I have noticed that people who lay out those jokes usually have no experience of what it feels like to be harmed or to be in danger. You with all your "'murrica hurr durr freedom" and violence/war mongering seem to me to be exactly such a person. Lots of talk but no experience.
But this is how helmet laws are created... Mel Brooks as Moses - YouTube
I gave myself a birthday treat yesterday by commuting without a helmet, and I've got to tell you it felt great! Even though it incrementally increased my risk of a scalp wound or traumatic injury (by somewhat less than the risk if I stand up too quickly from my easy chair), the ride unencumbered was worth it.
I think I'll do that more often.
I have the day off today and I'm about due for such a ride.
I might try that for my birthday ride this weekend (55 miles this year). I know that I'll be reluctant to leave my repair kit behind ... maybe that's another ingrained habit that isn't necessarily always logical. Good idea.
edit - sorry, I meant to include something inflammatory to keep it on topic but forgot. FWIW I continued to skip the helmet on commutes lately and it still feels wonderful. Although, since I got a Third-eye mirror to mount on it I had to use it today, so it's not as if there's no reason to ever wear one ...
I am not sure why this topic brings out the worst in cyclists. Many times I am not sure if the Anti helmet crowd is trying to convince the rest of us or themselves. If you don't want to wear a helmet fine, ok by me. But why spend so much time trying to convince others not to wear one?
The hyperbole is mainly from the pro-helmeteer crowd, but both sides routinely misquote studies to support their side of things.
I think their are no "pro's" here, only leaners..."The Great Horseshoe Debate" - YouTube
From a coldly logical ass, may I point out if you fall on your head, there is 2 choices. Either wear a helmet or not. Cold logic dictates the person with the helmet will recieve less damage to his head.
The anti helmet crowd keeps trying to shoot the messenger, which does little good.
When it is cold out i wear a fleece hat under my helmet. Now and then it causes me to think my helmet is already on my head. But as soon i start pedaling i notice my mirror is missing and have to go back to get the helmet with the mirror on it.
The helmet i could live without. The mirror is mandatory.
From the posts here you are probably right. The invincible that think their superior bike handling skills preclude them from ever going down are not very logical.
Keep in mind that HALF of all cigarette smokers are going to die from cigarette caused disease. 50% of them! Yet, plenty of people worldwide still smoke. Roughly 5 million people die from smoking every year and another million INNOCENT people die from exposure to second hand smoke each year. Yet, given that the chances of perishing from their actions is statistically the "flip of a coin"...they still smoke. And almost every single one of those smokers picked up the habit because it LOOKS COOL to them.
A bicycle helmet does not look cool. They never will. Many people I know who will not wear helmets cannot tolerate not looking cool. They have hair styles that do not survive hats or helmets. Or they shave their heads and don't want racing stripes on their scalp. Or, they just think helmets make them look dorky PERIOD.
So you gotta ask yourself: If people will continually do something that is positively going to kill half of them outright (and diminish the health of the other half) and kill some of their kids too, what chance do you or I have at changing the minds of people who are risking a statistical zero chance of serious consequences from riding on a bicycle bare-headed? The answer: Another statistical zero.
You and I may die prematurely from WORRYING about our health long before we would kill ourselves actually falling off our bicycles.
Smoking Reference: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs339/en/
But the numbers we're talking about: 22 out of 100,000 per year for cyclists in your and my age group, without a helmet. Maybe half that, with a helmet. So the savings is on the order of 1 in 10,000 yearly, or .01%.
Interestingly to me, although others seem to think it's irrelevant, to put these numbers in context with a more normal activity in which almost everyone engages, the chances of a serious head injury in a car accident (with all of the car's safety features), are about 67% of that of the cyclist. If we deem that potential injury to be inconsequential - and the vast majority do including those posting on this thread - then the potential for injury saved by the bicycle helmet is also inconsequential. It's just simple, indisputable logic unless we think the numbers are wrong.
Posting my Hat Syndrome Poll was meant to mentally free me from the clutches of this thread, but all it took was a click.
Today I've brought along New Jersey's former first family to help with my presentation.
Fortunately it no longer bothers me when I'm queried about my bare head. Should my organs become free for harvesting, hopefully the surgeons will remember the empathy transfusion.
I will venture to guess that there is statistically insignificant stigma in wearing a helmet, thus making such encounters rare to nonexistent. Those of us who don't wear one, however, are constantly assaulted (depending on terrain of course), even if it's friendly fire.
speaking of which, note what Al was wearing when he uttered that immortal phrase
I make no claims of invincibility.
I will, occasionally, make a stab at logic.
My doctor is a cyclist. I go to him whenever my mild hypochondria overcomes the logical part of my brain, which is sometimes undone by RGSS [Repetitive Googling Stress Syndrome]. We often chat about cycling, which is nice. One time he asked why I don't wear a helmet (he does). I don't remember how I answered, but…
The poor guy fell off his bike this past winter and shattered a femur. Black ice. Could happen to anybody. However, he does seem to come off his bike far more frequently than I. He's told me how he likes to fearlessly attack the road, or words to that effect – whereas I tend to treat the road with a wary respect. I'm not saying his behavior is classic risk compensation, and I'm not saying it's not. I'm just sayin'.