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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: What Are Your Helmet Wearing Habits?
I've never worn a bike helmet 52 10.40%
I used to wear a helmet, but have stopped 24 4.80%
I've always worn a helmet 208 41.60%
I didn't wear a helmet, but now do 126 25.20%
I sometimes wear a helmet depending on the conditions 90 18.00%
Voters: 500. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 11-06-14, 10:17 PM   #126
Mark Stone
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Originally Posted by jpietri View Post
And I thought this was a friendly forum...geez!
It is . . . You just happened to stumble into one of the areas of our forums where a little thick skin may help from time to time. Just don't take stuff personally
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Old 11-07-14, 12:14 AM   #127
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Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
But also

►As a newby I was right-hooked, over the bars, no helmet no head injury, so a helmet wouldn't have helped.

► A few months later I hit the ice in a gutter, no helmet, had a scalp cut. A helmet would definitely have helped.

► A few years later wearing a helmet, hit head on by a cyclist, went over the bars but the helmet never touched. So the helmet was no help.

► Hit a gutter road hazard at 25 mph, over the bars again, the helmet didn't impact but had some scratches this time. It might have helped.

So my personal anecdotal evidence is: No, Yes, No, and Maybe wear a helmet. And "stay away from gutters".
Well put.

And generalizing a bit...

One needs to know just two things to decide.

1. There are only two kinds of bikers: the ones who will fall and the ones who have fallen and will fall again.

2. When falling from a bike the chances of hitting your head are not negligible.

It's a simple guide to action from obvious cycling experience.

If you have reasons like vanity or a great sense of safety because you are special... Hey! Your head, your way.

What is unacceptable is to proselytize not using a helmet, as some do, even when contrary facts stare at them. Plain facts like the advisability of letting some cushioned shield take the brunt of hard blows to one's head, if at all possible.

I remember threads like this in MOTORcycle forums, same bunk. It seems that every passionate issue eventually gravitates toward opposite poles. If we put all members of a political party in a new state, in a while there would be two political parties, at least. It appears that no matter how ridiculous the extreme you are standing on may be, as long as you can throw spitballs at someone on the other side of some aisle. Curious species.

In fact, I hear medieval knights never settled the issue of whether helmets in battle increased survival, either.
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Old 11-07-14, 05:37 AM   #128
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And I thought this was a friendly forum...geez!
What if I told you this forum is friendly because they keep this discussion quarantined from the rest of it?

That said, people who think that "you should always wear a helmet" might learn a thing or two if by lurking on this forum despite the toxic atmosphere here. It's not as black and white as you seem to think.
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Old 11-07-14, 07:13 AM   #129
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1. There are only two kinds of bikers: the ones who will fall and the ones who have fallen and will fall again.

2. When falling from a bike the chances of hitting your head are not negligible.

It's a simple guide to action from obvious cycling experience.
My experience in nearly 50 years of riding in traffic has never given me reason to want to wear a helmet. If your experience indicates otherwise, great, but perhaps you should go back to the training wheels...it will be safer for you.
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Old 11-07-14, 07:15 AM   #130
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When I look at the helmet issue, I look at it like this:
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Old 11-07-14, 07:50 AM   #131
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Originally Posted by Tiglath View Post
1. There are only two kinds of bikers: the ones who will fall and the ones who have fallen and will fall again.

2. When falling from a bike the chances of hitting your head are not negligible.

It's a simple guide to action from obvious cycling experience.

If you have reasons like vanity or a great sense of safety because you are special... Hey! Your head, your way.
Correct: Simple.
Very Simple Indeed.
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Old 11-07-14, 09:02 AM   #132
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"My experience in nearly 50 years of riding in traffic has never given me reason to want to wear a helmet."

This poster thinks that his lucky experience is the best one to go by when deciding this question.

He thinks that what happens to other less lucky people, often through no fault of their own, is irrelevant when surmising the odds.

Great plan. As I said, his head, his way.

I heard once that learning from the experience and mistakes of others saves a lot of time and grief.

Last edited by Tiglath; 11-07-14 at 09:09 AM.
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Old 11-07-14, 09:04 AM   #133
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My experience in nearly 50 years of riding in traffic has never given me reason to want to wear a helmet. If your experience indicates otherwise, great, but perhaps you should go back to the training wheels...it will be safer for you.
Such a fine argument... since my thinking differs from yours, I must be an incompetent rider, right?

If traffic around you was as kind as you are to strangers, you would be lying in pieces. Buzz off!
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Old 11-07-14, 09:31 AM   #134
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Originally Posted by Tiglath View Post
One needs to know just two things to decide.

1. There are only two kinds of bikers: the ones who will fall and the ones who have fallen and will fall again.

2. When falling from a bike the chances of hitting your head are not negligible.

It's a simple guide to action from obvious cycling experience.

If you have reasons like vanity or a great sense of safety because you are special... Hey! Your head, your way.

What is unacceptable is to proselytize not using a helmet, as some do, even when contrary facts stare at them. Plain facts like the advisability of letting some cushioned shield take the brunt of hard blows to one's head, if at all possible.

I remember threads like this in MOTORcycle forums, same bunk. It seems that every passionate issue eventually gravitates toward opposite poles. If we put all members of a political party in a new state, in a while there would be two political parties, at least. It appears that no matter how ridiculous the extreme you are standing on may be, as long as you can throw spitballs at someone on the other side of some aisle. Curious species.

In fact, I hear medieval knights never settled the issue of whether helmets in battle increased survival, either.
There are many more than two generalized things to consider when deciding to wear a helmet or not. And besides:

1. Crashing your bike is not a regular thing and is rare.

2 When crashing your bike, chances of hitting your head are low. Chances of hitting your head and sustaining an injury are lower, and if a head injury is sustained, chances are good that you would still have sustained head injury even if you were wearing a helmet.

You do not have to be vain or think you have some special safety sense to not wear a helmet. This is an inflammatory statement you are making.

There aren't too many here proselytizing non-use of helmet, but there are plenty here who bristle at those proselytizing helmet use, calling non-users vain, "special," organ donors, etc.

Motorcycle helmets and helmet use is very, very different from bicycle helmets and helmet use. The comparison falls short and is not useful in the context of this bicycle helmet thread. Same thing with medieval knights' armor.
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Old 11-07-14, 09:35 AM   #135
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"My experience in nearly 50 years of riding in traffic has never given me reason to want to wear a helmet."

This poster thinks that his lucky experience is the best one to go by when deciding this question. ...

Great plan.
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Such a fine argument... since my thinking differs from yours, I must be an incompetent rider, right?

If traffic around you was as kind as you are to strangers, you would be lying in pieces. Buzz off!
Can hand it out; can't take it.

Do yourself a favor: there's a link in the first post of this thread to the previous Helmet Thread. Maybe skim through any random 20 pages or so...
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Old 11-07-14, 09:35 AM   #136
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I heard once that learning from the experience and mistakes of others saves a lot of time and grief.
I don't really believe you want us to learn "from the experience and mistakes of others" because it seems more like you just want us to accept the Magical Foam Hat as our Lid and Savior.


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Old 11-07-14, 10:18 AM   #137
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There are many more than two generalized things to consider when deciding to wear a helmet or not. And besides:

1. Crashing your bike is not a regular thing and is rare.

2 When crashing your bike, chances of hitting your head are low. ...
Scrapes, cuts, contusions are fairly common head injuries which are pretty well protected by a helmet. Whether protection against minor injuries is worth it to a given rider on a given day is another story.

Not to forget the possibility of skull fractures and inter-cranial hemorage, for which the helmets provide some significant protection. Anticipating ILTB's next comment, although this data is from pediatric patients:
Pediatric bicycle injury prevention and the effect of helmet use: the West Virginia experience.


"Skull fractures occurred in 3.2% of the helmeted and 17.4% of the un-helmeted (p = 0.0408) riders. The rate of intra-cranial hemorrhage was 0% in helmeted riders and 17.4% in un-helmeted riders"

To be sure, this says nothing of the likelihood of an injury to begin with but does suggest that these kinds of injuries are mitigated.
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Old 11-07-14, 10:25 AM   #138
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Sir, you insult without provocation, so for peace's sake do yourself a favor and talk to someone else.

It must be awful to have no manners.
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Old 11-07-14, 10:39 AM   #139
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Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
Scrapes, cuts, contusions are fairly common head injuries which are pretty well protected by a helmet. Whether protection against minor injuries is worth it to a given rider on a given day is another story.

Not to forget the possibility of skull fractures and inter-cranial hemorage, for which the helmets provide some significant protection. Anticipating ILTB's next comment, although this data is from pediatric patients:
Pediatric bicycle injury prevention and the effect of helmet use: the West Virginia experience.


"Skull fractures occurred in 3.2% of the helmeted and 17.4% of the un-helmeted (p = 0.0408) riders. The rate of intra-cranial hemorrhage was 0% in helmeted riders and 17.4% in un-helmeted riders"

To be sure, this says nothing of the likelihood of an injury to begin with but does suggest that these kinds of injuries are mitigated.
There is plenty of concrete hard evidence that arranging for a cushioned shield to take the brunt of any blow to the head is a very good idea.

Objections to helmets boil down to disputing this very concept, sometimes unconsciously.

The most common reason I see for skeptics is that they never hit their head in a fall yet. They mistake luck for safety.

If scientific studies only looked at cases that validate the initial assumption we would all be patting each other in the back between nasty surprises.

To find out a good approximation to the truth one must consider all outcomes. The lucky cyclists and the unlucky ones.

That why I was already wearing a helmet the day my luck run out, and I am here because of it.
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Old 11-07-14, 10:43 AM   #140
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Scrapes, cuts, contusions are fairly common head injuries which are pretty well protected by a helmet. Whether protection against minor injuries is worth it to a given rider on a given day is another story.

Not to forget the possibility of skull fractures and inter-cranial hemorage, for which the helmets provide some significant protection. Anticipating ILTB's next comment, although this data is from pediatric patients:
Pediatric bicycle injury prevention and the effect of helmet use: the West Virginia experience.


"Skull fractures occurred in 3.2% of the helmeted and 17.4% of the un-helmeted (p = 0.0408) riders. The rate of intra-cranial hemorrhage was 0% in helmeted riders and 17.4% in un-helmeted riders"

To be sure, this says nothing of the likelihood of an injury to begin with but does suggest that these kinds of injuries are mitigated.
Nothing I wrote is contrary to what you are saying here...
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Old 11-07-14, 10:46 AM   #141
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Sir, you insult without provocation, so for peace's sake do yourself a favor and talk to someone else.

It must be awful to have no manners.
Your first post in this discussion contained an implied insult to all those who do not wear helmets.

Do you have a mirror at your place...?
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Old 11-07-14, 10:52 AM   #142
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There is plenty of concrete hard evidence that arranging for a cushioned shield to take the brunt of any blow to the head is a very good idea.

Objections to helmets boil down to disputing this very concept, sometimes unconsciously.

The most common reason I see for skeptics is that they never hit their head in a fall yet. They mistake luck for safety.

If scientific studies only looked at cases that validate the initial assumption we would all be patting each other in the back between nasty surprises.

To find out a good approximation to the truth one must consider all outcomes. The lucky cyclists and the unlucky ones.

That why I was already wearing a helmet the day my luck run out, and I am here because of it.
While a general statement of a cushioned shield taking the brunt of any blow to the head as being a good idea may be true, the application of this statement regarding bicycle helmets is far from clear.

There are plenty of other objections to wearing helmets.

If you think the most common reason for skeptics to not wear helmets is that they have never hit their head and that they mistake luck for safety, you haven't done much research on this subject. Again, go back to the previous Helmet Thread and do some reading...

If all outcomes are considered, those who don't wear helmets are pretty much as justified as those who do. Cycling is safe.

There is no way you can tell if you are here because you were wearing a helmet the day you crashed on your head, there is no way you can tell if you wouldn't be here if you hadn't been wearing a helmet. Just like no bare-header can say your helmet didn't help, or that you would most certainly still be here if you weren't wearing one.
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Old 11-07-14, 10:53 AM   #143
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Nothing I wrote is contrary to what you are saying here...
True, but I felt that you left some out so I filled in the blanks.

Where you said "head injury is sustained, chances are good that you would still have sustained head injury even if you were wearing a helmet." could be construed to mean that a helmet has poor chances to mitigate an injury. It seemed worthwhile to bring up some data showing that the helmet does have good chances to mitigate specific kinds of injury.

Your statement may be true if we consider traumatic brain injuries, severe concussions. But less true if we consider the less severe injuries, and not at all true if we consider scrapes, cuts and contusions.
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Old 11-07-14, 10:56 AM   #144
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There is plenty of concrete hard evidence that arranging for a cushioned shield to take the brunt of any blow to the head is a very good idea.

Objections to helmets boil down to disputing this very concept, sometimes unconsciously.
...

Not really. If I look at the odds of my having a potentially severe accident on a particular ride, and multiply that by the probability that I'll mess up or by chance hit something with my head, the probability of a helmet being useful may be too low to warrant its use.
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Old 11-07-14, 11:18 AM   #145
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Sir, you insult without provocation, so for peace's sake do yourself a favor and talk to someone else.
Actually you have been rude, condescending and insulting from your first post in this topic onward. You sort of had it coming.
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Old 11-07-14, 11:38 AM   #146
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Actually you have been rude, condescending and insulting from your first post in this topic onward. You sort of had it coming.
I dare you to quote the alleged 'insults' Can you?
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Old 11-07-14, 11:54 AM   #147
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I dare you to quote the alleged 'insults' Can you?
You basically start out with implying that people who ride without a helmet are superficial delusional idiots that should STFU

Quote:
If you have reasons like vanity or a great sense of safety because you are special... Hey! Your head, your way.

What is unacceptable is to proselytize not using a helmet, as some do, even when contrary facts stare at them. Plain facts like the advisability of letting some cushioned shield take the brunt of hard blows to one's head, if at all possible.
As far as I'm considered implied insults are insults too.
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Old 11-07-14, 11:57 AM   #148
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True, but I felt that you left some out so I filled in the blanks.

Where you said "head injury is sustained, chances are good that you would still have sustained head injury even if you were wearing a helmet." could be construed to mean that a helmet has poor chances to mitigate an injury. It seemed worthwhile to bring up some data showing that the helmet does have good chances to mitigate specific kinds of injury.

Your statement may be true if we consider traumatic brain injuries, severe concussions. But less true if we consider the less severe injuries, and not at all true if we consider scrapes, cuts and contusions.
Again, don't disagree with you -- I was responding in kind to the post I quoted, which was very general statements and did not require the kind of detail you provided.

But thanks!

BTW, since there are some new contributors to Helmet Thread: I wear a helmet just about every time I'm riding a bike because if all they do is provide protection against "superficial" and light injuries in the exceptionally rare event I crash my bike and strike my head, that's good enough for me.

Plus, helmets are way cool. Hannibal wore one. So did Patton. F1 racers wear helmets, and they are way cool. You know who didn't wear a helmet? Jesus. Just a crown of thorns, and look where that got Him...
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Old 11-07-14, 11:59 AM   #149
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While a general statement of a cushioned shield taking the brunt of any blow to the head as being a good idea may be true, the application of this statement regarding bicycle helmets is far from clear..
That was easy to write, but I bet explaining why isn't.


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If you think the most common reason for skeptics to not wear helmets is that they have never hit their head and that they mistake luck for safety, you haven't done much research on this subject. Again, go back to the previous Helmet Thread and do some reading.....
Assigning reading homework is no evidence. If you have any, show it.

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If all outcomes are considered, those who don't wear helmets are pretty much as justified as those who do. Cycling is safe.
All you can say is that YOU think that cycling is safe. You really should not decide the question for anyone else, since there is plenty of evidence that your platitude is misleading.

How can you possible conclude that cycling is safe, a fairly absolute statement, when some 50k cyclists are injured every year in the US alone, and hundreds die, and the number of injuries have increased almost 10% since 2001? It boggles the mind. Some 'safety.'


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There is no way you can tell if you are here because you were wearing a helmet the day you crashed on your head, there is no way you can tell if you wouldn't be here if you hadn't been wearing a helmet. Just like no bare-header can say your helmet didn't help, or that you would most certainly still be here if you weren't wearing one.
That sounds like nihilism: "we can't know anything"

It's a bit silly not to recognize that it is HIGHLY LIKELY that if the blow that cracked my helmet almost in half had been applied to the side of the head, where the impact happened, I would have either died or sustained a serious head injury. No reasonable man would dispute that, but here, who knows...
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Old 11-07-14, 12:05 PM   #150
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I dare you to quote the alleged 'insults' Can you?
Consider it an initiation into the Helmet thread, nominally and specifically maintained for the sole purpose of containing the contentious and often personal arguments that are somehow inevitable when helmets are discussed.

Merely posting in this thread can sometimes be considered an insult. Not posting while ignoring someone is considered insulting by some. Some people get riled up even when you agree with them. There is no way around it.
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