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Old 03-19-09, 08:43 AM   #1
cranky old dude
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Helmets

If Natasha Richardson can die from a fall on a Bunny Slope, I guess I need to be more vigilant about wearing my helmet. Untill now I generally didn't bother with one when doing maintainance/test rides out in front of the house. I,ve even been tempted to ride the recumbent along the River Trail without my helmet. The temptation is now gone.

My thoughts are with her family.

Lesson: any one can have a freak accident- - - wear that helmet 100% of the time.

EDIT: wear that helmet 100% of the time that you're on your bike.

Last edited by cranky old dude; 03-19-09 at 09:22 AM.
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Old 03-19-09, 09:07 AM   #2
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IMHO this is just the sort of accident that the helmet helps prevent. Nothing is perfect, but a couple of percentage points here and there can be the difference.
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Old 03-19-09, 09:08 AM   #3
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Absolutely true. I always wear a helmet on the bike but interestingly (stupidly) I have not when I ski. I was in Lake Tahoe in Jan/Feb and took a bad fall the last day that had me spin around and fall on the back of my head and upper shoulders. It scared me and I told my girlfriend I'm not skiing again until I get a helmet. Now it seems prophetic I said that. I am looking around online for a ski helmet now.

Poor woman and her family. I'm sure it seemed like a harmless fall on that bunny slope and it only goes to show it doesnt' take much to change the course of our lives. It can happen to anyone at any time. Life is short, seize the day!
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Old 03-19-09, 09:18 AM   #4
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helmets

You are so right! I took a bad fall on ice at a rest stop in Iowa this winter when I got out of my car; landed hard on my spine and the back of my head. I took that lesson to heart. Now I keep my helmet next to my bed and it goes on before anything else in the morning. Unfortuntately, I need to take it off when I wash my hair in the shower but I make sure I'm lying down and my safety straps are secure.
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Old 03-19-09, 09:30 AM   #5
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I'm sorry. I had inteneded this as a serious, not sarcastic post. My intention was to point out that many of our recreational activities carry an inherent risk and we should be careful to take all prudent safety measures to protect ourselves from serious injury, or worse.

A woman lost her life. A family lost a loved one.
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Old 03-19-09, 10:11 AM   #6
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I'm sorry. I had inteneded this as a serious, not sarcastic post. My intention was to point out that many of our recreational activities carry an inherent risk and we should be careful to take all prudent safety measures to protect ourselves from serious injury, or worse.

A woman lost her life. A family lost a loved one.
Some of us took the post as you meant it. Not as a insistance but as a caution. I don't wear a helmet when I drive either but I do wear my seat belt. I haven't had a need for the protection provided by that belt either. I still wear it. I never thought skiing was that dangerous but I have noticed more helmets once snowboarding got more popular. But I had just commented to my wife the other day that it looks like a helmet might be a nice addition to ski wear. But I only reccommend them as a caution.

I do feel sorrow for the family.
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Old 03-19-09, 10:34 AM   #7
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My baby brother, age 61, is a supervisor @ Kimberly Clark. We were just talking about this same subject day before yesterday. During a MANDATORY safety class, the instructor was talking about safety gear, specifically SAFETY HELMETS. As a demonstration to show what could happen without wearing one and talking a fall/being struck hard, he had a cantaloupe. He said, "This is what happens to your head." He then took the cantaloupe and tossed it just a few feet into the air where it landed on a concrete pad. You can imagine what the results were. Very impressive demo, I'd say.
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Old 03-19-09, 12:50 PM   #8
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The scary part of this tragedy is that Ms. Richardson evidently did not fall all that hard.

I concur that a helmet can make a big difference in a low-speed fall or a minor collision. The only danger in wearing one is risk compensation, so I always try to ride as though I just realized that I forgot to put on my helmet.
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Old 03-19-09, 12:59 PM   #9
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If Natasha Richardson can die from a fall on a Bunny Slope, I guess I need to be more vigilant about wearing my helmet. Untill now I generally didn't bother with one when doing maintainance/test rides out in front of the house. I,ve even been tempted to ride the recumbent along the River Trail without my helmet. The temptation is now gone.

My thoughts are with her family.

Lesson: any one can have a freak accident- - - wear that helmet 100% of the time.

EDIT: wear that helmet 100% of the time that you're on your bike.
Our sympathies are with her family as well. Tragic loss for them.

You don't have to be moving very fast for your head to hit the ground, or other object, very hard.

The only bad crash I've had to date happened last Labor day. I was only moving around 8 mph when the crash occured. My head hit the pavement so hard that it literally broke my helmet. I don't know if I would have had a serious injury if I had not been wearing that Helmet? But, I'm pretty confident that the Helmet may have helped prevent one.
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Old 03-19-09, 01:03 PM   #10
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I don't understand those that don't, and those that don't wear it properly. Sorry honey but your purty hairdo anit gonna look to purty layed up in a hosptal bed. Those that wear it on the back of their head with unfastened straps.

I've always used a helmet. ONE DAY I thought about skipping it on an mtb ride. I had planned to ride without a helmet forcing myself to do an ez ride. Something told me to wear it and I did. That was the one time I crashed. Flipped over the handlebars and a bodyslam at 25 mph on hardpacked red clay.

Broke the helmet from back to front. I walked away with a few scrathes on my back and not a mark on my head. Well I walked away after laying there for 3 or 4 minutes. I didn't feel any pain but my body wouldn't move. Maybe the body was in shock but I couldn't move. I got up and finished the descent but if I hadn't been wearing a helmet, I think I'd still be out there!
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Old 03-19-09, 01:05 PM   #11
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I often skip the helmet on MUPs especially when I know there won't be many people on them. I know I shouldn't but I do. My son was visiting our vacation home last fall and he didn't have a helmet, so I didn't wear mine. My wife was not happy with either of us, and probably with cause as we went through some heavily conjested tourist areas (not that it should make any difference).

I never wore a helmet until last season, I guess it is a generational thing, I grew up without anyone worrying about hockey helmets, much less bike helmets. My grandkids on the other hand would not think of going on a bike or a skateboard or scooter without one. Guess I need to be more diligent.

Tragic what happened to that young lady.
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Old 03-19-09, 03:52 PM   #12
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Like others, I always wear my helmet, even when taking the bike for a quick test ride after doing a minor repair.

I see a lot of people riding with their kids on the MUP. The kids, whether in a trailer or on a bike are wearing helmets. Many of the the parents (either mom or dad or both) too often are not wearing a helmet. If there's an accident and mom and/or dad have a head injury, who is going to get the kids home? Who is going to tell the emergency people where the kids live?
WEAR YOUR HELMET!!
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Old 03-19-09, 04:33 PM   #13
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Many of the the parents (either mom or dad or both) too often are not wearing a helmet. If there's an accident and mom and/or dad have a head injury, who is going to get the kids home? Who is going to tell the emergency people where the kids live?
WEAR YOUR HELMET!!
I'm wondering where you get the magical helmet that will keep moms and dads from getting in any accident that would knock them unconscious or keep them from being taken away in an ambulance. I'd really like one of those. Though my helmet may have saved me from a lot of things, it did not keep me alert enough to tell the paramedics where I lived. That's why you ride with id. I keep an old drivers license in my jersey pocket.

Nor did the helmet keep me out of the ambulance and ER. And the biggest point to take away from the Natasha Richardson story is if you sustain a head injury DO NOT turn down the ride to the ER. Go get checked out immediately. Even if you are wearing a helmet.
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Old 03-19-09, 04:46 PM   #14
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I went from the racer style of helmet to the more hockey-helmet style recently, only partly because I could get the hockey-style helmet in white and could put Washington Capitals stickers on it, and partly because I'm just not convinced of the efficacy of the racer-style helmets. And since our MUPs are along concrete river beds....

And another reason I wear shorts over my cycling shorts/tights is to give me a place on my body to carry my wallet, with DL and Kaiser cards.
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Old 03-19-09, 06:15 PM   #15
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A few points on the Richardson accident from someone who has skiied Tremblant for many years:

1 I would not consider Nansen Bas to be a "bunny slope." It has some significant pitches and would be considered an intermediate slope at most US resorts. It's easily possible to get up to 30 mph or so on the faster portions if traffic is light.

2 I managed a fairly spectacular wipeout two years ago -- clouds of snow and a long trail of shed equipment. It was good enough to fracture my leg. Ski patrol guy asked how I was as I was getting my skis back on. I don't think he stopped.

3 Based on (2), clearly, a radio call to the ski patrol, followed by a ride to the base in a rescue sled, escort to the bottom, a telephone call for an ambulence, recommendation that she see a doctor, and an hour waiting in her room indicates that the fall was considered very dangerous by the instructor and ski patrol.

4 The weather was warm, and the snow was a combination of ice, heavy wet snow, and slush. I can imagine someone's head digging into that crud and bringing her to a very abrupt stop. As a cyclist, I know how much energy it takes to ride through unplowed sections of that stuff.

5 There is a shorp, but steep pitch right at the beginning of the flats at the bottom of the run. It would not be a good thing to tumble down that slope.

I'm deeply saddened by this accident at a place where my family and I have had so much enjoyment. Nansen Bas goes right to the hotel where we stay, and is my typical last run of the day when not picking my daughter up from ski school. However, based on my observations above, I don't think the accident has much relevance to cycling.

I suffered a severe concussion when hit by a car 33 years ago. That's a good reason for me to always wear a helmet, but this tragic accident is not really relavant to cycling.

Paul
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Old 03-19-09, 07:27 PM   #16
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I'm sorry. I had inteneded this as a serious, not sarcastic post. My intention was to point out that many of our recreational activities carry an inherent risk and we should be careful to take all prudent safety measures to protect ourselves from serious injury, or worse.
A woman lost her life. A family lost a loved one.
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A few points on the Richardson accident from someone who has skiied Tremblant for many years:

1 I would not consider Nansen Bas to be a "bunny slope." It has some significant pitches and would be considered an intermediate slope at most US resorts. It's easily possible to get up to 30 mph or so on the faster portions if traffic is light.

2 I managed a fairly spectacular wipeout two years ago -- clouds of snow and a long trail of shed equipment. It was good enough to fracture my leg. Ski patrol guy asked how I was as I was getting my skis back on. I don't think he stopped.

3 Based on (2), clearly, a radio call to the ski patrol, followed by a ride to the base in a rescue sled, escort to the bottom, a telephone call for an ambulence, recommendation that she see a doctor, and an hour waiting in her room indicates that the fall was considered very dangerous by the instructor and ski patrol.

4 The weather was warm, and the snow was a combination of ice, heavy wet snow, and slush. I can imagine someone's head digging into that crud and bringing her to a very abrupt stop. As a cyclist, I know how much energy it takes to ride through unplowed sections of that stuff.

5 There is a shorp, but steep pitch right at the beginning of the flats at the bottom of the run. It would not be a good thing to tumble down that slope.

I'm deeply saddened by this accident at a place where my family and I have had so much enjoyment. Nansen Bas goes right to the hotel where we stay, and is my typical last run of the day when not picking my daughter up from ski school. However, based on my observations above, I don't think the accident has much relevance to cycling.
I suffered a severe concussion when hit by a car 33 years ago. That's a good reason for me to always wear a helmet, but this tragic accident is not really relavant to cycling.

Paul
Thank you for your experience based insight. I still contend as I mentioned before, that many of our recreational activities are inherently dangerous and require us to take the necessary precautions.
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Old 03-19-09, 08:03 PM   #17
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A few points on the Richardson accident from someone who has skiied Tremblant for many years:

... However, based on my observations above, I don't think the accident has much relevance to cycling.

... but this tragic accident is not really relavant to cycling.

Paul
I appreciate the insight into the nature of the slopes where she was skiing, but I fail to see the lack of relevance to cycling. Both involve activities with the possibility of a fall which could cause damage to your head. Damage which could possibly be lessened or prevented by wearing a helmet.
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Old 03-19-09, 09:41 PM   #18
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Thank you for your experience based insight. I still contend as I mentioned before, that many of our recreational activities are inherently dangerous and require us to take the necessary precautions.
This is where I disagree: I don't believe cycling or skiing is significantly risky enough that helmet use is important. There is absolutely nothing wrong with people who wear helmets if they want to reduce a very small risk to an even smaller one, but I just don't like either of these sports beings stigmatized as dangerous for head injuries.
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Old 03-19-09, 10:03 PM   #19
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Don't leave home without it. When I was young and foolish, in a car crash where a gal ran a red light and broadsided us in a little Ford pickup truck. No seatblet on at the time. Lord only knows how both driver and I are here. Needless to say I do not back out of the driveway with out a seatblet in place and feel the same way about a bike helmet.
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Old 03-20-09, 07:48 AM   #20
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Humm same old same old, rode a motorcycle for 30 years, same gripes about helmets, non-helmet's, as the old saying goes, "Let those who RIDE, DECIDE"! YMMV. For me I woudn't got to 7-11 without a helmet on either type of cycle!
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Old 03-20-09, 08:51 AM   #21
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If you are really concerned about head injury, far and away the largest cause of head injury is automobile accidents. So wear a racing helmet anytime you get in the car. After all, its way more likely that you will get head trauma while driving than while cycling or skiing. That said, I still wear a helmet most of the time while cycling and skiing, but I prefer the choice to be mine, without judgement from anyone.
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Old 03-20-09, 10:48 AM   #22
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Helmet threads are always good sport. Here and most especially in any motorcycle forum. I normally ride with a helmet but not always. When I am riding enroute to the tennis club with my tennis bag on my back I do not wear a helmet, my choice. That is also the one time that I donít always wear a helmet when riding my motorcycle as well, again my choice.

Never been skiing but have asked friends who do ski and they indicate that after Sonny Bono and one of the Kennedyís were killed a few years ago on ski slopes, helmets began to appear on the ski slope. Certainly seems to be a sport where bones can end up broken.

But then so is tennis. I have had two friends fall when playing tennis and end up with bad concussions. I have yet to see any tennis players wear a helmet, I certainly donít.


We have an individual who rides his bicycle around here who is a real helmet nazi. On three separate occasions I have been riding my bicycle sans helmet and met him on the road as he was riding. Each time he yelled out to me to ďGet a helmet on!Ē I have also watched him do the same to another rider. The last time I turned around and caught up to him and indicated that he did not know me, where I was going, or anything about me and that I thought his habit of ordering other bikers to ďget a helmet onĒ was a bit aggressive.

No matter how serious and well meaning we are when we note the benefits of wearing a helmet when we fall down, sometimes we just wonít be wearing a helmet when we do fall. It is part of life. I would not want anyone to get me wrong. I have more miles wearing a helmet than most. But letís not kid ourselves, riding a bicycle on the roadways is not a safe and secure hobby.. While a helmet might provide us some peace of mind, it isnít going to do much when the inattentive driver takes us out.
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Old 03-20-09, 11:13 AM   #23
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Thomas Steven credited his helmet with preventing a nasty injury during his around-the-world bicycle ride. This was in 1884-1886.

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Old 03-20-09, 12:10 PM   #24
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I'm wondering where you get the magical helmet that will keep moms and dads from getting in any accident that would knock them unconscious or keep them from being taken away in an ambulance. I'd really like one of those. Though my helmet may have saved me from a lot of things, it did not keep me alert enough to tell the paramedics where I lived. That's why you ride with id. I keep an old drivers license in my jersey pocket.

Nor did the helmet keep me out of the ambulance and ER. And the biggest point to take away from the Natasha Richardson story is if you sustain a head injury DO NOT turn down the ride to the ER. Go get checked out immediately. Even if you are wearing a helmet.
Sadly, she was located quite far from immediate emergency medical attention with an injury where time is of the essence.

I used to backpack on remote trails. Same situation. Knowing that was part of the risk involved with that activity.

I had a crash recently on the city streets. They got me to an ER very quickly.
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Old 03-20-09, 12:32 PM   #25
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Clearly, it's a personal choice, and I'm against compulsion in most things

My choice based on experience -

Mrs Delightful Geezer has been in hospital 3 times in 55 years. Twice to give birth, once on a bike, being hit from behind by a postal van in Washington DC. No memory of the impact, comatose for 5 days from the type of head injury in the OP. No helmet. We wear them now.

Delightful No. 1 son slipped off his pedal going to college in Kingston, Greater London UK. Road speed, zero to 1 mph. I still have both sides of his helmet as a reminder. The praiseworthy Giro/Bell company sent a new helmet together with a touching message that this is the type of incident that makes them happy in their enterprise

The fellow we were bike-riding with this morning just got back from a ski trip to Val D'Isere, France. First time that he and his wife wore ski helmets. He was walking back to the lodge at the end of the day, and was hit on the head by a badly balanced ski that fell off the veranda above. Still wearing his helmet. The impact, full on his head, knocked him down. Without the helmet....

Narurally, it's a personal choice. So far, family and I haven't skiied in helmets, but we will do next time
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