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Fifty Plus (50+) Share the victories, challenges, successes and special concerns of bicyclists 50 and older. Especially useful for those entering or reentering bicycling.

View Poll Results: How Many 50+ Wear a Helmet?
Always Have 175 79.91%
Just started wearing one recently 24 10.96%
Occasionally 7 3.20%
Used to but no longer wear one 2 0.91%
Never have 11 5.02%
Voters: 219. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 11-20-04, 12:28 PM   #1
Stacy
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Poll: How many 50+ Wear Helmets?

Do You Wear A Helmet?

1. Always have
2. Just recently started wearing one
3. Sometimes
4. Never have
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Old 11-20-04, 12:39 PM   #2
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Would not think of riding without one, regardless of age! It's the last thing I put on before getting on my bike to ride.
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Old 11-20-04, 12:54 PM   #3
Stacy
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I started riding when I was a kd - long before anyone thought of wearing a helmet . Then when I returned to cycling I really din't think there was much reason to wear one now.

Then my kids started bugging me to wear a helmet
And my friends started bugging me to wear a helmet.
So I figured it was time to just do it
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Old 11-20-04, 12:57 PM   #4
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I never wore one as a kid but voted 'always have' since I have now grown up. Besides- this is a 50's forum.
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Old 11-20-04, 12:59 PM   #5
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I voted "Always" but it's not quite true. Helmets weren't available when I started riding. I bought my first helmet in 1983... an ugly white Bell helmet... and have been wearing helmets since then.
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Old 11-20-04, 01:29 PM   #6
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"Always have" since my return to cycling 11 years ago.

Came in handy last January when I crashed on a fast descent, broke pelvis, rib, collar bone, collapsed a lung. Right side of the helmet crumpled, never lost consciousness, nor even had a stiff neck from whiplash. Works for me!
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Old 11-20-04, 03:38 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UncaStuart
"Always have" since my return to cycling 11 years ago.

Came in handy last January when I crashed on a fast descent, broke pelvis, rib, collar bone, collapsed a lung. Right side of the helmet crumpled, never lost consciousness, nor even had a stiff neck from whiplash. Works for me!
Yuck!!! Unca, hope you're fully recovered now. I always feel these bicycle helmets are flimsy and don't offer enough rear lower head coverage compared to the Bell full face I wear on by CB-1100-F Honda road bike. Sounds like yours did the job, though. The famous 1970's era University of Southern California "Hurt" study of motorcycle accidents showed that even a $5.00 helmet did wonders toward saving your life compared to none at all.

Tyson
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Old 11-20-04, 03:58 PM   #8
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The statistics are tough to argue with: the vast majority of cycling deaths could have been prevented by wearing a helmet. Certainly no guarantee, but I'll take the odds.
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Old 11-20-04, 07:31 PM   #9
Jessica
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Have a friend who lost 6 months work over no helmet on American River Bike Trail...

I guess I should admit I did not wear a helmet back when no one had thought of them, but I have since they have been available. My dad was one of the first in our neighborhood to put in seatbelts, too...
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Old 11-20-04, 07:56 PM   #10
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There was no appropriate category for me. I started cycling in 1962, at age 12, when I finally had good enough physical coordination to balance a bicycle. In those days, no one wore a helmet, or even thought to do so. In 1970, I bought a vinly/leather "hairnet" helmet, the moved up to a heavily padded Kucharik version thereof in 1973. http://www.whipcareandrepairs.com/items/7105788457.html

In late 1976, immediately after my one collision with a motor vehicle (concussion, double fracture of left clavicle, permanent facial scar over my left cheekbone), I bought a Bell Biker. Over the years, I have used various Bell helmets, and more recently tried a Giro.

During the 1972 Los Angeles Wheelmen Double Century, I lost a valued friend to traumatic brain injury, the result of his hitting his head on a curb during two separate moderate-speed collisions about 50 miles apart. (In both cases, he struck the rear wheel of the bike in front, during some aggressive drafting.) These are the sorts of brain injuries against which a helmet can be most effective. My memorial to him is that I always wear a helmet, my sons always wear helmets, and I recommend helmets to fellow cyclists. I also maintain a following distance on group rides, even though this means I have to "break my own wind" (so to speak) ...
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Old 11-20-04, 08:04 PM   #11
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I bought my first helmet before I bought my first bike! Been wearing a helmet since 1987.
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Old 11-20-04, 09:41 PM   #12
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I have broken 5 helmets since my return to the sport in the early 80's. So, yeah, always. Well, no, that is not true. I test ride the repairs and new bike assemblies w/o one in the parking lot.
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Old 11-20-04, 11:14 PM   #13
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Started protecting the noggin with a rock climbing helmet 30 years ago. Always wear a biking helmet now.
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Old 11-20-04, 11:15 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John E
There was no appropriate category for me. I started cycling in 1962, at age 12, when I finally had good enough physical coordination to balance a bicycle. In those days, no one wore a helmet, or even thought to do so. In 1970, I bought a vinly/leather "hairnet" helmet, the moved up to a heavily padded Kucharik version thereof in 1973. http://www.whipcareandrepairs.com/items/7105788457.html
.

That's pretty much almost "always." Maybe I should have added "for quite some time" or most of your adult life?

Stacy
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Old 11-21-04, 12:04 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TysonB
Yuck!!! Unca, hope you're fully recovered now.
Thanks for asking! OK except for some residual rotator cuff problems that are more problematic off the bike than on. The helmet hangs in a place of honor in the store room, where I give it a pat of thanks every once in a while (and then gripe that they don't make that model in red anymore so I had to settle for a white replacement).
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Old 11-21-04, 07:55 AM   #16
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A True helmet story:

When I was about 19yo, industries and businesses were just getting into the usage of helmets for safety (about 1958).

I worked as a summer firefighter for the US Forest Service in San Diego County (Cleveland National Forest) on a crew of three in the extreme back country in Corral Canyon near Lake Morena and Los Pinos Lookout (Both the fire station and the lookout are now gone). We had a small "slip-on" unit with a "live reel" on top to make our 1957 Chevy one-ton into a fire truck. I was the driver.

That was the first summer we were required to wear a helmet AKA "hard hat" - it was aluminum.

One day we were dispatched to a brush fire about 30 miles away, also in a remote area. We were making an attack on the fire, and we ran out of water. Fortunately the other two crew members had left the truck as I was returning to a nurse tanker to fill up on water. As I was returning, the smoke became very dense and I missed a turn on the dirt road and the right front wheel went off the very soft embankment and the fire truck followed and rolled over 360 degrees (the "live reel" kept the truck level as it rolled), into the fire, landing on its wheels. I was wearing my "hard hat" and tumbled around the cab of the truck, breaking a window with my head, and ended up with absolutely no injuries. A D-7 caterpillar tractor was dispatched, I put out some of the fire with the hand extinguisher, and the Cat pulled me and the truck to safety.

The net result: I had my picture taken because the "hard hat" likely saved my life or at least saved me from serious injury, had an article in the local (Alpine) and San Diego paper, and received an award at a ceremony - the "Turtle Club Award" and my very own special hard hat to keep - I still have it!

I was never reprimanded nor talked to in any way about flipping the firetruck.

The things we do as kids! Amazing any of us make it past 19yo!

Last edited by DnvrFox; 11-21-04 at 08:08 AM.
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Old 11-21-04, 08:41 AM   #17
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I don't believe that I would have survived my crash during my bicycle commute to work back in May (2004) if I hadn't been wearing my helmet. I had a skull fracture and a brain injury (plus other odd assorted injuries) even with my helmet cushioning my head-first impact with the nonmoving pavement.
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Old 11-21-04, 11:39 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TysonB
Yuck!!! Unca, hope you're fully recovered now. I always feel these bicycle helmets are flimsy and don't offer enough rear lower head coverage compared to the Bell full face I wear on by CB-1100-F Honda road bike. Sounds like yours did the job, though. The famous 1970's era University of Southern California "Hurt" study of motorcycle accidents showed that even a $5.00 helmet did wonders toward saving your life compared to none at all.

Tyson
I have found,to the detriment of my wallet, that Cycle helmets work on 3 occasions in the last 4 years. Latest one only a couple of weeks ago, and that received a big chunk out of it when I came off on a brick strewn path. the other two had received grazes in them that would have caused a little bit of pain if I had not been wearing them.

A friend of mine had a big off about 7 years ago and required stitches to his cheek, 64 of them to be precise. He had a straight over the top of the bars, up in the air and land on his face. When he got to the hospital, they stitched him up and sent him for X-rays. They had 4 attempts to find a fractured skull, as he did not arrive at the hospital with a helmet. They then gave him a 5 minute lecture on how much damage can be done by idiots like him who do not wear a helmet. Eventually he manage a get a word in and pointed out that the reason he did come into hospital with his helmet, was that it was littered all over the local hills where he had his accident. It may have shattered on impact, but it definitely saved more serious injuries.That helmet is still doing the rounds of local schools to show what damage can be done to a helmet. Just imagine what his skull would have been like if he hadn't been wearing it.
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Old 11-21-04, 08:26 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stacy
I started riding when I was a kd - long before anyone thought of wearing a helmet . Then when I returned to cycling I really din't think there was much reason to wear one now.

Then my kids started bugging me to wear a helmet
And my friends started bugging me to wear a helmet.
So I figured it was time to just do it

Aaaaahhhhh, a sign that you did an excellent job of raising your children is that they are smarter than you !!!!
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Old 11-21-04, 08:28 PM   #20
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[QUOTE=stapfam]I have found,to the detriment of my wallet, that Cycle helmets work on 3 occasions in the last 4 years. Latest one only a couple of weeks ago, and that received a big chunk out of it when I came off on a brick strewn path. the other two had received grazes in them that would have caused a little bit of pain if I had not been wearing them.

QUOTE]

I've haven't yet had to find out that the price of the nicest helmet is so much less than the bill for the hospital treatment, and I hope nobody here has to either.
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Old 11-22-04, 10:31 AM   #21
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I won't ride without my helmet since the day I landed on my helmeted head and heard the sound of the helmet sliding across the pavement.

I'd have gotten up and back on the bike, except the wheel got bent.
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Old 11-22-04, 12:00 PM   #22
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The only time I spend on by bike without a helmet is on the trainer. Also a habitual seat belt user when driving or riding in a vehicle..
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Old 11-23-04, 05:36 AM   #23
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When I was a keen cyclist as a teen in the UK we never wore helmets ,wer'nt even thought of then ,only the leather hairnet type mainly for the track fraternity,but since I took up the obsesion again here in NZ I've worn a helmet because its the law to wear one here BUT when I came out of hostpital after my hip breaking crash I took a look at the helmet I was wearing & the form moulded outer shell was badly gouged & the EPS inner was compressed & split right through verticaly about 2.5 inches above my left temple ,if I had'nt been wearing it I would, Im sure have been more seriously injured, maybe permently impaired ,as it was I had a slight concusion . So now I wear a helmet 'cos I want to not just because I have to.But of course its a personal thing if its not mandetory were you live
PS I have the damaged helmet hanging up in my bike shed as well to remind me to put one on even if Im just going on a short test ride !!
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Old 11-23-04, 01:57 PM   #24
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You've got to be kidding!. Always! I was bicycling over Vail pass with my wife several years ago and she slid on a wet bridge trying to avoid a bicycle that someone had laid down across the path. She flew off her bike and landed on her shoulder and head, breaking her collarbone in the process and splitting her helmet. Other than the collarbone, she was uninjured. Need I say more?

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Old 11-27-04, 11:57 AM   #25
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I have a friend who I ride with sometimes. I never wear a helmet on a bicycle and he always does. He recently had to have a hip replaced. He will need a new knee soon too. That has taught me a lesson.
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