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The helmet thread

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View Poll Results: Helmet wearing habits?
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The helmet thread

Old 06-14-14, 07:17 AM
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Originally Posted by elcruxio
There you go again. Hoping to harm others. Dude, behavior like that is not cool. It's behavior for a five year old
Wow, no sense of humor huh?
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Old 06-14-14, 07:28 AM
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Originally Posted by rekmeyata
Wow, no sense of humor huh?
Not in jokes which have something to do with wishing other people bodily harm.

I have noticed that people who lay out those jokes usually have no experience of what it feels like to be harmed or to be in danger. You with all your "'murrica hurr durr freedom" and violence/war mongering seem to me to be exactly such a person. Lots of talk but no experience.
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Old 06-14-14, 08:04 AM
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Originally Posted by elcruxio
Not in jokes which have something to do with wishing other people bodily harm.

I have noticed that people who lay out those jokes usually have no experience of what it feels like to be harmed or to be in danger. You with all your "'murrica hurr durr freedom" and violence/war mongering seem to me to be exactly such a person. Lots of talk but no experience.
Sheesh, man give it a rest
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Old 06-16-14, 09:24 PM
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Old 06-18-14, 07:24 AM
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I gave myself a birthday treat yesterday by commuting without a helmet, and I've got to tell you it felt great! Even though it incrementally increased my risk of a scalp wound or traumatic injury (by somewhat less than the risk if I stand up too quickly from my easy chair), the ride unencumbered was worth it.

I think I'll do that more often.
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Old 06-18-14, 07:38 AM
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Originally Posted by wphamilton
I gave myself a birthday treat yesterday by commuting without a helmet, and I've got to tell you it felt great! Even though it incrementally increased my risk of a scalp wound or traumatic injury (by somewhat less than the risk if I stand up too quickly from my easy chair), the ride unencumbered was worth it.

I think I'll do that more often.
Unencumbered rides are great. I like to ride along bus routes occasionally for an almost entirely unencumbered ride. Just a few singles and a water bottle. No patch kit, no phone, no lock, no keys, no rain jacket ...

I have the day off today and I'm about due for such a ride.
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Old 06-18-14, 07:56 AM
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Originally Posted by LesterOfPuppets
Unencumbered rides are great. I like to ride along bus routes occasionally for an almost entirely unencumbered ride. Just a few singles and a water bottle. No patch kit, no phone, no lock, no keys, no rain jacket ...

I have the day off today and I'm about due for such a ride.
That sounds like a great plan. I've somehow never thought of deliberately riding a bus route as a backup although I guess it's always in the back of my mind in the transit area. Mostly I feel sorry for the poor saps riding buses instead of riding.

I might try that for my birthday ride this weekend (55 miles this year). I know that I'll be reluctant to leave my repair kit behind ... maybe that's another ingrained habit that isn't necessarily always logical. Good idea.

edit - sorry, I meant to include something inflammatory to keep it on topic but forgot. FWIW I continued to skip the helmet on commutes lately and it still feels wonderful. Although, since I got a Third-eye mirror to mount on it I had to use it today, so it's not as if there's no reason to ever wear one ...

Last edited by wphamilton; 06-20-14 at 07:08 AM.
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Old 06-20-14, 07:44 AM
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Originally Posted by howsteepisit
That explains ypur inability to understand that the world works on a continuum, not a Boolean yes/no state. Try to study and understand risk analysis, evaluation and probability and your world view may open up. Being proud of being a coldly logical opinionated ass is illogical.
As opposed to being a coldly illogical opinionated ass?

I am not sure why this topic brings out the worst in cyclists. Many times I am not sure if the Anti helmet crowd is trying to convince the rest of us or themselves. If you don't want to wear a helmet fine, ok by me. But why spend so much time trying to convince others not to wear one?

Last edited by Huffamoose; 06-20-14 at 09:52 AM. Reason: More of a question to all.
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Old 06-20-14, 01:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Huffamoose
As opposed to being a coldly illogical opinionated ass?

I am not sure why this topic brings out the worst in cyclists. Many times I am not sure if the Anti helmet crowd is trying to convince the rest of us or themselves. If you don't want to wear a helmet fine, ok by me. But why spend so much time trying to convince others not to wear one?
There really isn't an anti-helmet crowd: there's a pro-helmet crowd and a "Leave me the F alone" crowd. It's when the pro-helmet crowd starts using terms like stupid, ignorant, and organ donors -- referring to those who don't wear helmets -- that they feel compelled to argue the issue. Also when ignorant pro-helmeteers show up posting, "I fell off my bike onto my head and my helmet saved my life!"

The hyperbole is mainly from the pro-helmeteer crowd, but both sides routinely misquote studies to support their side of things.
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Old 06-20-14, 03:18 PM
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Old 06-20-14, 04:33 PM
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Originally Posted by mconlonx
There really isn't an anti-helmet crowd: there's a pro-helmet crowd and a "Leave me the F alone" crowd. It's when the pro-helmet crowd starts using terms like stupid, ignorant, and organ donors -- referring to those who don't wear helmets -- that they feel compelled to argue the issue. Also when ignorant pro-helmeteers show up posting, "I fell off my bike onto my head and my helmet saved my life!"

The hyperbole is mainly from the pro-helmeteer crowd, but both sides routinely misquote studies to support their side of things.
That's rich, it's ok for you to call us "pro helmet" gang ignorant but hate it when we call you ignorants...next moron please.
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Old 06-20-14, 08:52 PM
  #8012  
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From a coldly logical ass, may I point out if you fall on your head, there is 2 choices. Either wear a helmet or not. Cold logic dictates the person with the helmet will recieve less damage to his head.

The anti helmet crowd keeps trying to shoot the messenger, which does little good.
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Old 06-20-14, 09:59 PM
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Originally Posted by rydabent
Cold logic dictates the person with the helmet will receive less damage to his head.
Check your logic at the door to this thread please. It will do you no good here anyway.
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Old 06-20-14, 10:57 PM
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Originally Posted by wphamilton
I gave myself a birthday treat yesterday by commuting without a helmet, and I've got to tell you it felt great! Even though it incrementally increased my risk of a scalp wound or traumatic injury (by somewhat less than the risk if I stand up too quickly from my easy chair), the ride unencumbered was worth it.
It's funny how different people feel differently. I somehow left home without a helmet one morning last week. I immediately felt "empty" and turned around. It was like part of me was missing.
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Old 06-21-14, 07:11 AM
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When it is cold out i wear a fleece hat under my helmet. Now and then it causes me to think my helmet is already on my head. But as soon i start pedaling i notice my mirror is missing and have to go back to get the helmet with the mirror on it.

The helmet i could live without. The mirror is mandatory.
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Old 06-21-14, 07:13 AM
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joey

From the posts here you are probably right. The invincible that think their superior bike handling skills preclude them from ever going down are not very logical.
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Old 06-21-14, 07:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Huffamoose
But why spend so much time trying to convince others not to wear one?
There's lots of people that try to convince,coerce or even force others to wear a bicycle helmet. And sure enough, helmet-mongers project this behavior onto us. But in reality, the opposite of the coercive helmet-monger, is a rare, maybe even a mythical beast, and the "opposing" side is mostly composed of pro-choice people. Some of them are even (occasional) helmet-wearers themselves.

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Old 06-21-14, 07:25 AM
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Originally Posted by JoeyBike
The helmet i could live without. The mirror is mandatory.
A recent study found that the single strongest predictor for death in a cycling accident was being rear-ended by a motorist. So you're probably on to something. Leme see if I can find it,
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Old 06-21-14, 09:03 AM
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Originally Posted by rydabent
The invincible that think their superior bike handling skills preclude them from ever going down are not very logical.
A small fraction of cyclists will ever crash and hit their heads. An even smaller fraction who hit their heads might hit it JUST RIGHT so that a helmet significantly softens the blow and subsequent trauma. All in all, helmets might save a few brain cells but overall the savings is probably a statistical zero.

Keep in mind that HALF of all cigarette smokers are going to die from cigarette caused disease. 50% of them! Yet, plenty of people worldwide still smoke. Roughly 5 million people die from smoking every year and another million INNOCENT people die from exposure to second hand smoke each year. Yet, given that the chances of perishing from their actions is statistically the "flip of a coin"...they still smoke. And almost every single one of those smokers picked up the habit because it LOOKS COOL to them.

A bicycle helmet does not look cool. They never will. Many people I know who will not wear helmets cannot tolerate not looking cool. They have hair styles that do not survive hats or helmets. Or they shave their heads and don't want racing stripes on their scalp. Or, they just think helmets make them look dorky PERIOD.

So you gotta ask yourself: If people will continually do something that is positively going to kill half of them outright (and diminish the health of the other half) and kill some of their kids too, what chance do you or I have at changing the minds of people who are risking a statistical zero chance of serious consequences from riding on a bicycle bare-headed? The answer: Another statistical zero.

You and I may die prematurely from WORRYING about our health long before we would kill ourselves actually falling off our bicycles.

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Last edited by JoeyBike; 06-21-14 at 09:15 AM.
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Old 06-21-14, 10:05 AM
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Originally Posted by rekmeyata
That's rich, it's ok for you to call us "pro helmet" gang ignorant but hate it when we call you ignorants...next moron please.
Re-read what I wrote, maybe a bit slower this time. There's plenty of intelligent, non-ignorant people who wear helmets. Like me.
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Old 06-21-14, 10:22 AM
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Originally Posted by daihard
It's funny how different people feel differently. I somehow left home without a helmet one morning last week. I immediately felt "empty" and turned around. It was like part of me was missing.
The feeling is natural when we deviate from a habitual routine. It's one reason that I make a point of riding without every now and again. Routines are beneficial for several reasons, but I prefer to subjugate them to rational analysis and deliberate choice as much as possible, so that they don't acquire too much psychological impulse.

Originally Posted by JoeyBike
A small fraction of cyclists will ever crash and hit their heads. An even smaller fraction who hit their heads might hit it JUST RIGHT so that a helmet significantly softens the blow and subsequent trauma. All in all, helmets might save a few brain cells but overall the savings is probably a statistical zero....
Not zero but pretty close on an absolute scale. The Iowa university hospital numbers I linked earlier suggested that we're two to three times more likely to suffer traumatic brain injury in a car-bike collision if we aren't wearing helmets. That's also reasonable to me for two reasons. First, there are more potential impacts with the car involved which are not primarily vertical. These would be more intense than what's mostly a fall from three or four feet. Second we have less control over the initial impact(s).

But the numbers we're talking about: 22 out of 100,000 per year for cyclists in your and my age group, without a helmet. Maybe half that, with a helmet. So the savings is on the order of 1 in 10,000 yearly, or .01%.

Interestingly to me, although others seem to think it's irrelevant, to put these numbers in context with a more normal activity in which almost everyone engages, the chances of a serious head injury in a car accident (with all of the car's safety features), are about 67% of that of the cyclist. If we deem that potential injury to be inconsequential - and the vast majority do including those posting on this thread - then the potential for injury saved by the bicycle helmet is also inconsequential. It's just simple, indisputable logic unless we think the numbers are wrong.
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Old 06-21-14, 11:25 PM
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Posting my Hat Syndrome Poll was meant to mentally free me from the clutches of this thread, but all it took was a click.



Today I've brought along New Jersey's former first family to help with my presentation.

Originally Posted by mconlonx
There really isn't an anti-helmet crowd: there's a pro-helmet crowd and a "Leave me the F alone" crowd. It's when the pro-helmet crowd starts using terms like stupid, ignorant, and organ donors -- referring to those who don't wear helmets -- that they feel compelled to argue the issue.


Fortunately it no longer bothers me when I'm queried about my bare head. Should my organs become free for harvesting, hopefully the surgeons will remember the empathy transfusion.

Originally Posted by rydabent
The anti helmet crowd keeps trying to shoot the messenger, which does little good.
In life outside the helmet thread, how many times has a non-helmeted cyclist tried to "shoot the messenger"? In other words, how often are you approached and asked "Why are you wearing a helmet?"



I will venture to guess that there is statistically insignificant stigma in wearing a helmet, thus making such encounters rare to nonexistent. Those of us who don't wear one, however, are constantly assaulted (depending on terrain of course), even if it's friendly fire.

Originally Posted by daihard
It's funny how different people feel differently. I somehow left home without a helmet one morning last week. I immediately felt "empty" and turned around. It was like part of me was missing.
Originally Posted by JoeyBike
The helmet i could live without. The mirror is mandatory.
For me it's gloves; without them I feel naked. For others it's probably, I don't know, sweaters.


speaking of which, note what Al was wearing when he uttered that immortal phrase

Originally Posted by rydabent
The invincible that think their superior bike handling skills preclude them from ever going down are not very logical.


I make no claims of invincibility.



I will, occasionally, make a stab at logic.


Originally Posted by JoeyBike
You and I may die prematurely from WORRYING about our health long before we would kill ourselves actually falling off our bicycles.


My doctor is a cyclist. I go to him whenever my mild hypochondria overcomes the logical part of my brain, which is sometimes undone by RGSS [Repetitive Googling Stress Syndrome]. We often chat about cycling, which is nice. One time he asked why I don't wear a helmet (he does). I don't remember how I answered, but…

The poor guy fell off his bike this past winter and shattered a femur. Black ice. Could happen to anybody. However, he does seem to come off his bike far more frequently than I. He's told me how he likes to fearlessly attack the road, or words to that effect – whereas I tend to treat the road with a wary respect. I'm not saying his behavior is classic risk compensation, and I'm not saying it's not. I'm just sayin'.

Originally Posted by wphamilton
Interestingly to me, although others seem to think it's irrelevant, to put these numbers in context with a more normal activity in which almost everyone engages, the chances of a serious head injury in a car accident (with all of the car's safety features), are about 67% of that of the cyclist. If we deem that potential injury to be inconsequential - and the vast majority do including those posting on this thread - then the potential for injury saved by the bicycle helmet is also inconsequential. It's just simple, indisputable logic unless we think the numbers are wrong.

Last edited by 905; 06-22-14 at 12:57 AM. Reason: Woke up this morning, had myself some fun
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Old 06-21-14, 11:27 PM
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Originally Posted by wphamilton
The feeling is natural when we deviate from a habitual routine. It's one reason that I make a point of riding without every now and again. Routines are beneficial for several reasons, but I prefer to subjugate them to rational analysis and deliberate choice as much as possible, so that they don't acquire too much psychological impulse.
I don't have a choice here because WA has a mandatory helmet law. That said, I would hear a helmet on long/fitness/training rides regardless of the law. That's just me. OTOH, I would most probably ride without one for quick errands around the neighborhood.
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Old 06-21-14, 11:42 PM
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Originally Posted by daihard
I don't have a choice here because WA has a mandatory helmet law. That said, I would hear a helmet on long/fitness/training rides regardless of the law. That's just me. OTOH, I would most probably ride without one for quick errands around the neighborhood.
Actually the state doesn't have MHL. Many cities and counties do have one, however. One website mentions that Snohomish's MHL got rescinded. I'd sure like it if the one here in Vancouver would do the same.
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Old 06-21-14, 11:44 PM
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Originally Posted by LesterOfPuppets
Actually the state doesn't have MHL. Many cities and counties do have one, however. One website mentions that Snohomish's MHL got rescinded. I'd sure like it if the one here in Vancouver would do the same.
You're right. It is King County that has MHL. They used to exclude the city of Seattle, but not anymore. Thanks for the correction.
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