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  1. #1
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    Helmets anyone???

    Is it just me or do people just not wear helmets. It was a beautiful day out so I took a 26 mile ride earlier down the road and down one of the local bike trails, I saw tons of people kids to adults riding. 3/4ths of them did not have helmets of any sort.

    I never fell off my bike as a kid, but I've fallen twice since I started biking again now (once on a trail mountain biking, 2 inches to the left and no helmet and i would have had a hole in my head, and once when I first got my road bike as I had never ridden one before and had a little issue with the size of the tires and seams in the street). I feel naked without one, plus its the law here!

    Anyone else notice this?

  2. #2
    Uber Goober StephenH's Avatar
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    That's pretty typical.

    Dallas has a helmet law, so I always wear mine there. Riding around the local MUP, I usually don't bother.
    "be careful this rando stuff is addictive and dan's the 'pusher'."

  3. #3
    Strong with the Fred Big_e's Avatar
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    I love my helmet too. I find that helmets are the majority here in Dallas. There are a few knuckleheads that ride without them. I've passed about 12 bikers at White Rock Creek trail today and only two didn't have helmets. One was an old man going too slow for it to matter and the other, a young kid too young and dumb to care.
    Ernest
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  4. #4
    Uber Goober StephenH's Avatar
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    I went riding on the Katy Trail a while back and forgot my helmet. But then, I don't think I saw anyone else with a helmet there, and actually saw some bicycle cops who didn't stop me or anyone else. So it's sort of hit-and-miss even in Dallas.
    "be careful this rando stuff is addictive and dan's the 'pusher'."

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rogue Leader View Post
    Is it just me or do people just not wear helmets.
    I don't wear one, as I doubt it would really protect me from any serious injury, and I'm more comfortable without it.

    I have one, in case I ever want to do any organized rides--I just don't wear it much anymore.

    I have toyed with the idea of wearing a sun hat to prevent sunburns, but haven't got to trying it yet.

    ---

    Note #1: if I found a really good + inexpensive helmet-mounted light, I might be convinced to wear one while night riding because the head-mounted light would be useful. Ive never seen that however--the only good ones all cost at least several hundred bucks, which is too much for my sensibilities.

    Note #2: I only ride recumbent bikes, so I don't face the same propensity to go "over the bars" that people on upright bikes do. "Falling on your head while wearing a bicycle helmet" is never going to be as safe as "not falling on your head in the first place".

    ---

    If I lived somewhere that had a helmet law, I don't know what I'd do--wear a Viking helmet maybe?

    It's positively ******** to make police waste time giving out bicycle helmet tickets when there's very-probably murders, ******* and muggers running loose.
    ~

  6. #6
    Senior Member SweetLou's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big_e View Post
    There are a few knuckleheads that ride without them... One was an old man going too slow for it to matter
    What? Do you know the limitations of a helmet? They are designed and tested for falls from a bike with no forward momentum. Bicycle helmets are designed to reduce the effects of linear forces. The slow old man has a better chance of a helmet actually protecting his head in the manner that the helmet was designed. The old man's fall would most likely produce a small rotational force compared to the faster riders. Helmets are not designed for rotational forces, the forces that cause brain injury.

    But, who knows. I am one of those knuckleheads that doesn't wear a helmet.

  7. #7
    Senior Member ottawa_adam's Avatar
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    Helmets cramp my style

    There ya go, here's a whole thread dedicated to this topic.

  8. #8
    Every lane is a bike lane Chris L's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ottawa_adam View Post
    Helmets cramp my style

    There ya go, here's a whole thread dedicated to this topic.
    Type "helmet" into the search box, and you'll probably get 50 of those threads.

    FWIW, I wear mine, but I'm not blind to it's limitations by any means. Acting sensibly and predictably on the road is a far better way to protect yourself, followed by ensuring your bike itself (particularly the brakes) is in good working order. Wearing a helmet comes somewhere down the list after those things, as an insurance policy in certain types of crashes. Personally, I'd rather have that protection (however limited it might be) than not have it, so I wear mine. However, I'm not about to judge anyone who chooses not to. Their head, their choice.

    FWIW, there is a helmet law in this country, but I've never seen or heard of it being enforced after over 150,000km of riding in five states.
    "I am never going to flirt with idleness again" - Roy Keane
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  9. #9
    Roadie shundaroni's Avatar
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    I wear a helmet. It became a habit for me when I first started riding motorcycles years ago.

    Believe it or not, the same arguments for not wearing helmets exist amongst motorcyclists too. The old "I just avoid wrecking" has always been my favorite. I have to bow before those who use that line of reasoning, as they must be so mighty as to dictate not only their own actions, but those of everyone around them.

    Don't be fooled by people talking about linear and rotational forces...they operate under the naive assumption that brain damage can't result from linear trauma. Of course, add in enough speed and a hard enough surface, and linear momentum is plenty to bust your head open like a cantaloupe.

    The only reason not to wear a helmet is pure vanity. Some people are cool with that. Occasionally I get vain and refuse to wear mine. I do so, however, without attempting to justify it. I accept the risks and acknowledge them...I don't pretend that there is some logical justification for riding without one.
    2008 Fuji Roubaix Pro2008 Redline 9-2-5 SS

  10. #10
    Dead Men Assume...
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    My most spectacular accident, which had a screeching taxi and stuff (including me) flying everywhere, did not involve my helmet at all.

    My slowest and most embarrassing accident, which involved my helmeted head being bounced up and down on slick/wet concrete, was when my front wheel slipped from beneath me as I made a turn at 3 km/hr.

  11. #11
    rebmeM roineS JanMM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rogue Leader View Post
    Is it just me or do people just not wear helmets. It was a beautiful day out so I took a 26 mile ride earlier down the road and down one of the local bike trails, I saw tons of people kids to adults riding. 3/4ths of them did not have helmets of any sort.
    Anyone else notice this?
    Yep, some people wear them and some don't. That's all I'm going to say right now, under advice of counsel.

  12. #12
    Senior Member alhedges's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shundaroni View Post
    I wear a helmet. It became a habit for me when I first started riding motorcycles years ago.

    Believe it or not, the same arguments for not wearing helmets exist amongst motorcyclists too. The old "I just avoid wrecking" has always been my favorite. I have to bow before those who use that line of reasoning, as they must be so mighty as to dictate not only their own actions, but those of everyone around them.

    Don't be fooled by people talking about linear and rotational forces...they operate under the naive assumption that brain damage can't result from linear trauma. Of course, add in enough speed and a hard enough surface, and linear momentum is plenty to bust your head open like a cantaloupe.

    The only reason not to wear a helmet is pure vanity. Some people are cool with that. Occasionally I get vain and refuse to wear mine. I do so, however, without attempting to justify it. I accept the risks and acknowledge them...I don't pretend that there is some logical justification for riding without one.
    There is plenty of evidence that motorcycle helmets prevent serious injury in case of an accident. There is no credible evidence that bicycle helmets do. However, you are, of course free to believe the hype created by people interested in selling you a $100 piece styrofoam.

    I used to wear a helmet (even when I lived in Europe as was the only person I ever saw wearing one). But I read the studies and eventually concluded that wearing a helmet was basically a superstition created by people interested in selling helmets. Vanity has nothing to do with it; I don't really look any better without a helmet than I do with one.

  13. #13
    Safety Zealot wyeast's Avatar
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    Serious injury? Possibly not, but having lived through skull striking pavement, I can personally vouch that the bleeding's a b*tch and takes a while to stop. That alone is motivation for me to wear something to keep from scraping skull again.

  14. #14
    Soul rider
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    Doubting that a helmet "would prevent any serious injury" is like doubting that smoking will shorten your life. It makes no sense and is contrary to logic. The reason you dont wear a helmet is because you think it is too hot or too dorky/ugly. No other way around it.

    But I read the studies and eventually concluded that wearing a helmet was basically a superstition created by people interested in selling helmets.

    What a load of bull. First off I would be interested in seeing that study, I would be more than surprised if you could point me to it. A motorcycle helmet is just a 200 dollar hunk of fiberglass and cushion. That hunk of styrofoam will and does on a continual basis make the diff between a bad case of rash and a split skull.
    Last edited by Clark Kent; 07-01-08 at 10:29 AM.

  15. #15
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    At a certain point, the force of the impact of one's head striking a curb or pavement is enough to go beyond a bump on the noggin to a subdural hematoma, which can cause swelling on the brain, which restricts the flow of oxygen to that part of the brain, which if left untreated long enough can cause irreversible brain damage. I don't know where that redline is. But if nothing else, common sense tells me a bicycle helmet provides a bigger cushion (in both senses of the word) so that bump on the noggin doesn't become a subdural hematoma.

  16. #16
    Senior Member rando's Avatar
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    Yes! most places it's not a requirement for adults. It's up to the individual to decide for themselves.
    "Think of bicycles as rideable art that can just about save the world". ~Grant Petersen

    Cyclists fare best when they recognize that there are times when acting vehicularly is not the best practice, and are flexible enough to do what is necessary as the situation warrants.--Me

  17. #17
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    Senior Member Zan's Avatar
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    with the guys who i bike with i find the only kids who DON'T wear helmets are the DJers and the ones who do the tricks in the skate park.
    -- Zan

    "Every dog needs a squeak toy."

  18. #18
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    Not around here... everybody wear one... once a while, a guy on his daughter's bike wearing flip-flops or kids on training wheels around the neighborhood, but they are going like 2 mph and very little chance of getting hurt.

  19. #19
    Fax Transport Specialist black_box's Avatar
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    are there any big issues with side impact protection of the helmets? seems like some of them ride pretty high up on the head. Also, the lack of hard outer shell seems odd on the bicycle helmet. My "other" helmet is designed for motorsports (driving) so maybe i'm expecting too much.

    According to this study, helmets reduce your safety when riding in traffic, cars passed on average 3.33 inches closer when the rider had a helmet. However, wearing a long wig increased passing distances by almost 6 inches. I think the next part of the study should be the effects of wearing a g-string...
    http://www.exercisedaily.org/cgi-bin...rticle_id=1463

    also on helmet laws: http://www.exercisedaily.org/cgi-bin...rticle_id=1198

  20. #20
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    This is like the argument about seatbelts. Many people say the current car seatbelt systems are flawed so they don't wear it for whatever their justifications. My opinion, something is better than nothing. The chance that NOT wearing it will save your life as opposed to wearing it are FAR lower.

    Its the same with helmets. I'm a volunteer fireman and i have seen people do some serious damage to themselves just tripping and falling on their head. Brain damage even. Shundaroni explained what can happen best, and wyeast explained it as well. Yeah whats a $40 piece of plastic and foam really gonna do? Well any cushion is better than no cushon. Will it save you all the time? Not likely, but I would rather increase the odds than play russian roulette for no gain whatsoever.

  21. #21
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    I think people who have started riding within the last 10 years or so are more likely to wear a helmet all the time

    some of the young fellas down at the LBS say they just always wore one, so they don't even think about it

    but 20 years ago adults never wore helmets, so for better or worse, there are alot of people who have ridden for 20 or 30 years or even more who prefer to ride without one

    I ride both ways. I wear one alot, but I also like some days to just wear my old cycling cap for old time's sake. sort of a nostalgia thing

  22. #22
    Caustic Soccer Mom apclassic9's Avatar
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    Salsa once crashed into a tree wearing his bran-spanking-new spiffy & pricey helmet. He dented the helmet, and was really feeling like he should still be able to use it. We were at a NORBA race in Banner Elk NC, and one of the people staying with us just happened to be - you guessed it - a rocket scientist. He opined that if Salsa wanted to mow lawn for a living, using a bashed helmet was A-OK, but if he actually planned to be an engineer, he might just want to invest in a new model.

    He pulled the same stunt the following year in VT, and was very, very glad he had a helmet that was undamaged when he began the race, because it was split when he finished with that tree on the last downhill of the XC course. Our buddy medic made him stay awake for hours after that one....
    As with mud, life, too, slides by.

  23. #23
    on your left.
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    i (almost) always wear a helmet. i didn't think anybody would say anything if i didn't, but strangly enough yesterday i just strapped the helmet to the handlebars riding down a little path, and i had 3 or 4 people yell "wear a helmet".

    when i crash i never hit my head, but now it's just a habit.
    Quote Originally Posted by caloso View Post
    I learned this the hard way. They say that experience is the best teacher, but I would have been preferred to just read about it on the internet.

  24. #24
    Senior Member rando's Avatar
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    I ride with no helmet and wearing flip flops. I will surely die soon.
    "Think of bicycles as rideable art that can just about save the world". ~Grant Petersen

    Cyclists fare best when they recognize that there are times when acting vehicularly is not the best practice, and are flexible enough to do what is necessary as the situation warrants.--Me

  25. #25
    Soma Lover
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    Riding in groups: Absolutely.
    Riding trails: Absolutely.
    Riding in congested traffic: Absolutely.

    If I'm out by myself on a lonely road: Sometimes.

    To and from the post office and around the neighborhood: Rarely.

    If I'm going to get hit by a car at high speed on a lonely road, I'm more likely to die of internal injuries than have the helmet make a substantial difference. However, when you're out with your buddies and touch somebody's wheel it's a different story altogether. Broken ribs, wrists, and collarbones are not life threatening injuries but a head injury very well could be. The helmet basically protects me from being a dumbass and forgetting how to stay upright.

    The exercise daily article was interesting. I myself have noticed the drivers here give me more clearance when I'm commuting in street clothes with panniers than they do when I'm in lycra. Maybe I need a wig too.

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