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-   -   The helmet thread (http://www.bikeforums.net/advocacy-safety/771371-helmet-thread.html)

hagen2456 11-15-11 07:58 AM

Quite a collection there, Griddle :)

rydabent 11-15-11 08:29 AM

griddle

Thank you for summing up many of my points.

rydabent 11-15-11 08:46 AM

My own summation for wearing a helmet includes----safety in many cases--a place to mount mirrors, lights, cameras, and reflective tape. Also protection from the sun. Then there is the thing about cyclist assumed to be at fault in ANY type of accident if not wearing a helmet. There is the fact that wearing a hemet is very benign. After putting it on everyone just forgets they are wearing one. All of these logical reasons plus probably several more indicate the use of a helmet is just common sense.

Placing all those logical reasons against the trolls that would talk you out of wearing one, they come off looking rather superficial. They dont come right out and say so but their under laying reasons seem to be style and wanting to look like hairy chested he men.

mikeybikes 11-15-11 09:32 AM

I know I've said it before, I won't wear one because of the helmet hair. I feel the benefits incurred by wearing a helmet are far outweighed by the drawbacks.

closetbiker 11-15-11 09:56 AM

... and one of those drawbacks is the attention given helmets, takes away from the attention needed to avoid collisions/falls in the first place.

Even if a helmet does reduce injury from simple falls, falls are more likely to occur if attention is placed on a helmet and not behavior.

Maybe this is one reason why it is so difficult to determine if there has been any significant injury reduction with helmet use.

mconlonx 11-15-11 10:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rydabent (Post 13490534)
Why do the anti helmet troll keep up their rant???

What's wrong with informed choice?

mconlonx 11-15-11 10:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by closetbiker (Post 13495176)
... and one of those drawbacks is the attention given helmets, takes away from the attention needed to avoid collisions/falls in the first place.

Even if a helmet does reduce injury from simple falls, falls are more likely to occur if attention is placed on a helmet and not behavior.

Maybe this is one reason why it is so difficult to determine if there has been any significant injury reduction with helmet use.

Are more or less safety courses offered in Vancouver since institution of BC MHL? Are more or less people taking those courses?

sudo bike 11-15-11 10:40 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mconlonx (Post 13495282)
Are more or less safety courses offered in Vancouver since institution of BC MHL? Are more or less people taking those courses?

I think that's actually a pretty good question.

closetbiker 11-15-11 10:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mconlonx (Post 13495282)
Are more or less safety courses offered in Vancouver since institution of BC MHL? Are more or less people taking those courses?

I've made attempts to get some accurate information on this question but after talking to several people involved in different courses, they don't have any firm numbers to make an accurate assessment.

Can-Bike courses were (and are) taught pre and post law but no one kept records to compare. The instructors who taught the courses had the impression the number of people attending was about the same, which was in the double digits annually. A relatively small amount compared to the thousands who have donned helmets.

During the debate on the MHL was the oft mentioned importance of educating cyclists and entwined in the law was an education program for kids to be taught in the schools.

The program is still online

bike smarts
your guide to teaching bike safety


but that's the only place you'll find it because it was dropped shortly after the law was passed. The requirement to wear a helmet stayed of course, because that's the priority.

- of note in the program guide is the importance and priority of wearing helmets supported by unverifiable, incorrect, and misleading information.

I tracked down the 2 people responsible for it's content and while one author agreed that what was written was incorrect, he wasn't responsible for that portion. The author that was responsible wouldn't respond to my correspondence with her.

mconlonx 11-15-11 11:11 AM

See, I find this quote here:

Quote:

Originally Posted by closetbiker (Post 13495176)
... and one of those drawbacks is the attention given helmets, takes away from the attention needed to avoid collisions/falls in the first place.

Even if a helmet does reduce injury from simple falls, falls are more likely to occur if attention is placed on a helmet and not behavior.

In conflict with this further post:

Quote:

Originally Posted by closetbiker (Post 13495412)
The instructors who taught the courses had the impression the number of people attending was about the same, which was in the double digits.

During the debate on the MHL was the oft mentioned importance of educating cyclists and entwined in the law was an education program for kids to be taught in the schools.

The program is still online

bike smarts
your guide to teaching bike safety

Just doesn't indicate to me that there are less safety resources available to them who want to learn to ride safely, helmet or no, with the introduction of the MHL. Those interested in safety will still seek out proper instruction; those who would ride recklessly still won't. Except more will have helmets on, and the roads will be arguably marginally less safe because of it.

In just what you've posted so far, I don't see people making a choice between a helmet and safety instruction -- buying a helmet instead of attending a safety class in the mistaken notion that a helmet will make up for a lack of proper safety skills.

closetbiker 11-15-11 11:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mconlonx (Post 13495469)
See, I find this quote here:
In conflict with this further post:
Just doesn't indicate to me that there are less safety resources available to them who want to learn to ride safely, helmet or no, with the introduction of the MHL...

let me repeat from my first post on (this version) of the thread:

Focusing on helmets distracts people from what's more likely to actually save their lives: Learning how to ride safely. It's not that I'm against helmets, I'm against all the attention placed on helmets at the expense of safe riding skills. Helmets are not the most important aspect of bike safety. Not by a long shot.

It don't think it would matter if there are more resources to teach safer cycling if someone thinks that wearing a helmet makes them safer.

I see people making a choice to wear helmets, and ride in an unsafe manner. I have people tell me they wouldn't risk the "dangers" of riding unless they wear a helmet. I know of very few who choose to educate themselves about safe riding but many who wear helmets for "safety". Media reports about cycling incidents often report on helmet usage, but rarely on what caused the incident.

It's the attitude towards helmets that's the problem, the attitude that helmets alone create safety

closetbiker 11-15-11 11:58 AM

Decided to take another look at the cycling safety course that was part of the MHL and I'm not sure you can blame too many if their young, impressionable minds were exposed to bent rhetoric.

Before there was a lot of good instruction there is the lead page that says,

Quote:

helmets save lives...In over half of all bicycle incidents, the cyclist’s head hits a hard surface. Such crashes often cause brain or skull damage...
Couple this with the claim on the "Fact List" presented in bold type that says,

Quote:

Wearing a bike helmet reduces the risk of head injury by up to 85 per cent, and the risk of brain injury by 88 per cent.
and you can't help but think that an entire generation believes wearing a helmet is probably the most important thing about cycling safety.

After all, even if you do everything right and still crash, the helmet is most likely going to eliminate a head injury and save your life.

Those kids taught this course would now be in their 20's and most likely will be passing on what they "learned" to their own kids (and probably others as well)

mconlonx 11-15-11 12:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by closetbiker (Post 13495534)
let me repeat from my first post on (this version) of the thread:

Focusing on helmets distracts people from what's more likely to actually save their lives: Learning how to ride safely.

It don't think it would matter if there are more resources to teach safer cycling if someone thinks that wearing a helmet makes them safer.

I just don't see people making a decision to take safety courses or educate themselves on safe riding, helmet or no. Your anecdotes seem to back that up...

closetbiker 11-15-11 12:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mconlonx (Post 13495847)
I just don't see people making a decision to take safety courses or educate themselves on safe riding, helmet or no. Your anecdotes seem to back that up...

but they are wearing helmets (based on the unproven belief that they are more effective at preventing head injuries) rather than taking safety courses (which teach proven methods of preventing all types of injuries)

if we can assume people wear helmets for safety purposes, these people are making their safety choice of helmet, over education.

hagen2456 11-15-11 12:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rydabent (Post 13494935)
My own summation for wearing a helmet includes----safety in many cases--a place to mount mirrors, lights, cameras, and reflective tape. Also protection from the sun. Then there is the thing about cyclist assumed to be at fault in ANY type of accident if not wearing a helmet. There is the fact that wearing a hemet is very benign. After putting it on everyone just forgets they are wearing one. All of these logical reasons plus probably several more indicate the use of a helmet is just common sense.

Placing all those logical reasons against the trolls that would talk you out of wearing one, they come off looking rather superficial. They dont come right out and say so but their under laying reasons seem to be style and wanting to look like hairy chested he men.

Of course those are not the reasons. Rather,

1) They offer little if any protection against life-threatening situations
2) they may, even, be harmfull (rotational injuries, right?)
3) Helmet campaighns - and people seen wearing helmets - may make cycling seem dangerous to potential cyclists.

OK, you may be right that some of us feel that they cramp our style. Not much hipster in a helmet. And I always do my best to be hipstery.

That said, none of the above stated reasons are enough to make me want to have helmets banned. In fact, if you want to wear one, go ahead. It's all right.

So who's the troll, now? :)

mconlonx 11-15-11 01:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by closetbiker (Post 13495896)
but they are wearing helmets (based on the unproven belief that they are more effective at preventing head injuries) rather than taking safety courses (which teach proven methods of preventing all types of injuries)

if we can assume people wear helmets for safety purposes, these people are making their safety choice of helmet, over education.

I don't see this at all. They are wearing helmets, but it's not a "rather than" situation--those wearing helmets who don't educate themselves on safety probably wouldn't do safety education even if helmets weren't mandatory.

Would you support mandatory bike safety classes...?

closetbiker 11-15-11 01:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mconlonx (Post 13496001)
I don't see this at all.

but the numbers bear this out. People wear helmets but they don't take classes.

Quote:

Originally Posted by mconlonx (Post 13496001)
Would you support mandatory bike safety classes...?

of course not. Firstly, cycling isn't dangerous and secondly, one doesn't need formal classes to be safe.

That doesn't mean that cycling classes aren't good, or better at injury prevention than wearing helmets

mconlonx 11-15-11 02:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by closetbiker (Post 13496039)
but the numbers bear this out. People wear helmets but they don't take classes.

Maybe, but there's nothing linking the two. People don't do one or the other -- some may do neither, some might do either/or, some might do both.

Safety class or education is an investment of time and energy -- most would rather spend money on a "magic pill" like a helmet, in the mistaken belief that they can buy safety instead of developing skills. More a human nature thing than any kind of helmet conspiracy.

Not to mention that, as you point out, most safety classes will stress the use of helmets as a safety consideration and require use of one if there's an on-road component to the class.

closetbiker 11-15-11 02:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mconlonx (Post 13496225)
Maybe, but there's nothing linking the two. People don't do one or the other -- some may do neither, some might do either/or, some might do both.

The link between the two is one of safety. For as much as there are some people who wear helmets to simply fit in, a helmet's prime reason for being is safety.

Quote:

Originally Posted by mconlonx (Post 13496225)
Safety class or education is an investment of time and energy -- most would rather spend money on a "magic pill" like a helmet, in the mistaken belief that they can buy safety instead of developing skills. More a human nature thing than any kind of helmet conspiracy.

it is a human quirk, and exploited to the full. As you know, helmets are no magic pill.

A powerful law is the law of unintended cosequence. Helmet laws, promotion, and use has fallen to this law and cycling is worse off for it.

Quote:

Originally Posted by mconlonx (Post 13496225)
Not to mention that, as you point out, most safety classes will stress the use of helmets as a safety consideration and require use of one if there's an on-road component to the class.

Thankfully, not everywhere. As you know, areas that have the largest and safest use of bicycles, use and recommend helmets the least

rydabent 11-15-11 04:36 PM

One of the big points here is people "focus" on their helmet and then ride foolishly. That simply is a non starter. The only time I "focus" on my helmet is where is it and let me put it on. After that it is totally out of my mind. To say ------gee I guess I will run that red light since I have a helmet on is just plain stupid. With me anyway it just aint gonna happen.

As a life long technician I have delt with absolutes and logic. It simply isnt logical not to wear a helmet, since having one on is so benign.

Do you carry a spare tube and patches? Does that mean you are expecting flats? Following the logic of some here, if I would quit carrying patches tubes tools and pump, I would never get a flat.

GriddleCakes 11-15-11 05:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mconlonx (Post 13496001)
Would you support mandatory bike safety classes...?

I would, at the primary school level. Cyclist education at, say, eight years old, then driver education at 15; all part of well rounded curriculum, like learning how to safely cross a street (pre-school), and how to balance a checkbook and make a budget (high school).

closetbiker 11-15-11 05:09 PM

Quote:

Do you carry a spare tube and patches?
I think most cyclists carry a tube, patch kit, and pump because they can fix a puncture.

There'd be no point in carrying them if they don't do what they are expected to do

GriddleCakes 11-15-11 05:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by hagen2456 (Post 13494781)
Quite a collection there, Griddle :)

I was bored and procrastinating on homework, but unwilling to leave the library because I had homework to do. :o

As a former (and reformed, I swear) troll, encountering posters like ryda present a conundrum: obstinant fool, or secret troll? In days long past I've jumped in on threads about highly contentious issues and trolled by taking one side and defending it very, very badly, just for the sake of amusement. Could ryda be doing the same? Or perhaps he's even a deep cover helmet skeptic, making the pro-helmet stance look weak through unflaggingly imbecilic and ineffective support.

On the internet, one truly never knows...

sudo bike 11-16-11 02:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rydabent (Post 13496863)
Do you carry a spare tube and patches? Does that mean you are expecting flats? Following the logic of some here, if I would quit carrying patches tubes tools and pump, I would never get a flat.

What are the chances of catching a flat vs. falling? What are the detriments of carrying a patch kit vs a carrying a helmet? The benefits?

Those are the questions I ask myself (without really thinking about it), which led me to my decision. Or any life decision, really.

LesterOfPuppets 11-16-11 02:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rydabent (Post 13494883)
griddle

Thank you for summing up many of my points.

Those aren't points. They're posts from a robot troll with no powers of reason and without the ability to consider points and provide counterpoints.


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