Now is as good a time as any to share a little story of my experience with a 2003 Honda XR250R, a late night wheelie practice session, an unstrapped helmet, and a tree. On February 20th, I was at a friends house helping out on the farm. When we finished up chores, I figured why not go for a little ride up and down the road that leads to the fields. I usually don't ride at night, even with a headlight, but I had had a rough day before and needed a little throttle therapy. I was practicing my third gear stand up wheelies without using the clutch, and I'd been getting pretty good at them. This time, the bike came up and stayed there for a while so I misjudged where I was. When I set the front wheel down, the first thing I saw was the tree and I didn't even have time to brake. I sideswiped the tree and was thrown from the bike. I estimate I was doing around 30-35 mph, but I don't know. I don't remember much after this, I probably blacked out. Next thing I know, I'm laying in the road, the bikes on it's side next to the tree, my helmet was across the road in a ditch. I saw the fields and recognized where I was, but I honestly believed I was dreaming and I thought it was around midnight. It was really around 8 PM. The next thing I did most people I tell the story to don't believe. I saw the bike, realized my shoulder hurt like hell and I wouldn't be able to pick it up, so I left it. I walked around half a mile back to the house with a broken jaw, multiple skull fractures, a severe concussion, broken collarbone and broken finger as well as one seriously messed up left knee. As soon as I got to the house I started fading in and out of consciousness and this is where my memory gets seriously fuzzy. After that, the next thing I remember is waking up in the hospital two days later with my parents and family around me. Of course, me being me, the first thing I asked is where my truck was. My dad got a kick out of that. Unbelievably, 3 days later I was released from the hospital, and now, a month later, here I am, fixing up my bike getting ready to ride again. The moral of this story? Strap your damn helmets. If I had strapped my helmet...or not been doing stupid stuff at night, I wouldn't have been on a liquid diet for 4 weeks. I wouldn't have a suspended license due to the seizure I had in the ER. I wouldn't have missed a month of school. I always heard stories of how bad some crashes can be and I always thought "Oh that'll never happen to me, I ride really carefully most of the time", but it did. I hope this story helps at least one person to be a little more careful and not go through what I went through.