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  1. #1
    Senior Member HybridWheeler's Avatar
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    Question Do you wear a helmet?

    Since this is the hybrid area and typically we are riding more for recreation, commuting, or taking it slower how many of you don't bother with a helmet?

    My riding will be confined to bike paths only. I don't feel the need to ride on the main roads with crazy drivers so I haven't purchased one yet and I don't go fast enough to really hurt myself so I haven't bothered. I have looked at them but walk away thinking it's silly for the slow cruising I do.

    How about you?

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    My wife and i never ride without a helmet, never !!! It's only a matter of time before there's a crash or some sort of fall off ... freakish accidents do happen so i want to protect our noggins ...

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    Nope.

    Closest I come is a rolled up bandana to soak up sweat. I live in Houston. On my commute home last night the thermometers along the way were reading 93 degrees. I sweat so much it was ridiculous. Without that bandana it gets hard to see sometimes. I might wear a helmet if I could figure out a way to keep the rivers of sweat from running into my eyes.

  4. #4
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    You're quite new here, aren't you? Helmet discussions rarely go well. There's a 100+ page thread in advocacy and safety devoted to the often impassioned, mostly ignorant and frequently infuriating opinions that people have on the subject, I suggest you dive in. It's a snake-pit, but it can be fun.

    For the record, no I don't wear one.
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

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    I do for two reasons. First When I go out on a ride it's a fitness ride. So I'm in the street with cars and I'm pushing my self and the bike. When I'm around the block my girls can see me and I want to make a good impression on them that they need to wear one.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member David Bierbaum's Avatar
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    HELMETS FOREVER! A little extra weight and heat is nothing, compared to traumatic brain injury. Ask any retired football player! Since there is moderate suburban traffic in my riding area, I'm not about to take a chance, just to feel the wind in my hair (what's left of it).

    That said, I really need to buy a modern more ventilated helmet. The one I use now is like my bike, from 1992. It's more of a cloth-wrapped styrofoam shipping sleeve for my skull, than an actual helmet!

  7. #7
    Igo
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    Quote Originally Posted by HybridWheeler View Post
    Since this is the hybrid area and typically we are riding more for recreation, commuting, or taking it slower how many of you don't bother with a helmet?

    My riding will be confined to bike paths only. I don't feel the need to ride on the main roads with crazy drivers so I haven't purchased one yet and I don't go fast enough to really hurt myself so I haven't bothered. I have looked at them but walk away thinking it's silly for the slow cruising I do.

    How about you?
    I was checking the direction of the wind, by looking at a flag, for my ride home. The sun was behind it and I couldn't see that the guards had dropped the guard posts down. I hit one of the post at about 4mph. The bike flipped and I landed on my head. Witnesses said my head bounced 1 1/2 feet. My helmet was shattered in 6 places. I would have been dead or being spoon fed for the rest of my days. In the last year and a half I've gone to the ground a half dozen times. I think if you're serious enough about bike riding to come here and ask this question then you're riding enough to surely hit the bricks sooner or later. It's easier on a bicycle than it is on a motorcycle.
    Before I started cycling again, I used to think bicycle helmets looked ridiculous. Now I think, on most occasions, people without helmets look ridiculous.
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  8. #8
    Igo
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkippyX View Post
    Nope.

    Closest I come is a rolled up bandana to soak up sweat. I live in Houston. On my commute home last night the thermometers along the way were reading 93 degrees. I sweat so much it was ridiculous. Without that bandana it gets hard to see sometimes. I might wear a helmet if I could figure out a way to keep the rivers of sweat from running into my eyes.
    Helmet Dew Rag. Now ya know.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member HybridWheeler's Avatar
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    No, I understand the risk trust me. I will probably get one in due time but for now I haven't been using one. I don't want to get into a debate on this, I was just wondering if I was the only one out there who doesn't wear one.

    Today at the bike path I got in roughly 15 miles and I would say 85% of the people I saw were wearing one, even the slow recreational cruisers. I actually felt out of place and in a strange way, somewhat embarrassed. They seem to be more popular than not. I still they look ridiculous though. Maybe I should design helmets that actually look decent. I guess I'll just have to get use to it, deal with the hot, humid heat and suck it up.

    Oh yes, I am rather new here so I apologize for posting this topic without checking all the threads.

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    I wear a helmet for safety and for keeping myself from getting a $250 ticket for riding without one from the local pd. I have also been at a few bicycle accidents where riders have crashed not wearing one and all I will say is I like my insides inside.

  11. #11
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    I don't think you should be put off by not wearing a helmet. It is you choice after all. I usually wear a helmet, but at times I take a ride without having the thing on my noggin, and it's quite nice. People may jump through all sorts of hoops to prevent themselves from injury, only they may justify what is reasonable or not. To me, from my experience, not having my feet clipped to my pedals in one fashion or another poses a far greater risk than wearing or not wearing a helmet.

  12. #12
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    I wear one. My kids wear them.
    Elitists suck.

  13. #13
    Senior Member HybridWheeler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chisler View Post
    To me, from my experience, not having my feet clipped to my pedals in one fashion or another poses a far greater risk than wearing or not wearing a helmet.
    Really? You clip in your feet?

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    yes, I use pedals with the cages.

  15. #15
    Senior Member HybridWheeler's Avatar
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    I figured it would be the opposite and be dangerous if your feet were bound up in case you needed to use them quickly. Like to kick the wife for instance. (Kidding) But what do I know...I'm a novice rider still. Anyway, I can imagine most of all this is personal preference.

  16. #16
    Senior Member apollored's Avatar
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    I wear a helmet now after not wearing one for years but I dont think I will ever use clipped or cage type pedals as I like my feet to be available quickly if need be.

    I'm clumsy enough without leaving my legs facing tarmac first.
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  17. #17
    Bike rider alexaschwanden's Avatar
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    I wear one to be safe and to me it feels weird not to wear one when biking.
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  18. #18
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HybridWheeler View Post
    I figured it would be the opposite and be dangerous if your feet were bound up in case you needed to use them quickly. Like to kick the wife for instance. (Kidding) But what do I know...I'm a novice rider still. Anyway, I can imagine most of all this is personal preference.
    It isn't so much personal preference, as practice and, therefore, skill. Riding clipped in is probably safer, especially in the wet, than riding with platform pedals, but only once you are used to being clipped in. Similarly, those who say "if you ride long enough you are bound to fall off and hit your head" are, literally, correct, but there is an immense difference in the frequency of such incidents for the skilled and careful rider than for the unskilled or inattentive.

    If one pays attention and does not, for example, keep riding while unable to see because one is blinded by the sun (!) cycling is very safe. In the UK,which is far from being the safest country in Europe for cyclists, there is one cycling fatality for every thirty million miles cycled. And helmets have, apparently, made little difference to this: the trend for deaths and injuries among cyclists appear to have continued as before despite the increasing use of helmets.

    The probability is, as far as I can see having read a lot of the evidence, that helmets save a number of minor injuries - bumps, scrapes, abrasions, etc. - but are pretty ineffective in the crashes that might actually kill you, namely collisions with motor vehicles. Before helmets came along, most people who fell off and bumped their heads were just fine, and if you're hit by a truck a helmet isn't going to help much, if at all.

    What does this all mean?

    1. There are other things you can do to protect yourself. Learn basic skills like being able to stay upright while stationary, or being able to manoeuvre at low speed. Above all, learn how to ride defensively in traffic.

    2. Don't imagine that cycling is a dangerous activity. It really isn't, you're more at risk when walking downstairs.

    3. If you feel you need to wear a helmet, fine. But please don't imagine that it is likely to make the difference between life and death, or that it in any way reduces the need to learn how to ride safely. The number of helmeted riders I see who appear to have a death-wish is remarkable. But on the other hand, the fact that so few of them manage to kill themselves is massively reassuring.
    Last edited by chasm54; 06-16-12 at 04:24 PM.
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

  19. #19
    Igo
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    Quote Originally Posted by HybridWheeler View Post
    I don't want to get into a debate on this, I was just wondering if I was the only one out there who doesn't wear one.
    All you posted this for is to blow smoke. Please....
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  20. #20
    Senior Member mprelaw's Avatar
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    The night that I crashed and hit the ground hard enough to crack my helmet, I was only going about 3 mph. I was trying to edge onto a bike path from the grass, and hit a 2" high raised section of concrete exactly parallel with my tire, with all my momentum going to my right--I went over like Arte Johnson in an old Laugh-In segment. Happened so fast I took the impact directly on the helmet. I still had a mild concussion.

    It's not how fast you're going. It's how far you fall, and what makes the impact with the ground. People get fatal brain injuries standing stock-still in the shower and falling, when their heads make contact with solid porcelain. Sitting on a bike seat properly adjusted, your head is high enough off the ground to suffer a serious injury even when the bike is stationary.

    It's a free country. I don't like mandatory-anything laws. You're free to choose. I choose a helmet.

  21. #21
    Senior Member David Bierbaum's Avatar
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    It's also an expensive Country! I don't like my insurance premiums taking a helmetless head hike!

  22. #22
    Senior Member terrapin44's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HybridWheeler View Post
    Since this is the hybrid area and typically we are riding more for recreation, commuting, or taking it slower how many of you don't bother with a helmet?

    My riding will be confined to bike paths only. I don't feel the need to ride on the main roads with crazy drivers so I haven't purchased one yet and I don't go fast enough to really hurt myself so I haven't bothered. I have looked at them but walk away thinking it's silly for the slow cruising I do.

    How about you?
    As a few others have stated from their personal experience, 3 or 4 mph is enough to hit your head on the ground, so I wouldn't not get one because you ride slow. If you have other reasons for no wearing one ,well that is your choice.

    Personally, I almost always wear a helmet [1]. I need at least a hat on my head anyway (due to me hair otherwise blowing in my eyes) so why not wear a helmet that also will keep me safe. Once you get used to wearing a helmet it really doesn't become an issue in my experience.

    [1] The exception is sometimes I won't if I'm going to the local watering hole which is about 1/3 mile away. Although I usually walk there because I don't like the bike parking situation.

  23. #23
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    My helmet saved me from serious injury or worse when I hit a crack in the street and dived head-over-handlebars into the curb. Passersby who stopped said my survival was miraculous because my head bounced off of the curb. Giro paid for part of the busted helmet replacement in order to have the damaged shell for analysis.

    Running over stuff, like a small piece of wire, can put a biker down in a flash. Once airborne, even at a snail's pace, the landing can be mighty hazardous.

    I don't like a helmet. Mine looks goofy. It interferes with my headphones. It interferes with wind blowin' through my hair. Even with big vents, its hot in Florida in the summer. But I wear one almost always, 'cause my wife refuses to change diapers if I'm brain damaged.

  24. #24
    Senior Member davestv's Avatar
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    One advantage of wearing a helmet, and clipping your feet in; you will ride faster and take greater risks. I think it makes you feel safer, so you push it a little further. It might not be a huge difference, but it does make a difference, at least I feel it.

  25. #25
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    Yep, new here as of now...this topic caught my eye.
    After a nine year layoff with a bad hip, I decided to have a total hip replacement Jan 2011 & I'm back in the saddle again. Did not want to wear one because of looks. The pro at the bike shop said "look at it this way, before it was nerdy, now it's totally acceptable". So I bought one for myself and my wife. A friend of mine had a freakish accident. Cracked his helmet to pieces. I never wore a helmet before but now I do.

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