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Old 08-25-11, 01:39 PM   #1
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Dutch cyclists talk helmets and bicycles

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Old 08-25-11, 07:48 PM   #2
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Nice. Thanks for posting.
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Old 08-25-11, 10:16 PM   #3
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Difference is that the infrastructure is more more friendly to bikes there. Stateside, we have to deal with cars that already don't want us on the road.

However, the primary reason that I wear a helmet is because I'm often traveling at 18+ mph on my commute. Last time I wasn't wearing a helmet and had to make an emergency stop from ~15 mph, I ended up with decently-sized clump of hair missing and got the pleasure of riding on a backboard in an ambulance to the hospital.
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Old 08-25-11, 11:28 PM   #4
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Funny around 8:30

Sounds like some of them might have started cycling in the womb
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Old 08-26-11, 04:25 AM   #5
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1nterceptor: Thanks, I really enjoyed the video. I like it when the older gentleman said he'd wear a helmet if it were the law, but when asked his wife said no way, that had me laughing.
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Old 08-26-11, 04:42 AM   #6
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The British weblogger David Hembrow has done whole series on cycling & safety in the Netherlands. Including the helmet question. Which basically bogs down to basic big number statistics. Nowhere do people cycle as much as in the Netherlands, and nowhere are they safer. Making the cycling helmet mandatory would hardly make any difference in the numbers of lives spared, or head wounds prevented, yet it will put people off cycling.

Still, apart from that, people not riding commuter bikes in an upright position will often wear helmets, even in the Netherlands. Because, even though the car drivers are used to sharing infrastructures with cyclists, this still does not mean they are capable of judging the speed of a fast cyclist correctly.

Last edited by ijsbrand; 08-26-11 at 04:48 AM.
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Old 08-26-11, 08:29 AM   #7
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You take the sum of bad decisions , car , privatized transportation, centered land use, sprawl,
and destruction of urban trolley system,
and solve it with a commodity , sold to the least powerful actors in the political system.
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Old 08-26-11, 09:48 AM   #8
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I enjoyed the video because my daughter and her family are visiting Amsterdam right now. Her observations were:
1. Virtually everybody uses a bicycle for daily transport.
2. Nobody wears a helmet.
3. No tandems. Women sit crosswise on a rear carrier and their SO does all the pedaling.
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Old 08-26-11, 10:06 AM   #9
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It was nice to see and hear from a society that actually has some legitimate ideas and views on the subject, thanks for the vid.
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Old 08-26-11, 01:42 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ijsbrand View Post
...Making the cycling helmet mandatory would hardly make any difference in the numbers of lives spared, or head wounds prevented, yet it will put people off cycling.
Is there a mandatory helmet law being proposed for somewhere? I don't see the point in this thread, and I'm pretty sure I'm not the intended audience. I think the thread should be moved to A&S.
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Old 08-26-11, 02:03 PM   #11
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Is there a mandatory helmet law being proposed for somewhere?
The idea still pops up from time to time in the Netherlands. Simply because politicians do not fear to thread where no sane man would go; regardless of their nationality

I distinctly remember that there were serious plans to introduce a speed limit for bicycles in the 1980s.
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Old 08-27-11, 10:22 AM   #12
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Thanks.

This video tells the story better than a ton of meaningless statistics.
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Old 08-28-11, 07:54 AM   #13
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if helmets are not nessesary then why do racers wear them? they can save some weight if they get rid of thiers.

conclusion: if you ride a bike fast you should wear a helmet, cause racers wear them and they go fast.
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Old 08-28-11, 11:30 AM   #14
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if helmets are not nessesary then why do racers wear them? they can save some weight if they get rid of thiers.

conclusion: if you ride a bike fast you should wear a helmet, cause racers wear them and they go fast.
A more concisely written logical statement would be:
Racers wear helmets because they go fast
Therefore, if you go fast, you should wear a helmet.
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Old 08-28-11, 12:56 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by itsthewoo View Post
A more concisely written logical statement would be:
Racers wear helmets because they go fast
Therefore, if you go fast, you should wear a helmet.
An even more concisely written logical statement would be:

Racers wear helmets because the UCI says they have to.
Therefore if you aren't operating under UCI rules you should do whatever you want.
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Old 08-28-11, 02:11 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by itsthewoo View Post
A more concisely written logical statement would be:
Racers wear helmets because they go fast
Therefore, if you go fast, you should wear a helmet.
Racers wear helmets because the UCI and governing bodies say they must. There are plenty of photos of professionals on training rides not wearing helmets and they are not just out coasting.

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Old 08-28-11, 02:15 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hule View Post
if helmets are not nessesary then why do racers wear them? they can save some weight if they get rid of thiers.

conclusion: if you ride a bike fast you should wear a helmet, cause racers wear them and they go fast.
I think a better explanation is that people who are racing ride near the limits of the speeds and lateral handling they can attain, plus they also ride in tight groups. All that makes crashes much more likely.

There's all kinds of failures of bike parts that can cause wrecks, but for a typical bike in casual use they're not very likely to be disastrous.



-And I recall when the UCI instituted the helmet rule, after a couple riders died (from head injuries) in race crashes over a ~5 year period. There were plenty of riders that didn't like the helmet rule, feeling that it was a decision that should be left up the individual rider.
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Old 08-28-11, 02:29 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Caretaker View Post
An even more concisely written logical statement would be:

Racers wear helmets because the UCI says they have to.
Therefore if you aren't operating under UCI rules you should do whatever you want.
Not really. If they really didn't think helmets were such a hot idea, they would start their own federation, without the helmet rule.
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Old 08-28-11, 03:05 PM   #19
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Not really. If they really didn't think helmets were such a hot idea, they would start their own federation, without the helmet rule.
Wait for it. The UCI negotiated a compromise with ASO. Helmets, frame stickers, might not have done it. Race Radios might.

Wearing helmets now generates sponsorship dollars from helmet manufacturers which no doubt out strips the sponsorship dollars from the pre-2005 hair gel manufacturers.
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Old 08-28-11, 03:17 PM   #20
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Not really. If they really didn't think helmets were such a hot idea, they would start their own federation, without the helmet rule.
Maybe they have better things to do than "start their own federation".

Like riding in bike races.

BTW I never said racers "didn't think helmets were such a hot idea". I said they wore them because the UCI says they have to which is the factual situation. Before the UCI brought in the rule (2003) most racers chose not to wear hardshell helmets.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bicycle..._cycling_sport
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Old 08-28-11, 03:20 PM   #21
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Even in 2005 they did a couple of climbs sans-helmet.
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Old 08-28-11, 03:24 PM   #22
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It's just a result of the harassment by the pro-helmet crowd. They toss the helmet as soon as they can, on non UCI rides or training rides. Sponsors with money make the sport and they insist on the additional banner.
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Old 08-28-11, 03:47 PM   #23
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I have often read with interest these pictures of Dutch cycling and so have looked at specs on there OMA bikes some of them ride. Sorry but I can't see myself longing for a heavy 1 to 3 speed what would make hills seem even longer and steeper. Looking at the average speed of the typical dutch commuter 12 KPH is only about 7 MPH. Most of us can coast down our driveway faster than 7 MPH. And they live where it is as flat as a pool table.
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Old 08-28-11, 04:04 PM   #24
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The typical Dutch commuter is obviously quite happy travelling at 7mph.

The thing I notice is how few of these Dutch cyclists are obese and how un-stressed, polite and friendly they appear.
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Old 08-28-11, 05:27 PM   #25
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A lot of men in Holland ride step-through bikes. Apparently such bikes are not regarded as "women's bike".

p.s. At around 1:50, the person in the background appeared to be taking pictures. Was that a crime scene--bike stolen?
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