I had just bought a new helmet before we left for Moab. It was a blue Specialized, but I forget the model name. It doesn't really matter, I suppose.
We rode a lot, on that trip: Porcupine Rim, Amasa Back, Moab Rim....pretty much all of our usual rides. Of course, the first ride we took was the Slickrock Trail, as was our tradition on these trips.
There is one short steep little climb on that trail, where you drop down into a little drainage, then climb up a 45-degree slope, with a small step about 10 feet up, then make a hard left turn. Sometimes, I ride right up that slope like it's a sidewalk. Other times, I don't.
This was one of the "don't" days, and my tire spun as I accelerated to push over the little step. I ground to a halt, and moved aside. One by one, my friends all did the same thing, in pretty much the same spot. Obviously, there was a slick spot on the rock, for some reason.
Of course, we couldn't just push our bikes by and keep going. We all had to try again (and again), until we cleaned it.
On my third or fourth try, I lifted the front wheel a little too much, and my bike started to come over backward. Frantically, I unclipped from my pedals, and tried to catch myself. My feet touched down on the rock, but I was off-balance, so I stumbled back down the rock, trying to not fall.
I was saved from the fall by the juniper tree which was at the base of the rock. As I stumbled backward, I smashed into the trunk of the tree, and my head snapped back. My helmet was impaled by the stub of a broken limb, as numerous other little stubs poked and stabbed at my back.
When it was all over, I had to unbuckle my helmet in order to get away from the juniper. It took a good tug to get my helmet loose, and I was left with about a half-inch hole in the foam of my brand-new lid.
Oh, well. I guess I got my money's worth out of it. I just wish I could have amortized it a bit more...