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Old 05-29-11, 10:33 PM   #1
pitchpole
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Wear your helmet.

I dont always wear my helmet and now I have learned my lesson the hard way. This accident would have been much less severe had I been wearing my helmet. A large alligator attacked me on the Gainesville Hawthorne trail. I was almost knocked unconscious by landing on my forehead. The alligator was not satisfied by taking a bite out of my bike so I am very lucky that I remained conscious. Just goes to show that you never know what can happen. So wear your damn helmet.



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Old 05-29-11, 10:58 PM   #2
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I dont always wear my helmet and now I have learned my lesson the hard way. This accident would have been much less severe had I been wearing my helmet. A large alligator attacked me on the Gainesville Hawthorne trail. I was almost knocked unconscious by landing on my forehead. The alligator was not satisfied by taking a bite out of my bike so I am very lucky that I remained conscious. Just goes to show that you never know what can happen. So wear your damn helmet.



Sorry to hear what happened, and am glad you're relatively okay.

That being said, I'm from California where there are no alligators, so I guess I'm okay with the bike cap still.
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Old 05-29-11, 11:11 PM   #3
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Pitchpole,

How big was it and how did you escape from it?

Hippiebrain,

All-in-all they're not that bad. I'd say some are probably nicer than Yankees.
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Old 05-29-11, 11:14 PM   #4
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You'll never convince some here at A&S.
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Old 05-29-11, 11:14 PM   #5
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Hardcore
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Old 05-29-11, 11:16 PM   #6
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A full face helmet might have helped, but it is unlikely that a standard helmet would have made any difference.
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Old 05-29-11, 11:43 PM   #7
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Sorry to hear what happened, and am glad you're relatively okay.

That being said, I'm from California where there are no alligators, so I guess I'm okay with the bike cap still.
But there are tons of dogs which might knock you off your bike just the same.

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A full face helmet might have helped, but it is unlikely that a standard helmet would have made any difference.
I'm gonna go pro-helmet and say that it would have made some difference. The front of a helmet sticks out a bit so it could possibly have saved him from that nasty scratch on the forehead. Maybe a bump from the impact. Not sure how the rest would have fared.

For the record, I wear a helmet when riding in the city but not when I ride the beach and bay boardwalk.
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Old 05-29-11, 11:51 PM   #8
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Jesus Christ on a popsicle stick. "Wear your helmet because you never know when you'll be attacked by an alligator".

Is there anything too foolish for the safety nannies to post?
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Old 05-29-11, 11:53 PM   #9
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Jesus Christ on a popsicle stick. "Wear your helmet because you never know when you'll be attacked by an alligator".

Is there anything too foolish for the safety nannies to post?
That was kind of my point...
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Old 05-30-11, 12:01 AM   #10
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But helmets are not designed for alligator attacks, and riding a bike around alligators is nowhere near as dangerous as showering with them...
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Old 05-30-11, 12:18 AM   #11
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Be interesting to hear how you escaped the real threat, alligators are pretty darned fast for short distances and once they bite onto something, they drag it into the water, submerge and roll. The fall was the least of your worries.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=brXoBZ-n4Jg
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Old 05-30-11, 03:57 AM   #12
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I'm gonna go pro-helmet and say that it would have made some difference. The front of a helmet sticks out a bit so it could possibly have saved him from that nasty scratch on the forehead. Maybe a bump from the impact. Not sure how the rest would have fared.

For the record, I wear a helmet when riding in the city but not when I ride the beach and bay boardwalk.
Which might have rotated his chin for a harder hit and broken his jaw.

So take your choice:
Road rash on the forehead or
a broken jaw with no road rash on the forehead.


The magical powers of cycle helmets are growing every day.
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Old 05-30-11, 05:05 AM   #13
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Which might have rotated his chin for a harder hit and broken his jaw.

So take your choice:
Road rash on the forehead or
a broken jaw with no road rash on the forehead.


The magical powers of cycle helmets are growing every day.
As are, apparently, its demonic powers...
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Old 05-30-11, 05:22 AM   #14
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Hey, maybe not gators in CA but there are mountain lions to worry about.

I think the point here is not that helmets protect you from alligators, but you can't possibly anticipate what situations might lead to you crashing and hitting your head. I've crashed many times on mtbs, road bikes, and racing motorcycles on and off road (never from being attacked by a gator, though). I am convinced helmets have saved me many times.
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Old 05-30-11, 06:27 AM   #15
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Hey, maybe not gators in CA but there are mountain lions to worry about.

I think the point here is not that helmets protect you from alligators, but you can't possibly anticipate what situations might lead to you crashing and hitting your head. I've crashed many times on mtbs, road bikes, and racing motorcycles on and off road (never from being attacked by a gator, though). I am convinced helmets have saved me many times.

Right. Ima gonna wear a helmet just in case -- JUST IN CASE -- a mountain lion or alligator or bigfoot or something suddenly JUMPS OUT OF THE WOODS and knocks me off my bike in the precise manner of fall that a helmet might possibly reduce some of the more minor consequences of the crash.

WTF have you guys been smoking?
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Old 05-30-11, 06:34 AM   #16
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A large alligator attacked me
lol "wear your helmet, I almost got eaten by an alligator" ....

That's got to go under the "strangest things I've found on my commute" thread. Well I was close, but last night I dreamed about a lioness... still something that could eat you, but no points for that.

Seriously. An alligator. Just remember, they can bite hard but the muscles to open the jaw are weak. If you have to wrestle an alligator, squeeze its face shut. And watch the tail! It is deadly! XD
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Old 05-30-11, 06:49 AM   #17
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Wow that is crazy. No gators out in West Texas but I still wear my helmet.
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Old 05-30-11, 06:53 AM   #18
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I think rather than wearing a styrofoam hat, you should just stay away from alligators...
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Old 05-30-11, 07:28 AM   #19
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I've had two people tell me that they don't need helmets. Later on, one was knocked unconscious after renting a bike and sliding on sand around a curve, half his face looked like the OP's. The other did a face plant after jumping a ramp and doing a number on her face.

They both told me "Wear your helmet at all times" afterwards.

To the OP: Sorry about your encounter with the alligator. Even though you are now the butt of everyone's joke, you are still sending the right message. Glad you were not mauled.
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Old 05-30-11, 07:48 AM   #20
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I've had two people tell me that they don't need helmets. Later on, one was knocked unconscious after renting a bike and sliding on sand around a curve, half his face looked like the OP's. The other did a face plant after jumping a ramp and doing a number on her face.

They both told me "Wear your helmet at all times" afterwards.
1. Helmets do not prevent/reduce concussions. Even the helmet manufacturers themselves don't make that claim.

2. Q:Exactly how would wearing a helmet prevent facial injuries? A:It doesn't.
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Old 05-30-11, 08:34 AM   #21
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Helmet or no helmet, I hate Florida. Hernando de Soto was right.
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Old 05-30-11, 08:42 AM   #22
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Ok, now that we heard from the Floridian side on wearing a helmet in alligator attacks, anyone from a Alaska wish to chime in on the benefits of wearing a helmet in a Grizzly attack?
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Old 05-30-11, 08:44 AM   #23
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Both times I've hit the ground, my helmet didn't. First was just a fall, second was hit by a car. If anything I think I should be wearing a chin helmet. That hurt.
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Old 05-30-11, 08:48 AM   #24
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I was once attacked by a chicken. Actually, it ran out in front of my bike as I was descending a volcano in Costa Rica (I am not making this up, I swear). Anyway, I hit the chicken, lost control, and did an endo over the bars. I got multiple scrapes on the hands, arms, and legs, a few stitches in the right arm, and a very sore shoulder. Although I was not wearing a helmet, my head was totally unscathed. So, based on my anecdotal experience with animal encounters, a bike helmet is not necessary.
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Old 05-30-11, 08:51 AM   #25
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OP: You're right - wear a hat around alligators, be it a tin foil hat or a styrofoam one...

Nonetheless, quite a few people have made points that helmets don't help you with concussion, and I do know a couple of cyclists who've been killed despite wearing a helmet.

However, a friend of mine recently crashed his bike into a dirt jump and broke his collar bone. Having watched the video of him crashing (yes, it was videoed, tut tut, typical teenager) it's clear that he also whacked his head on the jump. I'm fairly certain that would have knocked him out, so thank god for helmets.

So...wear your damn helmet!
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