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Old 09-21-02, 10:25 PM   #1
dirtbikedude
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Definitly a safety issiue...

Just got word on the biker that went down, seems he went on a ride at sunset WITH NO HELMET .
This is a perfect example of what may happen if you do not wear a helmet. Also, the trails he was riding require at least a helmet if not more. Granted I do believe it should be a personal choice for an adult but a tragedy such as this is just waiting to happen.

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Old 09-22-02, 02:11 AM   #2
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It's just natural selection doing it's thing. If someone doesn't value the contents of their head enough to offer them some protection, it's their problem isn't it?
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Old 09-22-02, 04:12 AM   #3
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Its more than just helmet wearing.
Riding trails solo has extra dangers, and dusk conceals a lot of detail. Bikes are just not very forgiving of mistakes when you compound them.
No doubt this sad example will be used by campagners calling for compulsory helmets for adults, on the road, in daylight, even though such legislation would not be applicable to off road riding.

Some kinds of cycling are dangerous sports and some are not, like the difference between solo free rock climbing, and a walk in the park.
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Old 09-22-02, 05:17 AM   #4
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You know, yesterday I saw the mechanic from my LBS returning from lunch riding without a helmet. I wasn't sure how to take that.
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Old 09-22-02, 09:36 AM   #5
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This reminds me of the difficulties I have had trying to convince my GF to wear a helmet. She rides her bike two miles to campus through moderately heavy downtown traffic, but still thinks there is no danger. She uses the excuse that she doesn't ride fast enough to get hurt. I have explained to her all of the possible things that can happen, i.e. cracks in the road, drivers pulling out, doors opening. But, she just doesn't get it. I have been thinking about buying her a helmet, so at least it will be hanging there if she decides to use it. I have even considered not riding with her unless she wears one.

Why is it that the ones that are the least experienced think they are the most invincible?
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Old 09-22-02, 02:42 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by Steele-Bike
Why is it that the ones that are the least experienced think they are the most invincible?
Because they have not experienced the personal loss and tragedy some of us veteran cyclists have. The low point of my otherwise wonderful and uplifting cycling experience occurred 30 years ago, when I learned that a valued friend had died after striking his unprotected head on a curb during a LOW SPEED fall. This is one of many scenarios for which I always wear a helmet.

That said, alert, defensive, courteous cycling and social activism to raise motorist competency and road accommodation standards will save far more lives than all of the helmets ever produced.

Keep cleverly and gently-but-firmly encouraging your Significant Other to wear a helmet, but overcome your protective instincts enough to respect her right to set her own course. This is probably the toughest lesson to learn in any close interpersonal relationship. You may want to sign yourself up for an Effective Cycling course and invite her to join you. I am sure the instructor will emphasize the importance of wearing a helmet without allowing it to lull you into a false sense of security and invincibility.
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Old 09-22-02, 05:40 PM   #7
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I think the moral of this terrible story: Don't go MTB alone, especially if you go at sunset. He obviously wasn't a very experienced MTBer. Going offroad where there is no one around, no one to help, etc- that's just mazzo. And needless to say, wear a bloody helmet! I never go offroad alone. I think of what would happen if I crashed into a tree or something and really injured myself and couldn't get home.

A sad story, but that guy was just taking too many risks. As for not wearing a helmet even for a few miles in the city- that's equally mazzo. I remember I used to do that years ago but now I think of it and YIKES!
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Old 09-22-02, 07:15 PM   #8
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I don't have a problem with MTB'ing alone as long as a little common sense is used. 1) stick to trails you're familiar with - don't try a new trail for the first time alone; 2) tell someone where you're going and when you'll be back; 3) be self-sufficient (you should be anyway but doubly important if going alone); 4) wear a helmet.
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Old 09-22-02, 08:34 PM   #9
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Hay Steele_bike, have your girlfriend read this

http://www.ibike.org/head-injury.htm

Maybe it will help

Slainte
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Old 09-22-02, 09:02 PM   #10
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Why is it that the ones that are the least experienced think they are the most invincible? ... Because they have not experienced the personal loss and tragedy some of us veteran cyclists have.
I don't personally know of anybody who's experienced personal loss or tragedy. But I am never without a helmet. For that matter, I can't recall ever seeing a MTBer without a helmet though I often seen bikers on the road without one.

Personally, I feel for the family of the MTBer, but I unfortunately can only think that he caused his own demise and therefore I feel no sorrow for him. I hate having to say this but by not riding a helmet during the inherently dangerous activity that is MTBing is just profoundly idiotic.

I believe the same is true for bikers riding in traffic. In some ways this is worse than MTBing because you're at the mercy of complete strangers in vehicles that will win the game of physics.

To the poster who can't convince his GF of the hazards of not wearing a helment, you should consider the cantaloupe demonstration. Here's your head, here's your head splitting open in the most benign circumstances ... a "slow" crash, maybe only going 5-10 MPH. Split. Vegetable. Lifelong bother to your family.

IT'S NOT JUST ABOUT YOU !!
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Old 09-22-02, 10:08 PM   #11
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Thanks for the update, Dirtbikedude. It's a terrible tragedy, to say the least. His family will sense the loss always.
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Old 09-23-02, 09:15 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by Steele-Bike


Why is it that the ones that are the least experienced think they are the most invincible?

i have over 13 years of experience.

most of that is in the bmx world of dirt jumping, flatland, ramp riding and street riding.

I don't wear a helmet if i'm going riding in the city but i do wear one in the woods.

WHY?

in the city I ride on the sidewalks not on the street.
I pay attention to my surroundings.

in the woods there are more dangers, I belive.

rocks and sticks that could really hurt you.


riding in the city, even if i'm jumpin stairs or doing wall rides or manuals I don't feel like i'm in danger any more than if I was walking down the sidewalk.

How many people wear a helmet to walk to the coffee shop?
or drive their car to the store?

why not?
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Old 09-23-02, 12:29 PM   #13
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It's always reassuring to see that the most zealous helmet missionaries are the ones who are the most ignorant of the amount of protection they realistically afford.
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Old 09-23-02, 12:43 PM   #14
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Wearing a helmet is safer than not wearing one. Period.
I do wear one because in my time as a Paramedic, I saw enough accidents (bicycles or motorcycles) where the helmet saved a life or the lack of one contributed to the injury/death. I NEVER saw anyone injured more BECAUSE they were wearing one.
If YOU choose not to wear one, I'm sorry for you. I will tell you how I feel if you ask my opinion. I will not weep for you when your head is splattered on the pavement. It really won't affect me in any way other than feeling sorry for the family members you leave behind to mourn, or when you are in a brain-dead coma, those that are left to feed you and wipe your a$$.
What would you advise your mother to do? ...your kids?
It IS your choice. Choose wisely.

Always remember life's formula,

CHOICES = CONSEQUENCES
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Old 09-23-02, 12:56 PM   #15
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Case in point.
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Old 09-23-02, 01:09 PM   #16
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Are you suggesting that...

a) I am a zealous helmet missionary?
b) I am not aware of the protection that a helmet realistically affords?
c) all of the above?

A) I REALLY don't care whether you wear one or not. I DO believe in stating my opinion in appropriate forums. If you were a friend of mine I would give you my opinion without being asked, otherwise? I really don't care which choice you make.

B) I have seen more than one head injury that WOULD have been prevented by a helmet. One was a young boy that was killed by a relatively minor fall in his driveway. An occipital skull fracture caused internal bleeding that ended his life. A properly worn helmet REALISTICALLY would have prevented his death.

I do believe in enforcing helmet laws where children are concerned. They don't have enough knowledge to make the decision for themselves. Otherwise, as I stated before... I really don't care which choice you make, it's your head.
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Old 09-23-02, 03:15 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally posted by ChipRGW
I NEVER saw anyone injured more BECAUSE they were wearing one.
Then read this:
http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml99/99065.html

For those who hate links:
U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission

After Recent Death, CPSC Warns Against Wearing Bike Helmets on Playgrounds
WASHINGTON, D.C. - After the strangulation death of a 3-year old Pennsylvania boy, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) warns that children should not wear bike helmets when playing on playground equipment. The boy died February 4 when his bicycle helmet became wedged as he apparently tried to slide through a small opening on the playground equipment near his home. CPSC is aware of a second strangulation death that occurred in 1997 when a 7-year old girl in Canada became entrapped in an opening on a playground structure. Both victims were wearing a bicycle helmet during play and died due to hanging from the helmet strap.
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Old 09-23-02, 03:22 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally posted by MichaelW
After Recent Death, CPSC Warns Against Wearing Bike Helmets on Playgrounds
WASHINGTON, D.C. - After the strangulation death of a 3-year old Pennsylvania boy, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) warns that children should not wear bike helmets when playing on playground equipment. The boy died February 4 when his bicycle helmet became wedged as he apparently tried to slide through a small opening on the playground equipment near his home. CPSC is aware of a second strangulation death that occurred in 1997 when a 7-year old girl in Canada became entrapped in an opening on a playground structure. Both victims were wearing a bicycle helmet during play and died due to hanging from the helmet strap.
The misuse of safety equipment often times leads to tragic results. This is why it is all the more important for people to know how to properly use safety devices.
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Old 09-23-02, 06:08 PM   #19
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Duhh.... did it ever occur to the parents that bicycle helmets are not meant for playing in the park? WHo wears a bike helmet to the park anyways?
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Old 09-23-02, 06:53 PM   #20
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I'm late here and missed the story behind the thread. Is there a link or another thread? I'm guessing it's the old but always sad story of someone paying the highest price for a judgment error. That's the risk of trying to "learn from experience." There's no guarantee you'll survive the experience and thereby learn from it.

As for helmets: I instinctively oppose laws that tell adults they have to take personal safety precautions. To me that's just not under the government's job description.

Having said that I do wear seatbelts and I seldom ride w/o a helmet. I don't preach or even offer opinions but consider helmet usage something akin to an IQ test.



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Last edited by Walter; 09-23-02 at 06:56 PM.
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Old 09-24-02, 09:13 AM   #21
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Sorry, I made the mistake of "ass-u-me"ing we were discussing properly used bike helmets. If we really want to add that aspect I could discuss many many incidents of injury caused by misused equipment of all sorts. There's a great one about this guy and a box-end wrench ...
Ahh, I'll leave that for another thread.

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Old 09-24-02, 09:22 AM   #22
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Originally posted by wabbit
Duhh.... did it ever occur to the parents that bicycle helmets are not meant for playing in the park? WHo wears a bike helmet to the park anyways?
I don't know, but mine is currently tapped to be my Earthquake Survival Device. Just in case. (Tons of tallish brick buildings around here.)

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Old 09-24-02, 02:05 PM   #23
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It's a lot easier to sustain head trauma than people think. When I was 17, I was clipped by a car while riding my 10-speed. I didn't have time to react. I ended up slamming my head and scraping my face on the pavement. I had a concussion, multiple contusions and abrasions. I was NOT wearing a helmet.

In addition, I was going about 5-7 miles per hour, which is very slow.

True, if you have time to react, you can hit the brakes and slide. Regardless of a helmet, you're still going to get road rash. But, what about those accidents in which you have no time to react?

In my opinion, it all comes down to which risks you are willing to take.
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Old 09-24-02, 10:20 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally posted by ChipRGW
Wearing a helmet is safer than not wearing one. Period.
The way you state that, it's almost as if you would consider applying it to anything other than riders of two-wheeled vehicles.

Quote:
I do wear one because in my time as a Paramedic, I saw enough accidents (bicycles or motorcycles) where the helmet saved a life or the lack of one contributed to the injury/death. I NEVER saw anyone injured more BECAUSE they were wearing one.
Wow, the cyclists must be dropping like flies in Fort Lauderdale! I find it very interesting that you mention cyclists and you also happen to bring motorcyclists into the discussion but you do not mention motorists. Considering that the hourly head injury rates for cycling are roughly the same as driving and considering that the number of head injuries from motor vehicle accidents far eclipses those from cycling, why would you deliberately omit them, especially considering your 'if one bruise/injury/fatality can be prevented...' perspective?

Quote:
If YOU choose not to wear one, I'm sorry for you. I will tell you how I feel if you ask my opinion. I will not weep for you when your head is splattered on the pavement. It really won't affect me in any way other than feeling sorry for the family members you leave behind to mourn, or when you are in a brain-dead coma, those that are left to feed you and wipe your a$$.
What would you advise your mother to do? ...your kids?
Please stop, I feel the tears welling up. I ask, do you feel the same way for other activities with a similar or greater risk of fatal/non-fatal head injuries and where helmets are not even remotely considered?

You state that you were a paramedic. Did you not attend to far more pedestrians with head injuries? Do you wear a helmet while crossing the street? While driving? When they are injured, do you 'weep' for them? Is it even remotely possible you are not looking at this rationally?

Quote:
It IS your choice. Choose wisely.

Always remember life's formula,

CHOICES = CONSEQUENCES
Thanks for the platitude. Sad that you find it necessary to fault people for making their choices based on the actual relative risk and not the apparent one.
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Old 09-25-02, 05:55 AM   #25
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OK,

First, I did not consider that to apply to anything other than two-wheeled vehicles. I did not specify that because this is "Bike Forums" not "Automobile Forums".

Second, Cyclists are not necessarily dropping like flies in Ft. Lauderdale, I did bring motorcycles because they are very similar to bikes in that you are NOT surrounded by a protective steel cage. I do not know what any statistics are so I will not argue about hourly head injury rates.

Third, Do I feel the same way about other activities? YES. If a rock climber falls to his/her death, I DO feel bad for the family members left behind but not for the climber. Likewise ANY hazardous activity, particularly where the person doing the activity has not used every available protective option.
And no, I did not attend more pedestrians with head injuries than motor/bicyclists. And yes we all know that crossing the street is dangerous.

Fourth, and most importantly...
I do NOT fault anyone for making thier own choices.
I DO NOT CARE WHETHER YOU WEAR A HELMET OR NOT!!!!
I am merely suggesting that from MY experience it is better to wear one when riding a bicycle than to not wear one. If someone were reading this thread trying to decide whether they should or shouldn't wear a helmet, I feel that they should get the best information available to make an EDUCATED decision. To suggest to someone that the risk may not be as great as some would make it out to be is fine, but to plainly discourage the proper use of safety equipment is worse than foolish. One poster here suggested that if they are riding in the city "JUMPING STAIRS and DOING WALL RIDES", they don't think it necessary to wear a helmet. That is plain ridiculous.
Another poster said,"If someone doesn't value the contents of their head enough to offer them some protection, it's their problem isn't it?" Absolutely true.
You know the risks you are facing. If you don't want to wear one, don't but don't try to convince me that helmets aren't helpful.

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