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  1. #1
    nun
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    I don't wear a helmet, but I'm not that kind of cyclist.

    I don't wear a helmet...it's a personal choice...but I do have front and rear lights and follow the rules of the road, stopping at red lights, signaling and taking the lane firmly etc.
    It annoys me that I see so many other cyclists on my urban commute that faithfully wear their helmets and then proceed to ride so dangerously, going through red lights
    and cycling up on the inside of trucks and buses. People seem to equate helmets with personal safety rather than how they ride or whether they have lights at night.

  2. #2
    Living 'n Dying in -Time JBHoren's Avatar
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    It's funny you mention this. (apropos your bikes) I read and re-read Grant Petersen's "Just Ride" during the past month, and his essay #23 , "Helmets aren't all they're cracked up to be", resonated with me. I grew-up during the later-1950s and 1960s, riding a bicycle in suburban Westchester County (NY) -- no helmet, no sidewalks, no falls or injuries (no "helicopter" parents, either). So, the bicycle cap I'd ordered from Walz arrived in today's mail, and I made my first foray sans helmet this afternoon. It felt wonderful, if not without some trepidation. I was certainly no less aware of myself and my surroundings, as with helmet. Throughout my ride I kept thinking about that essay, and trying to remember the term he used to describe more "reckless" behavior with helmet wearers; couldn't recall it, but a quick look in his book did the trick: risk compensation (interesting discussion about it, in Wikipedia). I also stop where I'm supposed to, signal my intentions, lights, reflectors, etc.
    Last edited by JBHoren; 06-14-14 at 06:49 PM.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Mithrandir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nun View Post
    I don't wear a helmet...it's a personal choice...but I do have front and rear lights and follow the rules of the road, stopping at red lights, signaling and taking the lane firmly etc.
    It annoys me that I see so many other cyclists on my urban commute that faithfully wear their helmets and then proceed to ride so dangerously, going through red lights
    and cycling up on the inside of trucks and buses. People seem to equate helmets with personal safety rather than how they ride or whether they have lights at night.
    What's important is that you found a way to feel superior to someone.

  4. #4
    nun
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mithrandir View Post
    What's important is that you found a way to feel superior to someone.
    Yes, I did. At least I was thinking of other people's safety rather than the selfish guy in the helmet who blew through the lights. I ride far more safely than 95% of the cyclists I see on the road. I put it down to good habits I learned doing the Uk's cycling proficiency test in the 1970s.

  5. #5
    20+mph Commuter JoeyBike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nun View Post
    ...the selfish guy in the helmet who blew through the lights.
    "For all we know his skills may be excellent, allowing him to ride like an idiot without actually being one." - FBinNY

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    Senior Member catonec's Avatar
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    accidents are called accidents because they are accidents.

    im not preaching to you about wearing helmets but sometimes unforeseen things happen. I hope your lucky enough to avoid those.

    and kudos to you for obeying the rules of the road.

    coolness should always trump common sense and safety.
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    Senior Member Northwestrider's Avatar
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    Senior Member yote223's Avatar
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    The biggest risk in life is simply getting out of bed in the morning. You can dig up all of the stats you want about stuff like this, but in reality, life is a crap-shoot. Period. Some people take the "fearful/paranoid" route and surround themselves in so-called "safety". I myself, understand the risks and take my own chances. To each his own. While my own safety is my concern, I will NEVER compromise the safety of others.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member catonec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by yote223 View Post
    The biggest risk in life is simply getting out of bed in the morning...... While my own safety is my concern, I will NEVER compromise the safety of others.
    not a very intelligent post. sorry

    when driving a car or even being a passenger, do you wear your seatbelt? Its a very easy thing to do increases your chances of surviving a crash. wearing a helmet is the same thing.

    Are there people in your life that depend on you such as a spouse or children? By not at least trying to protect yourself you are putting them at risk of having to go through life without their dad.

    You are allowed to get angry at me for saying that. It is supposed to get your blood up.
    Last edited by catonec; 06-15-14 at 04:23 AM.
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  10. #10
    nun
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    Quote Originally Posted by catonec View Post
    not a very intelligent post. sorry

    when driving a car or even being a passenger, do you wear your seatbelt? Its a very easy thing to do increases your chances of surviving a crash. wearing a helmet is the same thing.

    Are there people in your life that depend on you such as a spouse or children? By not at least trying to protect yourself you are putting them at risk of having to go through life without their dad.

    You are allowed to get angry at me for saying that. It is supposed to get your blood up.
    From a safety perspective I agree that wearing a seatbelt and wearing a helmet are similar....they are different legally where I live; there's no bike helmet law, but you have to wear a seat belt by law. I have no dependents and I choose not to wear a helmet because the only person I'm endangering is myself. I choose to strictly follow the rules of the road because I believe its the best way to avoid accidents that would involve others.

  11. #11
    Senior Member elcruxio's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by catonec View Post
    not a very intelligent post. sorry

    when driving a car or even being a passenger, do you wear your seatbelt? Its a very easy thing to do increases your chances of surviving a crash. wearing a helmet is the same thing.

    Are there people in your life that depend on you such as a spouse or children? By not at least trying to protect yourself you are putting them at risk of having to go through life without their dad.

    You are allowed to get angry at me for saying that. It is supposed to get your blood up.
    Well that's a bit of a double edged sword isn't it? By cycling one is actually doing the good deed for the family by trying to stay healthy and mobile for as long as possible (cycling combined with healthy lifestyle choices does better one's chances for this happening).

    Now with the the whole "protect yourself"- concept we need to consider the dangers of cycling. It actually depends a lot on where one lives, but for example in Europe cycling cannot be considered statistically dangerous enough to warrant helmet use. In the US the situation is a bit more complicated, but a recent study shows that about 40% of all deaths by cyclists in the US are because of rear endings. In these accidents a helmet saving one's life is extremely suspect.

    Also what needs to be considered is the type of cycling one does. Utility cycling very rarely is dangerous enough to warrant helmet use. This of course depends on the person and riding style, but in general.
    Mountain biking without a helmet is just asking for trouble as are certain types of road cycling. So agressive recreational cycling can be considered dangerous enough to warrant helmets or other protection like body armor etc.
    Also the helmets you also seem to be advocating for everyday riding are the same ones used in pro road racing. But the risks are on massively different scales. Still the exact same safety equipment. If I were to use a really bad analogy I would say that was like going to a nascar race with the normal street car safety devices like a three point seatbelt and one airbag, no rollcages or anything. We both know that is not a good idea.

    So the same safety equipment is used for very low risk activity on the same risk level as walking and lower in fact than doing home maintenance (utility cycling) and
    Very high risk cycling with extreme speeds and situations (pro road racing, pro XC racing, Pro triathlons, pro track racing etc)
    Does not seem very logical to me.

    But I know what you are going to say. A helmet will help if your head strikes the ground or any other object. But would it not help in every other activity where the head is at risk? Like walking, running, climbing trees (if anyone got any funny ideas out of this, NEVER put a helmet on your kid when they are climbing something, that is extremely irresponsible and dangerous) or driving. And wearing a helmet while driving would lessen head trauma radically irrespective of seatbelts and airbags. When considering statistics, cycling is not very special in terms of head trauma when compared to other activities.
    I know the the one statistic is coming where cycling is number one in head trauma in SPORTS. We are talking about cycling in general here. Sports is different and in sports it's usually smart to use the safety gear available.
    Like it's smart to have a rollcaged car with five point seatbelts etc when driving nascar.
    In general utility cycling isn't any more dangerous than any other activity one could participate in. Still cycling is the only one where people are blaming people for not wearing a helmet. Strange really.

    I'll continue to wear one, or not wear one depending on the conditions and the type of riding I'm going to do.

  12. #12
    Home School Valedictorian 02Giant's Avatar
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    I started wearing a helmet this year (still figuring out why) I do not ride any different with or without a helmet. I believe those seen running lights, cycling up the inside of trucks or buses would do the same helmet or not. I believe the comment is way off track.

    In before the move to the "Helmet Thread"
    We've got no fear, no doubt, all in balls out

  13. #13
    Senior Member CrankyOne's Avatar
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    From Helmets

    3 Head injuries as a percent of all bicycle injuries are slightly lower in The Netherlands (32%) with almost zero helmet use as in the U.S. (33%) with high helmet use. Minnesota, with very high helmet use, has an even higher rate of 37%.
    If helmets provide so much protection, why is that? Statistically the same in NL & US. Shouldn't the US rate be much lower?
    Last edited by CrankyOne; 06-15-14 at 05:40 AM.

  14. #14
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    In Amsterdam, arguably the bicycling capital of the world, the wearing of helmets is almost non existent.

  15. #15
    Senior Member SmallFront's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CrankyOne View Post
    From Helmets



    If helmets provide so much protection, why is that? Statistically the same in NL & US. Shouldn't the US rate be much lower?
    Not necessarily. What those figures doesn't show is the type of cycling that went on before the crash. In the US, apart from Freds, it seems only superserious cyclists and mountainbikers wear helmets, whereas in the Netherlands, (and much more in Denmark), a wider array of cyclists wear them. I think the US is up there with Netherlands because the people wearing helmets in the US drive much more aggressively (mountainbiking, road cycling (i.e. training on "road bikes") etc.). In other words, it is not an argument against wearing helmets, as you can't tell from those figures what kind of cycling took place before the crash/accident.

    [Edit: And you would need to compare the severity of head injury between the same sort of cycling, grouped in people with vs without helmets /end edit]

    Slightly off-topic, perhaps:

    I can't remember if it was in this thread, but someone said that a helmet doesn't protect you if you are rear ended. That is a weird claim, considering the back of your head is really, really likely to hit something if you are rear-ended. The latest I have seen was that video posted here, where a motorcyclist rear ends a cyclist. In the slow motion portion of the video, follow the cyclist's head, and see it smash down on the asphalt. Now, imagine that without a helmet. He would have been seriously injured had he not worn a helmet. The same goes with a car rear-ending you, only you will propably hit your head on the car and not on the asphalt.

  16. #16
    Senior Member eja_ bottecchia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mithrandir View Post
    What's important is that you found a way to feel superior to someone.
    My thought exactly. I will never understand the need, that some adults have, to publicly justify one's personal choices--especially when doing so involves putting other people down.
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  17. #17
    Senior Member rydabent's Avatar
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    IMO there are really very few accidents. It is mainly inattention and being situationally unaware that results in "accidents". A driver that runs into the back of a cyclist while texting is NOT and accident.

  18. #18
    Senior Member elcruxio's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SmallFront View Post
    Not necessarily. What those figures doesn't show is the type of cycling that went on before the crash. In the US, apart from Freds, it seems only superserious cyclists and mountainbikers wear helmets, whereas in the Netherlands, (and much more in Denmark), a wider array of cyclists wear them. I think the US is up there with Netherlands because the people wearing helmets in the US drive much more aggressively (mountainbiking, road cycling (i.e. training on "road bikes") etc.). In other words, it is not an argument against wearing helmets, as you can't tell from those figures what kind of cycling took place before the crash/accident.

    [Edit: And you would need to compare the severity of head injury between the same sort of cycling, grouped in people with vs without helmets /end edit]

    Slightly off-topic, perhaps:

    I can't remember if it was in this thread, but someone said that a helmet doesn't protect you if you are rear ended. That is a weird claim, considering the back of your head is really, really likely to hit something if you are rear-ended. The latest I have seen was that video posted here, where a motorcyclist rear ends a cyclist. In the slow motion portion of the video, follow the cyclist's head, and see it smash down on the asphalt. Now, imagine that without a helmet. He would have been seriously injured had he not worn a helmet. The same goes with a car rear-ending you, only you will propably hit your head on the car and not on the asphalt.
    Also a wider range of cyclists wear helmets in denmark and netherlands? Well if you mean by that that a huge majority of cyclists don't wear helmets then yes, I guess that can be claimed when looking at the percentages of actual helmet wearing. But all of that is pretty much irrelevant since no one does wear one.
    And as I pointed out earlier, the need for a helmet is largely dependent on the type of cycling. The type commonly done in netherlands, denmark, finland, and rest of europe does not require a helmet while niche hobby cycling is of course a very different topic.
    Also a reason why helmets should never be mandated since only a minority of cyclists actually need them. A law which would address this would be overly casuistic and impossible to enforce since it would be the responsibility of the state to actually prove the cyclist is a hobbyist doing hobby stuff and not just going from A to B

    I'm sure a helmet will prove very lifesaving when you enter a car through the windshield and sustain catastrophic mass trauma. In the cases I pointed out a cyclist is likely to die be it from the head injury or a number of other massive injuries. But funnily enough I remember reading somewhere that if a cyclist dies of catastrophic injuries the head trauma is still labeled as the cause of death.
    That motorcycle was a one off, since mostly rear endings are performed by actual cars or larger vehicles. It is a very lucky cyclist who just flies over the rear ending car.
    Last edited by elcruxio; 06-15-14 at 07:07 AM.

  19. #19
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    Wow... just wow @ people arguing against helmets as some sort of death prevention device.

    It's the same pathetic strawman argument that insists helmets are unnecessary because they're not mystical artifacts that guarantees protection against paralysis, death, etc. People wear helmets because the VAST MAJORITY of head-related accidents are not fatal but can lead to various complications if serious enough. A good helmet provides some insurance against that possibility.

    Fall on your helmeted head in the park? Dust yourself off and keep riding. Fall on your unprotected head in the park? Go back home, clean the wound, and nurse a raging headache a few hours later.

    Yes it is a choice, but somehow a few of the anti-helmet people have some sick need to spread their 'knowledge' to everyone else. The TC's humble attitude says it all. I'm sure you'd make a great Jehovah's Witness.

    .

  20. #20
    Senior Member Dave Cutter's Avatar
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    Yesterday while out on a normal 20 mile loop that in part takes me through a residential area I saw a yard sale with a bicycle. I stopped just to take a peak. As I walked down the driveway towards the garage there was a pop-up shelter that had been erected for shade. As I walked under the pop-up.... at the very second a lady shouted "watch out for your head".... my bicycle helmet hit the sharp edge she was warning me about.

    Because there was children present... I tried to use my superhero-voice when I replied to the lady that shouted the warning: "Don't worry... I am wearing a helmet".

    Just sayin... you never know when you're going to need your helmet.... you know just to be sure. I am wearing mine now here in the living room because I have both the TV and laptop on which I am sure causes a distraction.

  21. #21
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Cutter View Post
    Yesterday while out on a normal 20 mile loop that in part takes me through a residential area I saw a yard sale with a bicycle. I stopped just to take a peak. As I walked down the driveway towards the garage there was a pop-up shelter that had been erected for shade. As I walked under the pop-up.... at the very second a lady shouted "watch out for your head".... my bicycle helmet hit the sharp edge she was warning me about.

    Because there was children present... I tried to use my superhero-voice when I replied to the lady that shouted the warning: "Don't worry... I am wearing a helmet".

    Just sayin... you never know when you're going to need your helmet.... you know just to be sure. I am wearing mine now here in the living room because I have both the TV and laptop on which I am sure causes a distraction.
    Sounds like a recommendation that careless dumbasses, a$$holes, and doofuses (cyclist or not) should wear a helmet at all times.

  22. #22
    Senior Member Dave Cutter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
    Sounds like a recommendation that careless dumbasses, a$$holes, and doofuses (cyclist or not) should wear a helmet at all times.
    Just to be safe! I'd include people who have already experienced head trauma injuries.... who now have reduced verbal skills and can't select polite nouns.

  23. #23
    20+mph Commuter JoeyBike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Cutter View Post
    ...there was a pop-up shelter that had been erected for shade. As I walked under the pop-up.... at the very second a lady shouted "watch out for your head".... my bicycle helmet hit the sharp edge she was warning me about.
    That's funny because my helmet has saved me from bumping into things like that a few times on foot but never in a bike crash. I almost always buy helmets with visors so my range of visibility upwards is compromised. But a baseball cap would have the same effect but without the extra protection.
    "For all we know his skills may be excellent, allowing him to ride like an idiot without actually being one." - FBinNY

  24. #24
    rugged individualist wphamilton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CrankyOne View Post
    From Helmets



    If helmets provide so much protection, why is that? Statistically the same in NL & US. Shouldn't the US rate be much lower?
    It could be related to the differences in infrastructure, and that their cycling speeds are so much lower along with shorter distances traveled.

    In the USA a large portion of the serious head injuries suffered by cyclists are due to auto-bike collisions. Perhaps that is less likely in NL.

    That reasoning makes less sense with the higher injury rate in Minnesota however.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Northwestrider View Post

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