In the blink of an eye a nice evening bike ride around Pine Park with the kids suddenly turned into a bloody and terrifying mess that led to an emergency trip to the Penticton hospital.
Matt Glada, 35, bought two second hand bikes for him and his girlfriend Stacey, so the whole family could go for a ride together.
The family including children Haylie, 5, and Damien, 9, hopped on their bikes for a March Break ride last Wednesday night.
“We made sure the kids put their helmets on and away we went,” he said. “I didn’t even think to check over the bikes.”
They got to Pine Park and Dad decided to try a few tricks from his younger years.
Unfortunately the front forks didn’t hold and Glada went smashing face first into the ground.
“It was terrible. I could have had a broken neck,” he said.
Paramedics attended the scene and took Glada away on a spine board in case he had caused himself serious injuries.
After testing in Penticton it was determined he hadn’t suffered a spinal cord or head injury and despite the 15 stitches and having an eye so swollen he hasn’t been able to open it for over a week, he feels lucky.
“It could have turned out so much worse. I’m actually OK considering. It looks bad but I’m OK,” he said.
Every year on average in the Southern Interior, about 110 cyclists are injured and two killed from May to October. The data was compiled using statistics collected between 2008 to 2013.
It’s unclear how many of those injuries or deaths could be prevented by wearing a helmet.
“It’s a hot-button issue around the house whether or not a helmet would have prevented the injury and I really don’t know, but I do know, it wouldn’t have hurt. Everyone needs to wear a helmet and check their bike before they go out,” he said.