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The helmet thread

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The helmet thread

Old 04-29-13, 06:14 PM
  #5151  
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If you dont believe in helmets...

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Old 04-29-13, 06:59 PM
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The report below is a bit slim, but the most interesting part of it is the reference to a Transport Canada study (which I have not been able to dig up... unless it's the 2011 one).

https://www.ucalgary.ca/news/utoday/m...013/collisions

Some startling (!) conclusions:
The study found that the greatest injuries were caused by cyclists crashing into vehicles; the faster the vehicle, the greater the injury. The study also found that the lack of helmet use while biking was not as great a risk factor as were collisions.
Williamson’s research is supported by a Transport Canada study which concluded that mass helmet use has not contributed to a reduction in cyclist fatalities in Canada, which remains at about 60 deaths a year. The work is timely as the city of Calgary explores segregated bike lanes in the downtown to encourage cycling.
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Old 04-29-13, 07:22 PM
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For those of you unfamiliar with the area, that's the "rock store" (or on the way up to it) part of Mulholland Drive in the Malibu Area. It's extremely popular with motorcyclists regardless of their skill level and you can usually count on some good crashes. Cars too. Search YouTube and you'll see plenty of examples.

Further complicating things... some photographers like to hang out on the inside portion of that turn and take pictures, videos etc, so you also get some hot dogging.

It's sad to see the comments below that video though. People are absolutely out of their minds.
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Old 04-29-13, 07:25 PM
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Why is so important to some people that other people wear helmets?
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Old 04-29-13, 07:27 PM
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Here's some more commentary on the details of the crash...

https://bikinginla.wordpress.com/2013...ders/#comments
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Old 04-29-13, 08:25 PM
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Helmets are a must for me. Because if it doesn't save my life, at least my noggin won't look like it was used as a prop at a Gallagher show.
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Old 04-29-13, 08:25 PM
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its not important to me that anyone except those I care about wear helmets. In fact those that see this video and still believe helmets serve no real purpose, should NOT wear them, as i believe in letting nature take her course as well.

But for the arguments about your head never really hitting....well....
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Old 04-29-13, 08:58 PM
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Its so sad to see that... The Mulholland/Rock Store/Stunt Canyon/Piuma Canyon/Decker, etc were part of our motorcycling stomping grounds since I first threw a leg over my gpz550 at 14. I've seen many terrible accidents there (at that particular spot), well before the video guys ever showed up. It was (and apparently still is...) a popular street racing spot--not drag racing, but full on curvy-road-racing (with the commensurate off-road excursions). That really sucks for the cyclists, as they were minding their own business when this moron came around...

But yeah, I wear my helmet at all times and insist that my family does as well. The last time my 10 year old went down, she missed a corner on a trail in the Puddingstone area and went tumbling through some bushes--her helmet had some nice dings on it, but she was none the worse for wear. I'm no helmet nazi for adults (your life, you risk it...), but I set the example for my kids.
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Old 04-29-13, 09:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Erwin8r
but I set the example for my kids.
Well, it is a state law for kids under 18, not that anybody ever seems to do anything about it.
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Old 04-29-13, 09:19 PM
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Originally Posted by vesteroid
its not important to me that anyone except those I care about wear helmets. In fact those that see this video and still believe helmets serve no real purpose, should NOT wear them, as i believe in letting nature take her course as well.

But for the arguments about your head never really hitting....well....
Nobody is going to believe that you posted this video to BF for the benefit of your loved ones.

More believable: "This is a form of self-justification. I need to reinforce my own belief in the wisdom of my choices."

Or maybe "I want to firm up my role by showing my in-group that I am one of them; that I follow group norms."

Or maybe just "I didn't want to pass up an opportunity to show those stupid bare-headed riders that they're going to suffer well-deserved injuries if they don't act the way I think they should."
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Old 04-29-13, 09:27 PM
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seriously, think what you want, and please dont wear a helmet when you ride if you dont want to.

I actually have no dog in this fight, regardless of what you think, but I do tend to believe what I see. And that clip of the lagging guy hitting the road, tells me all I need to know about wearing helmets on the road.

I dont know you , and havent talked with you before, so I cant say I told you so....but if me posting this shows one person the benefits of wearing safety gear, then I feel good.
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Old 04-29-13, 09:34 PM
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I just don't buy that this is some kind of public service message, as if people wouldn't realize that they can fall over and hit their heads while riding a bicycle if not for you posting videos to BF.

So, sorry if you got caught in my bad mood, but I'm awfully tired of helmet nags. I truly don't understand what a certain personality type gets out of pushing a helmet agenda.
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Old 04-30-13, 01:10 AM
  #5163  
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I was 11 or 12 before my mom got me my first bike helmet (complete with the horrid lycra cover)...

I rarely wore it until I starting doing some more serious MTB riding when I got my first good bike ($600 bike to a 10th grader in the mid 90's was a lot of cash for a kid... and yes I bought it myself... it was around that time that a friend had a serious accident that ended up ripping her lip from her jaw, broke her nose and cracked the helmet in 2...
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Old 04-30-13, 04:20 AM
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Originally Posted by vesteroid
its not important to me that anyone except those I care about wear helmets. In fact those that see this video and still believe helmets serve no real purpose, should NOT wear them, as i believe in letting nature take her course as well.

But for the arguments about your head never really hitting....well....

You are assuming that had the rider in the video not been wearing a helmet, he'd have suffered some serious injury. Maybe he would, maybe he wouldn't. But the statistics suggest that he'd have been OK. The reason I say that is that as helmet use has increased, death and serious injury to cyclists has not decreased in proportion. So unless the numbers of cyclists (as a percentage of the cycling population) hitting their heads has for some reason increased as fast as the use of helmets, the only conclusion it is possible to draw is that helmets have made little or no difference.

My own conclusion is the one most recently discussed in this thread. Helmets may be doing a good job of mitigating or preventing minor head injuries - contusions, cuts, maybe even the occasional skull fracture. But they are having little effect on the incidence of the sort of injury that will kill you or leave you brain damaged. Those people who fell off and banged their heads in the old days were mostly OK. Those people who fall off and bang their heads today are mostly OK. The difference is, a significant number of the latter assume that their helmet saved their life, when the most it probably did was save them a few cuts and bruises.
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Old 04-30-13, 08:07 AM
  #5165  
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Originally Posted by Six jours
I truly don't understand what a certain personality type gets out of pushing a helmet agenda.
Sales, if you work in a bike shop...
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Old 04-30-13, 09:14 AM
  #5166  
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Originally Posted by chasm54
You are assuming that had the rider in the video not been wearing a helmet, he'd have suffered some serious injury. Maybe he would, maybe he wouldn't. But the statistics suggest that he'd have been OK. The reason I say that is that as helmet use has increased, death and serious injury to cyclists has not decreased in proportion. So unless the numbers of cyclists (as a percentage of the cycling population) hitting their heads has for some reason increased as fast as the use of helmets, the only conclusion it is possible to draw is that helmets have made little or no difference.

My own conclusion is the one most recently discussed in this thread. Helmets may be doing a good job of mitigating or preventing minor head injuries - contusions, cuts, maybe even the occasional skull fracture. But they are having little effect on the incidence of the sort of injury that will kill you or leave you brain damaged. Those people who fell off and banged their heads in the old days were mostly OK. Those people who fall off and bang their heads today are mostly OK. The difference is, a significant number of the latter assume that their helmet saved their life, when the most it probably did was save them a few cuts and bruises.
You are the one that's doing all the assuming... The guy wearing the helmet bounced his head off the pavement pretty good and ended up walking away. That's a fact. What would have happened if he wasn't wearing a helmet? Nobody really knows, but you saying that he probably would have been just as well off, that is a big assumption in my book...
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Old 04-30-13, 09:36 AM
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Originally Posted by 350htrr
You are the one that's doing all the assuming... The guy wearing the helmet bounced his head off the pavement pretty good and ended up walking away. That's a fact. What would have happened if he wasn't wearing a helmet? Nobody really knows, but you saying that he probably would have been just as well off, that is a big assumption in my book...
I am making no assumptions. What does "maybe he would, maybe he wouldn't" mean to you? Sound like an assumption? Thought not.

I am merely saying what the statistics suggest. The people making the assumptions tend to be those who assume they owe their survival to their helmet, when all the real-world evidence suggests that helmets have done little or nothing to reduce cycling fatalities.
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Old 04-30-13, 10:06 AM
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Originally Posted by chasm54
I am making no assumptions. What does "maybe he would, maybe he wouldn't" mean to you? Sound like an assumption? Thought not.

I am merely saying what the statistics suggest. The people making the assumptions tend to be those who assume they owe their survival to their helmet, when all the real-world evidence suggests that helmets have done little or nothing to reduce cycling fatalities.
Well you are "suggesting" that statistically he would have been OK without a helmet, That is an assumption to me. Maybe maybe not. But in actual fact he was OK, and he was wearing a helmet, no maybe about that...
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Old 04-30-13, 10:54 AM
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I mentioned this before, in the June issue of Bicycling Magazine there's a story called "Senseless" about the history of bicycle helmets. The author interviewed a bunch of helmet designers, manufacturers and testers. The thing that jumped out at me was that what make bicycle helmets "work" is the collapsing and destruction of the styrofoam. If you don't hit hard enough to destroy the styrofoam, it really doesn't provide much protection. So, in low speed falls, most of the time, a bicycle helmet does little more than prevent scrapes. I only mention this because the argument has been made that at higher speeds, a helmet does less to protect you and there are studies to enforce that. It makes me think that there is probably a "sweet spot" in how hard your head strikes an object. If you're going too slow, not much protection; if you're going too fast, not much protection. But if you can slam your head just right, it probably WILL save your life and mitigate skull and even brain injury.

Also, in this story, when the author talks about rotational injury, he is referring to injuries to the brain that occur when the synapses get torn. These injuries occur because brain matter has areas whose density varies from other areas, so in a head strike that is not straight-on, these parts of the brain decelerate at different rates, causing synapses to tear and worsening traumatic brain injury. I'll have to go back and look again, but I don't think neck injuries have any part in what helmet testers refer to as rotational injuries.

Anyway, again, the story is very informative and I think anyone interested in helmets will find some nuggets of info there.
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Old 04-30-13, 12:44 PM
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Originally Posted by MMACH 5
Also, in this story, when the author talks about rotational injury, he is referring to injuries to the brain that occur when the synapses get torn. These injuries occur because brain matter has areas whose density varies from other areas, so in a head strike that is not straight-on, these parts of the brain decelerate at different rates, causing synapses to tear and worsening traumatic brain injury. I'll have to go back and look again, but I don't think neck injuries have any part in what helmet testers refer to as rotational injuries.
The studied form of TBI (traumatic brain injury) involving rotational forces is DAI -- Diffuse Axonal Injury. It actually doesn't even depend on rotational injury, just variations on how fast tissue is moving in your head. So blunt impact can also be a cause of DAI, but where rotational forces are involved, DAI can certainly be exacerbated.

This is usually what the bare-head brigade is referring to regarding rotational injury; where this stuff about neck injuries got introduced, IDK.
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Old 04-30-13, 12:51 PM
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Originally Posted by chasm54
You are assuming that had the rider in the video not been wearing a helmet, he'd have suffered some serious injury. Maybe he would, maybe he wouldn't. But the statistics suggest that he'd have been OK. The reason I say that is that as helmet use has increased, death and serious injury to cyclists has not decreased in proportion. So unless the numbers of cyclists (as a percentage of the cycling population) hitting their heads has for some reason increased as fast as the use of helmets, the only conclusion it is possible to draw is that helmets have made little or no difference.

My own conclusion is the one most recently discussed in this thread. Helmets may be doing a good job of mitigating or preventing minor head injuries - contusions, cuts, maybe even the occasional skull fracture. But they are having little effect on the incidence of the sort of injury that will kill you or leave you brain damaged. Those people who fell off and banged their heads in the old days were mostly OK. Those people who fall off and bang their heads today are mostly OK. The difference is, a significant number of the latter assume that their helmet saved their life, when the most it probably did was save them a few cuts and bruises.
It's funny, the difference in terms. "Serious" is a technical term where these studies, helmet sciences, and medical experts are concerned, yet most people seem to think it's a rather qualitative thing in their life. Like a less than serious head injury, including a "light" or "moderate" head injury would not be a traumatic experience.

Skull fracture might not be a serious injury, but if my helmet prevented that, I'd be happy...

Chances are, the guy in the video wouldn't have suffered a serious injury without a helmet, if he walked away without a serious injury wearing a helmet. Statistics say he probably wouldn't have, but that doesn't mean he'd be absolutely "OK."

You make a huge jump there, from, "...death and serious injury to cyclists has not decreased in proportion." and, "...helmets have made little or no difference."

Of course they have not made much difference in cases of death or serious injury -- they are not designed to do so. But with light to moderate injury? That one study was just posted indicating that they have made a difference, the more moderate the injury, the greater the injury mitigation. And goodness, that matches up with their intended use. Go figure.
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Old 04-30-13, 01:22 PM
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Originally Posted by mconlonx
The studied form of TBI (traumatic brain injury) involving rotational forces is DAI -- Diffuse Axonal Injury. It actually doesn't even depend on rotational injury, just variations on how fast tissue is moving in your head. So blunt impact can also be a cause of DAI, but where rotational forces are involved, DAI can certainly be exacerbated.

This is usually what the bare-head brigade is referring to regarding rotational injury; where this stuff about neck injuries got introduced, IDK.
Right on. While I was in neurological rehab, last year, I got an assignment to research the parts of the brain, their functions and the symptoms of injury (to present to my fellow patients, there). Your assertion that DAI doesn't depend on rotational injury aligns with what I found during that research. And, again, I'll have to go back and look at the story again, but I think in the story he said straight-on blunt force failed to reproduce the forces required to induce DAI. I do remember it saying that straight-on blunt force is a rare occurrence in bicycle accidents. (Sorry, I'm at work and the magazine is at home. I can't wait until they put this story on their website.)
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Old 04-30-13, 03:22 PM
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Originally Posted by MMACH 5
Right on. While I was in neurological rehab, last year, I got an assignment to research the parts of the brain, their functions and the symptoms of injury (to present to my fellow patients, there). Your assertion that DAI doesn't depend on rotational injury aligns with what I found during that research. And, again, I'll have to go back and look at the story again, but I think in the story he said straight-on blunt force failed to reproduce the forces required to induce DAI. I do remember it saying that straight-on blunt force is a rare occurrence in bicycle accidents. (Sorry, I'm at work and the magazine is at home. I can't wait until they put this story on their website.)
DAI doesn't depend on rotational forces. But rotational forces seem to make them far more likely.

Back in the 70's it was discussed in Denmark if boxing should be prohibited. During the discussions I remember informations coming up about how much more dangerous it was to the brain for one to take a hit with a big glove than with a naked fist. Same thing as with the helmet discussion, really.
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Old 04-30-13, 04:22 PM
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Originally Posted by hagen2456
Same thing as with the helmet discussion, really.
No, actually not. No more than studies regarding motorcycle helmets or (US)football have any relevancy, anyway.
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Old 04-30-13, 04:32 PM
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Originally Posted by mconlonx
It's funny, the difference in terms. "Serious" is a technical term where these studies, helmet sciences, and medical experts are concerned, yet most people seem to think it's a rather qualitative thing in their life. Like a less than serious head injury, including a "light" or "moderate" head injury would not be a traumatic experience.

Skull fracture might not be a serious injury, but if my helmet prevented that, I'd be happy...

Chances are, the guy in the video wouldn't have suffered a serious injury without a helmet, if he walked away without a serious injury wearing a helmet. Statistics say he probably wouldn't have, but that doesn't mean he'd be absolutely "OK."

You make a huge jump there, from, "...death and serious injury to cyclists has not decreased in proportion." and, "...helmets have made little or no difference."

Of course they have not made much difference in cases of death or serious injury -- they are not designed to do so. But with light to moderate injury? That one study was just posted indicating that they have made a difference, the more moderate the injury, the greater the injury mitigation. And goodness, that matches up with their intended use. Go figure.
Yes, I buy all of this. Once one has grasped the limitations of bicycle helmets, it becomes a question of attitude, as much as anything. When I am not racing I am very unlikely to fall off. If I do fall off I may bang my head, and if I do that bang is very unlikely to kill me or cause significant brain injury. But of course, even if relatively benign it could be bloody, very painful etc. etc. the small risk of that sort of injury does not loom large enough in my thinking to make me bother with a helmet. Others make a different calculation. Neither group is necessarily stupid, though naturally those who agree with me are conspicuously intelligent.
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