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The helmet thread

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I've never worn a bike helmet
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The helmet thread

Old 01-15-13, 05:20 PM
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Time to let the cat out of the bag. Ryda is actually my sock puppet. I created him to make the helmeteers look ridiculous. Muahahahaha, etc.
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Old 01-15-13, 05:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Six jours
Time to let the cat out of the bag. Ryda is actually my sock puppet. I created him to make the helmeteers look ridiculous. Muahahahaha, etc.
You have been successful beyond your wildest dreams.
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Old 01-15-13, 10:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Six jours
Ryda is actually my sock puppet.
you don't sniff it do you?
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Old 01-16-13, 08:02 AM
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six

Yup I get a kick out of people that think they are really cute!! Some people stray off subject, but then there are people like six that have a really hard time arguing againse common sense and logic, so they take a hard left into the area of name calling. Contrary to their own self inflated opinion they are not always right. Be safe wear a helmet.
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Old 01-16-13, 11:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Six jours
The problem is that so many people report having their lives saved by their helmets that they couldn't possibly all be correct. So "real world" reports (i.e. "I fell off my bike and my helmet saved my life!!!) really aren't worth very much.
Well, real life experiences are often "worth" more than some study that refutes "some" of those experiences... Just because studies have shoved that "some" of those experiences weren't quite what people have concluded, it doesn't mean that all of those experiences were wrong or even most... JMO Thus my conclusion, that those studies really aren't worth much...


EDIT; Oh, and there is about 6 or 7 studies that I have seen in this thread that say helmets are basically useless... But I have also seen about 6 or 7 studies that say helmets certainly help. So, what is the average person left with? Other peoples real world experiences, (most of them you don't really want to happen to yourself I'm pretty sure) some logic, and some commonsense, and that overwhelmingly says, that something between the head and the pavement usually is better than nothing...

Last edited by 350htrr; 01-16-13 at 07:54 PM.
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Old 01-16-13, 09:33 PM
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Originally Posted by 350htrr
Well, real life experiences are often "worth" more than some study that refutes "some" of those experiences... Just because studies have shoved that "some" of those experiences weren't quite what people have concluded, it doesn't mean that all of those experiences were wrong or even most... JMO Thus my conclusion, that those studies really aren't worth much...


EDIT; Oh, and there is about 6 or 7 studies that I have seen in this thread that say helmets are basically useless... But I have also seen about 6 or 7 studies that say helmets certainly help. So, what is the average person left with? Other peoples real world experiences, (most of them you don't really want to happen to yourself I'm pretty sure) some logic, and some commonsense, and that overwhelmingly says, that something between the head and the pavement usually is better than nothing...
I personally prefer several feet of air between my head and the pavement. You are welcome to your own preferences, of course.

Meanwhile, between 1/3 and 1/2 of cycling enthusiasts, in my experience, report that their helmets have saved their lives. That should tell you everything you need to know about the dependability of personal anecdote.
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Old 01-16-13, 09:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Six jours
I personally prefer several feet of air between my head and the pavement. You are welcome to your own preferences, of course.

Meanwhile, between 1/3 and 1/2 of cycling enthusiasts, in my experience, report that their helmets have their lives.saved That should tell you everything you need to know about the dependability of personal anecdote.
Saved their lives can mean something different not "just" saved my life... A helmet "saved my life" too, but that doesn't mean it saved my life as in I didn't die... It saved my life in the sense that I could continue my life with basically "normal" use of everything, After about 10 months of recovery... If my crash was without a helmet, I am 100% sure I would NOT be here in this "discussion". I probably wouldn't be dead but probably wishing I was, laying in a hospital somewhere for years...

Several feet of air between the head and pavement is certainly preferable but you know what I meant... When the head bounces off the pavement, something is prefered to be between the two... At least I would prefer it...
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Old 01-17-13, 08:27 AM
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Now I got to thinking, what if one is unable to wear a helmet while riding.
I generally wear a helmet while I'm doing "high risk" riding (racing cars in the city, mountain biking, etc) but never while doing normal everyday riding (shopping, general getting around). I'm fairly certain that when I'm doing everyday riding I have absolutely no need for a helmet since the speeds are low, I'm good with handling the bike and I don't have to rush under cars.

But to my original point. Yesterday I did a ride which one could classify as high risk. It was dark outside, Riding side of the road, snow, cold, max speed to stay warm etc. unfortunately it was way too cold for a helmet. It simply would not fit over all the caps. in the end I used 3 buff scarves, a fleece lined wool cap and ski goggles. It was almost enough but there just was no room for a helmet. Secondly a helmet should fit fairly snugly around the head. if you have three layers of insulation, it surely won't fit snug. And you should have the insulating layers as fluffyly as possibly. Again wearing a helmet makes fluffiness difficult. A ski helmet could work, but again too much expense. I find it weird that I should have 4 different helmets when I only have 3 bikes.

So what do you say helmet advocates. Should one stop riding in the winter? Or should one just use the combination of thick soft caps, snow and ice as injury prevention? Snow is really soft compared to concrete, ice fairly soft and neither causes the grinding away of scalp that asphalt and concrete do. When it's under -20 celsius I'm using a cap from now on.

Ps. Sorry about the bad english. haven't used this particular language in a while so I'm fairly rusty.
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Old 01-17-13, 09:46 AM
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Winter helmet liners https://www.esafetysupplies.com/Winter-Liners/
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Old 01-17-13, 05:38 PM
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Originally Posted by 350htrr
Saved their lives can mean something different not "just" saved my life... A helmet "saved my life" too, but that doesn't mean it saved my life as in I didn't die... It saved my life in the sense that I could continue my life with basically "normal" use of everything, After about 10 months of recovery... If my crash was without a helmet, I am 100% sure I would NOT be here in this "discussion". I probably wouldn't be dead but probably wishing I was, laying in a hospital somewhere for years...

Several feet of air between the head and pavement is certainly preferable but you know what I meant... When the head bounces off the pavement, something is prefered to be between the two... At least I would prefer it...
The only way you can really be 100% sure is by repeating the experiment without the helmet, which is obviously impractical (not to mention impossible). So it really is just an article of faith. I know people who are 100% sure that "Jesus is lord", yet several billion Muslims remain unconvinced...

But I have no doubt that helmets do occasionally save lives (by whatever definition you happen to be using). Yours may well have been one of them. The question, really, is how often. It cannot possibly be as often as proponents claim, and my own investigation leads to me to believe that it really is not very often at all. So, as always, it's a question of perceived risk vs. perceived benefit, and, as always, I continue to ride bareheaded for the same reason I continue to walk bareheaded: I don't perceive enough risk to justify attempts at mitigation.
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Old 01-17-13, 06:44 PM
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I have absolutely no problem with people not wearing helmets, I also have absolutely no problem with people telling others not to wear helmets, if they say it's because the risk is sooo small that you may actually need it, that the risk to benefit ratio out-ways it in their minds, thus as long as you are willing to take the chance that you would not need a helmet, ever... It's your life... But, the reason I and many others are here (I think), is to say that if you do need it and don't have it, the benefit of having one outweighs the perceived nuisance of wearing one (which i think is the real reason many people don't want to wear one)... JMO

What I have a big problem with is people saying/advocating not wearing a helmet because, a helmet won't do you any good (it may not do you as much good as you believe, but it certainly better than nothing), when/if the old head bounces off the pavement, or even worse, there are people on here that are saying that wearing a helmet actually increases the risk of injury, thus don't wear one, it's safer without one... That's the kind of BS that keeps me here to try and point out the fallacy of that kind if thinking...

Last edited by 350htrr; 01-17-13 at 07:41 PM.
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Old 01-18-13, 07:47 AM
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Originally Posted by 350htrr
... there are people on here that are saying that wearing a helmet actually increases the risk of injury, thus don't wear one, it's safer without one... That's the kind of BS that keeps me here to try and point out the fallacy of that kind if thinking...
It's not necessarily a fallacy, as there are a few reports (will try to google them later, because I'm on a phone at the moment) of helmeted riders getting heads caught under cars resulting in being either dragged down the road or suffering torsional stress on the neck. I believe there were a few fatalities too, related to wearing a helmet. Granted, the conditions were pretty unique, but it has happened.

Over here in Europe, the prevalent attitude is that it's better to maintain, and even fight for, the freedom of choice whether to wear a helmet or not. If you want to wear one- great! If you don't want to wear one- great! That is *your* responsibility, not the government's.

Otherwise all this bickering back and forth about why a helmet works or not, and why should it be mandatory or not, should also be applied to pedestrians, motor vehicle drivers, pets, nudist beach goers (no that is not the head banging i was referring to, you perverts! ), basketball players, and anyone else moving from point A to B without a helmet.

We don't need any more of a 'nanny state' than we already have.
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Old 01-18-13, 08:27 AM
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Originally Posted by NCbiker
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10796827

From the above link:
[h=4]REVIEWER'S CONCLUSIONS:[/h]Helmets reduce bicycle-related head and facial injuries for bicyclists of all ages involved in all types of crashes including those involving motor vehicles.

Once again, bicycle helmets are shown to be usefull. How much research do you need to recognize logic and common sense?
Well, you haven't read the study, have you? I hesitated to post this citation because there are a lot of people on this forum unable (or unwilling) to read medical research. Oftentimes, researchers will put into their abstracts conclusions which are not based on the conclusions of *their* study, but on other studies which they have cited. (The reason they do this, by the way, is to increase the number of times their article is cited by yet other studies. This increases their study's influence numbers, which results in prestige and leverage at tenure and contract negotiation time.)

In this case, the conclusion is farcical, because their own data as cited in the abstract contradicts the conclusion that helmets have practical value. You don't even have to read the study to know that A doesn't equal their proven B. But if you read the study itself, I think you will find more interesting conclusions.

But go ahead and live in your little fantasyland that your helmet will protect you from brain injury. I'm sure it's more pleasant for you than reality.
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Old 01-18-13, 09:24 AM
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Originally Posted by skye
Well, you haven't read the study, have you? I hesitated to post this citation because there are a lot of people on this forum unable (or unwilling) to read medical research. Oftentimes, researchers will put into their abstracts conclusions which are not based on the conclusions of *their* study, but on other studies which they have cited. (The reason they do this, by the way, is to increase the number of times their article is cited by yet other studies. This increases their study's influence numbers, which results in prestige and leverage at tenure and contract negotiation time.)

In this case, the conclusion is farcical, because their own data as cited in the abstract contradicts the conclusion that helmets have practical value. You don't even have to read the study to know that A doesn't equal their proven B. But if you read the study itself, I think you will find more interesting conclusions.

But go ahead and live in your little fantasyland that your helmet will protect you from brain injury. I'm sure it's more pleasant for you than reality.
I really don't understand why you choose to toss about insults and snide remarks. Does it make you feel like a bigger person? It's very narrow minded to suppose that I live in a "fantasyland" when you know very little about me. If you think I said that bicycle helmets protect riders from brain injury, you might want to question your own reading comprehension skills.
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Old 01-18-13, 09:40 AM
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Originally Posted by digitalmouse

Over here in Europe, the prevalent attitude is that it's better to maintain, and even fight for, the freedom of choice whether to wear a helmet or not. If you want to wear one- great! If you don't want to wear one- great! That is *your* responsibility, not the government's.


We don't need any more of a 'nanny state' than we already have.
Hmm. Not all of Europe,unfortunately. As I said a couple pf pages back, I'm in Spain. The law here is absurd. You must wear a helmet unless you're a pro cyclist, or in a town, or it's a hot day. I'm not joking, really. Fortunately the police areaware that it is absurd and, for practical purposes, unenforceable. So having worn one for a few weeks, I have now reverted to type.

An absentee nanny state, here. Quite odd.
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Old 01-18-13, 10:25 AM
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Originally Posted by skye
Well, you haven't read the study, have you?
I love how you link to abstracts and then chastise people for not reading the studies they can't access.
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Old 01-18-13, 10:34 AM
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Originally Posted by elcruxio
Now I got to thinking, what if one is unable to wear a helmet while riding.
I generally wear a helmet while I'm doing "high risk" riding (racing cars in the city, mountain biking, etc) but never while doing normal everyday riding (shopping, general getting around). I'm fairly certain that when I'm doing everyday riding I have absolutely no need for a helmet since the speeds are low, I'm good with handling the bike and I don't have to rush under cars.

But to my original point. Yesterday I did a ride which one could classify as high risk. It was dark outside, Riding side of the road, snow, cold, max speed to stay warm etc. unfortunately it was way too cold for a helmet. It simply would not fit over all the caps. in the end I used 3 buff scarves, a fleece lined wool cap and ski goggles. It was almost enough but there just was no room for a helmet. Secondly a helmet should fit fairly snugly around the head. if you have three layers of insulation, it surely won't fit snug. And you should have the insulating layers as fluffyly as possibly. Again wearing a helmet makes fluffiness difficult. A ski helmet could work, but again too much expense. I find it weird that I should have 4 different helmets when I only have 3 bikes.

So what do you say helmet advocates. Should one stop riding in the winter? Or should one just use the combination of thick soft caps, snow and ice as injury prevention? Snow is really soft compared to concrete, ice fairly soft and neither causes the grinding away of scalp that asphalt and concrete do. When it's under -20 celsius I'm using a cap from now on.

Ps. Sorry about the bad english. haven't used this particular language in a while so I'm fairly rusty.
I use more of a skate style helmet, the Giro Section, which has much fewer vents than typical performance-style helmets.

For the winter, I remove the liner pads and wear either a not particularly thin wool cap, or a balaclava, but not both. No need, even down to about -5degC.

-20C? Yikes! If I thought wearing a helmet was important enough, I'd get a skate style helmet one size too big as a dedicated winter helmet to fit all the layers underneath. Cycling is safe enough, though, that I'd venture out all bundled up w/o a helmet before spending the cash for a dedicated winter helmet. Might be different in Finland, but there's just not enough days that cold for me to round up the gear to deal with it.
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Old 01-18-13, 12:16 PM
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Originally Posted by digitalmouse
It's not necessarily a fallacy, as there are a few reports (will try to google them later, because I'm on a phone at the moment) of helmeted riders getting heads caught under cars resulting in being either dragged down the road or suffering torsional stress on the neck. I believe there were a few fatalities too, related to wearing a helmet. Granted, the conditions were pretty unique, but it has happened.

Over here in Europe, the prevalent attitude is that it's better to maintain, and even fight for, the freedom of choice whether to wear a helmet or not. If you want to wear one- great! If you don't want to wear one- great! That is *your* responsibility, not the government's.

Otherwise all this bickering back and forth about why a helmet works or not, and why should it be mandatory or not, should also be applied to pedestrians, motor vehicle drivers, pets, nudist beach goers (no that is not the head banging i was referring to, you perverts! ), basketball players, and anyone else moving from point A to B without a helmet.

We don't need any more of a 'nanny state' than we already have.
Well now, I'm sure that there are some instances where wearing a helmet did cause more harm than good, just like seat-belts, airbags, anti-lock brakes... Doesn't mean you throw out the baby with the bathwater...
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Old 01-18-13, 04:42 PM
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Originally Posted by chasm54
Hmm. Not all of Europe,unfortunately.
Let me clarify: Northern Europe I was meaning... Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Germany
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Old 01-18-13, 05:39 PM
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Originally Posted by 350htrr
Well now, I'm sure that there are some instances where wearing a helmet did cause more harm than good, just like seat-belts, airbags, anti-lock brakes... Doesn't mean you throw out the baby with the bathwater...
Surely that depends on what the numbers actually show for any particular safety measure. Introduction of both seat-belts and airbags showed substantial reductions in fatalities and injuries, but ABS brakes were a disappointment with no clear improvement in safety statistics when they were widely adopted. Risk compensation has frequently been mentioned before in this thread and it was found to be significant factor in the failure of ABS brakes to live up to their promised safety benefits in several studies of the issue:
  • ^ Grant and Smiley, "Driver response to antilock brakes: a demonstration on behavioural adaptation" from Proceedings, Canadian Multidisciplinary Road Safety Conference VIII, June 14–16, Saskatchewan 1993.
  • ^ Sagberg, Fosser, and Saetermo, "An investigation of behavioural adaptation to airbags and antilock brakes among taxi drivers" Accident Analysis and Prevention #29 pp 293–302 1997.
  • ^ Aschenbrenner and Biehl, "Improved safety through improved technical measures? empirical studies regarding risk compensation processes in relation to anti-lock braking systems". In Trimpop and Wilde, Challenges to Accident Prevention: The issue of risk compensation behaviour (Groningen, NL, Styx Publications, 1994).

AFAICT, with regard to bicycle helmets the safety benefit is still unclear. Case-control studies show a large benefit, but these have not been borne out in whole population studies in countries where the usage of helmets was rapidly increased by well-enforced MHLs. And case-control studies have a known problem due to the self-selection effects (voluntary helmet adopters may well tend to be the most safety-conscious parts of the population and be more likely to visit an ER even after a minor crash). That certainly seems to be the case with the oft-quoted Thompson, Rivara, Thompson study since analysis of their data indicates that helmets reduce not only head injuries, but leg and arm injuries as well.

So at the moment it's not clear that there's any valuable 'baby' in that bathwater we might be throwing out by not choosing to wear a helmet.
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Old 01-18-13, 07:00 PM
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That's funny, ABS not an improvement? Guess if you never drove anything else it would be so...
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Old 01-18-13, 09:17 PM
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Originally Posted by curbtender
That's funny, ABS not an improvement? Guess if you never drove anything else it would be so...
The thing about ABS, is the driver needs to change his/her driving in emergency situations to be of any benefit... Most people just slam on the brakes and just push harder when in an emergency stopping situation (expecting to stop sooner), thus no real change in benefit as far as accident prevention. ABS actually lengthens the stopping distance in certain situations so the driver needs to actually turn the wheel to benefit from the ABS which is to enable acedent avoidance, for the vehicle to change direction to avoid the problem...
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Old 01-18-13, 09:46 PM
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Originally Posted by curbtender
That's funny, ABS not an improvement? Guess if you never drove anything else it would be so...
The benefit of ABS for highly skilled drivers (I do not count myself in that category) is questionable. But ABS certainly is useful for the average driver who doesn't have any particular skill and doesn't care to develop any.

Which, perhaps, is exactly true of cyclists and helmets as well.
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Old 01-18-13, 10:54 PM
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Originally Posted by elcruxio
Now I got to thinking, what if one is unable to wear a helmet while riding.
I generally wear a helmet while I'm doing "high risk" riding (racing cars in the city, mountain biking, etc) but never while doing normal everyday riding (shopping, general getting around). I'm fairly certain that when I'm doing everyday riding I have absolutely no need for a helmet since the speeds are low, I'm good with handling the bike and I don't have to rush under cars.

But to my original point. Yesterday I did a ride which one could classify as high risk. It was dark outside, Riding side of the road, snow, cold, max speed to stay warm etc. unfortunately it was way too cold for a helmet. It simply would not fit over all the caps. in the end I used 3 buff scarves, a fleece lined wool cap and ski goggles. It was almost enough but there just was no room for a helmet. Secondly a helmet should fit fairly snugly around the head. if you have three layers of insulation, it surely won't fit snug. And you should have the insulating layers as fluffyly as possibly. Again wearing a helmet makes fluffiness difficult. A ski helmet could work, but again too much expense. I find it weird that I should have 4 different helmets when I only have 3 bikes.

So what do you say helmet advocates. Should one stop riding in the winter? Or should one just use the combination of thick soft caps, snow and ice as injury prevention? Snow is really soft compared to concrete, ice fairly soft and neither causes the grinding away of scalp that asphalt and concrete do. When it's under -20 celsius I'm using a cap from now on.

Ps. Sorry about the bad english. haven't used this particular language in a while so I'm fairly rusty.
I was very happy to be wearing my helmet a week ago last Sunday, when as I was riding to our church choir practice, my front wheel came loose and caused me to veer into the curb. I couldn't understand why I could not get the bike away from the curb, and I took a very hard spill, a face plant actually. Luckily, this 67 year old found a soft spot to land his face, in the bark mulch after breaking apart a small bush. I ended up with my glasses planted so hard against my face that they bit into the bridge of my nose. I also had one gouge in my cheek; at my age, it didn't hurt my looks though.

As you can see, I have a helmet which will fit over my hood, and it worked very well. the front of the helmet and the light took the main head plant force, saving my nose and teeth a more delicious bite into the bark mulch. I hit at about 12 mph, and it made a hole about six inches into the ground/bark mulch area. The outside air temperature at the time was about 32 degrees F (0 degrees C). The baseball cap I wore under the hood came down and covered my nose; there were small pieces of skin on the underside of the cap when I took it off.

I didn't make it to the choir practice, but did sing as I was able to get cleaned up in time for the church service. 'Had to drive there though. I had my camera on the bike, and tripod too thinking to take photos of the interior of the church with all the Christmas greenery still up. That's how I had it for the photos here. I left the camera at home, then found out that the Christmas greenery was taken down just after the service, so I didn't get a chance at those photos. 'Forgot to throw the camera (on a tripod) into the car when going back to church.

The helmet definately helped in this situation, and was further forward than you see in the post-accident photos. The light was also dislodged, as it was down over the front of the helmet. I have retired that helmet, and got a new one the same day. The new one is a Snell Certified Specialized MAX XXL with a ratchet system which will allow it to fit over my hood/hat combination, or on my bare head too. The Nutcase helmet I was wearing is also a very good choice, but I only used it in winter as it would be too large for use without the hood or hat under it.

John
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Last edited by John C. Ratliff; 01-18-13 at 11:09 PM.
John C. Ratliff is offline  
Old 01-19-13, 12:08 AM
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A good argument for a full-face helmet.

Or properly tightening your front wheel, anyway.
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