents returned to Sydney with the bikes and kids. David and Jen were eventually transported via road ambulance from Melbourne to their home in East Seaham. Flying was out of the question because of the embolism which doesn’t like altitude.
Now for the quirky/warped-humour-Anne-bit. I’ve always joked that if Emergency Departments sold souvenir spoons I’d have quite a collection. So, I thought, copulate them! I’ll make my own by collecting town spoons at op shops – 18 needed in total. This is a family that has been airlifted three times; suffered three major hip injuries, etc. I give a meagre regulation donation to Careflight and am thrilled that I receive a Christmas card from them which is treasured.
How’s David doing? He’s doing great. Medicine in this country is amazing. Never underestimate it and never skimp on that helmet.