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The helmet thread

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The helmet thread

Old 02-24-12, 06:28 PM
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Originally Posted by sudo bike
That was my point; that denying risk compensation as an effect is silly, disagreeing with how much effect it has is fair game.
The problem is the assumption that it always exists or that it's the only explanation for something.

Originally Posted by sudo bike
Again, you can look up the National Geographic Teenage Brains to see the very simple, and what should be obvious, explanation of why a shift in the risk/reward assessment changes action.
Great. If it happens in teenagers, it must happen to adults!

Originally Posted by sudo bike
Originally Posted by njkayaker
It also possible that the degree of risk compensation varies widely among people and people might cease to risk compensate (if they actually do so) over time.
Again, the proof is not in your favor.
The whole "teenage brain" thing is very much in my "favor"!

Originally Posted by sudo bike
If that's not enough for you, look at social exchange theory (1959, I believe): it shows how, basically, people assess relationships on a cost/benefit scale, and act accordingly. This is not a new concept, and I'm not sure why you have such a hard time wrapping your brain around it. It's so ridiculously simple: If you feel you are less likely to incur a cost, or that the cost is less, there is less reason against pursuing a benefit. This doesn't have to be conscious thought.
That's less a theory than it is a hypothesis.

Originally Posted by sudo bike
This doesn't have to be conscious thought.
It's not clear that it is even an unconscious thought. That is, imagining the possibility of a thought doesn't mean the thought exists.

Last edited by njkayaker; 02-24-12 at 06:42 PM.
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Old 02-25-12, 06:07 AM
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Originally Posted by sudo bike
That was my point; that denying risk compensation as an effect is silly, disagreeing with how much effect it has is fair game.
...and that's what I'm saying: you say that it plays a significant role but don't have anything to back up your statements other than studies which do not pertain to cycling and helmet use; I'm saying that while it might certainly exist, it does not play much of a role at all. In this case, you're the one making a positive assertion -- "Risk compensation is a significant factor in situations where helmet wearing cyclinsts are injured" -- without the proof to back it up.
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Old 02-25-12, 07:48 AM
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Originally Posted by mconlonx
...and that's what I'm saying: you say that it plays a significant role but don't have anything to back up your statements other than studies which do not pertain to cycling and helmet use; I'm saying that while it might certainly exist, it does not play much of a role at all. In this case, you're the one making a positive assertion -- "Risk compensation is a significant factor in situations where helmet wearing cyclinsts are injured" -- without the proof to back it up.
Geez. If you are interested in studies that directly address cycling and rc, you're not looking too hard.

The wiki entry on bicycle helmets cites 4 studies that do just that
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Old 02-25-12, 09:02 AM
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Originally Posted by sudo bike
helmets' ability to provide some small degree of head protection., yes. There is proof they mitigate minor injuries. Similarly:

There is no firm evidence that helmets offer protection from serious brain injuries, including concussion and death.
Actually there is evidence to that effect:

Amoros et al. 2011
Bicycle helmet wearing and the risk of head, face, and neck injury: a French case–control study based on a road trauma registry
https://injuryprevention.bmj.com/cont.../1/27.abstract

Berg et al. 2007
A decrease in both mild and severe bicycle-related head injuries in helmet wearing ages—trend analyses in Sweden
https://heapro.oxfordjournals.org/content/22/3/191.full

Cook et al. 2000
Trends in serious head injuries among cyclists in England: analysis of routinely collected data
https://www.bmj.com/content/321/7268/1055.short

Cook and Sheik 2003
Trends in serious head injuries among English cyclists and pedestrians.
https://injuryprevention.bmj.com/content/9/3/266.full

Dorsch et al. 1987
Do bicycle safety helmets reduce severity of head injury in real crashes?
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3606780

Finvers et al. 1996
The effect of bicycling helmets in preventing significant bicycle-related injuries in children.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8673566

Kelsch et al. 1996
Craniocerebral trauma in fall from bicycles--what is the effect of a protective helmet?
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8685726

Spaite et al. 1991
A prospective analysis of injury severity among helmeted and nonhelmeted bicyclists involved in collisions with motor vehicles.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1942172

Wesson et al. 2008
Trends in Pediatric and Adult Bicycling Deaths Before and After Passage of a Bicycle Helmet Law
https://pediatrics.aappublications.or.../605.full.html


More where those came from if you're interested.
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Old 02-25-12, 09:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Six-Shooter
Actually there is evidence to that effect:

[...evidence...]

More where those came from if you're interested.
No, no, no! You're doing it wrong! You are supposed to spin completely unsupported speculation and claim that it's a decisive argument. Actual evidence is supposed to be ignored.

Originally Posted by sudo bike
My speculation was that it applies to some degree in cycling, and I used the previous proof as my reasoning, but I can't prove how exactly it applies to it and to what degree. That, I have admitted, is speculation based on reasoning, but not at this point provable.
I think I have found my new .sig line.

Originally Posted by closetbiker
Another possibility is that the injury a helmet prevents is off set by other injuries that otherwise would not occur because of the confidence provided by a protective helmet.

Now don't go saying I said it because I said it might be a reason. I didn't say it was a reason. As I have posted, it's all just speculation
It might be true, therefore nobody has any right to conclude that it isn't, right? I'm sold.

Last edited by corvuscorvax; 02-25-12 at 03:20 PM.
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Old 02-25-12, 09:59 AM
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Originally Posted by corvuscorvax
No, no, no! You're doing it wrong! You are supposed to spin completely unsupported speculation and claim that it's a decisive argument. Actual evidence is supposed to be ignored.
Bear with me. I'm still new at this. I don't have my obligatory 10,000 posts saying the same thing yet, so I am not an expert

It might be true, therefore nobody has any right to conclude that it isn't, right? I'm sold.
Now I understand!
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Old 02-25-12, 10:21 AM
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Originally Posted by closetbiker
Geez. If you are interested in studies that directly address cycling and rc, you're not looking too hard.

The wiki entry on bicycle helmets cites 4 studies that do just that
2 case studies regarding kids.

1 by one guy, hardly scientific, published in "The Annals of Improbable Research"...

And this:

"Routine helmet users reported higher experienced risk and cycled slower when they did not wear their helmet in the experiment than when they did wear their helmet, although there was no corresponding change in HRV. For cyclists not accustomed to helmets, there were no changes in speed, perceived risk, or any other measures when cycling with versus without a helmet. The findings are consistent with the notion that those who use helmets routinely perceive reduced risk when wearing a helmet, and compensate by cycling faster. They thus give some support to those urging caution in the use of helmet laws."

The rest of the article other than this abstract is subscription only, so while the quote from the abstract reveals a bit, no idea about the relative speeds, helmet users vs. non-helmet users. Otherwise, risk compensation can be seen in helmet users, but for those accustomed to riding without a helmet, there's no indication of any risk compensation when they do.

So I'm going to be less than impressed with the studies you cite over at Wiki, and stick with maintaining that risk compensation is a nearly insignificant factor in helmet use until someone comes up with something better.
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Old 02-25-12, 10:37 AM
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risk compensation is a nearly insignificant factor in helmet use until someone comes up with something better
Feel free to come to your own conclusions. Other veiws may vary.

Actually there is evidence to that effect:
With evidence to the contrary, this post reminds me somewhat of a statement made in my provincial legislature just before the members of that legislature passed our MHL. A representative said the evidence that bicycle helmets prevented death and serious injury was overwhelming.

Of course, after the legislation passed and helmet use skyrocketed (and cycling dropped) not only did head injuries to cyclists remain the same, deaths increased.

The believers still maintain that helmets save lives, even when helmeted cyclists continue to die

Last edited by closetbiker; 02-25-12 at 11:31 AM.
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Old 02-25-12, 10:54 AM
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I would love to get all you guys to come out and spew all your theoretical BS over my garden in about a month. I could grow tomatos as big as a basket ball. Theories are like a*****s everyone has one and they all stink!!!! And 99.9999% have little to do with the real world.
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Old 02-25-12, 11:05 AM
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I went to several engineering seminars that were put on by PHD engineers. They too contained about 80% BS with these PHDs trying to impress everyone they knew calculus. In the same vein you anti helmet trolls are not impressing me and many others either.

Last edited by rydabent; 02-25-12 at 11:08 AM.
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Old 02-25-12, 11:14 AM
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Originally Posted by mconlonx
Originally Posted by wikipedia
"Routine helmet users reported higher experienced risk and cycled slower when they did not wear their helmet in the experiment than when they did wear their helmet, although there was no corresponding change in HRV."
And this indicates the inverse of risk compensating. (And I'd surmise that wind on their now-exposed heads gave the impression that they were riding faster.)

Originally Posted by mconlonx
Originally Posted by wikipedia
"For cyclists not accustomed to helmets, there were no changes in speed, perceived risk, or any other measures when cycling with versus without a helmet."
If risk compensation was a real effect of helmets, it would be expected that the "not accustomed" cyclists would display it (but they did not).

Originally Posted by mconlonx
Originally Posted by wikipedia
"The findings are consistent with the notion that those who use helmets routinely perceive reduced risk when wearing a helmet, and compensate by cycling faster. They thus give some support to those urging caution in the use of helmet laws."
This agenda-driven "notion" isn't the only possible one (it certainly isn't clearly the best one).

A simpler and more-obvious explanation is that people become uncomfortable when they cease to do something they are used-to (and become more cautious). That is, they perceive increased risk in unfamiliar situations (which is typical).

I bet they'd ride slower when naked too (meaning clothing causes reckless riding via risk compensation).

Last edited by njkayaker; 02-25-12 at 11:37 AM.
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Old 02-25-12, 12:07 PM
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Originally Posted by rydabent
I would love to get all you guys to come out and spew all your theoretical BS over my garden in about a month. I could grow tomatos as big as a basket ball. Theories are like a*****s everyone has one and they all stink!!!! And 99.9999% have little to do with the real world.
Yeah. We can invite the politicians who claimed helmet use would drop serious injury and deaths to cyclists and so enforced it.

Theories. Sheesh.

and forget,

"Satisfaction of minimum standards that are not true performance standards (but instead only measure certain areas on a helmet which are not involved in the majority of head injury accidents) is not sufficient for making a product safe enough for use on the streets."

Everyone knows ... you’re better off not cycling at all than cycling without a helmet

Ban all cycling. That'd save lives for sure.

Last edited by closetbiker; 02-25-12 at 05:42 PM.
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Old 02-25-12, 06:39 PM
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Looks like the helmeteers just got another puncture in their little fantasy bubble. It's a ***** when science doesn't back up your myths.

N Z Med J. 2012 Feb 10;125(1349):60-9.
Evaluation of New Zealand's bicycle helmet law.

Clarke CF.
Source

Stamford Bridge, York, UK. Colin@vood.freeserve.co.uk.

Abstract

The New Zealand helmet law (all ages) came into effect on 1 January 1994. It followed Australian helmet laws, introduced in 1990-1992. Pre-law (in 1990) cyclist deaths were nearly a quarter of pedestrians in number, but in 2006-09, the equivalent figure was near to 50% when adjusted for changes to hours cycled and walked. From 1988-91 to 2003-07, cyclists' overall injury rate per hour increased by 20%. Dr Hillman, from the UK's Policy Studies Institute, calculated that life years gained by cycling outweighed life years lost in accidents by 20 times. For the period 1989-1990 to 2006-2009, New Zealand survey data showed that average hours cycled per person reduced by 51%. This evaluation finds the helmet law has failed in aspects of promoting cycling, safety, health, accident compensation, environmental issues and civil liberties.

PMID:22327159 [PubMed - in process]
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Old 02-25-12, 09:25 PM
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https://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/public...cle3309109.ece

BTW, the poster previous to me is confounding helmets and helmet laws in a deliberate attempt to mislead you.
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Old 02-25-12, 11:05 PM
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Originally Posted by skye
Looks like the helmeteers just got another puncture in their little fantasy bubble. It's a ***** when science doesn't back up your myths.
What myth are you talking about...?
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Old 02-25-12, 11:36 PM
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Never worn a helmet. Grew up in the days when there were no such things as bicycle helmets. People rode bikes, did drops and jumps, and fell off bikes without even considering wearing helmets. I haven't fallen off a bike since I was about 6 years old; not saying it couldn't happen again, but chances seem pretty slim. Bicycle helmets never really caught on until helmet manufacturers, plagued by poor sales, began lobbying in the interests of rider safety (rather than trying to increase sales of a product no one seemed interested in).

Ah, the old days when we used to cruise down the highway at 80 miles per hour (on bias ply tires), no seat belts, us kids jumping from front seat to back seat (I used to sleep on the back window ledge of my dad's Oldsmobile), dad steering with his knees, and nothing bad ever happened to us. I still wouldn't wear a seat belt in car, except that I kept getting pulled over. Nowadays, schools in my area don't allow children to play with balls, because someone might get hit by a bad football pass.

But it's really a pointless argument, the whole bike helmet debate. One side will never convince the other side they're right. I've seen people who have died from falling off bikes, cracking their skulls on the pavement (always due to rider error). And yet I will never wear a helmet, and there will always be someone who cannot believe that I bike without one.

Last edited by Deathly Hallows; 02-25-12 at 11:56 PM.
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Old 02-26-12, 01:24 AM
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Originally Posted by mconlonx
...and that's what I'm saying: you say that it plays a significant role but don't have anything to back up your statements other than studies which do not pertain to cycling and helmet use; I'm saying that while it might certainly exist, it does not play much of a role at all. In this case, you're the one making a positive assertion -- "Risk compensation is a significant factor in situations where helmet wearing cyclinsts are injured" -- without the proof to back it up.
Yes. I've said from the beginning my assertions on risk compensation's effect in cycling are speculation based on evidence in other areas.
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Old 02-26-12, 01:26 AM
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Originally Posted by njkayaker
The problem is the assumption that it always exists or that it's the only explanation for something.

Great. If it happens in teenagers, it must happen to adults!

The whole "teenage brain" thing is very much in my "favor"!

That's less a theory than it is a hypothesis.

It's not clear that it is even an unconscious thought. That is, imagining the possibility of a thought doesn't mean the thought exists.
Much harumphing without anything else to back it up.
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Old 02-26-12, 01:27 AM
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Originally Posted by corvuscorvax
I think I have found my new .sig line.
It's called "reasoning". You're welcome.
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Old 02-26-12, 01:49 AM
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The very first one I pulled up...

Originally Posted by Six Shooter
Wesson et al. 2008
Trends in Pediatric and Adult Bicycling Deaths Before and After Passage of a Bicycle Helmet Law
https://pediatrics.aappublications.or.../605.full.html
"For bicyclists ≥16 years of age, there were only slight changes in the average number of deaths per year and the mortality rate per 100000 person-years, and the time series analysis demonstrated no significant change in deaths after legislation."

*Phew*... good thing I've said from the beginning that children are one of those classes helmets are useful for, eh?

Actually, that sounds just about like what I was saying.


More where those came from if you're interested.
I've never said there aren't studies out to the contrary; I know there are, I've seen them. Some of them dubious, some of them I'm not surprised by (such as the quoted one showing helmets can be effective for children), some of them, such as some of the others here, seem more valid. I've said that the evidence is shaky and contradictory. There's been more than one study already posted concerning helmets relative inability to prevent concussions and other brain trauma, theoretically due to the fact that brain injury may be caused by rotational injury. But again, if you take a more conservative position in how much a helmet can help with, the evidence becomes less and less contradicted. These results you post on preventing serious injury and death (that's not what all of them said) have other studies that reach very different conclusions to counter them, however. The Australian study was mentioned (that one I think I have bookmarked somewhere...), here is one that says while helmets reduce injury, it's not clear that they prevent concussion.

Last edited by sudo bike; 02-26-12 at 02:31 AM.
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Old 02-26-12, 05:27 AM
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Originally Posted by electrik
https://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/public...cle3309109.ece

BTW, the poster previous to me is confounding helmets and helmet laws in a deliberate attempt to mislead you.
I certainly have no problems if someone chooses to wear a helmet themselves, that's a matter of personal preference. But if someone starts recommending helmet use to others, disallows those not wearing helmets from group non-competitive rides, or berating those who do not wear helmets, you are creating the same result as a helmet law, only through bigotry instead of legislation.

You are also mistaking the environment of the study (helmet-law land) with the study's variables. The point of examining the effect of helmet laws on cyclist safety is that it gives us the opportunity to examine, on a population-wide basis, the effect of wearing helmets. That is, it gives us the ability to perform an epidemiological study on the efficacy of cycling helmets, because a country with a helmet law provides the petri dish in which such a study can be conducted, because you have well-defined, sharply delimited "before" and "after" states which you can measure.

So it is incorrect to merely state that this the effect of helmet laws. Actually, the study shows the effects on safety when lots of people wear helmets. And as previous studies have shown, when lots of people wear helmets, the net effect on cyclist safety is negative.
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Old 02-26-12, 07:04 AM
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Originally Posted by sudo bike
Yes. I've said from the beginning my assertions on risk compensation's effect in cycling are speculation based on evidence in other areas.
Then why claim multiple times that risk compensation plays a "significant" role in cycling, without specific evidence to back it up...?
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Old 02-26-12, 07:25 AM
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Originally Posted by skye
I certainly have no problems if someone chooses to wear a helmet themselves, that's a matter of personal preference. But if someone starts recommending helmet use to others, disallows those not wearing helmets from group non-competitive rides, or berating those who do not wear helmets, you are creating the same result as a helmet law, only through bigotry instead of legislation.

You are also mistaking the environment of the study (helmet-law land) with the study's variables. The point of examining the effect of helmet laws on cyclist safety is that it gives us the opportunity to examine, on a population-wide basis, the effect of wearing helmets. That is, it gives us the ability to perform an epidemiological study on the efficacy of cycling helmets, because a country with a helmet law provides the petri dish in which such a study can be conducted, because you have well-defined, sharply delimited "before" and "after" states which you can measure.

So it is incorrect to merely state that this the effect of helmet laws. Actually, the study shows the effects on safety when lots of people wear helmets. And as previous studies have shown, when lots of people wear helmets, the net effect on cyclist safety is negative.
It's usually not "someone" disallowing people from riding helmet-less in group events, probably more likely their insurance carrier. Right or wrong, if someone dies of a head injury or gets injured while not wearing a helmet because helmets were not required, in the USA, the event organizer will get sued.

In order to support your assertions, how are injury rate and cyclist participation rates comparable between populations separated by thousands of miles, resulting cultural gap, and legislated helmet laws vs. helmet use by cultural shaming?

And, again, what myths of helmet users does this study puncture...?

And how do you get off conflating people who choose to wear helmets on a personal basis with those who support helmet laws? I'm not sure there's even one pro-helmeteer involved in this discussion who would support a helmet law. In fact, I wear a helmet nearly all the time, but would and have actively lobbied against mandatory helmet laws (motorcycle -- no chance to work against bicycle helmet laws because, thankfully, my State and country is not so stupid as to propose such.)

Raise of hands, please: how many arguing here in favor of helmet use would support a mandatory helmet law in your country, province/state, locality?

Not me.

How many of you pro-helmeteers would actively advocate against MHLs, arm in arm with the bare-head brigade?

[raises hand high]
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Old 02-26-12, 08:55 AM
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Originally Posted by closetbiker
Of course, after the legislation passed and helmet use skyrocketed (and cycling dropped) not only did head injuries to cyclists remain the same, deaths increased.
Sources? Were the deaths helmeted or non-helmeted cyclists?

Anyway, of interest:

"The bicycle-related head injury rate declined significantly (45% reduction) in provinces where legislation had been adopted compared with provinces and territories that did not adopt legislation (27% reduction)." https://pediatrics.aappublications.or...5/e60.abstract Impact of Mandatory Helmet Legislation on Bicycle-Related Head Injuries in Children: A Population-Based Study

"Canadian youth and adults are significantly more likely to wear helmets as the comprehensiveness of helmet legislation increases. Helmet legislation is not associated with changes in ridership."
https://injuryprevention.bmj.com/content/16/4/219 The effects of provincial bicycle helmet legislation on helmet use and bicycle ridership in Canada

Cycle-commuting increase in BC 1996 (post law) to 2006: 1.9 to 2.0 modal share
Cycle-commuting increase in Vancouver 1996 (post law) to 2006: 3.3 to 3.7 modal share
https://vancouver.ca/ctyclerk/cclerk/...uments/tt1.pdf

Cycle-commuting increase across Canada 1996 to 2001: 1.1 to 1.2 modal share
"For Canada as a whole, total cycling fatalities fell by 50 percent from 1984 to 2002 (from 126 to 63), and total cycling injuries fell by 33 percent (from 11,391 to 7,596)"
https://www.ced.berkeley.edu/pubs/bpj...9-6-Pucher.pdf

Last edited by Six-Shooter; 02-26-12 at 02:36 PM.
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Old 02-26-12, 08:59 AM
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hallows

You claim you never have and never will wear a helmet. That means you will never take part in any organized ride or rally that requires one. Are you that anti social??
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