Tuesday, November 9, 2010 arrived with a clear early morning that promised to become a chilly, sunny, and typically autumn day. I zipped my coat, buckled my helmet strap, unlocked my bike, and headed off to work. A few minutes later, a garbage truck crossed a bike lane to make a right turn. I was in that bike lane. The tires of the truck crushed my left leg and caused other internal injuries. An amazing team of trauma surgeons saved my life, but they had to amputate my leg to do so.

The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. Confucius.

In July 2011, I set off to walk a thousand miles as an above-knee amputee in my new prosthesis. The journey has held more twists, turns, and detours than I ever imagined.

I reached Mile 1000 on March 30, 2013.

But of course, that wasn't the end.

I'll keep walking!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Bike Helmet Blitz 2015

Sometimes carrying on, just carrying on, is the superhuman achievement.
--Albert Camus

Mile Marker 3400:

When I see people riding bikes without helmets, I want to shout, "Don't think about your HAIR, think about your FAMILY!"

Or... "If you get a head injury, you might not be YOU anymore."

Or... "When it's bike vs. car, the bike NEVER WINS."

Or... As a first grader taught me, "You can get a robot leg, but you can't get a robot brain!"  (Heck, I'd flash some leg, too, if I thought it would help!)

Of course this is Philly.  Offering advice to complete strangers -- even with the best intentions -- is not the smartest move.

And so I came up with an idea to spread the word:  A BIKE HELMET BLITZ.

We gather in Old City, armed with 500 lime green helmet coupons and 300 yards of twine.  We set off to walk a 5K.

Along the way, we tie those coupons to parked bikes and bike racks.

We hand them out to passers-by.

Our green coupons look great on them!

We make special stops at the city's bright blue "bike share" stations, which have popped up everywhere.  They're strictly BYOH -- Bring Your Own Helmet.

By lunchtime, every bike east of Broad Street has been blitzed with helmet coupons.

That's my story -- the Cliffs Notes version anyway!

After 5 years, I look a little different, but I'm STILL ME.   I attribute much of that to the fact that I was wearing a helmet.

I wish I could shout it to every biker that passes.  I wish I could install a helmet dispenser at every bike share station.  I wish I could make more of an impact.

But we carry on the best way we can.
And for now, this way is mine.

Thanks to the family and friends who joined me to paint the town green!  Thanks to all of you who are wearing your Got Helmet t-shirts!  And thanks to Community Bikes and Boards for giving us an awesome helmet discount!

When one more cyclist puts on a helmet...
Or survives an accident...
Or carries on...
We will have made a difference.
Maybe we already have.

Yes, there's a video!
Click here to see the BIKE HELMET BLITZ -- and a quick recap of the last 5 years!


  1. Ricki, this post and video so perfectly reflect your optimistic outlook, can-do spirit and steadfast determination. YOU have already made a difference! Your efforts and perseverence... to find meaning and purpose from catastrophe, to embrace and celebrate life, and to always move forward... continue to inspire all who walk beside you (and sometimes behind you, running to keep up!!) on this up-and-down hill journey. I'm constantly touched by your wonderful friends, our incredible family, and the large behind-the-scenes group of blog-followers whose ongoing support helps you... and me... to carry on!

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