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Old 09-28-07, 05:43 AM   #1
1ply
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Setting an example

The other day I had an interesting conversation with someone leaving work at the same time as me.

First thing she said is "where's the helmet?"
to each their own but I don't feel that helmet use should be mandated, but I digress... we chatted for a few seconds (red light) and our conversation ended with her telling me that "I should be setting an example" as the light changed and she sped off leaving me thinking... "I already am".




As her overweight body in her spewing sedan sputtered into the distance........


Thought I'd share.

And on the conversion note - I have completed my first mandatory month of cycle commuting! I've been at it for several months now (since May I think) but I've always had the option to take the car. Well as of September 1 I no longer have that option so I can't exercise it.

During the month of September I estimate my savings at about $400. It would be $500 but I bought some things (pants) for commuting so I will deduct this from the savings.

Save on.

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Old 09-28-07, 06:26 AM   #2
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Do what you want. Your a grown adult and can make your own decisions.
However accidents can and do happen. And if in an accident, you hit your head; it doesn't take a particularly hard impact to risk serious, lasting, debillitating or even fatal injury. I always wear a helmet, but I wouldn't presume to lecture a stranger on doing so also. Unless invited to as per this thread. :]

I find it ironic when I see kids here wearing helmets yet their parents riding with them dont. Its the law here (is it so in Canada?), but I think parents should be setting an example for their kids, as well as thinking of their own safety.
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Old 09-28-07, 06:44 AM   #3
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find it ironic when I see kids here wearing helmets yet their parents riding with them dont. Its the law here (is it so in Canada?), but I think parents should be setting an example for their kids, as well as thinking of their own safety.
I'll echo this. I agree, you have choice, but wearing a helmet is an easy, safe, and cheap thing to do for your health. I note a lot of young people, university students, in this town not wearing helmets... so I'm guessing it is some sort of... fashion concern. Of course if an accident happened, causing a neck/head injury, that would really mess up their fashion style.

I guess I'm lucky to live in a town where, on any given morning, 5-6 cars will stop at street-path intersections and wave cyclists across.
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Old 09-28-07, 06:50 AM   #4
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If you see her again, ask her who you need to be an example for - and if you accept the job, is she willing to back you up on sick days.
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Old 09-28-07, 07:02 AM   #5
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In general, I don't take well to people offering up free advice especially in a situation like that. With that said, I do use a helmet but would never think of telling another adult or even a child that wasn't mine to wear one. To me it seems it just seems logical to wear one and I do have a child that I am trying to set an example for. If someone else chooses not to wear one, that's their prerogative.
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Old 09-28-07, 07:09 AM   #6
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I was actually more upset about someone that's clearly out of shape telling me to set an example as she drove off....

Helmet wise I think I'll go back to wearing one soon (once temps drop and there's more chance of slippage).

As it is, at 6 am there's not too many cars around here and when I ride back it's usually around 5:30 right after the big rush to get home ends. I'm in the lull before "let's get home" and "let's go shopping".

Of course I could also argue that the only person I know who was seriously injured was hurt more BECAUSE of the helmet. Snapped his neck when his chin hit his chest after a not so cool landing. I'm sure the extra 2" at the back of his head didn't help in this situation (more to push the head forward).

Of course it could be that those 2" saved him from being a paraplegic vegetable.... the argument will never end.
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Old 09-28-07, 07:11 AM   #7
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People on their soap boxes drive me crazy. I think they find solice in critiqueing others. IMO, there's nothing wrong with riding a bike without a helmet! There, I said it. (Even so, I wear one. Just a habit) Feels better.

I've got an older sister who weighs about 270 pounds and calls me everytime there's a bike accident anywhere in the world. She thinks it's very unsafe.

Yet, her inactivity is killing her and I can't say a thing about it. If I hinted that she was overweight or needed excersize, I'd get my head handed to me on a platter!

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Old 09-28-07, 07:12 AM   #8
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Yea, I wouldn't take kindly to a heart attack waiting to happen, sitting in a mini van giving me safety advice either.
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Old 09-28-07, 07:16 AM   #9
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OMG! Someone with common sense! Thdave is the man.

I ride with a helmet almost all of the time. I am under no illusion that it offers some sort of magical protection against stupidity. However, I enjoy taking short rides around my town without a helmet. The issue with this is that my 4 year old son takes offense to hypocrisy. So, being that I want him to wear a helmet while learning to ride a bike, I am now required to wear one all the time. I suppose there are worse things to complain about.
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Old 09-28-07, 07:35 AM   #10
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Our office athlete (softball, skiing, biking) was on a bike at a fairly low speed and somehow hit some gravel or something and took a spill. She hit her head and was out of work for two months.

Bicycling is not dangerous, people in other countries don't wear helmets, etc., etc. But the fact remains that if one does hit one's head the result can be bad. Therefore I myself always wear a helmet as cheap insurance.

I predict that within my own lifetime it will become socially acceptable for gentlemen to keep their hats on indoors, and the change will be led by bicycle riders who keep their helmets on when ducking into the grocery store, drug store, library, etc.
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Old 09-28-07, 07:56 AM   #11
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I predict that within my own lifetime it will become socially acceptable for gentlemen to keep their hats on indoors, and the change will be led by bicycle riders who keep their helmets on when ducking into the grocery store, drug store, library, etc.
I predict that you're wrong. In years gone by, a gentleman would remove their hat when entering a building as a show of respect.

This has gone away and been replaced with baseball caps for everyone, everywhere, anytime.

Well maybe you're right... as the population ages and gets balder hats may become more popular.
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Old 09-28-07, 08:04 AM   #12
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I always keep my ball-cap hat on. I am currently wearing a "I (heart) biking" hat at work. Mainly because I am cold as they still have the AC on. I sometimes take it off if I go to lunch with older coworkers even though they would never complain. Only place I don't wear a hat is church as I am not female or Jewish, the only 2 exceptions I know of.

Then again, I am not a gentleman and I don't wear a real hat.

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Old 09-28-07, 08:05 AM   #13
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I'm pretty fanatical about wearing a helmet myself, but I don't care what other people do. I was in a fairly low speed (~25MPH) motorcycle collision this spring. From the damage to my helmet, I would have had a major brain injury and the left side of my face would be gone if I hadn't been wearing it. As it was, if I hadn't also broken my foot I could have walked away. So, I like helmets.
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Old 09-28-07, 08:12 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swwhite View Post
Our office athlete (softball, skiing, biking) was on a bike at a fairly low speed and somehow hit some gravel or something and took a spill. She hit her head and was out of work for two months.
Somehow it's those low speed accidents that get ya, isn't it? My friend Loc was on the sidewalk in front of our apartment building, coming home from a long ride. He couldn't have been going more than 3 or 4 mph, turned the corner to his apartment and tipped over. No time to unclip, so he put his hand out to catch himself and ended up breaking his wrist.

Quote:
Originally Posted by swwhite
I predict that within my own lifetime it will become socially acceptable for gentlemen to keep their hats on indoors, and the change will be led by bicycle riders who keep their helmets on when ducking into the grocery store, drug store, library, etc.
I do that already... Oh, wait. You said it would be socially acceptable. I guess I do get some funny looks when I'm walking through the grocery store in my bibs and jersey, with my helmet unclipped but still perched atop my head. I just think of it as stopping to run errands on my way home, just like anyone else might do on their way from work.
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Old 09-28-07, 08:17 AM   #15
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I was going to get my bike at the grocery store when an older woman was getting off her bike. "Where's your helmet?", she asked. I pointed to my helmet which was hanging on my cable lock. I had the same feeling, even with a fellow rider - none of your business, lady.

One guy I know went over the bars when his chain locked in the front derailleur. He was a professor at Washington University in St. Louis. He didn't need a helmet as he only rode a mile to work in a low traffic area. His wife has been taking care of him ever since - the SSI check he collects helps a bit. So, I wear a helmet and still don't tell other people what to do.

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Old 09-28-07, 08:19 AM   #16
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She was right. Wear a helmet. Then the next time you see her, tell her to lose some weight.
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Old 09-28-07, 08:43 AM   #17
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"Where's your helmet?"

"Why, it's right here, madam - where's your bike?"

Last edited by truman; 09-28-07 at 11:33 AM.
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Old 09-28-07, 08:50 AM   #18
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I've been riding for the better part of 30 years and so I have seen U.S. helmet styles from just about the beginning. The one thing I'll say about helmets is that the scalp bleeds like no other part of the body. We used to wear those "hairnets" back in the day and even those helped.

I was broadsided by an F-250 in March '04 commuting to work in the early morning. I went up and over the top of the hood, bounced off the windshield and suffered a third-degree shoulder separation. Oddly enough, because it was cold and I wanted a warmer helmet, I was wearing my prologue helmet and I cracked it on the windshield. I did black out momentarily because I don't remember the aerial portion of my ride that morning, but it was nice to have an intact mellon and I didn't suffer any head injuries from the accident other than the instantaneous concussion. By the way, the helmet cracked right where my ear was, as this helmet had a special foam fairing around the ear area, it was providence that morning for sure.
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Old 09-28-07, 08:52 AM   #19
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Obesity epidemic, Global warming. If only there were a common solution. B'ah that's crazy talk.
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Old 09-28-07, 08:54 AM   #20
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You guys and your stories. I'll start wearing my noggin blocker next week.

I BETTER have an accident now since I'll be so well prepared

I'd knock on wood but they don't have any of that here for my safety - you know, splinters and all...
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Old 09-28-07, 09:03 AM   #21
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I think the motorcycle saying applies to cycling as well - there are two types of bikers: Those who have gone down and those who will.

I crashed a while ago and broke my shoulder blade, a rib, and a collarbone. I wasn't wearing a helmet. Had I landed differently I either would have been a vegetable or died. I always wear a helmet now. Nobody plans to crash - it just happens. If you ride enough, it will happen.

That said, there are more health problems in the US from being fat than crashing. Your health insurer would probably rather you ride a bike sans helmet than ride your office chair sans exercise. In the end it's your life and your responsibility. If someone decides not to wear a helmet because you don't wear a helmet, they're weak.
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Old 09-28-07, 09:29 AM   #22
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I think the motorcycle saying applies to cycling as well - there are two types of bikers: Those who have gone down and those who will.
The bike version is "It's not a matter of if, but when and how hard."
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Old 09-28-07, 09:35 AM   #23
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If someone decides not to wear a helmet because you don't wear a helmet, they're weak.
Or if they DO wear a helmet because you told them to....
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Old 09-28-07, 10:15 AM   #24
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I'm a pretty big advocate of helmets, but I don't think I'd ever confront another cyclist on the road about it. One of my commuting buddies pats his skid lid and says "always wear the helmet!" when he passes another cyclist without one. Personally, I think it's a little rude and annoying, but if he wishes to wax evangelical, so be it. Just like the people he preaches to are old enough to accept the risks of choosing a helmet or not, he is old enough to accept the risks of pushing his opinion on others.

That said, I would probably choose to not get offended, but come back with a witty remark.

"Shouldn't you be setting an example?"

"By doing what? Driving everywhere? Thanks for the tip."
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Old 09-28-07, 10:42 AM   #25
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I've got an older sister who weighs about 270 pounds and calls me everytime there's a bike accident anywhere in the world. She thinks it's very unsafe.
Man, I'd SO be calling her up or emailling her every time I saw a report of a car accident.
Next time she brings it up, mention that 125 people died in car accidents today, just in the US.

I'd really like to bring up something related to obesity too but as you say, it won't be appreciated (she already knows, really, that she's killing herself slowly). And try to be compassionate when she has her first heart attack or knee replacement or whatever.
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