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The helmet thread

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The helmet thread

Old 03-14-13, 04:33 PM
  #4801  
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Originally Posted by Six jours
And again, nobody is arguing that helmets cannot prevent injury. The argument is that bicycle helmets are unlikely to prevent severe and/or fatal brain injury. The argument is also, of course, that riding around below 15 MPH is generally so safe that trying to protect yourself from severe and/or fatal brain injury doesn't make any more sense than it does while walking, bathing, or sleeping.
This is basically what it boils down to.
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Old 03-14-13, 05:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Six jours
And again, nobody is arguing that helmets cannot prevent injury. The argument is that bicycle helmets are unlikely to prevent severe and/or fatal brain injury. The argument is also, of course, that riding around below 15 MPH is generally so safe that trying to protect yourself from severe and/or fatal brain injury doesn't make any more sense than it does while walking, bathing, or sleeping.
Things have "mellowed" out a bit lately but Skye, (post 3722) and a few others way back, have said that wearing a helmet can and does increase your risk of injury... https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...-thread/page44
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Old 03-14-13, 05:32 PM
  #4803  
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Originally Posted by 350htrr
Things have "mellowed" out a bit lately but Skye, (post 3722) and a few others way back, have said that wearing a helmet can and does increase your risk of injury... https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...-thread/page44
Indeed. Thankfully, that isn't what Six jours said. Phew!
EDIT: Since you seemed to miss the key word, I'll bring it to your attention:
Originally Posted by Six jours
And again, nobody is arguing that helmets cannot prevent injury. The argument is that bicycle helmets are unlikely to prevent severe and/or fatal brain injury. The argument is also, of course, that riding around below 15 MPH is generally so safe that trying to protect yourself from severe and/or fatal brain injury doesn't make any more sense than it does while walking, bathing, or sleeping.
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Old 03-14-13, 06:50 PM
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Originally Posted by sudo bike
Indeed. Thankfully, that isn't what Six jours said. Phew!
EDIT: Since you seemed to miss the key word, I'll bring it to your attention:
Yea, I got the key word but... I think the REAL reason most of us "helmetteers" are on here/and keep on being here, is because of posts like Skye's, nobody really cares if you make a conscientious decision not to wear a helmet (because it might not save your life). BUT, telling others not to wear a helmet because it's more dangerous than wearing a helmet is just wrong. IMO...
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Old 03-14-13, 07:47 PM
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Originally Posted by 350htrr
Yea, I got the key word but... I think the REAL reason most of us "helmetteers" are on here/and keep on being here, is because of posts like Skye's, nobody really cares if you make a conscientious decision not to wear a helmet (because it might not save your life). BUT, telling others not to wear a helmet because it's more dangerous than wearing a helmet is just wrong. IMO...
I think factually stating that wearing a helmet is more dangerous than riding without is wrong, I agree. I do think it's valid to note that while it may prevent injuries in some areas, it may worsen them in others. I believe there seems to be some data showing they may increase rotational injury which may increase brain damage (notice a lot of "may"'s).

But on the whole, I can agree with that. On the flipside, what most of the lidless group seems to be looking for is that telling people that they must* wear safety equipment for riding a bike down the street is also just wrong. Most people, in most situations, won't be significantly impacted by the use of a helmet.

And for me personally, it's mostly about people knowing. Regardless of if they choose to or not, as long as they know both the capabilities and limitations of their equipment (of which I think people are very misinformed), I'm happy.

(*btw, "must" includes all of the weasel phrases like "Well, if you value your brain". The assumption is whether a reasonable person must.)
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Old 03-14-13, 09:17 PM
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That is where I'm coming from/trying to say... It depends on your skill level... And speed... As to whether a helmet would help or hurt. In other-words,

1: If someone said to me/proved, that wearing a helmet during a race/40MPH+ doesn't/wouldn't make much difference in the outcome if your head bounces off the pavement and could actually make things worse, I would say you would be "probably" right.

2: If someone said to me/proved, that wearing a helmet during normal bicycling wouldn't/doesn't make much difference in the outcome if your head bounces off the pavement, I would say that you "could" be right.

3; If someone said to me that wearing a helmet during leisurely cycling wouldn't/doesn't make much difference in the outcome if your head bounces off the pavement, I would say you are "probably" be wrong.

ALL these assumptions are ALL made up just to try to make a point of how I am thinking...

Case 1, I would probably still wear a helmet...
Case 2, I would probably wear a helmet,
Case 3, I would certainly wear a helmet...

BUT, that's not how people/I ride in general. They/I ride normally most of the time spiritedly sometimes and racing once in awhile, sometimes all on the same ride... So, looking at the odds/assumptions, wearing a helmet still comes out ahead on most rides. JMO
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Old 03-14-13, 11:33 PM
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Interesting. The only situation you list in which I would definitely prefer a helmet is #1. While I do believe that in some situations a helmet can be more harmful than helpful, I think in general a helmet is nice to have if you're going to hit the pavement with your head, and I know from experience that I am far more likely to crash in a race than in any other situation. Especially given my opinion of today's level of bike handling, I would take all the protection I can get in a criterium.

But #2 and #3 (which are the same thing, in my world) are situations for which I don't feel the need for protective gear, because I am so unlikely to fall, and am even more unlikely to fall and hit my head. I have not struck my head in over three decades of such riding. In fact, I have not fallen at all in such a scenario since I was a foolish teenager who enjoyed pushing the limits for lord only knows what reason. So while I acknowledge that I could fall and strike my head in such a way that a helmet would help, I find it so unlikely that, again, it makes no more sense to try to protect myself from it than it would during walking, bathing, or sleeping.

You, of course, may be different - along with every other cyclist on the planet. My purpose here is not to tell people what they should or should not do (although I am probably guilty of just that, during hotter moments of the discussion) but rather to, as sudo eloquently put it, provide a counterpoint for the widespread idea that helmets are necessary any time one is near a bicycle and that one is foolish (brain dead, organ donor, etc.) if one takes any other stance.
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Old 03-15-13, 03:48 AM
  #4808  
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I just have to give out some personal anecdotes, because well, it always gives some spice to the conversation.

I live in a place where the winter lasts for half a year. There is a truckload of snow and ice during this time. I never use a helmet during this time simply because it's too cold for a helmet (yes, it's that cold)
Now every winter I slip and fall several times while walking (mostly when drunk but in sober occasions also). I have broken my ankle because of slipping on ice. I have banged my head several times, but so far no apparent brain injuries. I don't wear a helmet while walkig, and neither do I use spiked shoes. Nobody is even thinking of mandatory walking helmets, hip protectors (for old people you know) or spiked shoes because that would be absolutely idiotic. But still somehow many are huffing and puffing about bicycle helmets even in everday riding.

Now I also do a lot of cycling during the winter. basically every trip longer than 200 meters I do with a biycle. I have a road bike and a 29er MTB but I do my everyday riding with this old british type vintage upright riding position bike with only a coaster brake I paid 30 bucks for (actually euros but they are the same basically). It has slick tires and terrible weight distribution like all vintage gentleman bikes. Absolutely no grip in the front. What I'm trying to convey here is that this particular bike is no way suitable for winter riding. The 29er is a hundred times better in snow and ice, but also costs alot and is stealable so...
Still, in the three years here I can remember falling down once. Once! I was dropping down from a curb and my handlebar twisted down from the impact (loose stem bolt) and in the end I ended up doing a half backflip with the bike still between my legs and sliding several meters on my back with a sheepish expression on my face. No injuries.
Then again I fall an average of six times a ride while going out with my MTB, but thats mountain biking for you.

What I'm saying is, bicycles are remarkably good at staying upright while in normal street conditions and low speeds even when it's slippery. People on the other hand are NOT good at staying upright in slippery conditions. At least not as good as bicycles. The netherlanders don't get very slippery conditions, but they trust the bicycle and the dynamics that keep it upright. They also have a massively good infrastructure for cycling. They don't wear helmets for everyday riding because for them, cycling is probably safer than walking.
I live in Finland and here cycling actually is safer than walking...

If I think of situations where a bicycle helmet is best suited, it's otb. OTB is a very rare occurrence in european type bike conditions. Mainly otb:s happen when a car is involved. In other types crashes banging of the head is fairly rare, in part of because we as a species have a natural instict to protect the head. We either cover it with a hand or an arm or just keep it away from the road.

Cycling helmets for racing and recreational daredeviling? yes of course! Not mandatory though...
Cycling helmets for normal town riding, shopping, commuting etc? Seriously, not needed.
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Old 03-15-13, 07:18 AM
  #4809  
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It seems that most everyone arguing against helmets have yet to have an accident. Those of us who have reported how a helmet has saved us from some injury are pro helmet. Those who havent had an accident be warned that your time may be comming. It is the same as people that never use seat belts, until they have a wreck. Now they ALWAYS wear their seatbelts. No one can ever know or predict when an accident will happen. Be prepared.
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Old 03-15-13, 07:20 AM
  #4810  
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There's no such thing as an accident. I've crashed many times sans-helmet.
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Old 03-15-13, 09:23 AM
  #4811  
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Originally Posted by rydabent
It seems that most everyone arguing against helmets have yet to have an accident. Those of us who have reported how a helmet has saved us from some injury are pro helmet. Those who havent had an accident be warned that your time may be comming. It is the same as people that never use seat belts, until they have a wreck. Now they ALWAYS wear their seatbelts. No one can ever know or predict when an accident will happen. Be prepared.
I'm unsure about your position on helmets while walking... As I stated earlier I have had more falls while on foot than on my bicycle. Well, the bicycle with wich I do not use a helmet.
I mean, my normal riding speed with that particular bike is like a fairly fast jogging speed. No helmets for jogging I'm assuming. That would be silly right? Right...

There is also lots of xc skiers around. With our elevation and hills the skiers sometimes hit speeds of 40km/h. I've yet to see an xc-skiing helmet...

The examples just stack up where a hobbyist is capable of attaining a speed that can cause severe damage to the human body when encountered with sufficient deceleration. Running, skiing, skateboarding, cycling, even walking if you fall like a log head first etc. In only one of these are people touting that helmets should be used.

What people fail to see is, that there are as many types of riding as there are cyclists. I'm guessing now, but the massive majority of cyclists rides in a way where a helmet is not required. I'm of course now talking about europe where cycling is a everyday activity, speeds are sometimes ridicilously low (to an enthusiast like me) and people ride in their everyday clothing like skirts and suits. For most people cycling is an extension of walking and as such requires no safety gear.

Seriously rydabent, you are one step away from slipping on a banana peel while walking and you could break your hip or ankle while doing so. Accidents happen all the time. Be prepared, get yourself a hip brace, nonslip shoes and of course, a walking helmet! A car could drive over you and there a helmet would surely be beneficial.

Or a meteror could drop on your head...
Just saying.
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Old 03-15-13, 12:41 PM
  #4812  
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Originally Posted by closetbiker
I've dropped this conversation for a while now but I thought a few might like to know how that court challenge to BCs helmet law turned out.

After the judge heard all the evidence he said that he doesn't believe that there is a "safety in numbers" effect for cyclists, or that ridership in BC has decreased because of the law, and despite his acknowledgement of there being much evidence that questions the efficacy of bicycle helmets, he felt that because majority of the literature he reviewed still supports the conclusion that helmets are beneficial in reducing head injuries and saving lives, the law will continue to stand.

So keep it up Helmeteers, the "evidence" (often not evidence at all, often merely supposition) you provide leads to laws for all.

No helmet, no bike. It's for our own good.
Blame "helmeteers" all you want, doesn't mean it's so. Especially where an ill-informed judge making a political decision is concerned. "Judge made a decision I don't agree with, therefore helmeteers are at fault for MHL."

Yeah, right.

Except all those pro-helmet people who are, by and large, anti-MHL. And those who fight such legislation.

Need to refine your claims, too: who is responsible for pro-helmet "evidence"--individual pro-helmet riders as you are claiming here, or corporations making money off helmet laws who fund much cited pro-helmet studies, as has been cited in the past?
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Old 03-15-13, 12:48 PM
  #4813  
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Originally Posted by mconlonx
Except all those pro-helmet people who are, by and large, anti-MHL.
What makes you think so? BF comments?
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Old 03-15-13, 01:06 PM
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This just keeps getting funnier and funnier.
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Old 03-15-13, 01:12 PM
  #4815  
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike
Originally Posted by mconlonx
Except all those pro-helmet people who are, by and large, anti-MHL. And those who fight such legislation.
What makes you think so? BF comments?
Do you know any cyclists who are pro MHL? I have yet to meet one. We may differ on whether we believe that helmets are worthy of our money or inconvenience, but the vast majority of us are on the same side of the MHL issue.
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Old 03-15-13, 02:13 PM
  #4816  
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike
What makes you think so? BF comments?
To a certain extent BF comments, but more to the point, general public comments and all the MHLs introduced as legislation that fail at any number of points along the way.

Most of the pro-MHL people don't ride bikes, take great umbrage at all the unhelmeted riders who crash, sustain head injury, and drive up insurance rates for everyone else *power-pout*.
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Old 03-15-13, 02:26 PM
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Here in Dallas, the MHL was challenged and defeated on the basis that it was only there to give police a reason to stop and search minorities. The argument was even made by the city that this gave the police an edge in their war with drug dealers (you know, since such a big part of the drug trade is distributed on bicycles ). Initially, the law was ruled as racist and unconstitutional. Enforcement was halted while it was appealed to a higher court. The ruling was overturned in the higher court.
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Old 03-15-13, 02:38 PM
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Originally Posted by LesterOfPuppets
There's no such thing as an accident. I've crashed many times sans-helmet.
Doesn't happen or hasn't happened to you?
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Old 03-15-13, 04:28 PM
  #4819  
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Originally Posted by mconlonx
Most of the pro-MHL people don't ride bikes, take great umbrage at all the unhelmeted riders who crash, sustain head injury, and drive up insurance rates for everyone else *power-pout*.
Probably most pressure for placing restrictions on gun ownership or use comes from people who don't own them or use them.

Just because most of the pro MHL Bozos may be as you described, and don't ride bikes doesn't keep them from having an effect on MHL policies. Especially when they come across as authorities figures, even if they know little or nothing about helmet effectiveness on reducing risk; think Public Health or Transportation professionals and/or Doctors pontificating.
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Old 03-15-13, 04:58 PM
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike
Probably most pressure for placing restrictions on gun ownership or use comes from people who don't own them or use them.

Just because most of the pro MHL Bozos may be as you described, and don't ride bikes doesn't keep them from having an effect on MHL policies. Especially when they come across as authorities figures, even if they know little or nothing about helmet effectiveness on reducing risk; think Public Health or Transportation professionals and/or Doctors pontificating.
Also, most would rather whine to no effect after the fact than fight something before it is enacted.

If anti-MHL advocates are not politically up to snuff, then yes, authority figures who know better will sway the course of discussion, but just one or two troublemakers with facts can ruin their day. More effective than a Transportation official or Doctor pontificating is a plain Jane or Joe slapping them down in public. Everyone loves to see that.
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Old 03-15-13, 08:18 PM
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Lets get real about MHLs. B'crats dont give a rats tail about your safety, they just want your money if you are not wearing one. Thats is just one of the reasons why I am against MHLs.

It remains that I think you are stupid if you dont wear a helmet. However I just dont think b'crats should force anyone to wear one.
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Old 03-15-13, 10:14 PM
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Originally Posted by rydabent
Lets get real about MHLs. B'crats dont give a rats tail about your safety, they just want your money if you are not wearing one. Thats is just one of the reasons why I am against MHLs.
The other reason no doubt is that those evil b'crats that you rant about so often would no doubt use the ill gotten gains for funding their fleet of Black Helicopters swirling about over the heads of people like yourself.
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Old 03-16-13, 11:11 AM
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I like

It pretty much a toss up of which I have less use for MHLs or B'crats. B'crats should be changed often just like diapers--------for the same reason. When they are there too long they come up with stupid ideas like MHLs.
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Old 03-17-13, 02:57 PM
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Originally Posted by rydabent
I like

It pretty much a toss up of which I have less use for MHLs or B'crats. B'crats should be changed often just like diapers--------for the same reason. When they are there too long they come up with stupid ideas like MHLs.
I could be wrong, I'm not a lawyer, but I believe Legislators make laws and bureaucrats write regulations to implement those laws.
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Old 03-17-13, 03:45 PM
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Zman

For convienence I lump the all together. Far too many of them are over paid and under worked, thats why they come up with stupid ideas like MHLs.
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