I crashed my bike and broke my face in three places - my helmet might have saved my life

With a plate in my cheek, I'll be back on the roads soon

Cycling weekly writer tom davidson post-surgery
(Image credit: Tom Davidson / UCI TCL)

“How do you feel about your face?” the surgeon asks me, deadpan. I’m sitting in a dentist’s chair in a London hospital, my arm in a sling and grazing down my left cheek. The cuts stretch from a gash under my eyebrow, down to a bruise on the underside of my chin. I’m in no pain, but I’m feeling self conscious from the long stares strangers gave me on my journey in.

How do I feel about my face? The question catches me off guard. “Um,” I begin. “I mean, I’ve noticed my cheek is a bit sunken.” I wasn’t exactly sculpted like a Roman bust before, I admit, but as I look back at the surgeon, the asymmetry is obvious. My left cheek is as flat as the tarmac it bounced off.

Thank you for reading 20 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Tom Davidson
Senior News Writer

Tom joined Cycling Weekly as a news and features writer in the summer of 2022, having previously contributed as a freelancer. He is the host of The TT Podcast, which covers both the men's and women's pelotons and has featured a number of prominent British riders. 

An enthusiastic cyclist himself, Tom likes it most when the road goes uphill and actively seeks out double-figure gradients on his rides. 

He's also fluent in French and Spanish and holds a master's degree in International Journalism.