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Helmets cramp my style

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Helmets cramp my style

Old 09-20-08, 05:12 PM
  #4001  
ubrayj02
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Passive Safety is For Suckers

I think you've made the case that you are probably not the safest bike rider.

The bike crashes I've been in:
-I hit a rail road track, while trying to sprint alongside it (parallel to my wheel) and went flying
-I tried to cut around the right side of a car making a right turn
-I was drunk and couldn't control my bicycle (I was a sophomore in college).

If I rode continued to ride my bike like an ass, I'd see the need for a helmet. Instead, I ride my bike(s) like a reasonable human being, and I haven't been in a crash or mishap since.

Of course it makes sense to "be prepared" - but there are other things to consider as well. The insidious nature of passive safety devices like helmets means that they actually do discourage normal people from riding a bike (you are, of course, an exceptional sort of guy). In Denmark, when the government began advocating for foam hats on every cyclist, they reduced they number of cyclists on the road.

Oddly, this can lead to an unsafe situation - as it has been shown that the more cyclists there are on the road, the safer it is for everyone using the roadway!

There is a safety argument you Wear-A-Helmet kooks never handle well. What is your quick retort? "I like riding alone?" Great. Good for you. Best of luck as gas prices rise over the next couple of years and our economy re-tools for an energy starved future (foam hats will not be required, I assure you).
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Old 09-20-08, 05:19 PM
  #4002  
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Wow, ubrayj02, you seem to have a lot of underlying issues going on here.
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Old 09-20-08, 05:30 PM
  #4003  
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Old 09-20-08, 05:48 PM
  #4004  
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Originally Posted by ubrayj02 View Post
Of course it makes sense to "be prepared" - but there are other things to consider as well. The insidious nature of passive safety devices like helmets means that they actually do discourage normal people from riding a bike (you are, of course, an exceptional sort of guy). In Denmark, when the government began advocating for foam hats on every cyclist, they reduced they number of cyclists on the road.

Those who don't wear helmets because A: They don't want to look stupid or B: "It'll mess up my hair" are complete IDIOTS IMHO.

These are 2 VERY lame reasons for NOT protecting your head.
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Old 09-20-08, 06:03 PM
  #4005  
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I first bought a bike helmet 16 years ago.

It was relatively uncomfortable, expensive, poor fitting, and way uglier than those on sale today.

My current lid cost 15 from Decathlon - a 'cheap' sports store, and in comparison with the above is comfortable (don't know its there), cost a mere 15, is very adjustable, and looks pretty enough - it is neither 'geeky' nor 'too flash' and thus doesn't get any stick when out & about.

I'd say that these days theres more arguments FOR than AGAINST lids, and theres no doubt that something rather that nothing is better on your head in a crash. Its also worth noting that here at in the UK, its apparently worth a fair chunk of compensation if you are wearing a helmet during a collision rather that not wearing one - though i'd rather not be in a position to test that.
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Old 09-20-08, 06:49 PM
  #4006  
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Awesome pics, caterham! My helmet was nowhere near that bad, although it was cracked. What, if any, injuries came out of that crash?
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Old 09-21-08, 09:52 AM
  #4007  
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Helmets make people look like 'tards. It's the truth. If you're super-roadie, or Mr MTB, sure wearing a helmet makes sense - you're likely taking risks in the way you ride in orderto go faster or jump higher (or whatever).

For a normal human being, puttering around town (to the post office or wherever), it is absurd to suggest that they wear a foam safety hat. If conditions on the road are so dangerous that a helmet is required - a helmet is not going to fix that problem!
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Old 09-21-08, 01:45 PM
  #4008  
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You must be about 12 or 13, ubrayj02, if that's the way you look at life.
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Old 09-21-08, 02:05 PM
  #4009  
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Originally Posted by Doohickie View Post
You must be about 12 or 13, ubrayj02, if that's the way you look at life.
and based on your contributions here, I'd guess you're what, 10 years old?
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Old 09-21-08, 02:47 PM
  #4010  
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I've never posted anything negative on this forum before, but I will say that anyone who mocks another rider for wearing a helmet is a friggin moron. Ubrayj02, you need to keep opinions like that to yourself.
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Old 09-21-08, 03:50 PM
  #4011  
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Originally Posted by ubrayj02 View Post

For a normal human being, puttering around town (to the post office or wherever), it is absurd to suggest that they wear a foam safety hat. If conditions on the road are so dangerous that a helmet is required - a helmet is not going to fix that problem!

A helmet is not going to fix your problem. I recommend that you don't waste your money on a helmet. You have absolutely nothing in your head to protect.
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Old 09-21-08, 04:21 PM
  #4012  
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Originally Posted by closetbiker View Post
and based on your contributions here, I'd guess you're what, 10 years old?
I don't know. It's obvious what side of the debate you're on, and I'm willing to let that lay for a moment. But here is the insight we get from ubrayj02: "Helmets make people look like 'tards."

Now look back at my contributions to the thread. I shared my personal experience as someone who has benefited from helmet use, and I also discussed my professional experience as an engineer regarding shock and crash testing.

I'm asking you to, just for a moment, lay your own personal prejudices aside and ask you which person, me or ubrayj02, is contributing more to the discussion.

Honestly, I wouldn't be surprised if ubrayj02 is still in his teens or barely out of them. In his posts there is that sense of invincibility that comes with youth. A little experience will help him realize that it's better to "look like 'tards" (his own words) than to end up with a brain injury, which I'm quite certain would have happened if I had been helmetless on Valentine's Day this year.
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Old 09-21-08, 05:55 PM
  #4013  
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Originally Posted by Doohickie View Post
I don't know. It's obvious what side of the debate you're on, and I'm willing to let that lay for a moment. But here is the insight we get from ubrayj02: "Helmets make people look like 'tards."

Now look back at my contributions to the thread. I shared my personal experience as someone who has benefited from helmet use, and I also discussed my professional experience as an engineer regarding shock and crash testing.

I'm asking you to, just for a moment, lay your own personal prejudices aside and ask you which person, me or ubrayj02, is contributing more to the discussion.

Honestly, I wouldn't be surprised if ubrayj02 is still in his teens or barely out of them. In his posts there is that sense of invincibility that comes with youth. A little experience will help him realize that it's better to "look like 'tards" (his own words) than to end up with a brain injury, which I'm quite certain would have happened if I had been helmetless on Valentine's Day this year.
well, there's little question that ubrayj02's contributions are of little value, but it should be obvious from my response to your taking ubrayj02 to task, that your contributions have been less than stellar themselves.

I'd be a little embarassed if I was an engineer and claimed a bicycle helmet worked because it cracked.

I would think that you've shown a picture of a scraped chin and wrist as proof of the effectiveness of your helmet would be an embarassment as an engineer.

I would suggest looking at the topic from a scientific point of view regarding the odds of head injury for cyclists vs. head injuries for the public in general and the level of protection supplied by bicycle helmets vs. the reasonable expected forces of collisions cyclists routinely encounter.

I see your new to the forums (11 posts on this thread vs. 890 for me) so I'll give you a starting point on the topic.

Since you are an engineer, here's a link to a paper from the director of the UK's principal UK test laboratory for helmets. Maybe there's something in there that you might find new.

https://www.cyclehelmets.org/papers/c2023.pdf

you might also want to start out with another basic article

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bicycle_helmet

there's lots of references to check on there.

Happy learning!
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Old 09-21-08, 06:11 PM
  #4014  
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Your helmet won't cramp your style nearly as much as the swelling of your brain will cramp your ability to lead a normal life after your catastrophic brain injury you suffer from not wearing a helmet when you crash.

I bet your seat belt hurts your tummy too!..

Gen X is hopeless!
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Old 09-21-08, 06:24 PM
  #4015  
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Originally Posted by Alpha52 View Post
Your helmet won't cramp your style nearly as much as the swelling of your brain will cramp your ability to lead a normal life after your catastrophic brain injury you suffer from not wearing a helmet when you crash.

I bet your seat belt hurts your tummy too!..

Gen X is hopeless!
See Doohickie. This topic brings out the nutty comments. It's not just ubrayj02 that makes poor contributions.

Last edited by closetbiker; 09-21-08 at 07:20 PM.
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Old 09-21-08, 07:49 PM
  #4016  
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Originally Posted by closetbiker View Post
I'd be a little embarassed if I was an engineer and claimed a bicycle helmet worked because it cracked.
I'm not saying it worked because it cracked, just that it did crack on impact.

I would think that you've shown a picture of a scraped chin and wrist as proof of the effectiveness of your helmet would be an embarassment as an engineer.
That wasn't submitted of proof of effectiveness; it was submitted to give an idea of the violence of the impact. If you're interested, here's what happened, as best I remember it: Front wheel got stuck in a slight depression, dropping slightly. Before I could react, my handlebars were tugged down by that, and I was catapulted over the handlebars. I remember trying to get my hands out in front of me but couldn't react nearly that quickly. The next thing that happened was kind of weird in my memory. You ever see a camera on a parachutist or RC plane as it comes down to the ground? That's pretty much what I saw- the ground coming up at me very quickly to the point that I could see the minute details of pieces of sand and stuff on the ground... then I hit. My sense was that it was a face plant- my face going straight into the concrete. My first thought was that my jaw was broken like a wishbone, but I got up and it was okay. My next sensation was that my shoulders and ribs were very sore. There was a visor on the front edge of my helmet, and it was snapped off, so I obviously hit the helmet pretty good. The one thing I didn't have was a headache.

The next day I noticed that the helmet foam was snapped in half, but not on the front where I hit it, it snapped on the side. The other thing I noticed was that had a lot of damage on the rear as well, and I also saw the the Blackburn rack on the rear of my bike was bent, and the wire that the rack was made out of matched the mark on the back of the helmet. Thinking back, the bicycle was ahead of me when I got up, so apparently I went down, then the bicycle came down after me, hit the back of my head and bounced off.

I would suggest looking at the topic from a scientific point of view regarding the odds of head injury for cyclists vs. head injuries for the public in general and the level of protection supplied by bicycle helmets vs. the reasonable expected forces of collisions cyclists routinely encounter.

I see your new to the forums (11 posts on this thread vs. 890 for me) so I'll give you a starting point on the topic.

Since you are an engineer, here's a link to a paper from the director of the UK's principal UK test laboratory for helmets. Maybe there's something in there that you might find new.

https://www.cyclehelmets.org/papers/c2023.pdf

you might also want to start out with another basic article

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bicycle_helmet

there's lots of references to check on there.

Happy learning!
I've read some of the Wiki article, and I can see where you say that helmets are not effective because they do not work as designed, predicted or tested. My counterargument would be that even though they do not work as the analysis and test shows, they are still very effective in preventing major head injury. The fact that the skull deforms inside the helmet to keep the foam from crushing means that there is an additional mechanism of attenuation, and that the impact is more effectively spread over a large area than the design (which assumes a solid headform) would suggest.

Engineering is not as precise a science as many people think; put anatomy into the picture and things get even fuzzier. Analysis builds a model of the world and subjects it to interactions. But the results you get are only as good as the model and its inputs. The real art of engineering comes from looking at the output of a simulation and using basic common sense to determine whether the results make sense, and when they don't, to figure out why. Between you and I, I'm not the most gifted analyst. But I have done a lot of simulation and testing, and I'm actually pretty good at it because I can take the stuff the analysts produce and make it work.

The Wiki article suggests that the inputs used to set helmet standards are flawed. If they are, they should be revised, but it doesn't mean they should be thrown out the window pending the revision.

Can they be better? Sure. Are they worth wearing, even if they might be flawed? YES.

Last edited by Doohickie; 09-21-08 at 08:09 PM.
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Old 09-21-08, 07:51 PM
  #4017  
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Originally Posted by closetbiker View Post
well, there's little question that ubrayj02's contributions are of little value, but it should be obvious from my response to your taking ubrayj02 to task, that your contributions have been less than stellar themselves.

I'd be a little embarassed if I was an engineer and claimed a bicycle helmet worked because it cracked.

I would think that you've shown a picture of a scraped chin and wrist as proof of the effectiveness of your helmet would be an embarassment as an engineer.

I would suggest looking at the topic from a scientific point of view regarding the odds of head injury for cyclists vs. head injuries for the public in general and the level of protection supplied by bicycle helmets vs. the reasonable expected forces of collisions cyclists routinely encounter.

I see your new to the forums (11 posts on this thread vs. 890 for me) so I'll give you a starting point on the topic.

Since you are an engineer, here's a link to a paper from the director of the UK's principal UK test laboratory for helmets. Maybe there's something in there that you might find new.

https://www.cyclehelmets.org/papers/c2023.pdf

you might also want to start out with another basic article

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bicycle_helmet

there's lots of references to check on there.

Happy learning!
On the Wikipedia article, on the "Discussion" page, there is this quote:
Bicycle helmet was a good article nominee, but did not meet the good article criteria at the time. There are suggestions below for improving the article. Once these are addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
This has been there for quite some time, and has not been removed. There is also this discussion point on this page:
This is the first article I've read on the wikipedia that I felt really violated the NPOV. I'm a professional statistician, and was a bit shocked by it. (It reminded me of the AIDS denial discussion of a decade ago.) Personally, I have argued that it is much more important to encourage people to ride bikes even if they aren't wearing helmets. But this has nothing to do with the science of whether helmets work. Further it is a personal statement about trade offs between dieing now vs. living longer. That I have a strong point of view (see my web page on those issues: https://gosset.wharton.upenn.edu/~foster/mortality) doesn't change the science or what should be here on the wiki. I'm planning on working on the article, but thought I'd see who was currently maintaining it. I didn't want to get into a POV war since this is so biased as it stands. The above sounds like a start of a flame war. I don't mean it that way. I'm simply trying to say that I view this as a serious issue and plan on putting in some time to fix it.

A big proposal that I think would help alot would be to separate the science into two pieces. First, do helmets save lives. Second do helmet laws save lives. These are two very different scientific claims. The first is best addressed by case-control studies. (I personally hate them--but we aren't going to be doing any controlled experiments anytime soon.) The second is very difficult to study. It takes a Freakinomics kinda perspective to do it right. Further, the fact that you haven't "rejected the null" doesn't show the laws don't work--simply that we don't know.

So this split would allow what I (along with the CDC) believe to be strong science to shine through. Namely, helmets work. But the political science side about the laws is very difficult to prove one way or the other. (Consider the difficulty in proving "carry laws" for fire arms. It is easier there and still books have been written about each side.) Since these are two very different points, I don't believe they should be in the same article. I don't know if there is a principle on the wikipedia of "only one concept per article" but it is a rule that I always try to follow in my personal papers. So hopefully this will help motivate the split.

I figure the above proposal is big enough that it should be discussed before it is done. (As a fairly minor player it probly also should be done by a more senior editor.)

Dean p foster 17:16, 26 July 2007 (UTC)
It is therefore interesting that Closetbiker is presenting this as a site an engineer would reasonably think was unbiased. The other article is just that, an article from the June/July issue of CYCLE magazine, which also is not peer-reviewed. It makes some good points, but there are more recent articles in peer-reviewed journals which make better arguments for wearing a helmet. By the way, this article does not come out and say helmets are not effective; it talks about declining standards. We as consumers have the choice of going to the Snell site, and selecting a helmet which meets their standard.

John
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Old 09-21-08, 08:00 PM
  #4018  
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Originally Posted by Doohickie View Post
Awesome pics, caterham! My helmet was nowhere near that bad, although it was cracked. What, if any, injuries came out of that crash?
hi doohickie,

the crash happened a couple weeks ago. i'd been riding along behind a good friend and he suddenly sat up & pulled over to chat ,not realising where i was. speed was approx 18-20 mph and in spite of hitting my brakes and turning to avoid contact, he swung across my front wheel.
the next thing i can recall was a loud !crack! as the helmet split from the impact.
i apparently 'rag-dolled' head-first, straight onto the pavement with the bike tumbling over and past me, the main/first impact damage being to the helmet and the saddle. it happened so fast, there was no time to react beyond that 'oh ****' moment.
however, after picking myself up off the road,i managed to ride/hobble in with some nasty looking but relatively superficial scrapes to my left elbow, hip, left ankle but had twisted my wrist, tore my jersey at the shoulder and crushed my digital camera which was in the back jersey pocket. besides the saddle (which is toast) , the bike surprizingly came away with just a few small paint knicks to the frame , bunged up both pedals, with hits to both sides of the bars, both brifter hoods & right lever and a minor ding to the rear derailleur.
i was incredably stiff and sore for the next 2-3 days, esp my neck, shoulder and wrist (thought i'd broken it at first) but was able to ride a century just 4 days after the accident.
in over 35 years of riding and some racing, i'd never taken a head fall before but imo, right now i'd be either on life support or dead had i not been wearing that helmet .

best,
k

Last edited by caterham; 09-21-08 at 08:21 PM.
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Old 09-21-08, 08:14 PM
  #4019  
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A century 4 days after that? Wow.
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Old 09-21-08, 08:43 PM
  #4020  
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Originally Posted by Doohickie View Post

I've read some of the Wiki article, and I can see where you say that helmets are not effective because they do not work as designed, predicted or tested..
Where in the world have I said, helmets are not effective? There are situations where a helmet is effective, but situations of impacts where a helmets effectiveness has been surpassed due to it's designed limitations.

The point is, is that there is substantial debate on the efficacy of a helmet on both sides of the issue. It is not as clear cut as some people assume.

To me, it's a fascinating topic.

PS - pay no attention to John. He'll say anything (even if he embarasses himself in the process) to further his quest.

Last edited by closetbiker; 09-21-08 at 09:44 PM.
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Old 09-21-08, 08:45 PM
  #4021  
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Originally Posted by Doohickie View Post
A century 4 days after that? Wow.
well,duh!
i'd prepaid my registration fee.



actually i didn't know if i could do the whole ride but the shorter loops took off in a different direction than the full ride.it's one of, if not my favorite, local ride of the year and i'd been looking forward to it for months. i wasn't very fast, used every refreshment stop and ate ibuprofen like candies all day. btw- my buddy bought me a new helmet.

best,
k
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Old 09-21-08, 08:56 PM
  #4022  
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Originally Posted by [LEFT
closetbiker[/LEFT];7514628]See
Doohickie
. This topic brings out the nutty comments. It's not just
ubrayj
02 that makes poor contributions.
Boo
hoo
.
Reply
is a fact. No helmet equals no brains...
doh
!
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Old 09-21-08, 09:07 PM
  #4023  
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Originally Posted by Alpha52 View Post
... is a fact. No helmet equals no brains...!
Yeah. Right.




Last edited by closetbiker; 09-21-08 at 10:00 PM.
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Old 09-21-08, 09:54 PM
  #4024  
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Originally Posted by closetbiker View Post
Where in the world have I said, helmets are not effective? There are situations where a helmet is effective, but situations of impacts where a helmets effectiveness has been surpassed due to it's designed limitations.

The point is, is that there is substantial debate on the efficacy of a helmet on both sides of the issue. It is not as clear cut as some people assume.

To me, it's a fascinating topic.

PS - pay no attention to John. He'll say anything (even if he embarasses himself in the process) to further his quest.
I recognize that there are some people who choose not to wear helmets. It's a free country and (in most cases) it's an individual choice. In my own experience I think I'd be severely brain injured if I wasn't wearing one. That's basically all I really wanted to say in the thread, but the vortex kind of sucked me in.
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Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."
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Old 09-21-08, 10:07 PM
  #4025  
closetbiker
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Originally Posted by Doohickie View Post
I recognize that there are some people who choose not to wear helmets. It's a free country and (in most cases) it's an individual choice. In my own experience I think I'd be severely brain injured if I wasn't wearing one. That's basically all I really wanted to say in the thread, but the vortex kind of sucked me in.
it might do you well to do some research to see just how often a cyclist is severely brain injured and what the circumstances were that led to that injury.

I'm sure you'll find that it doesn't happen any more often than it does to other people, it usually involves a collision with a motor vehicle and in fact, the aerobic exercise that cycling provides does more to lower the chance of receiving a brain injury than it does to increase the chance of receive a brain injury while cycling due to trauma.
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