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Helmets cramp my style

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Helmets cramp my style

Old 04-01-05, 06:41 PM
  #26  
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Originally Posted by jeff williams

The ladies however are often young, on cruisers or classics, doing the 'hair show'.
Less cyclists than voyeur -gers.
I find it has the reverse effect, I think of 'unprotected' riding as uncool, not sexy.
Great. Another nagging about the much overhyped, and not so useful, bike helmet.

How often must it be said that a bike helmet is just not that important? Fine, a helmet will protect your head from gashes and superficial injuries on the rare occasions when an adult cyclist falls and hits his head-- it hasn't happened to me on the road in my adult life, but for the pumped-up helmet crowd on this forum who are always having their "life saved" and "brain damage" averted by helmets every week or so, more power to you.

Of course, we should be hearing about the nasty gashes to the bone, torn flesh, and broken bones from all of the crashes you must have without body armor on the road. I mean, all of you safety minded people ride without *that* equipment. Yet, somehow, your skin is saved from "emergency room" incidents, smashed bones, and all the rest that you assert uncritically would befall your noggin if you weren't smart enough to wear a helmet. Strange, that.

What is just weird is the way the helmet threads always progress. It is never long before someone starts in with the hostile, violent fantasies about cyclists in comas, cyclists who are brain-dead, the lame jokes about Darwin, and all the rest. What the hell? Apart from the fact that given the thinly marginal safety benefits of helmets these comments are completely unwarranted, there is the mysterious connection between such hostility and *helmets*. No one is so obnoxious in lighting threads, threads where people do make perfectly sensible and sober recommendations against riding at night without lights. Lighting is by any reasonable measure *much* more important in staying out of accidents-- or, for the giggling crowd here, staying out of "comas", the "emergency room", "brain death", or whatever. Yet only when it comes to helmets is there such uncritical contempt offered.

I've said before I think this is, in part, because helmets send a signal to the world that what you're doing is dangerous, edgy, and therefore prestigious. Any reasonable remarks to the effect that cycling on the road just isn't that dangerous are not then just comments about how reasonable it is to wear a styrofoam hat on a particular occasion, but slaps at the egos of cyclists who think of themselves as daredevils. Hence the hostile reaction to anyone who says it's just not worth nagging anyone about wearing a helmet.

Whatever the reason, this piling-on when it comes to helmets is just weird, and it's more fitting to a junior high school locker room in its level of group-think than to a cycling forum full of self-professed critical thinking, rage-against-the-machine types.

For the very few here who have just heard it all before, let me point out that if you've ever gone swimming without a life preserver, or gone driving without a helmet, then you've run a risk comparable to riding a bicycle on a public road without a helmet. Scary, isn't it?

So, why don't some of you go post on the swimming forums and tell them how eagerly you await the comas and brain deaths of the members there? Write an op-ed telling motorists you giggle when you think of the drool that's bound to come from their unhelmeted heads? But, no, that won't happen. I understand, of course. The point of all this helmet ranting is not really rational, and it doesn't have to do with some special but neglected kind of risk-reduction. It's just some weird feature of the psychology of cycling that I wish would just go away.
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Old 04-01-05, 07:50 PM
  #27  
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Let's hope you don't die or be severely brain damaged one day from a preventable head injury because you weren't wearing a helmet.
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Old 04-01-05, 08:04 PM
  #28  
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Thank you, Merriwether - I agree completely!
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Old 04-01-05, 08:14 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by Merriwether
Great. Another nagging about the much overhyped, and not so useful, bike helmet.

How often must it be said that a bike helmet is just not that important? Fine, a helmet will protect your head from gashes and superficial injuries on the rare occasions when an adult cyclist falls and hits his head-- it hasn't happened to me on the road in my adult life, but for the pumped-up helmet crowd on this forum who are always having their "life saved" and "brain damage" averted by helmets every week or so, more power to you.
Live and learn, I protect my head, I've struck it several times on a bike, helmet and no.

Of course, we should be hearing about the nasty gashes to the bone, torn flesh, and broken bones from all of the crashes you must have without body armor on the road. I mean, all of you safety minded people ride without *that* equipment. Yet, somehow, your skin is saved from "emergency room" incidents, smashed bones, and all the rest that you assert uncritically would befall your noggin if you weren't smart enough to wear a helmet. Strange, that.
Brain injury if often not repaiable and leaves the victim with lifelong injuries.

What is just weird is the way the helmet threads always progress.
Ummm, you seem to wish to push the thread in this direction.
It is never long before someone starts in with the hostile, violent fantasies about cyclists in comas, cyclists who are brain-dead, the lame jokes about Darwin, and all the rest. What the hell? Apart from the fact that given the thinly marginal safety benefits of helmets these comments are completely unwarranted, there is the mysterious connection between such hostility and *helmets*. No one is so obnoxious in lighting threads, threads where people do make perfectly sensible and sober recommendations against riding at night without lights. Lighting is by any reasonable measure *much* more important in staying out of accidents-- or, for the giggling crowd here, staying out of "comas", the "emergency room", "brain death", or whatever. Yet only when it comes to helmets is there such uncritical contempt offered.

I've said before I think this is, in part, because helmets send a signal to the world that what you're doing is dangerous, edgy, and therefore prestigious. Any reasonable remarks to the effect that cycling on the road just isn't that dangerous are not then just comments about how reasonable it is to wear a styrofoam hat on a particular occasion, but slaps at the egos of cyclists who think of themselves as daredevils. Hence the hostile reaction to anyone who says it's just not worth nagging anyone about wearing a helmet.
I consider road cycling MORE dangerous than offroad.

Whatever the reason, this piling-on when it comes to helmets is just weird, and it's more fitting to a junior high school locker room in its level of group-think than to a cycling forum full of self-professed critical thinking, rage-against-the-machine types.
Highschool sports encourage -no INSIST on proper safety equiptment. It would be proper to recommend to all young cyclists or B.F members to wear one IMO.

For the very few here who have just heard it all before, let me point out that if you've ever gone swimming without a life preserver, or gone driving without a helmet, then you've run a risk comparable to riding a bicycle on a public road without a helmet. Scary, isn't it?
I've almost lost my life several times by not using safety equiptment or sense. Now I side on caution.

So, why don't some of you go post on the swimming forums and tell them how eagerly you await the comas and brain deaths of the members there? Write an op-ed telling motorists you giggle when you think of the drool that's bound to come from their unhelmeted heads? But, no, that won't happen. I understand, of course. The point of all this helmet ranting is not really rational, and it doesn't have to do with some special but neglected kind of risk-reduction. It's just some weird feature of the psychology of cycling that I wish would just go away.
I will post to other cyclist on B.F about my observations, nobodies ranting except YOU seem a little hostile?
Well sorry, unless you're at the Velodrome..I think you should ride with a lid.
Sorry, I don't mean to say you are stupid, I do think you make poor decisions regarding protecting yourself cycling. Are you careless hiking as well? You might be out of the loop.


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Old 04-02-05, 12:51 AM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by Merriwether
I've said before I think this is, in part, because helmets send a signal to the world that what you're doing is dangerous, edgy, and therefore prestigious.
I thought not wearing a helmet was how you let the world know you were dangerous and edgy.

The point of all this helmet ranting is not really rational, and it doesn't have to do with some special but neglected kind of risk-reduction. It's just some weird feature of the psychology of cycling that I wish would just go away.
I like the aerodynamic benefit mostly. Really.
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Old 04-02-05, 11:46 AM
  #31  
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People are encouraged (or enforced by law, as it were) to wear helmets for the same reason that they are encouraged to wear seatbelts. I still don't get this "It's my life, I'll do as I please even if I could be killed" mentality. I don't tell someone to wear a helmet because I want to impose my opinion on them, I tell them to wear a helmet because I am worried for their safety and I don't want to see them get hurt. Why are some folks so resistant to that?
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Old 04-02-05, 12:16 PM
  #32  
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Well, to tell you all the truth..I hate bike helmets! I look supremely goofy in them and I am the only road cyclist I see in my area wearing one. Now, having said that, I ALWAYS wear it...NOT because of all the hype and "PCness" but because I figure "what the hell, it can't hurt."

And I have solved the bad hair problem...I shaved my head .

Cheers,

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Old 04-02-05, 12:52 PM
  #33  
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Yea! the helmet wars have resumed!

I've said it before--I'll listen to any helmet zealot who also wears a helmet any time they are in an automobile. It is just as great a benefit in the car, so I'm sure you all wear them, right? If not, and you insist people are dumb if they don't wear one on a bike you are either a) a hypocrite b) ignorant of the facts or c) lacking in critical thinking skills. You cannot be "a" and "b" at the same time, you are most likely "c" regardless.

Were you all hall monitors in your school days? You do realize that you sound like nancy-boys going on about the certain horrific injuries that will be suffered by all non-helmet users. I expect as much from my fearful, anxiety-ridden grandmother. Good Lord, when are you people going to give it up?


In Dallas it is actually against the law for anyone, regardless of age, to ride without a helmet. A cop once informed me of this law when I was boarding the commuter train with my bike. "Really," I asked, "even adults?"

"Yup." he replied, slightly shaking his head and making it clear he couldn't care less about enforcing the niggling statute.
"Welcome to the Nanny State." I said, "Next thing you know they'll try to make you guys hold our hands when we cross the street."
And we both laughed.
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Old 04-02-05, 01:01 PM
  #34  
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Honestly I couldn't care more whether YOU wear a helmet or not. I don't know you, i'm not related to you and you sure aren't my friend.

Do I wear a helmet? Yes
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Old 04-02-05, 01:01 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by closetbiker
Bicycle helmets help in minor accidents only,
Minor accidents are still life-threatening accidents if skull meets rock/pavement. "Help" is an understatement, considering it could very well save your life, or at least the functional part of it.


are used in an activity that is relatively safe,
"Relatively safe" implies a reasonable amount of danger.


improves ones health (fitness) and the health of others (less car accidents, less polution).
Completely irrelevant to the issue of helmet usage.


By equating the two, manufatures are creating a marketplace for their product using fear.
And finish it off by implying a nasty conspiracy, eh?

Why not just be honest and say you just don't like them, rather than trying to be misleading?
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Old 04-02-05, 01:37 PM
  #36  
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We should just uninvent every safety device made and let the problem solve itself.
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Old 04-02-05, 01:58 PM
  #37  
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Ah yes, the altruism of helmet zealots revealed.

Let us review:

Originally Posted by operator
Let's hope you don't die or be severely brain damaged one day from a preventable head injury because you weren't wearing a helmet.
Later, after I somewhat more strenuously objected to the mother henning of the helmet-zealots.

Originally Posted by operator
Honestly I couldn't care more whether YOU wear a helmet or not. I don't know you, i'm not related to you and you sure aren't my friend.
I believe, sir, that you omitted the "nannynannybooboo."

I assume this "you" is directed to me, but realize I've no problem with those who choose to wear a helmet. I think they should be able to wear one without hassle just like I would like to not wear one without hassle. I don't think you'll ever find somebody starting a thread with something like "I was out today and saw a guy wearing a helmet--what a wus!" But it's par for the course for somebody to have a thread title that says that those who don't wear helmets are stupid (airheads).
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Old 04-02-05, 03:06 PM
  #38  
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WEll, hold on here folks. This debate is really unbalanced. We have yet to hear from non-helmet wearers who have sustained fatal head injuries. What is this, a conspiracy to cover up the TRUTH?

I say: you don't wanna wear a helmet? Please, by all means, don't. No need to try to legislate it either; it's a survival of the fittest kind of thing.
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Old 04-02-05, 04:08 PM
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Originally Posted by closetbiker
What about all the helmet wearers that have sustained fatal injuries?
Hey, you are right! Thanks for reminding me of another contingent whose voice is not being heard! It is a conspiracy.

Fight the man! Fight the man!
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Old 04-02-05, 05:20 PM
  #40  
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Heh. Well, I was shooting for 7th grade, but thanks for the promotion

I accept the way you feel too, I think I said already. Again, you don't want to wear one? Suit yourself, maybe I'll pass your corpse on the way to somewhere (with my helmet on). They don't hurt, and they might help, and they're pretty cheap insurance. I don't live my life by statistics; that is stupid.
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Old 04-02-05, 05:27 PM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by Anthony King
Ah yes, the altruism of helmet zealots revealed.
If you think i'm a helmet zealot, might as well kill yourself now. Take that 'you' in my post and replace it with 'every one of you'.

I haven't said ANYTHING that said, you better wear your helmet or X is going to happen. I did not tell you, you should wear a helmet, nor do I care. As in that last post you quoted from me.
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Old 04-02-05, 05:56 PM
  #42  
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Well..I was originally talking the collage set, 20-30's on old bikes, no helmets.
No vehicular conduct, little cycling skill and poor equiptment.
Biggest concern is looking good while cycling or in the case of helmets -not gettting helmet head.
I think THESE people need helmets, they ride like hell. No regard for thier safety or conduct that a cyclist is SUPPOSED to follow.

Anyway, you guys are having fun, closetbiker, many points you make I do see as valid. Thanks for always keeping cool. I would argue your right NOT to wear.
Your choice, and I'm pretty confident you have a certain amount of skill and understand vehicular law.

I am rather CONCERNED that people are careless in thier attitude towards cycling -yes an ejoyable pastime -can be dangerous and you should protect yourself.

One point you made I believe needs a re-read.

"I'm not sure what I feel the biggest problem with helmet promotion has been. Branding cycling as dangerous, or the belief that helmet wearing should be a priority over lights on bikes, following the rules of the road, and getting the status of our equal place on the road respected by other users so we end up with cyclists that wear helmets, but ride on the wrong side of the road, at night without lights and take risky moves on roads to get on that cycle path to be safe."

Good stuff. Probably closer to what I had intended to have the thread towards.

"Arguments like "anyone who rides without a helmet is exposing other cyclists to the disgusting and traumatic experience of having to scoop that stupid person's brains off the track," as expressed in the online helmet wars, strike me as pure bombast."

Well...why did you post it then? I don't believe THAT was in this thread.

Anyway, my concern is that some people have little regard to cycling as being anything but recreational, they don't follow common rules and looking good is more important than safety.
I see people riding home after drinking, no lights, poorly fitted bike and no helmet.
I feel I have to -and do follow the rules about safety and conduct..It can be a pain.

And for the time I can't out manouver the car that pulls some crazy stuff, I have a lid in case my head hits the road, a car, a pole, a curb. (Over 5 times in a year and a half)
Some of my paranoia is from knowlege about motorcycle accidents. And I ride pretty fast.

Back to the mud slinging!

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Old 04-02-05, 06:01 PM
  #43  
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I don't know about other chicks, because I am not paying attention to what other folks are wearing, but I don't go without a helmet. I did today because it literally fell apart on me, and I needed to go to Performance and buy a new one, so that's what I did. I took the bus, though.

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Old 04-02-05, 06:32 PM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by closetbiker
Biking is by and large a masculine sport, despite the praiseworthy minority of women bike athletes. I have a sneaking suspicion that the guys feel more macho, able to hold up their heads next to all those muscle car drivers, by exaggerating the dangers of their chosen form of (tran)sport. Biking is really dangerous, therefore I am a tough, serious dude. Let's face it, guys have this historical tendency to like armour and helmets and all that stuff. They tend to exaggerate the tremendous danger and pain of Heidelberg fencing, and then in the next breath assert that childbirth is no big thing. Right...
Nonsense. I play hockey, and the less helmet one wears is indicitive of how hardcore and manly a player is.

I used to just wear the helmet, with the ear guards removed and no cage or visor, and occasionally fastened the strap. I warmed up with no helmet. Then I had my nose half cut off by an errant stick (an expensive composite one no less).
Now I wear a half-shield and am not quite as manly as I used to be. But I've avoided being hit in the eye several times since.
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Old 04-02-05, 06:48 PM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by closetbiker
That was part of the argument that I linked on the post. It was obvious that was the other persons writing wasn't it? no- It seemed to bring non BF member opinions into the present as if they are\were comments directed at people who were BF members who don't wear lids. Maybe it's my comprehension.

I included that part because of the many comments that used this argument. Like:

"I didn't realize that comas and persistant vegetative states were fashionable. Who knew?,
A mind is a terrible thing to taste and,
Let's hope you don't die or be severely brain damaged one day from a preventable head injury because you weren't wearing a helmet."

Ya.Hmmm.."A mind is a terrible thing to taste" is an album by Ministry.
"If you are looking at a beautiful girl on a bicycle and the first though that pops into your head is, "she should be wearing a helmet." maybe you should check if you didn't already fall on your own head?"
I didn't get all bent, and thanks for the restraint in not posting "That explains a lot" when I further posted that I have hit my head -several times.
Lets have a little class when having a discourse people.




It is bombast and gives the impression that this type of accident doesn't happen to anyone else in far greater numbers. It happens all the time. To drivers. To pedestrians. To old people. Brain injury also happens far more often to people who obtain their brain injury through lack of oxegen to the brain by heart attacks and strokes, something cycling prevents.

Ironic, isn't it, that the persistant vegatative state (and the following feeding tube remark) that was referred to was caused by a heart attack?
You mean Terry? Perhaps a bit off colour, not ironic I think.
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Old 04-02-05, 08:03 PM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by operator
If you think i'm a helmet zealot, might as well kill yourself now. Take that 'you' in my post and replace it with 'every one of you'.

I haven't said ANYTHING that said, you better wear your helmet or X is going to happen. I did not tell you, you should wear a helmet, nor do I care. As in that last post you quoted from me.
I misread your tone, apologies. It is often hard to detect if somebody is being ironic or not when reading text.

I say: you don't wanna wear a helmet? Please, by all means, don't. No need to try to legislate it either; it's a survival of the fittest kind of thing.
I was waiting for this good 'ol standby to come out. I retire from posting on this thread, I'm probably going to die any minute now because I ride without a helmet, so I have to get off the computer and relish each moment.

Apologies again, operator.
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Old 04-02-05, 09:31 PM
  #47  
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Every time I've had an accident during the event I've felt my head tucked safely in my helmet and said to myself, thank goodness I wore my helmet today.

That's been during my motorcycle accidents.

I know a guy who had a car accident while on his bike. Suffered a brain injury. He's just a little off now. He doesn't know it, though. The rest of us can tell.
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Old 04-02-05, 10:26 PM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by koffee brown
I don't know about other chicks, because I am not paying attention to what other folks are wearing, but I don't go without a helmet. I did today because it literally fell apart on me, and I needed to go to Performance and buy a new one, so that's what I did. I took the bus, though.
If I was wearing a helmet on the school bus in 9th grade I never would have got that wad of Juicyfruit in my hair. Let that be a lesson to the anti-helmet crowd! Helmet not cool? Well, try on a wad of Juicyfruit and see how cool you feel!
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Old 04-03-05, 01:08 AM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by closetbiker
I played hockey too, in the 60's and 70's. Back before helmets were worn. Guess how many head injuries there were back then? Less than since helmets were introduced. It's not about the helmets, it's the way the game has been played since. Above the shoulders was a no-no. It was never attempted. Helmets came in, sticks and elbows went up. Being face-washed into the glass happened. Head injuries started to show up.

It's how you do something that makes it dangerous. Not what you do.
None of this has anything to do with my point that since helmets became standard equipment, the optional bits (cages, visors) carry a stigma of unmanliness. It was the same when helmets were optional equipment -- players who chose to wear them were seen as being not tough. Then Bill Masterson died. Still, the stigma lives on.

I've knocked people out with my shoulder, so dirty/sloppy play has nothing to do with head injuries. Elbows were coming up before helmets. Gordie Howe was the master of a dirty elbow, and Pat Quinn put Orr on the path to retirement with one. Jeremy Roenick had his jaw shattered and Steve Yzerman hasd his orbital bone crushed by ordinary pucks last seasen. Both these guys are/were old school, no-visor guys who will be wearing them if/when they return.

For the record, helmet ≠ dangerous
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Old 04-03-05, 01:59 AM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by Merriwether
Great. Another nagging about the much overhyped, and not so useful, bike helmet...Etc
yes very nicely argued- you should be a lawyer-I want you on my defence team
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