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Advocacy & Safety Cyclists should expect and demand safe accommodation on every public road, just as do all other users. Discuss your bicycle advocacy and safety concerns here.

View Poll Results: Helmet wearing habits?
I've never worn a bike helmet 178 10.66%
I used to wear a helmet, but have stopped 94 5.63%
I've always worn a helmet 648 38.80%
I didn't wear a helmet, but now do 408 24.43%
I sometimes wear a helmet depending on the conditions 342 20.48%
Voters: 1670. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 10-16-12, 06:17 PM   #3726
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Well I guess I's needs to leave this thread, as my logic appears to be different than some peoples ( maybe because of my head bouncing off the pavement) and I don't want to keep banging my head any more... All I can say is EXPERIANCE has taught me that wearing a helmet while riding my bike is a "good thing", good luck to you who aren't wearing a helmet for whatever reason... Bye

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Old 10-16-12, 11:00 PM   #3727
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No I don't wear a helmet to the shower, when walking, or even when running... But yes I CERTAINY wear a helmet when I ride my bike. Why? not because I fear the dangers of bicycling but because it makes sense to me, just like seat-belts, airbags, anti-lock brakes etc... ALL of these things are in the same category and I would not buy a car without these things... Would you?
No; because those are proven effective time and time again. Helmets get much more mixed feedback... that alone should suggest that while they may have some effectiveness, they certainly aren't comparable to seatbelts.
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Old 10-16-12, 11:07 PM   #3728
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Well I guess I's needs to leave this thread, as my logic appears to be different than some peoples ( maybe because of my head bouncing off the pavement) and I don't want to keep banging my head any more... All I can say is EXPERIANCE has taught me that wearing a helmet while riding my bike is a "good thing", good luck to you who aren't wearing a helmet for whatever reason... Bye
Well, for a lot of us it isn't really an unwillingness to wear a lid. My avatar shows me wearing one in an event that required one. I wear one when I think conditions are particularly dangerous and I may benefit from its use (rain in particular, since it rains so infrequently here that every rain is like a "first season rain" for most places, bringing all the oil up and making the roads slick). I just don't have any illusions it is a life or death decision, and it's silly to try and portray the argument in that light. Stitches or not decision, OK, but nearly impossibly unlikely life or death.

I just don't wear a helmet as a matter of course because I really don't think pedaling along at a stately 12-15mph to the grocery store, or to school, or to whatever errands you are running, is terribly dangerous, no moreso than walking. I suspect this is just another case of the uniquely American culture of fear we've got going on. Can't even hop on a bike and go to the store without cries of death and danger. I think people are just realizing it's silly and are starting to move away from that a bit. *shrug* helmets have their place and their uses, I just don't think they are nearly as important or necessary for most types of riding as some people think. I'll wear one when I think it may help, otherwise, no point. $.02.

Awaiting to hear one-liners about how I don't value my head as much as a helmet-wearer ...
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Old 10-16-12, 11:25 PM   #3729
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I've never been to Asia, but I've seen Asian pictures of crowded city streets, and noticed few if any folks wearing helmets. I realize that's not a legit sampling, but I'd bet the house that it's pretty close to the facts.

I don't want to live in a nanny state. If you want or feel the need to wear one, do so! I own a helmet, and wear it when I feel it's needed.

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Old 10-17-12, 10:17 AM   #3730
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I have not read this entire thread, so apologies if this has been covered before.

I have read a lot of anecdotes about bike accidents wherein a helmet "saved my life." In many of these stories, I have seen the fall described as "I went head first into the pavement," or something along those lines.

I find this sort of perplexing. In three decades of bicycling, I have had a few falls, none of which I would describe as "head first into the ground," not even the fall that had me flying over the handlebars. I've gotten minor injuries in several parts of my body (hands, arms, legs, etc.), but my head has always emerged totally unscathed, despite not wearing a helmet. I would not argue that the possibility isn't there, but for such a commonly told tale, I wonder why my experience has been different. Why were my falls never head first into the ground? Was it just luck or was something else a factor?

Lately, I've been wondering if the bike itself might have something to do with this. In every one of my falls, my bike has had a fairly upright riding position and platform pedals. I see other riders who are in a much more tucked position, with their head placed in much more of a downward angle (i.e. aimed more towards the ground and closer to the ground). In addition, many of these riders use clipless pedals or some other toe restraint. So, I'm wondering if someone in a tucked position with feet attached to the pedals is more likely to hit their head in a fall to the ground than someone in an upright position with no feet restraints. Have there been any studies on this, or am I totally swinging in the dark here?

Last edited by Brennan; 10-17-12 at 12:09 PM. Reason: clarification
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Old 10-17-12, 10:26 AM   #3731
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Happy 150! Has anything been decided yet?
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Old 10-17-12, 10:30 AM   #3732
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I don't want to live in a nanny state. If you want or feel the need to wear one, do so! I own a helmet, and wear it when I feel it's needed.
The last thing we want are people making decisions for themselves.

Next thing you know you'll think you have the right to drink soda in any size cup you want !!!!!
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Old 10-17-12, 11:12 AM   #3733
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The last thing we want are people making decisions for themselves.

Next thing you know you'll think you have the right to drink soda in any size cup you want !!!!!
And yet we think nothing of people making decisions for us when we're forced to put on a seat belt, or in some states forced to wear a helmet while riding a motorcycle. HOWEVER, I do agree with you, we should have the right to determine what we will do and not do...within reason of course. But if I want a super large soda then damn it I should be able to get it, if I don't want to wear my seat belt then that's my right, if I want to smoke a cigarette then so be it; and if I get fat due to large sodas or die from being ejected due to not wearing a seat belt, or get cancer from smoking then that's my problem. But the feds want to initiate national health insurance on all of us and part of that is trying to slim down Americans, is that a bad idea, no, but it shouldn't be forced on us or we can't get insurance if we don't comply. And the soft drink thing is silly, you get free refills, so what prevents you from getting that smaller cup and refilling twice as often? or buying two cups instead of one? I don't happen to smoke, never have and can't stand the smell of it, but I also don't think it's right where I live and in California an other places that you can't go into a bar and smoke, that's absurd, a bar is for people over 21 and if they want to smoke then smoke and if you don't like to smoke and can't stand the smell then you have the right to avoid the place.
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Old 10-17-12, 11:39 AM   #3734
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I see other riders who are in a much more tucked position, with their head placed in much more of a downward angle (i.e. aimed more towards the ground and closer to the ground). In addition, many of these riders use clipless pedals or some other toe restraint. So, I'm wondering if someone in a tucked position with feet attached to the pedals is more likely to hit their head in a crash than someone in an upright position with no feet restraints. Have there been any studies on this, or am I totally swinging in the dark here?
I suspect you are on to something here about riding position and locked in feet being a significant factor in the likelihood of head impact with the ground when falling from a bike, but I am guessing just like you.

If true, the obvious "solution" is to ban/discourage the offending techniques for the same reason as to require or badger cyclists to wear Styrofoam headgear - safety first!

Last edited by I-Like-To-Bike; 10-17-12 at 12:00 PM.
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Old 10-17-12, 01:41 PM   #3735
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Happy 150! Has anything been decided yet?
Yes: I can confirm that stupidity is not limited to either helmet wearers or those who don't.
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Old 10-17-12, 06:40 PM   #3736
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... You are more likely to suffer a head injury in a shower than on a bike.
I've heard this notion expressed before, but having a hard time swallowing it -- I can believe that there are more head injuries in showers than on bikes, but there are many more showers taken than bike rides. As far as "likeliness" goes, is the rate of head injuries in showers greater than on bikes?

Can anyone provide a link to a relevant article? (and pardon me if this has already been provided)
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Old 10-17-12, 07:42 PM   #3737
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They gave my 94 year old dad some latex bottomed socks to wear in the shower. Seems lke a simple plan that would work. About as hi-tech as using styrofoam for helmets.
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Old 10-17-12, 08:24 PM   #3738
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They gave my 94 year old dad some latex bottomed socks to wear in the shower. Seems lke a simple plan that would work. About as hi-tech as using styrofoam for helmets.
One item prevents accidents, the other allegedly mitigates the result of an accident. Ain't the same, one is effective at reducing risk and the other is viewed quite correctly as an idiotic/impractical idea for mitigating the risk. Of course the same idiotic concept is applied by true believers when the activity is bicycle riding.

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Old 10-17-12, 08:30 PM   #3739
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I've heard this notion expressed before, but having a hard time swallowing it -- I can believe that there are more head injuries in showers than on bikes, but there are many more showers taken than bike rides. As far as "likeliness" goes, is the rate of head injuries in showers greater than on bikes?

Can anyone provide a link to a relevant article? (and pardon me if this has already been provided)
For argument's sake, you need to figure out the denominator for your rate of head injuries. Is it head injury per shower/cycling event, or head injury per unit of time spent showering/cycling? I suspect that on average few people spend more than 10 minutes a day showering, if that much, or take more than one shower a day, if that many. Cycle rides a day may be numerous and last for varying amounts of time.
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Old 10-17-12, 08:55 PM   #3740
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For argument's sake, you need to figure out the denominator for your rate of head injuries. Is it head injury per shower/cycling event, or head injury per unit of time spent showering/cycling? I suspect that on average few people spend more than 10 minutes a day showering, if that much, or take more than one shower a day, if that many. Cycle rides a day may be numerous and last for varying amounts of time.
I'd take whatever denominator is available in the data. If I get to choose, I'd pick head injury per event although I understand that cycling events are longer and represent greater exposure. Worst case, it would be interesting to know total number of head injuries sustained showering versus cycling. If 1% of the population at least occasionally rides a bike, and 100% at least occasionally showers, then I'd start to get interested when showering-related head injuries exceed those for cycling by a factor of over 100.

I'm probably succumbing to some statistical fallacy -- point is, I continue to hear the idea that showering is more dangerous that cycling. That's counterintuitive to me, so I'm curious where it comes from.
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Old 10-17-12, 08:55 PM   #3741
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http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com...d-concussions/
Bangs his head almost as much as the pro-helmet guys do with thier hands.
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Old 10-18-12, 04:26 AM   #3742
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I've never been to Asia, but I've seen Asian pictures of crowded city streets, and noticed few if any folks wearing helmets. I realize that's not a legit sampling, but I'd bet the house that it's pretty close to the facts.

I don't want to live in a nanny state. If you want or feel the need to wear one, do so! I own a helmet, and wear it when I feel it's needed.
You didn't seem to notice that they aren't going very fast. It's not a "legit" sampling unless you are proposing people ride slowly.
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Old 10-18-12, 04:30 AM   #3743
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And yet we think nothing of people making decisions for us when we're forced to put on a seat belt, or in some states forced to wear a helmet while riding a motorcycle. HOWEVER, I do agree with you, we should have the right to determine what we will do and not do...within reason of course. But if I want a super large soda then damn it I should be able to get it, if I don't want to wear my seat belt then that's my right, if I want to smoke a cigarette then so be it; and if I get fat due to large sodas or die from being ejected due to not wearing a seat belt, or get cancer from smoking then that's my problem.


This juvenile "libertarian" argument really doesn't work.

It isn't just "your problem" unless you pay for your own health costs. That is, if you have medical insurance, the costs of your poor choices are born by other people too. That is, if it's "your right" to do unhealthy things, then it's certainly other people's right not to have to pay for them.

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but I also don't think it's right where I live and in California an other places that you can't go into a bar and smoke, that's absurd, a bar is for people over 21 and if they want to smoke then smoke and if you don't like to smoke and can't stand the smell then you have the right to avoid the place.
This make no sense. Why do you give the right of smokers preference over those of nonsmokers?

Last edited by njkayaker; 10-18-12 at 04:42 AM.
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Old 10-18-12, 07:21 AM   #3744
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The anti helmet cults biggest argumet against helmets is that they dont protect you when you are hit by a car doing 75 miles an hour. Imagine that.
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Old 10-18-12, 07:27 AM   #3745
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You didn't seem to notice that they aren't going very fast. It's not a "legit" sampling unless you are proposing people ride slowly.
Ya mean helmets are meant for the "fast" whiz kids? Is it for the stylin' or the alleged "protection" from the results of the high speed crashes that the "fast boyz" are subject to?

Thank goodness all us slo-mo duds (who aren't in dang race all the time and have no need to look the part) can get by quite well without, eh?

Datz wot I thought all along.
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Old 10-18-12, 08:06 AM   #3746
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Ya mean helmets are meant for the "fast" whiz kids? Is it for the stylin' or the alleged "protection" from the results of the high speed crashes that the "fast boyz" are subject to?

Thank goodness all us slo-mo duds (who aren't in dang race all the time and have no need to look the part) can get by quite well without, eh?

Datz wot I thought all along.
Silly tool.

No it's not what I mean.

One could make all sorts of arguments about the (lack of) effectiveness of helmets but showing that a population of slow cyclists which just doesn't happen to use them is a poor one.

Also, the safety standards in a few significant "Asian" countries is notoriously poor (a level that even you might find to be a problem).

The existence of "pictures" of people not wearing helmets doesn't do anything to establish that they are better off.

Last edited by njkayaker; 10-18-12 at 08:19 AM.
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Old 10-18-12, 08:20 AM   #3747
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Also, the safety standards in a few significant "Asian" countries is notoriously poor (a level that even you might find to be a problem).
What Asian "safety standards" are you addressing, bicycling or something else? Would these be the same safety standards (non use of helmets) that the Dutch employ?
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Old 10-18-12, 09:15 AM   #3748
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This juvenile "libertarian" argument really doesn't work.

It isn't just "your problem" unless you pay for your own health costs. That is, if you have medical insurance, the costs of your poor choices are born by other people too. That is, if it's "your right" to do unhealthy things, then it's certainly other people's right not to have to pay for them.



This make no sense. Why do you give the right of smokers preference over those of nonsmokers?
You're obviously very juvenile because you don't understand the facts of the adult world.

I pay for my health insurance and so do you. You pay for yours in the fact it's calculated into the total payout for your salary, for example they budget your total benefit/salary at say $75,000 a year out of that they deduct for your medical insurance cost and other benefits, then pay you $60,000 in pay. Some companies will allow you to forgo insurance and they will pay you the difference in your salary.

Your a liberal I can tell from your response. What right do you have to tell another person not to smoke? Bars were set up to allow smoking from the beginning of time, it's a known fact that if you walk into a bar you walk into a smoke filled place. So what right do you have to tell a bar they can't allow smokers because you want to go in? If you don't like smoke then your rights are as follows...go to a different place or endure the smoke, your choice, I choose not to go in, no sweat off of me. SAN RAFAEL, California, a San Francisco suburb banned smoking in duplexes, condominiums and other multi-family homes, with city leaders saying they hoped to lead a wave of such regulations across California and ultimately the country. Who has the right to say you can't smoke in your own home that your paying to live in? A motel I can understand since it involves many people coming and going every night, but even motels have smoking rooms. Your response is one of immaturity thinking that you can express your will over another person because you don't like what their habits are, and the desire to live with your rights are slowly being eroded away. What right to have to give nonsmokers the rights over smokers? You can easily avoid them if you don't like it. Now we can't even get a large soda. What's next?

Look man, I'm a non smoker, I never smoked in my entire life, neither did my parents or my wife and her parents, I can't stand the smell the cig smoke! So you would think I would be like you and want it banned completely, problem is it's not my right to tell some one they can't smoke. Sure I can preach at them the ills of smoking which they already know, but I don't have the right to take the cig out of their mouth and throw on the ground, or call the anti smoking cops out to write them a ticket, or scream to them about MY self imposed rights against them smoking, or ban them from places like bars that are for over 21 year olds who have the ability to make up their own minds whether or not to go into an establishment where adults are who are smoking, or restrict them from smoking in their own homes.

What if I don't like cyclists on the road because they create a hazard, should I take away your rights to ride on the road?
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Old 10-18-12, 09:24 AM   #3749
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It isn't just "your problem" unless you pay for your own health costs. That is, if you have medical insurance, the costs of your poor choices are born by other people too. That is, if it's "your right" to do unhealthy things, then it's certainly other people's right not to have to pay for them.
This is incorrect, practically speaking. People enter into contracts all the time, agreeing to pay for other peoples' rights to do unhealthy things. That's what insurance is all about. If you're in the USA, you're paying social security into the system to support all kinds of unhealthy lifestyles...

And who makes the decision about what is unhealthy and what is not? To some, riding a bike is an unhealthy activity because of the danger; to others, riding a bike makes perfect sense and it's those people sitting in a car not riding a bike comparatively causing most of the insurance expense.
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Old 10-18-12, 07:44 PM   #3750
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It isn't just "your problem" unless you pay for your own health costs. That is, if you have medical insurance, the costs of your poor choices are born by other people too. That is, if it's "your right" to do unhealthy things, then it's certainly other people's right not to have to pay for them.
The problem with this line of thought is that it gives you the right to tell other people what to do about pretty much anything.
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