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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 06-03-14, 12:09 PM   #7776
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Originally Posted by FIVE ONE SIX View Post
and that's strictly because they think the helmet will save a rider from pretty much anything, which any real road cyclist knows is not true, while they don't want anything to do with a rider not wearing a helmet because they feel they have a higher chance of getting hurt or worse in an accident and they don't want anything to do with that...
Like, uh,Wow man, youse "Real Road Cyclists" sure is smart!
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Old 06-03-14, 02:31 PM   #7777
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Is Yahoo pushing for helmet laws or increased usage, now? No wonder I dropped my account with them.
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Old 06-04-14, 05:59 AM   #7778
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I came here to learn if it was worth it.. I still don't know.
Since you came here to learn, allow me to toss in my 2 sense.

1. Decide for yourself. Sounds like you are on your way. Everyone's situation is a little bit different.

2. Realize there is a spectrum of danger. Downhill freeride mountain biking being a 10 (most dangerous) and riding a tadpole trike at the beach is probably the least dangerous (1). Most here would agree that 10 requires a very substantial helmet and 1 probably not. It's that 2-9 range that we "discuss" here.

3. Realize that bicycle helmet manufacturers have their hands tied by WEIGHT and VENTILATION. If weight and cooling were not issues then recreational bike helmets would be more substantial. I don't think many casual riders here who are zealous proponents of helmet use are wearing downhill freeride or motorcycle helmets. So even those of us spouting helmet safety dogma aren't really wearing the best helmets available. A bit hypocritical if you really look at it.

4. There is really no good way to study or prove that lightweight bike helmets are very effective. Certainly a light tap on the head will be more comfortable with a piece of styrene between your scalp and the concrete, but that's about all we can agree on here. So you gotta realize that most of the posters here on the Helmet Thread are simply full of $h!7.

Last edited by JoeyBike; 06-04-14 at 07:12 AM.
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Old 06-04-14, 07:47 AM   #7779
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Originally Posted by JoeyBike View Post
Since you came here to learn, allow me to toss in my 2 sense.

1. Decide for yourself. Sounds like you are on your way. Everyone's situation is a little bit different.

2. Realize there is a spectrum of danger. Downhill freeride mountain biking being a 10 (most dangerous) and riding a tadpole trike at the beach is probably the least dangerous (1). Most here would agree that 10 requires a very substantial helmet and 1 probably not. It's that 2-9 range that we "discuss" here.

3. Realize that bicycle helmet manufacturers have their hands tied by WEIGHT and VENTILATION. If weight and cooling were not issues then recreational bike helmets would be more substantial. I don't think many casual riders here who are zealous proponents of helmet use are wearing downhill freeride or motorcycle helmets. So even those of us spouting helmet safety dogma aren't really wearing the best helmets available. A bit hypocritical if you really look at it.

4. There is really no good way to study or prove that lightweight bike helmets are very effective. Certainly a light tap on the head will be more comfortable with a piece of styrene between your scalp and the concrete, but that's about all we can agree on here. So you gotta realize that most of the posters here on the Helmet Thread are simply full of $h!7.
And the other sense says what?
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Old 06-04-14, 08:18 AM   #7780
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Thanks for the Advice. I think I will keep wearing a helmet. Its like car Insurance, I have not had an accident or a claim for 15 years but when it happens I will be happy I was prepared. Once I start to ride I forget I have it on so I see no reason to not wear it. I disagree that drivers give more room or treat helmetless riders better. I think some may be seeing this through rose colored glasses. We all make our own choices. If one chooses to not have insurance, Smoke and never wear a helmet so be it. I wonder if they tell there kids they don't have to were a helmet because daddy finds it inconvenient.
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Old 06-04-14, 08:31 AM   #7781
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Originally Posted by Nightshade View Post
According to a leading neurosurgeon bike helmets a to flimsy to really protect the head/brain.

Cycle helmets are useless, says brain surgeon - Telegraph
“I have been cycling for 40 years and have only been knocked off once. I wear a cowboy hat and cowboy boots. I look completely mad."

I like this guy. Thanks for the link.
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Old 06-04-14, 03:42 PM   #7782
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Gee we find one moronic brain surgeon and now that's the answer to all things relative to helmets. There have been plenty of moron geniuses who made all sorts of comments that were completely false.

Read this: Helmets: To Wear or Not To Wear? | The Performance Bicycle Blog And click on the blue words and read even more.
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Old 06-04-14, 05:33 PM   #7783
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Originally Posted by Huffamoose View Post
As a new guy here, And one that has no Set opinion on helmets one way or the other. The Non helmet wearing side has no solid ground to stand on when calling the Helmet crusaders zealots and nasty. Granted I didn't read the thread that was locked that lead to this one but there is at least an equal amount of vitriol from the non wearing side from what I read. If this comes from them being outnumbered I'm not sure. My gut says that if a car backs into me and I head butt a parked car the helmet can only help. Will it help me if I am hit by a car doing 65? Harder to tell but most likely not. For full disclosure I just started riding and I have been wearing a helmet. I came here to learn if it was worth it.. I still don't know.
Weird. I've spent just about as many hours with a helmet while cycling as without. Since the turn of the century I've never had a stranger ask why I was wearing a helmet or tell me to not to wear a helmet, etc. That kind of thing has happened surprisingly frequently while not wearing a helmet.

So, in my experience, helmeteers are more zealous and nasty. YMMV.

Now, back in the 80s there were plenty of folks that would make fun of my helmet. It was a different world, then.
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Old 06-04-14, 09:42 PM   #7784
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.... Since the turn of the century....
I still can't get past the feeling that this refers to 100 or so years ago.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LesterOfPuppets View Post

I've never had a stranger ask why I was wearing a helmet or tell me to not to wear a helmet, etc. That kind of thing has happened surprisingly frequently while not wearing a helmet.

So, in my experience, helmeteers are more zealous and nasty. YMMV.
This confirms my experience. Folks who were helmets tend to be pro helmet. Folks who don't, don't care either way as long as they're left alone.

Now, back in the 80s there were plenty of folks that would make fun of my helmet. It was a different world, then.[/QUOTE]
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Old 06-05-14, 08:58 AM   #7785
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^^Ditto here. In recent years, I've had total strangers confront me for not wearing a helmet on several occasions. A couple of them actually YELLED at me as I rode by. Not once has someone told me I should remove my helmet when I was wearing one.
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Old 06-05-14, 09:53 AM   #7786
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Did a rails to trails ride up in Canada recently on a rented bike that required me to use a hell-mat. After about 10 miles, and a headache from an odd fit, it rode on the back of my pack. Did get a few stares, but I usually won't wear one on leisure trail rides...
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Old 06-05-14, 10:16 AM   #7787
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Did a rails to trails ride up in Canada recently on a rented bike that required me to use a hell-mat. After about 10 miles, and a headache from an odd fit, it rode on the back of my pack. Did get a few stares, but I usually won't wear one on leisure trail rides...
Ditto with leisure rides. I wear my helmet when and where I might run into a ticket dispensing robot, and they are never on the trails in my neck of the woods.
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Old 06-05-14, 10:41 AM   #7788
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10% of you never wear helmets?
Are you yahoo renegades?
Possibly.

OTOH, I'll venture that a large number of those who don't wear helmets are old time experienced cyclists with 20+ years or more or active riding behind them.

Among those of us who started riding before it was popular or trendy, odds are you'll find people who are yahoos (your word) or renegades in temperament. 40 years ago bicycling wasn't "cool" and tended to attract iconoclasts. There's no reason to think those people would have changed that much over the years, and with their pre-helmet riding years behind them, they might be cooler to wearing them then newer cyclists who were fed the "wear a helmet" mantra from when they first started riding.

BTW- I'm not saying that old timers don't wear helmets, just that it's more likely that they don't than with newbies.
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Old 06-05-14, 11:05 AM   #7789
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
Among those of us who started riding before it was popular or trendy, odds are you'll find people who are yahoos (your word) or renegades in temperament. 40 years ago bicycling wasn't "cool" and tended to attract iconoclasts. There's no reason to think those people would have changed that much over the years, and with their pre-helmet riding years behind them, they might be cooler to wearing them then newer cyclists who were fed the "wear a helmet" mantra from when they first started riding.
↑↑↑↑ I'm 61 and this describes me to a "T". The first job I commuted to was a carpet installation job in 1973 and believe me the last thing we thought about was helmets lol . . . . I wear one nowadays, but it wouldn't bother me to just wear a baseball cap. I had a fairly serious crash in 1991 (helmetless) where I got a concussion, and started wearing helmets then. But I don't lose sleep when I occasionally ride without one.
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Old 06-05-14, 11:29 AM   #7790
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
Possibly.

OTOH, I'll venture that a large number of those who don't wear helmets are old time experienced cyclists with 20+ years or more or active riding behind them.

Among those of us who started riding before it was popular or trendy, odds are you'll find people who are yahoos (your word) or renegades in temperament. 40 years ago bicycling wasn't "cool" and tended to attract iconoclasts. There's no reason to think those people would have changed that much over the years, and with their pre-helmet riding years behind them, they might be cooler to wearing them then newer cyclists who were fed the "wear a helmet" mantra from when they first started riding.

BTW- I'm not saying that old timers don't wear helmets, just that it's more likely that they don't than with newbies.
Good points. But please note that my daughter doesn't fit into this theory. She refuses to wear a helmet because it messes up her hair, which is usually not a concern with older male yahoos.
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Old 06-05-14, 04:04 PM   #7791
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Apologies to the squeamish, but I was inspired by CourtJester's post.



is what happened after I ran into this



very late one night.

I was knocked out cold. A good samaritan kindly refrained from running me over, then took me and my bike to the hospital.


The bike was OK. I needed stitches and a bucket to throw up in.

I wasn't wearing a helmet.

Still don't, though I expect this is exactly the type of situation it sits on your head waiting for.

. . .

A long time ago I was hit by a car while a pedestrian. Also rendered unconscious. Helmet might've helped, who knows.

A slightly less long time ago I was driving this:



before somebody decided to give me my first experience as a crash test dummy. Afterwards the door didn't work so well, so they had to use the jaws of life to extricate me from that poor Toyota Tercel. Guess what? Knocked out.

A reasonable person might conclude from my resume that I should be wearing a helmet at all times. Perhaps I am unreasonable in feeling that my skull is up to spec, so a helmet is superfluous.

Last edited by 905; 06-11-14 at 11:29 PM. Reason: timeline corrected
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Old 06-05-14, 04:53 PM   #7792
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Superfluous?... JMO, But that scalp wound is exactly what a helmet is actually good at stopping/minimizing...
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Old 06-05-14, 07:59 PM   #7793
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I was running an errand for a friend Uptown on Magazine Street today which ended up being a 6 hour day of just waiting for UPS Next Day Air to show up. Magazine street is a busy two-lane street with on street parking both sides and not enough space for cars and bikes to "share" a lane together. Speed limit is 30 but cars often can't go faster than 25 for long. But still, loads of cyclists use it partly because it has a smooth surface and no stop signs. So as I hung around waiting and waiting I decided to do a survey of cyclists passing by. I could see about 1-1/2 blocks in both directions. Helmets are involved in my survey so I thought I would post it here.

Here are my observations of 150+ cyclists (I stopped counting them at 150 anyway) between the hours of 9AM and 3PM on a Thursday.

Helmets worn = 0 up to 2PM. After I stopped adding to the 150 total I saw 3 cyclists wearing helmets on their heads, not their handlebars.

Racing kit, cycling jersey, or spandex shorts = 0

Flip-flops/sandals = 106. Everyone else had on sneakers or boots or even high heels on a few females.

Sidewalk riders = 2.

Contraflow cyclists = 0.

Take a lane and keeping up with traffic (like a motorcycle would) = 2.

Riding far right with apparent total disregard for their surroundings = all the rest. No mirror, never looking back, total trust in passing motorists.

Cyclists riding single file = everyone.

Cyclists on their phones = 0. (This was surprising)

Parked car operators throwing door open into traffic without the slightest regard for any vehicle including public buses = 63.

Parked car operator opening door with obvious care and concern at least for themselves = 2.

Cars passing cyclists under the 3-foot law = almost all of them totaling several hundred incidents.

Crashes, mishaps, or horns blown = 0...not bad for what looks really dangerous to me.

Here is a link to Google Street View of Magazine Street on a typical day.
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Old 06-05-14, 11:17 PM   #7794
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeyBike View Post
I was running an errand for a friend Uptown on Magazine Street today which ended up being a 6 hour day of just waiting for UPS Next Day Air to show up. Magazine street is a busy two-lane street with on street parking both sides and not enough space for cars and bikes to "share" a lane together. Speed limit is 30 but cars often can't go faster than 25 for long. But still, loads of cyclists use it partly because it has a smooth surface and no stop signs. So as I hung around waiting and waiting I decided to do a survey of cyclists passing by. I could see about 1-1/2 blocks in both directions. Helmets are involved in my survey so I thought I would post it here.

Here are my observations of 150+ cyclists (I stopped counting them at 150 anyway) between the hours of 9AM and 3PM on a Thursday.

Helmets worn = 0 up to 2PM. After I stopped adding to the 150 total I saw 3 cyclists wearing helmets on their heads, not their handlebars.

Racing kit, cycling jersey, or spandex shorts = 0

Flip-flops/sandals = 106. Everyone else had on sneakers or boots or even high heels on a few females.

Sidewalk riders = 2.

Contraflow cyclists = 0.

Take a lane and keeping up with traffic (like a motorcycle would) = 2.

Riding far right with apparent total disregard for their surroundings = all the rest. No mirror, never looking back, total trust in passing motorists.

Cyclists riding single file = everyone.

Cyclists on their phones = 0. (This was surprising)

Parked car operators throwing door open into traffic without the slightest regard for any vehicle including public buses = 63.

Parked car operator opening door with obvious care and concern at least for themselves = 2.

Cars passing cyclists under the 3-foot law = almost all of them totaling several hundred incidents.

Crashes, mishaps, or horns blown = 0...not bad for what looks really dangerous to me.

Here is a link to Google Street View of Magazine Street on a typical day.
How do people not take the lane there? There's no room NOT to take the lane. There is no room for two cars and a bicycle outside the door zone. Like physically there is no space.
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Old 06-06-14, 01:01 AM   #7795
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Superfluous?...
Superfluous = surplus to requirements, if one takes the view that nature's helmet kept my brain intact.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 350htrr View Post
But that scalp wound is exactly what a helmet is actually good at stopping/minimizing... 
Having anticipated such an observation, I admitted as much. Scalp wounds I can live with.

I just wanted to be the first(? admittedly haven't read all 7795 posts) to post a gruesome shot which didn't end "now I always wear one." Though fair enough if anyone considers this to be a sign of brain damage.


This isn't aimed at anyone in particular. It's my fav helmet pic, a scene from Big Love. Indeed, pray for me, and Jim Rockford. You may have to be eligible for the Age 40++ thread to know who he is and why he was in dire need of a helmet even though he never went near a bike.

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I was running an errand for a friend Uptown on Magazine Street today which ended up being a 6 hour day of just waiting for UPS Next Day Air to show up.
Giving up 6 hours of your life to wait for UPS! You sound like a keeper of a friend.

Last edited by 905; 06-06-14 at 01:56 AM. Reason: because I seldom think of everything I want to post before I post
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Old 06-06-14, 07:27 AM   #7796
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How do people not take the lane there? There's no room NOT to take the lane. There is no room for two cars and a bicycle outside the door zone. Like physically there is no space.
I know. It defies all reason, just like most things bicycle related in New Orleans. Obviously it's the motorists who are shouldering all of the responsibility for not hitting cyclists who are "in their way" and patiently waiting for a gap to pass in the oncoming lane. I just don't have that kind of trust as a cyclist.

Magazine Street has always been a curiosity for me regarding cyclists - on so many levels. And until recently, the surface was AWFUL. There are several parallel back streets with shade trees, picket fences, and lots of traffic-controlling stop signs - perfect for mindlessly cycling 10-12mph like most riders I saw on Magazine. Now don't get me wrong, there are PLENTY of cyclists on the back streets too. And ironically I tend to find more cyclists wearing helmets on the quiet parallel streets (I normally bike the quiet back streets and avoid Magazine Street) and I presume that those individuals are more concerned about their health and well being in general that the folks toughing it out on Magazine.

That being said, I do bike Magazine when I am in a rush. I just line up with the cars and try to keep up. If I start holding up cars behind me I just wait for some empty parking spaces or a bus stop at a corner, stop pedaling, wave the car behind me to pass me, and take refuge to the right. Then I can drop in behind the last car and draft that line of traffic. If I get tired eventually, I just move to the next parallel street - especially if I am on one of my slower bikes.

Here is a handlebar cam view of 7 miles of Magazine around 9:30AM on a weekday and how I handle it.

Notice the speedometer in the frame bottom left.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 905 View Post
Giving up 6 hours of your life to wait for UPS! You sound like a keeper of a friend.
Well, the package was assumed to arrive between 9 and 10 AM. I didn't even know there was a "Next Day Air Before 3PM" option. It was tile for a big job that was incorrect the first time, so my bud needed someone to actually SEE the tile next to the correct sample and phone him immediately so he could set up the tile guy for the next day. For a people-watcher like me, being stuck on Magazine Street is like a kid stuck at Disneyland with an all day pass. Or the water park. I had a blast and walked at least 5 miles looking in shops, sitting at outdoor tables at roadside cafes, coffee shops, Smoothie King, etc., sometimes just sipping the bottled water purchased there. I even found a new bike shop to check out. I had to use my friend's car (ugh) to haul the tile so once I had a free parking space (almost everything is metered) I became infantry just waiting for the tile company to call me. Of course, once I had my cyclist check-list up and running the time just melted by. Not often do I get a mandatory relaxing day to observe mundane things. My friend tho was biting his nails all day I bet. The tile was correct BTW and I delivered it to the job location where I happily ditched the car too.

Last edited by JoeyBike; 06-06-14 at 07:53 AM.
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Old 06-06-14, 07:30 AM   #7797
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Originally Posted by 350htrr View Post
Superfluous?... JMO, But that scalp wound is exactly what a helmet is actually good at stopping/minimizing...
What most bicycle helmet advocates happily ignore, is that a typical cycling accident usually won't result in anything but very minor injuries. Being knocked out and suffering (what sounds like) a mild concussion, is already a fairly bad outcome, let alone severe injuries and death. This is because the body is evolved to withstand accidents associated with running around on a Savannah, say at speeds of up to 20something km/h. Which happens to be about the same speed range an average cyclist travels. So yeah, while there might be a small chance that you will get injured or even die in a typical cycling accident, and an even smaller chance that a helmet will help in those cases, it becomes pretty pointless to don one, at least for a lot of people. Not everyone fancies a "If-it-only-saves-one-life" bubblewrap life-style/society.

Last edited by CarinusMalmari; 06-06-14 at 07:49 AM.
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Old 06-06-14, 07:54 AM   #7798
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Originally Posted by Huffamoose View Post
Thanks for the Advice. I think I will keep wearing a helmet. Its like car Insurance, I have not had an accident or a claim for 15 years but when it happens I will be happy I was prepared. Once I start to ride I forget I have it on so I see no reason to not wear it. I disagree that drivers give more room or treat helmetless riders better. I think some may be seeing this through rose colored glasses. We all make our own choices. If one chooses to not have insurance, Smoke and never wear a helmet so be it. I wonder if they tell there kids they don't have to were a helmet because daddy finds it inconvenient.
My kid is over 17 and therefore not required to wear a helmet on the streets. It is his choice although I advise him to wear one.

I teach him to make rational decisions based on knowledge and observation, and tell him to be wary of the emotional judgments that so many people substitute for that.
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Old 06-06-14, 08:27 AM   #7799
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Originally Posted by CarinusMalmari View Post
What most bicycle helmet advocates happily ignore, is that .....Not everyone fancies a "If-it-only-saves-one-life" bubblewrap life-style/society.
+1000. If you believe that a helmet will have a worthwhile effect on your safety, by all means wear one. OTOH, please respect the decisions that others make about not wearing one.

We all face risks everyday, in just about everything we do, We assign the risks value (often not consciously) and make adjustments, or use safety equipment, or simply accept them for what they are. This applies to everything going all the way back to such basic things like choosing to live in an area prone to floods, earthquakes,or tornadoes, or downwind from a power plant, or choices in diet, or even the willingness to ride a two wheeled vehicle in the first place.
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Old 06-06-14, 10:12 AM   #7800
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Magazine Street has always been a curiosity for me regarding cyclists - on so many levels. And until recently, the surface was AWFUL. There are several parallel back streets with shade trees, picket fences, and lots of traffic-controlling stop signs - perfect for mindlessly cycling 10-12mph like most riders I saw on Magazine..
Tracey's!

The streets either side are beautiful too, and be honest, on Camp the stops are only every couple of blocks, not that they'd slow you down, and it is slightly shorter (the manhattan grid distance is warped by the river).

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