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Old 05-23-03, 09:41 AM   #1
a2psyklnut
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Riding w/o a helmet! WHY?

My buddy and I rode last night, and we encountered three guys coming the other way. None of them were wearing helmets. What is up with that? I know there is no law forcing them to wear one, but while mountain biking, I don't see why anyone wouldn't wear one.

Sure it's hot here, but with new designs with more vents, they're cooler than ever.

Do you NOT wear a helmet when you're off-road? If so, why?

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Old 05-23-03, 10:00 AM   #2
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I take it off momentarily and hang it on the handlebar when the climbing gets tough and the sun is blaring. My head just can't stand the heat. I could vomit and faint, seriously. I put it back on when my head cools down. Maybe I need a new helmet.
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Old 05-23-03, 10:13 AM   #3
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O.k., that's legitimate. I can see the reason for a long sustained climb. But this was a pretty technical trail with lots of roots and some quick drops and dips.

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Old 05-23-03, 10:26 AM   #4
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I'm one of the "stupid" ones. I rode bmx street/freestyle for many many years (like 15 plus) and I only wore a helmet if I was at a private place and I had to.

I've done some damm crazy stuff on a bike and have hit my head HARD many times. two of the hardest times I was under the age of 14. NOBODY ever mentioned helmets at that young age, not even the doctors when I went in to have gravel removed from my face.

so I grew up not using them. I wore knee pads and shin pads though.....

I got a mountain bike over the summer and started going on group rides to learn some of the local trails.
Now I have some damm good bike handling skills from my stunt riding years. (I still ride bmx actually just less because of injurys)

riding through the woods is a cakewalk. especially with big tires and squishy forks. bunnyhoping over fallen logs takes no thought.

on the cement, I know the conditions. I know that my front wheel isn't going to suddenly roll over a hidden rock or root and slide out. I can see anything coming my way and react accordingly.

I don't feel the same way in the woods. but believe it or not I wear a helmet in the woods. the trails can go from dry dirt to soft mud to wet roots covered w/ dry leaves. if my front wheel or back wheel suddenly washes out I could be thrown to the ground fast. the problem I have with this is the ground is not always flat and free of debree(sp?). hitting my head on a log, rock, broken of tree branch or stump is a high factor.
in other words, the conditions are way to unpredicatable for my to consider not wearing one in the woods. I also like the fact that they deflect over hanging branches that would otherwise wack you in the head.

so to answer you question, I don't know why someone wouldn't wear a helmet.
I guess the answer is ignorance(the riders don't know the dangers of their suroundings) or they don't care. or they are riding slow enough to not warrent a helmet.
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Old 05-23-03, 10:37 AM   #5
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I see pnj's point about riding elsewhere but he's right about the trails. I've split my helmet in half on some easy, slow rides that happen to hit a slick root and wham! Strangely enough, never on the real technical log hopping etc. (probably because subconsciously I'm more vigilant) so I would never go without a helemt mountain biking , even on the easy stuff because you never know...

Besides, I don't get mad at these guys (unless they have kids with them that are helmetless); I figure they are steamlining the human's genetic pool and getting rid of the dumber ones amongst us.
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Old 05-23-03, 11:11 AM   #6
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I agree. There are too many unexpected and random scenarios that can happen regardless of how many times you've ridden a trail or how well you know it. Rode yesterday and I'll be d@mned if some of those tree limbs\branches weren't a freakin' inch higher last week!! I knocked my noggin a few times (with my brain bucket on of course)!
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Old 05-23-03, 11:21 AM   #7
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I am lucky. I have never landed on my hand in many many crashes. When I commuted I never landed on my head. I tend to tackle the ground or roll out really well. But I am still nervous. I still wear a helmet on trails. In fact I am considering wearing a full face full time because of my tendency to attack the trail instead of ride it. I crash at least once a day. I am also starting djing...helmet for sure.

There are too many chances on a trail I am not sure why someone would want to risk it. Sure you 'can' walk away. But one bad hit.
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Old 05-23-03, 11:53 AM   #8
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I will tell you even a better one than that. I was driving out the Natchez Trace and saw a guy coming down this steep hill ( On a road bike) without a helmet. I have ridden down this hill before and have reached 53 mph. He was doing every bit of 40 mph. Now how stupid can you be to do something like that??? At those speeds, a fall without a helmet could kill you!

I still don't think that we should be forced to wear helmets. The way I see it, it's my life and I want to have full control over it. Granted, I would NEVER go without one, but I don't want to be told that I have to wear it!
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Old 05-23-03, 12:06 PM   #9
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For what a helmet costs, it is just plain foolish not to wear one. I do, however, believe if you don't want to wear one you should be allowed, same thing with motorcycle helmets and seatbelts.
I have been hit by cars twice, fallen off a fifteen foot ledge on my MTB, and highsided a motorcycle at 60mph. I always wear a helmet, and other protective goodies.
We have a memorial of a long time customer, who forgot his helmet, rode anyway(road) had a low speed crash and hit his head, killed him.
I talked to a customer early this week, that had a brain injury, had to relearn to speak and walk, and now has to ride a three wheeler because he can't balance well.
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Old 05-23-03, 12:09 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by pletcgm
I still don't think that we should be forced to wear helmets. The way I see it, it's my life and I want to have full control over it. Granted, I would NEVER go without one, but I don't want to be told that I have to wear it!
Ok you live in the states where you pay for your care correct...I have no problem at all with people paying 100% of their recovery not wearing a helmet.

if you have insurance you are paying a pretty small portion of any operation or recovery you may need while premiums may go up or coverage may be removed for future riders because of your mistake. (if this isn't how insurance works in the states my mistake).

In canada if someone gets hurt they get fixed. If they get hurt BECAUSE they didn't wear a helmet and I am helping pay for it that sucks. So really it isn't your life. It is my money helping pay for your stupidity.

Thats cool if you dont want to wear one and take risks, congrats. Coverage should be removed.

BTW you and your aren't referring directly to you but people who use that overdone excuse.
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Old 05-23-03, 12:10 PM   #11
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I look at it this way, with my son (4 years old and just got his first 2 wheeler), how can I expect him to wear his helmet all the time if I don't? :confused:

And believe me i REQUIRE him to wear his helmet.

I don't have a problem wearing my helmet, I like my head the way it is and don't need to be dead or critically injured becuase it was inconvienient.
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Old 05-23-03, 12:12 PM   #12
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Its Darwins theory at work folks. I've quit arguing with the stupid ones and taken to hoping a combination of nasty falls and natural selection kill them off.
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Old 05-23-03, 12:12 PM   #13
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I agree about not imposing more laws, and by no way am I presenting we do so. It just seems to be such an obvious and easy thing to do (to wear a helmet). Why would a person choose not to? I guess these are the same who don't wear seatbelts.

Go figure!

L8R
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Old 05-23-03, 12:40 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by stumpjumper
Its Darwins theory at work folks. I've quit arguing with the stupid ones and taken to hoping a combination of nasty falls and natural selection kill them off.
I'm one of those hypocrits that wouldn't drive 100 yards without my seatbelt on but HATES wearing helmets on my bicycles and my Harley. And even more hyprocrytical I wear a helmet on my Suzuki all the time. Go figure. I don't think you're ever going to find any logical rhyme or reason to why or why not people wear helmets. It's a personal thing and won't make any sense to anyone but them. I'll even admit that my helmet preferances don't make any sense to me. It's just what I do.
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Old 05-23-03, 12:45 PM   #15
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Whenever I see anyone riding without a helmet on one of my favorite trails, I think "there's a potential lawsuit." The U.S. has become so litigous that I know of people who have sued land owners and bike manufacturers for injuries they sustain on the trail due to their own stupidity or lack of skills, resulting in the trail being closed to mountain bikers. Not wearing a helmet just gives them a reason to sue for more money when they get ******** from a blow to the head (even more ******** than they were before the accident). Otherwise I wouldn't have a problem with it. Just darwinism at work.
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Old 05-23-03, 02:11 PM   #16
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You know, they were probably going realy slow and at a slow speed rocks tend to be a bit softer when your head hits

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Old 05-23-03, 02:28 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally posted by Maelstrom
if you have insurance you are paying a pretty small portion of any operation or recovery you may need while premiums may go up or coverage may be removed for future riders because of your mistake. (if this isn't how insurance works in the states my mistake).

Thats cool if you dont want to wear one and take risks, congrats. Coverage should be removed.
I agree. I someone is that dumb to not wear a helmet, they should be liable for the hospital bills.
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Old 05-23-03, 02:28 PM   #18
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No joke, I have a friend that carries his helmet in his pack. Whenever a technical section comes up, he will stop, take his helmet out and put it on for the technical section. Or he'll put it on his head and not even buckle it.

Even after us making fun of him, he still doesn't wear it consistently. I don't know his reasoning. I think he just doesn't care.
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Old 05-23-03, 02:33 PM   #19
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I saw a guy, on one of the main streets here in Nashville, riding out in the middle of traffic doing speeds in the mid 30's without a helmet. That is where I hit a car a couple of months ago. I couldn't believe someone would ride down that road without a helmet. The traffic is very heavy.
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