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View Poll Results: Helmet wearing habits?

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  • 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%
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  1. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by closetbiker View Post

    Not to put too fine a point on it, but you have the original title in reverse, it was "Spring Airheads... Helmets Cramp My Stye".

    It was a condescending swipe at at a group of cyclists that perhaps need helmets the least and a nod to the "wisdom" of another group who wear helmets more often, but are injured more frequently. (Perhaps a classic case of risk compensation?)

    The thread was started in April, 2005 by Jeff Williams when he posted a bit of provocation,



    Jeff realized he made a mistake, and a couple of pages in he went back and edited the OP by removing some offensive stuff including calling the girls, spring airheads. The mods later removed spring airheads from the title.
    I
    Do you think our moderator "Unterhausen" realizes this? Is he being intentionally or unintentionally biased when he retitles the thread in a way that removes the intolerant, ignorant and sexist overtones? Did he call for a poll to retitle the thread from the committed contributors, or did he have some sneaky side-channel conversations in which he admitted that the goal of forcing helmets on the rest of us was undermined by the crass nature of the previous three threads?

  2. #27
    Senior Member closetbiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by buzzman View Post
    ... I'll give far more weight to my personal experience than the tons of questionable, biased and often outdated "studies", inadequate "statistics" and the deluge of personal insults doled out by internet "experts" on both sides of this issue...
    fair enough, but you do realize this line of thought puts you in line with this guy, don't you?

    Quote Originally Posted by SlimRider View Post
    If you don't wear a helmet today, you mat not have the god given brains to wear it tomorrow, either! ... The only salvation is the helmet...
    Anecdotal evidence is considered the least certain type of scientific information and as such, I tend to not give it much weight
    "My two favourite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything" -Peter Golkin
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  3. #28
    Senior Member closetbiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RazrSkutr View Post
    I
    Do you think our moderator "Unterhausen" realizes this? Is he being intentionally or unintentionally biased when he retitles the thread in a way that removes the intolerant, ignorant and sexist overtones? Did he call for a poll to retitle the thread from the committed contributors, or did he have some sneaky side-channel conversations in which he admitted that the goal of forcing helmets on the rest of us was undermined by the crass nature of the previous three threads?
    I have no idea, but I do know that if the <words we shalt not type> stopped harrassing others, there probably wouldn't be a lot of the problems a thread like this tries to help with
    Last edited by closetbiker; 10-01-11 at 08:15 PM.
    "My two favourite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything" -Peter Golkin
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  4. #29
    Senior Member closetbiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SlimRider View Post
    I don't know Mickey...

    From what you've stated here, I'm not quite sure a helmet will do you or your wife any good!

    You might be better off seeking counseling or something. I hear there's a nice little place called "Belleview" that would be more than accomodating for people like you and your wife. I hear that they're very nice people too! If you're nice and do as your told, you and your wife can both receive a treat, just before bedtime.

    Isn't that nice?

    I will write you tomorrow and leave the doc.., I mean..my friend's name and number for you. Ok ?

    Bye Bye for now...

    - Slim
    bye bye for good maybe?

    Quote Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
    ... insults are not allowed and anyone guilty of insults may find their posting privileges here to be adversely affected. If you find yourself typing one of the the words "idiot" or "stupid," you might want to reconsider hitting the submit button. I can assure you, some post in this thread will raise your blood pressure unless you have the patience of a saint. Be forewarned.
    "My two favourite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything" -Peter Golkin
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  5. #30
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    Helmets will help if you hit the pavement - except the 'shaken baby' syndrome. if you brain shakes around inside your head, the helmet won't help - but the fact is that most head injuries are because of the impact with the road surface. I have always worn one and just as the previous post states - no one will change my mind for me. but it is a personal decision.
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  6. #31
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SlimRider View Post

    World-wide, human brain tissue has been mopped up by the tons since the beginning of cycling. The only salvation is the helmet.
    Oy Vay.

  7. #32
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    I "always" wear a helmet: exceptions being a) when I forget to take it and am riding to the train station for work (3 miles) and can't be bothered to go back to get it, and b) when I'm in a generally non-traffic, high-visibility, flat situation e.g. a tennis court, park, basement parking garage, etc.

    I've twice been grateful to have my helmet. Once in a fall this year over a wet painted strip, and once many years ago when attacked by magpies. Both resulted in helmet damage but no head damage. I've gone over the handlebars twice on my MTB too, but the helmet wasn't involved in either case.

    I don't support mandatory helmet laws.

  8. #33
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    As closetbiker has pointed out, post #29 by SlimRider is offensive and exactly the sort of infantile attack that has made it difficult to conduct this discussion in the past. If unterhausen's statement at the start of the thread is to be taken seriously, action needs to be taken to remove that post and warn SlimRider of the consequences of further infractions.

    EDIT: thanks to the mods for acting in accordance with this suggestion...

    With regard to the issue, it's understandable that people place a lot of faith in helmets. First of all, many people nowadays are brought up to believe that cycling is dangerous. It is not. The point of mikeybikes post, which gave rise to SlimRider's ignorant and offensive response, is that cycling is no more dangerous than many other activities, including crossing the street, for which nobody believes helmets to be necessary.

    Second, some people have fallen off their bikes and banged their heads. It is natural for them to believe that they might have been severely injured had they not been wearing a helmet, and I'd say it is virtually certain that in some cases helmets have prevented some pain and injury. However, the protective effect must be quite small because the introduction of helmets has not (contrary to the nonsense posted by SlimRider in post #23) made a significant difference to the number of injuries. Let's say that again. The widespread introduction of helmets appears to have made little or no difference to the rate at which cyclists get hurt. So, either when helmetless cyclists fall off they usually don't do themselves much harm, or helmeted cyclists tend to have more accidents, or helmets are the cause of some injuries as well as the source of some protection. Whichever, it seems pretty clear that wearing a helmet makes a trivial difference to your already very small chance of being seriously hurt while on your bike.
    Last edited by chasm54; 10-02-11 at 09:42 AM.
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

  9. #34
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SlimRider View Post

    MickeyBikes began with a very humorous commentary about helmets. I initially thought that we were going to debate the helmet issue quite seriously. However, when I saw that he was being facetious and comical, I decided to join in the comedy.
    You clearly missed his point. He can speak for himself, but I think you'll find that he was using sarcasm to make a serious point, namely that people who insist that cycling is dangerous enough to require protective clothing are frequently ignorant, as you seem to be, of the fact that it is no more dangerous than a host of other everyday activities for which insistence on a helmet would be absurd.

    People here who oppose mandatory helmet laws get pretty tired of being told they are stupid by those who have never bothered to consider the evidence, and who frequently seem incapable of understanding that evidence when it is presented. If you want to discuss the issue, discuss it. If you want to be the subject of a shoal of complaints to the mods, carry on making unfunny "jokes" about the mental incapacity of other posters.
    Last edited by chasm54; 10-02-11 at 03:47 AM. Reason: Typo
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

  10. #35
    Senior Member shawmutt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeybikes View Post
    I know, like, seriously. Life is so dangerous and people are always banging their heads. Not only while riding bikes, either. People bang their heads walking, taking showers, sleeping, driving cars, etc. So, to really keep those god given brains, I wear my helmet 24/7. Sex is a little awkward sometimes when my wife's helmet and mine hit together and it is difficult to wash my hair, but otherwise, what's the big inconvenience to NOT wear one 24/7?
    I have my internet arguing helmet on right now! Uh oh...wife is up, gotta switch to my chore helmet...

    I'm a man of many helmets...
    My lifestyle change journey can be found here: The Skeptical Loser

  11. #36
    Senior Member rando's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chasm54 View Post
    As closetbiker has pointed out, post #29 by SlimRider is offensive and exactly the sort of infantile attack that has made it difficult to conduct this discussion in the past. If unterhausen's statement at the start of the thread is to be taken seriously, action needs to be taken to remove that post and warn SlimRider of the consequences of further infractions.

    With regard to the issue, it's understandable that people place a lot of faith in helmets. First of all, many people nowadays are brought up to believe that cycling is dangerous. It is not. The point of mikeybikes post, which gave rise to SlimRider's ignorant and offensive response, is that cycling is no more dangerous than many other activities, including crossing the street, for which nobody believes helmets to be necessary.

    Second, some people have fallen off their bikes and banged their heads. It is natural for them to believe that they might have been severely injured had they not been wearing a helmet, and I'd say it is virtually certain that in some cases helmets have prevented some pain and injury. However, the protective effect must be quite small because the introduction of helmets has not (contrary to the nonsense posted by SlimRider in post #23) made a significant difference to the number of injuries. Let's say that again. The widespread introduction of helmets appears to have made little or no difference to the rate at which cyclists get hurt. So, either when helmetless cyclists fall off they usually don't do themselves much harm, or helmeted cyclists tend to have more accidents, or helmets are the cause of some injuries as well as the source of some protection. Whichever, it seems pretty clear that wearing a helmet makes a trivial difference to your already very small chance of being seriously hurt while on your bike.
    yes, precisely! I am still surprised that when helmet believers are challenged in their (unfounded) beliefs that a helmet will save their lives and they MUST wear one, they get angry. and that's where the insults start flying. there must be some kind of psychological name for this phenomenon... I mean they really react as if someone attacked their religion or insulted a family member.
    "Think of bicycles as rideable art that can just about save the world". ~Grant Petersen

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  12. #37
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rando View Post
    yes, precisely! I am still surprised that when helmet believers are challenged in their (unfounded) beliefs that a helmet will save their lives and they MUST wear one, they get angry. and that's where the insults start flying. there must be some kind of psychological name for this phenomenon... I mean they really react as if someone attacked their religion or insulted a family member.
    People's attachment to their beliefs is very strong, and their inability to process information that conflicts with those beliefs is well-documented. You might be interested to read Margaret Heffernan's Wilful Blindness - why we ignore the obvious at our peril. It is full of examples of people reacting to information not by changing their views, but by reinterpreting the data to make it appear consistent with those views, no matter how convoluted that reinterpretation has to be.

    I think my favourite of her stories relates to a millenarian cult who had decided the world was going to end on a given day. They sold all their stuff and gathered together on the day to await the end of the world. When the world didn't end, they did not decide they had been mistaken, they decided that God had been so impressed by their display of faith that he had changed his mind!
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

  13. #38
    Senior Member rando's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chasm54 View Post
    People's attachment to their beliefs is very strong, and their inability to process information that conflicts with those beliefs is well-documented. You might be interested to read Margaret Heffernan's Wilful Blindness - why we ignore the obvious at our peril. It is full of examples of people reacting to information not by changing their views, but by reinterpreting the data to make it appear consistent with those views, no matter how convoluted that reinterpretation has to be.

    I think my favourite of her stories relates to a millenarian cult who had decided the world was going to end on a given day. They sold all their stuff and gathered together on the day to await the end of the world. When the world didn't end, they did not decide they had been mistaken, they decided that God had been so impressed by their display of faith that he had changed his mind!
    Interesting! I will look for that book, thanks!
    "Think of bicycles as rideable art that can just about save the world". ~Grant Petersen

    Cyclists fare best when they recognize that there are times when acting vehicularly is not the best practice, and are flexible enough to do what is necessary as the situation warrants.--Me

  14. #39
    Senior Member mikeybikes's Avatar
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    I'm so disappointed that SlimRider's posts are gone. At least they have been quoted by others for prosperity.
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  15. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by closetbiker View Post
    fair enough, but you do realize this line of thought puts you in line with this guy, don't you?
    Ummm, actually I think this guy:

    Quote Originally Posted by RazrSkutr View Post
    That's right. Your brain is contained in the area protected by your jockstrap. However, you must realize that most of us keep our brains in our heads? No?

    Again, yes, your faith in the Helmet God is touching, but completely irrelevant when compared to the mass statistics which pit your puny inexperience to the multitudes of people who have been brain damaged when hit by a car and the multitudes who have survived unscathed.

    That's right. You know more than engineers and statisticians -- even if you'd be hard put to distinguish between a CI and a SD.
    Meanwhile you should continue doing 40mph plus down hill while trusting to the faith of marketeers that told you that a beer cooler on your head will save it from serious damage.

    Again -- what's it to you? No one is forcing you to take of your symbol of credulous stupidity. The only compulsion that exists is on the side of your fellow travellers -- Helmet NAZIs that have implemented fines and bicycle confiscations to enforce their scientifically unsupported and intolerant viewpoint.
    Has much more in common with this guy:

    Quote Originally Posted by Slimrider
    If you don't wear a helmet today, you mat not have the god given brains to wear it tomorrow, either!

    World-wide, human brain tissue has been mopped up by the tons since the beginning of cycling. The only salvation is the helmet. Not in all cases, but most inevitably in cases where head contact is coincidental, as a result of being impacted by some deflecting surface.

    - Slim
    I don't know Mickey...

    From what you've stated here, I'm not quite sure a helmet will do you or your wife any good!

    You might be better off seeking counseling or something. I hear there's a nice little place called "Belleview" that would be more than accomodating for people like you and your wife. I hear that they're very nice people too! If you're nice and do as your told, you and your wife can both receive a treat, just before bedtime.

    Isn't that nice?

    I will write you tomorrow and leave the doc.., I mean..my friend's name and number for you. Ok ?

    Bye Bye for now...

    - Slim
    Maybe you don't see the similarities. But this is what I meant when I said:

    Quote Originally Posted by Buzzman
    I'll give far more weight to my personal experience than...the deluge of personal insults doled out by internet "experts" on both sides of this issue.
    I still hold to my personal experience over anything posted by anyone who engages in the most pathetic form of internet dialogue- one that allows for such uncivil discourse due to the anonymity afforded by telecommunications.

    I'm not quite sure what the "agenda" is in these "Helmet Threads". Is it our collective intention to provide information that might be useful to someone trying to make an informed decision? Or is it just to shove a particular point of view down someone's throat?

  16. #41
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by buzzman View Post
    Or is it just to shove a particular point of view down someone's throat?
    That IS, without a doubt the purpose, point and/or agenda of the True Believers and Helmet Proselytizers. They provide a similar negative bicycling advocacy message as the Vehicular Cycling Evangelizers.

    Unfortunately the moderators choose to inflict their negative (for bicycling advocacy) alleged "safety" waves, no matter how ignorant or belligerent, on the A&S list rather than Foo or Trollheim where it rightly belongs.

  17. #42
    Senior Member closetbiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by buzzman View Post
    ... I'm not quite sure what the "agenda" is in these "Helmet Threads". Is it our collective intention to provide information that might be useful to someone trying to make an informed decision? Or is it just to shove a particular point of view down someone's throat?
    I would say the agenda is to provide information to make an informed decision, in order to avoid another person shoving their particular point of view down your own throat.

    I can see however, that if one is only interested in his own experiences and not interested in learning about helmets beyond their own ideas, coming here can be a waste of time
    Last edited by closetbiker; 10-02-11 at 12:24 PM.
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  18. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by buzzman View Post
    Ummm, actually I think this guy:



    Has much more in common with this guy:



    Maybe you don't see the similarities. But this is what I meant when I said:



    I still hold to my personal experience over anything posted by anyone who engages in the most pathetic form of internet dialogue- one that allows for such uncivil discourse due to the anonymity afforded by telecommunications.
    Ah, the injured innocence of a man who has the choice to wear or not wear a helmet and yet cannot resist sneering and snarking at the rest of us who disagree with him in his forays into what he already knows is an unpleasant, emotionally-charged topic:

    Quote Originally Posted by buzzman View Post
    Please help me with your logic here. SNIP DESCRIPTION OF 40mph DESCENT WHICH IS MAGICALLY RENDERED SAFE WITH HELMET. Please help me oh enlightened ones. :rollseyes:
    Rollseyes indeed. And you're still here. Still taking the piss and apparently unable to learn much -- that's your perogative, and indeed you may not even be able to do anything about it -- but, again, what's it to you? You have the choice to wear a helmet or not. It's obvious that no amount of logic, evidence and reason will affect your Faith. It's also obvious that no one else cares whether you do or not. So, why in $BADPLACE do you care about the topic?


    Quote Originally Posted by buzzman View Post
    I'm not quite sure what the "agenda" is in these "Helmet Threads". Is it our collective intention to provide information that might be useful to someone trying to make an informed decision? Or is it just to shove a particular point of view down someone's throat?
    Well, according to the moderator it is apparently to provide a propaganda opportunity for helmet compulsionists. A tactic that has apparently backfired and will continue to do so as those of you arguing that there is any clear evidence that helmets are useful in preventing serious brain and head injuries are by-and-large unable to make the point.

  19. #44
    Senior Member John C. Ratliff's Avatar
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    I voted that "I didn't wear a helmet, but I do now." The reason: I've been biking long enough that helmets were not available when I first started biking (1950s).

    John
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  20. #45
    Bicikli Huszár sudo bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by buzzman View Post
    I just spent two days shooting a fight scene in a movie. In the scene I am body slammed full force by a 350 lb guy into the side of a parked car, kicked in the groin hard enough to raise me off the ground by the same guy wearing heavy work boots, collapse to my knees and then am thrown hard to the pavement. The scene took 2 days to shoot so I did this again and again. Anyone who does not think that a little bit of foam and plastic provides substantial protection should work a day like this without that kind of protection.
    Yeah, and if I was going to be shot I would probably want a bullet-proof vest too, but that doesn't mean I'll walk around with one on the off-chance I get shot. See how this logic doesn't follow?

    (Also, none of this means diddly about the ability of a helmet to save lives or prevent serious injuries. No one here is claiming helmets don't mitigate minor injuries and potentially save you from some painful injuries/gashes; only that they don't save lives and prevent serious, debilitating injuries, especially to the extent which is widely believed).
    "The bicycle is the noblest invention of mankind. I love the bicycle. I always have. I can think of no sincere, decent human being, male or female, young or old, saint or sinner, who can resist the bicycle."

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  21. #46
    your nightmare gal chipcom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SlimRider View Post
    If you don't wear a helmet today, you mat not have the god given brains to wear it tomorrow, either!

    World-wide, human brain tissue has been mopped up by the tons since the beginning of cycling. The only salvation is the helmet. Not in all cases, but most inevitably in cases where head contact is coincidental, as a result of being impacted by some deflecting surface.

    - Slim
    How old are you again?
    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

  22. #47
    Senior Member rydabent's Avatar
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    I see that this new thread has been pounced on by the usual hand full of anti helment trolls. They seem totally unable to let people decide if they want to wear a helmet or not. They need to give it a rest.

  23. #48
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
    I see that this new thread has been pounced on by the usual hand full of anti helment trolls. They seem totally unable to let people decide if they want to wear a helmet or not. They need to give it a rest.
    Just to point out the extemely obvious, I have yet to see anyone posting here suggest that people should not be allowed to wear helmets if they want to. Making a free and properly informed choice is what this is about for those of us who are sceptical about helmets. The arguments for compulsion tend to come from the other side. But please, don't let the facts get in the way of your propaganda...
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

  24. #49
    Senior Member rando's Avatar
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    once again, he misses the point completely.
    "Think of bicycles as rideable art that can just about save the world". ~Grant Petersen

    Cyclists fare best when they recognize that there are times when acting vehicularly is not the best practice, and are flexible enough to do what is necessary as the situation warrants.--Me

  25. #50
    Senior Member closetbiker's Avatar
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    Here's another issue the helmet-optional crowd have to contend with; being called anti-helmet, when we're anything but.

    Just because a helmet doesn't rank as high in priority to one as another, doesn't make that person as being against helmets. Far from it. In fact, many simply want people to know what helmets are good for, and what they aren't good for.

    A similar silly analogy would be someone who prefers respect of choice calling someone who believes a helmet should be worn as being anti-bicycle (because of the inherent implication that cycling leads to injury more often than not cycling)

    It seems holding a position that is different from another leads <a name that shall not be typed> to allege another is something he/she most certainly isn't.
    Last edited by closetbiker; 10-04-11 at 07:33 AM.
    "My two favourite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything" -Peter Golkin
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