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The helmet thread

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The helmet thread

Old 11-16-12, 08:36 AM
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Gee--------do I see a glimmer of common sense here among the anti helmet cult. They now tacitly seem to admit that new riders are more often killed or hurt if they dont wear helmets.

For a long time I have suggested that a new rider may come to this web site to learn more about cycling. And what does he or she find? The anti helmet cult blatering away against helmets. The new rider may believe them, and that could result in them getting hurt or killed, because they are the most in need of a helmet. This is a total disservice to the new members of the cycling community.
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Old 11-16-12, 08:57 AM
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Originally Posted by rydabent
For a long time I have suggested that a new rider may come to this web site to learn more about cycling. And what does he or she find? The anti helmet cult blatering away against helmets. The new rider may believe them, and that could result in them getting hurt or killed, because they are the most in need of a helmet. This is a total disservice to the new members of the cycling community.
Actually, the opposite is true. Wearing helmets, as has been stated so many, many times before, encourages greater risk-taking (the phenomenon called "risk compensation"). Encouraging risky riding is the exact opposite of what you want to do with a new rider. Instead, new cyclists should be encouraged to ride conservatively while they build their skills.

Also, as has been stated before, societal emphasis on cycling helmets as protection has negative safety effects, such as reducing the number of cyclists and taking attention away from education and infrastructure, the only things proven to reduce cycling risk.

So the peer-pressure you are creating on cyclists to wear helmets, especially new cyclists, has a net negative effect.

You want to kill cycling and cyclists? Just keep shoving helmets down everybody's throat.
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Old 11-16-12, 10:07 AM
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Originally Posted by skye
Actually, the opposite is true. Wearing helmets, as has been stated so many, many times before, encourages greater risk-taking (the phenomenon called "risk compensation"). Encouraging risky riding is the exact opposite of what you want to do with a new rider. Instead, new cyclists should be encouraged to ride conservatively while they build their skills.

Also, as has been stated before, societal emphasis on cycling helmets as protection has negative safety effects, such as reducing the number of cyclists and taking attention away from education and infrastructure, the only things proven to reduce cycling risk.

So the peer-pressure you are creating on cyclists to wear helmets, especially new cyclists, has a net negative effect.

You want to kill cycling and cyclists? Just keep shoving helmets down everybody's throat.
You're wrong on both counts; your post suffers from much fail.

A study you cited, a helmet skeptic study posted on a helmet skeptic site, dismissed risk compensation as a measurable factor where cycling and helmets are concerned.

Also, there's no data available regarding effect on ridership rates for places and cultures where helmets are heavily encouraged but not mandatory. I'd also love to hear how encouraging helmet use takes attention away from education and infrastructure. Not to mention, there's plenty of other factors proven to reduce cycling risk beyond education and infrastructure, experience riding a bike being chief among them.

Sad, that you answer unfounded assertions with unfounded or blatantly incorrect assertions of your own. But typical...
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Old 11-16-12, 10:15 AM
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Originally Posted by mconlonx
Sad, that you answer unfounded assertions with unfounded or blatantly incorrect assertions of your own. But typical...
If you can't dazzle them with brilliance then ........
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Old 11-16-12, 11:55 AM
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I'm amazed at how much advocacy is around helmets but not lights. Now that it gets dark quite early I see a lot of cyclists with no lights or just a rear light. Funniest part is when they wear a helmet, as if that will protect them when they get hit.

I'd much rather focus on accident avoidance than to minify accident effects. There are a few other things that are more important than wearing a helmet to make bicycling safer but they involve education, behavior change and possibly some law enforcement. No buying stuff though.
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Old 11-16-12, 12:13 PM
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Originally Posted by cbike
I'm amazed at how much advocacy is around helmets but not lights. Now that it gets dark quite early I see a lot of cyclists with no lights or just a rear light. Funniest part is when they wear a helmet, as if that will protect them when they get hit.

I'd much rather focus on accident avoidance than to minify accident effects. There are a few other things that are more important than wearing a helmet to make bicycling safer but they involve education, behavior change and possibly some law enforcement. No buying stuff though.
Exactly. Prevention is always better than cure (of dubious effectiveness). If all the effort that was spent in promoting helmets was instead directed towards real safety measures, such as use of lights, riding correctly, and generally educating both motorists and cyclists, we might actually see cycling deaths fall.

However, people seem to get the idea that wearing a helmet is the first and last word in safe cycling, and so set forth into the night, with no lights, no reflectors, hugging the curb and more often than not (in the US) on the wrong side of the road, as if their magic hat will save them. After all, they've been told that it's vital and that riding without one is akin to jumping off a cliff.

Unfortunately, those who know how to ride properly are also more likely to wear a helmet, giving rise to statistics of bare-headed riders being injured more often. Helmeteers will then of course jump all over it and say how this 'proves' helmets save lives, disregarding the possibility of some other factor being the cause. How often do you read news stories along the lines of 'local cyclist run over by bus, was not wearing a helmet'. The assumption is that not wearing a helmet contributed to the accident.
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Old 11-16-12, 12:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Monster Pete
Exactly. Prevention is always better than cure (of dubious effectiveness). If all the effort that was spent in promoting helmets was instead directed towards real safety measures, such as use of lights, riding correctly, and generally educating both motorists and cyclists, we might actually see cycling deaths fall.
So... Light manufacturers start preying on consumers by using Fear Culture to sell their lights. Soon, a vocal minority anti-light contingent springs up, pointing out that while lights may help during some specific incidences, like while it's dark, the majority of riding is done when lights provide no benefit. Also, selling lights using fear will frighten more people away from cycling as a dangerous activity thus decreasing safety of any left engaging in the dangerous activity of cycling.

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Old 11-16-12, 12:24 PM
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I'm already anti-some-peoples'-lights-on-the-MUP.

Staying off the MUPs seems to help, though
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Old 11-16-12, 12:31 PM
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Originally Posted by mconlonx
So... Light manufacturers start preying on consumers by using Fear Culture to sell their lights. Soon, a vocal minority anti-light contingent springs up, pointing out that while lights may help during some specific incidences, like while it's dark, the majority of riding is done when lights provide no benefit. Also, selling lights using fear will frighten more people away from cycling as a dangerous activity thus decreasing safety of any left engaging in the dangerous activity of cycling.

Lights? That's nonsense. I suppose you expect me to use a special light while showering? Maybe I need a special light for climbing a ladder? Does anyone have any conclusive peer reviewed studies that show a correlation between the use of lights and a reduction in cycling deaths?
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Old 11-16-12, 08:25 PM
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skye

Sorry but you make no sense at all. A new cyclist that is wearing a helmet because he wants to be safe is NOT going to take risks because he is wearing a helmet.

The argument that cyclist will take more risks because they are wearing a helmet is a total fail!!!!!
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Old 11-16-12, 09:01 PM
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Originally Posted by adamhenry
Lights? That's nonsense. I suppose you expect me to use a special light while showering?
No, but definitely candles when you take a bath. Calgon, take me away!

Originally Posted by adamhenry
Maybe I need a special light for climbing a ladder? Does anyone have any conclusive peer reviewed studies that show a correlation between the use of lights and a reduction in cycling deaths?
Headlamp while on ladder is a definite plus when it's dark out. Also wear when rooting around in the attic. It's always dark up there. Some of those attic ladders are pretty hairy, too, so a helmet, harness, ropes and a belayer couldn't hurt.
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Old 11-16-12, 09:17 PM
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wait, now there's something against lights? are some people forgetting how hard it is to see a bike in the dark, especially when someone has illogically removed all their reflectors?
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Old 11-16-12, 10:24 PM
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Originally Posted by lostforawhile
wait, now there's something against lights? are some people forgetting how hard it is to see a bike in the dark, especially when someone has illogically removed all their reflectors?
Reflectors aren't cool, remember?
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Old 11-16-12, 10:57 PM
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Originally Posted by lostforawhile
wait, now there's something against lights? are some people forgetting how hard it is to see a bike in the dark, especially when someone has illogically removed all their reflectors?
Why do you hate cycling? Pro-light fearmonger!
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Old 11-16-12, 11:03 PM
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I dont hate cycling, I hate being run over, it will ruin your day, some things that people do dont make sense, it can be really hard to see that dark unlighted bike riding towards you on the WRONG side of the road, as often happens here, uncool or not I want my reflectors and lights working so cars can see me at night
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Old 11-16-12, 11:39 PM
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Well, it looks as if my opinion is sorely needed here.

Do you all realize that lights are positively DANGEROUS to use on a bike, especially at night? Bike lights DRAW motorists like magnets. When a car sees a little bike light, they can't help but run into it. They're drawn inexorably towards it.

"Ninja style" invisibility is the safest way to ride at night.

This is discussed exhaustively in "The Art of Cycling" by Robert Hurst.

Last edited by commodorefork; 11-16-12 at 11:51 PM.
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Old 11-17-12, 06:39 AM
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Originally Posted by lostforawhile
I dont hate cycling, I hate being run over, it will ruin your day, some things that people do dont make sense, it can be really hard to see that dark unlighted bike riding towards you on the WRONG side of the road, as often happens here, uncool or not I want my reflectors and lights working so cars can see me at night
Do you wear a helmet while riding...?
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Old 11-17-12, 07:56 AM
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Wearing helmet - good
Enforcing helmets - bad
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Old 11-17-12, 08:01 AM
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skinner +1
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Old 11-17-12, 08:46 AM
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Originally Posted by mconlonx
Do you wear a helmet while riding...?
of course, it's not required here, but i wear one because it's better then not wearing one
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Old 11-17-12, 10:34 AM
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Originally Posted by lostforawhile
of course, it's not required here, but i wear one because it's better then not wearing one
That's not a given in this thread...

Totally having fun with the anti-light thing; more making light (ha!) of the bare-head brigade and their arguments against helmet use in this thread than getting down on lights at all -- At night I usually run two out back, one or two up front. Whenever I run two, the least powerful one is set to blink, brightest one on steady.

Lights are indeed better safety equipment at night than any helmet.
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Old 11-17-12, 11:00 AM
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Originally Posted by rydabent
skye

Sorry but you make no sense at all. A new cyclist that is wearing a helmet because he wants to be safe is NOT going to take risks because he is wearing a helmet.

The argument that cyclist will take more risks because they are wearing a helmet is a total fail!!!!!
No, it almost certainly is not. Risk compensation is a well-observed phenomenon in a number of contexts, and there seems no reason to suppose that cyclists are immune. The safer people feel, the more they tend to indulge in risk-taking behaviour. So if you feel safer wearing a helmet, it is perfectly plausible that you may ride less cautiously as a result.
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Old 11-17-12, 11:26 AM
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Originally Posted by mconlonx
That's not a given in this thread...

Totally having fun with the anti-light thing; more making light (ha!) of the bare-head brigade and their arguments against helmet use in this thread than getting down on lights at all -- At night I usually run two out back, one or two up front. Whenever I run two, the least powerful one is set to blink, brightest one on steady.

Lights are indeed better safety equipment at night than any helmet.
I do have to wonder if some of the anti helmet crowd has bumped their head. I have a good friend of mine, brilliant doctor, he was jogging while up north, and was hit by a pickup truck that veered off the edge of the road, he suffered a lot of brain injury, and had a very long recovery, he had to give up his practice and retire, this same situation could have happened on a bike, I think if he had been on a bike and wearing a helmet, this might not have caused so much damage.
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Old 11-17-12, 11:40 AM
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Originally Posted by lostforawhile
I think if he had been on a bike and wearing a helmet, this might not have caused so much damage.
You're probably wrong. The Snell Foundation, which tests helmets, says that because bicycle helmets have to be so light, it is impossible to make one that offers real protection against being hit by a vehicle. And the helmet manufacturers themselves do not claim that their products will protect you in this sort of accident. The forces involved simply overwhelm the helmet by such a margin that whether you're wearing one or not is pretty much irrelevant.
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Old 11-17-12, 12:16 PM
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Originally Posted by chasm54
You're probably wrong. The Snell Foundation, which tests helmets, says that because bicycle helmets have to be so light, it is impossible to make one that offers real protection against being hit by a vehicle. And the helmet manufacturers themselves do not claim that their products will protect you in this sort of accident. The forces involved simply overwhelm the helmet by such a margin that whether you're wearing one or not is pretty much irrelevant.
Being hit by a vehicle, meaning the head actually is hit by the vehicle or does it also include being hit by a vehicle but the head only hits the pavement when you hit the ground? There IS a big difference...
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