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Helmets cramp my style

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Helmets cramp my style

Old 04-03-05, 03:57 AM
  #51  
Raiyn
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Originally Posted by pseudobrit
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
Thanks for remembering Bill Masterson. He's not just some guy they named a trophy after
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Old 04-03-05, 10:19 AM
  #52  
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If you really believe that brain injuries are not commonly caused by bicycle accidents, and that helmets provide no protection I have a short argument.

I personally know about 3000-5000 people. Three of them have had brain injuries. Two of them from bicycle crashes, one from a trucking crash. I do not know of any others with brain injuries. I think that you will agree that that is approaching a statistical sample (I would need about 10 'hits' to have a reliable sample of relative frequencies of bicycle related brain injuries compared to other causes).

Secondly, the physicians treating both bicycle head injuries concluded that helmets would have prevented the brain injury in each case. This point is weaker in that I am invoking an argument from authority, but untill you do a peer-reviewed study of the effect of bicyle crashes I will go with it.

I can definitely conclude:

1- many people do get permanent brain damage. (3/5000 is a lot - also in both bicycle crashes the brain damage and personality changes were profound, indicating that these are the serious cases) I haven't even begun to discuss relatively minor concussions, abrasions, etc.

2 - Bicycle crashes are a major cause of permanent brain damage. (I admit my statistics preclude making a stronger conclusion)

3 - The protection afforded by a helmet is valuable. The helmet is designed to spread the force of impact around the entire head. If you don't agree with that I suggest you compare the effect of hitting a watermelon with the flat side of a kitchen knife, compared to stabbing it with the same knife, using the same force, with the point first. Note that bicycle helmets are designed to withstand a single impact, rather than a series of blows - the theory being that after the first impact, speeds will be lower.

I'm not saying that you have to wear a helmet yourself, but it is irresponsible to deny that brain damage occurs, and that helmets offer no protection.

Finally, if you've never had to be at an accident scene where a family member has had a severe head injury due to a bicycle crash, you don't have a clue about how traumatic it is to see the blood and guts of a severe head injury. If you had this experience, I would suspect that you would change your opinion.

On a final note - you make a comparison with hockey players and their behaviour pre-and post- helmet rules. The analogy is invalid - hockey players are deliberately hit by other players. If you've played hockey you'll know that a certain self discipline prevails where certain types of hits are acceptable (a simple check) and others are not (high sticking, spearing). In these cases, your safety more or less depends on the discretion of others, and as rules and safety equipment changes, people have made different decisions as to what is acceptable.

Cycling injuries are not at all of the same type. People do not decide to engage in crashes on the basis of wearing a helmet, or not. Nor do motorists make a decision wether or not to hit a cyclist "oh look, she's wearing a helmet - I guess I don't need to apply brakes". Finally, in terms of wearing a helmet making people feel invulnerable - you can just ask around to people who have had bike crashes - no one that I have spoken to thinks that crashes are fun. You might not have a brain injury, but broken wrists, shattered jaw, road rash, etc. are all unpleasant conditions. I believe that these outcomes are sufficient to preclude foolish behaviour that is 'justified' by the thought "oh, I'm wearing a helmet - I won't get hurt if I am in a crash".

The reason to wear a helmet is not to prevent all cycling related injuries, only to reduce the incidence of the most debilitating, and life threatening ones.

Again, don't wear a helmet if you don't want to, think of me as a loser for wearing one, but don't think that they are ineffective or (as you imply) dangerous.

Last edited by rajman; 04-03-05 at 11:05 AM.
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Old 04-03-05, 11:08 AM
  #53  
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Originally Posted by closetbiker
How do you come to this conclusion?
Seeing that 66% percent of my sample of brain-damaged people, had their injuries due to bicycle accidents. I said major, as my sample size of three events is too small to conclude that bicycle crashes are the major cause of brain injuries. Car accidents, falls, sporting accidents, boxing, and others would likely be major causes as well.
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Old 04-03-05, 01:57 PM
  #54  
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Making comparisons to other forms of head injury (like from falls) is a terrible argument. You need to look at per-capita incidence of head injury. Not everyone rides bikes, but everyone walks on stairs. You need to look at the numbers within a demographic. If we looked at the incidence of bicycle-related head injury per 1000 bicyclists and compared that to the stair-related head injury rate of the same 1000 bicyclists, I guarantee more people from that group would have gotten head injuries from their bikes, rather than stairs. However, if we took a group of 1000 85 year old people and got the same numbers, we'd find that overwhelmingly they get more injuries from stairs than bikes. But that is because they are old, losing their balance, and don't ride bikes. Hence, their numbers are meaningless for a discussion on bike helmets.

If you are going to discuss helmets for bicyclists, stop pulling out numbers for people who aren't bicyclists, since they aren't relevant. I think that the statement, "Bicycle related head injuries are a common form of head injury among regular cyclists" is a true statement. Hence, I think helmets are useful.

I'm a libertarian on most issues, and so I don't support helmet laws, smoking in bars laws, etc. However, that doesn't stop me from thinking that not wearing a helmet is a foolish idea based more on macho-ness or vanity than actual statistics or logic. Now, its a 'free country' so you can be macho and vain, but I hope you choose not to be.

peace,
sam
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Old 04-03-05, 02:00 PM
  #55  
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Originally Posted by closetbiker
So, as I see it, bicycles are only a small part of brain injured victims,
Bicycles have brains?

Anyhow, uh, they're also only a tiny fraction of the population, and that tiny fraction probably spends more time driving and walking than bicycling in the first place. Please do not wear a helmet, so maybe we can eventually be spared your embarrassing mis-use of "statistics".
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Old 04-03-05, 06:36 PM
  #56  
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If helmets are NOT cool, then bald and eating through a feeding tube is?
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Old 04-03-05, 10:09 PM
  #57  
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I like how when group A points out something, group B demands a statistic. Then group A produces statistic A and group B immediately dismisses statistic A as flawed.
What's the point in arguing when someone's so stubborn?

Pound for pound, you are more at risk of crashing in a nascar race just going in circles turning left than you are during your daily commute in heavy traffic. That's a fact and it's a reason why you don't have roll cages and fire suppression systems in your minivan.

By irresponsibly throwing an opinion like, "Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute says they do not have more head injuries than anyone else" at someone uninformed, you are (and i believe so) intentionally trying to convince someone that there is no benefit to wearing a helmet. Assuming that you are right and they wear one, the consequence is that they're $50 short a a little dorkier looking if they hit their heads in an accident. Assuming that you are WRONG and they don't wear one, the consequence is that they are $50 richer and stand a much greater chance of sustaining in injury to the head if they hit their heads in an accident.

In engineering, we usually deal with errors like this. You would rather err on the side of being wrong with small consequences than being right with grave consequences. MANY MANY car accidents do not benefit from a bag type gas tank. But given 2 cars, one about 50 bucks more than the other, I'm sure the majority of people would appreciate having a bag type tank in the 0.0001% chance that an accident would rupture a normal tank.

Someone comes in for an opinion. You can either say "rather be safe than sorry and wear a helmet" or "did you know that your odds of actually needing a helmet in a crash are about the same as you falling down the stairs and dying?" Which one sounds more irresponsible?
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Old 04-03-05, 10:14 PM
  #58  
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Originally Posted by closetbiker
I've yet to find cyclists suffer head injuries at a larger rate than anyone else, unlike the usual retoric tossed about like, bicycle crashes are a major cause of permanent brain damage.
So what is the exact reason why you've been wearing a helmet all these years on the bike but not walking down the stairs?
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Old 04-04-05, 05:19 AM
  #59  
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Originally Posted by closetbiker
I believe the last post you directed at me, you said I said something that I believe I didn't, and asked you where I said what you said I did. You didn't respond and this isn't the first time this has happened, so why don't you answer the first question before I answer your question?
Thanks for proving my point.
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Old 04-04-05, 06:42 AM
  #60  
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Originally Posted by slvoid
Pound for pound, you are more at risk of crashing in a nascar race just going in circles turning left than you are during your daily commute in heavy traffic. That's a fact and it's a reason why you don't have roll cages and fire suppression systems in your minivan.
According to NHTSA, you're not. The average number of head injuries per mile travelled is .0012, and the average number of miles a typical NASCAR driver races per year is 5,701 with an average of one head injury every third season, so the... nah, just ****ing with you.
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Old 04-04-05, 10:23 AM
  #61  
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Originally Posted by closetbiker
Interestingly enough, this morning on FARK.com there was a link to that page on how not to get hit by cars. I always like it when cycling gets a mention in non-cycling circles. Good advice on how not to get hit, but down towards the bottom the page does mentions helmets and describes pretty much how I feel about them.
That's exactly the point that I bring up. A helmet is only there if you crash and only if it's the type of crash where your head takes the impact.
A frontal airbag will not protect you in a side impact, hence why cars have side impact air bags too now.
Everything is just a little added extra piece of protection, like gloves. The same reason why I don't walk around with an airbag strapped to my chest is the same reason why I don't walk down stairs with a helmet.
There is no reason to convince or detract people away from wearing a helmet while on a bike except if they're that cheap they want to save a couple dollars. To suggest is one thing, no one's actually making them do it.
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Old 04-04-05, 10:37 AM
  #62  
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Originally Posted by closetbiker
OK, show me that cyclists have more head injuries than anyone else.
Irrelevant. You can fall off a bike in an uncontrolled manner. (Much worse than just tripping while walking down the street, since you're up higher with a bike tangled between your legs.) Even at a dead stop. I've been doing it for decades, so I'm an expert on the matter. Your head can hit the pavement. Been there, done that. It is a good idea to take measures to protect it from impact. It is a simple, cheap and convenient thing to do. End of discussion.


At the very least, many more lives would benefit if helmets were worn in cars.
Probably, but that is completely irrelevant to the topic of bicycle riding.
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Old 04-04-05, 10:48 AM
  #63  
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Originally Posted by slvoid
I like how when group A points out something, group B demands a statistic. Then group A produces statistic A and group B immediately dismisses statistic A as flawed.
99.9% of statistics are used improperly, to mislead, anyway. Most people have no real training in statistics. When people start trumpeting "statistics" I start getting really suspicious.

What's the point in arguing when someone's so stubborn?
Gotta preach the Message to the masses, man. Hey, my soapbox is bigger than yers buddy!
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Old 04-04-05, 11:38 AM
  #64  
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yup
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Old 04-04-05, 11:47 AM
  #65  
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I wear a helmet while cycling because I think it is a good idea for me. I also habitually wear seat belts while driving because I think it is a good idea for me. Should my life end as a result of either a cycling or driving mishap, I don't want friends, relatives or aquaintences wondering if lack of seatbelt use or not wearing a helmet might have been a factor in my casue of death, or for that matter serious injury.

I wear a helmet simply to lessen my contribution to the the cause of my demise. It's also the reasoning behind riding as a vehicle, using a mirror, hand signals, etc. etc. My choices are personal to me. The choices others make are personal to themselves and I respect them. I pray no harm comes to me. I also pray no harm comes to those who behave differently than I.
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Old 04-15-05, 10:14 AM
  #66  
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This thread makes it easy for me to see why there can be so many different denominations of Christianity (or other religions, I'm just surrounded by christians). Everyone agreeing on the main points, but will tear each other to pieces over some small details. The devil is in the details, if you'll remember.

I just started wearing my helmet last night as a matter of fact. The ride I had in the hours before made me realize that it was only a matter of time before I crash. I nearly slid out twice; once was my fault and the other was my fault for not expecting the car to do something stupid. Then I had a garbage truck run me off the road into a ditch. Luckily I was creeping up a hill at the time, but still.

I'll never tell someone they should wear a helmet but I'll be more than glad to tell them why I wear mine, if they ask. Live and let die!
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Old 04-18-05, 12:33 PM
  #67  
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"Helmets for motorists are much more effective than those for cyclists and more beneficial than seat belts, interior padding or air bags. Their potential for reducing injury is 17 times greater than that of cycle helmets."

-Prevention of head injuries to car occupants: an investigation of interior padding options McLean AJ, Fildes BN,
Kloeden CN, Digges KH, Anderson RWG, Moore VM, S 1998. Federal Office of Road Safety: Report CR160
The pattern of injury in fatal pedal cycle accidents and the possible benefits of cycle helmets Kennedy A 1996.
British Journal of Sports Medicine: 1996 Jun;30(2):130-3

So, if you wear a bike crash helmet, you should be wearing one in your car. If you wear one and not the other, you're just being PC, or have fallen prey to propaganda. Remember, bike crash helmet companies have a financial interest in you beleiving that what you're doing is dangerous and what they're selling will protect you.

"The most effective way to reduce the likelihood of injury when cycling is to increase the number of people who cycle. When cycle use doubles, the risk of injury per cyclist falls by 35% to 40%"

-Assessing the actual risks faced by cyclists Wardlaw M Dec 2002 Traffic Engineering and Control.

Bike crash helmets perpetuate the myth that bicycles are dangerous, and discourage people from biking. Additionally, many people I know (particularly women) can't bike to work because the crash helmet would "mess up their hair". We may be keeping our biking risks higher through our insistance on helmets.

And to those who say, "why not wear them, it can't hurt" - Bicycle crash helmets protect against linear injury; skull fractures, lacerations and concussions - mostly (relatively minor head injuries. They, by the manufacturer’s own admission, do nothing to protect against the most deadly, a rotational injury. Many doctors fear that by increasing head size and weight, bicycle crash helmets can turn a linear injury into a rotational injury.

Bike crash helmets have a place in certain situations like races, freestyle, ramps, off-road, and wet conditions. Everyday cycling is not one of these situations.
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Old 04-18-05, 02:20 PM
  #68  
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Originally Posted by dwightonabike
So, if you wear a bike crash helmet, you should be wearing one in your car. If you wear one and not the other, you're just being PC, or have fallen prey to propaganda. Remember, bike crash helmet companies have a financial interest in you beleiving that what you're doing is dangerous and what they're selling will protect you.
A good helmet can be had for $20. If you really think some helmet industry cartel created an artificial demand for helmets, then why haven't they done the same with cars, and why don't most bike helmet companies make helmets for other sports?

And to those who say, "why not wear them, it can't hurt" - Bicycle crash helmets protect against linear injury; skull fractures, lacerations and concussions - mostly (relatively minor head injuries. They, by the manufacturer’s own admission, do nothing to protect against the most deadly, a rotational injury. Many doctors fear that by increasing head size and weight, bicycle crash helmets can turn a linear injury into a rotational injury.
Where's this study at?

And a fractured skull is a "relatively minor injury"? Relative to what? Decapitiation?

Bike crash helmets have a place in certain situations like races, freestyle, ramps, off-road, and wet conditions. Everyday cycling is not one of these situations.
I hit 40mph on downhills as part of my everyday cycling. I'd hate to hit a tree with my bare skull at such speeds. I also like the aerodynamics of the helmet.

You don't like helmets, so don't wear one. Just don't go around telling people who do that they're idiots.
My wearing a helmet has no effect on you, so get over it.
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Old 04-18-05, 02:42 PM
  #69  
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Old 04-19-05, 06:03 AM
  #70  
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Originally Posted by pseudobrit

And a fractured skull is a "relatively minor injury"? Relative to what? Decapitiation?

- relative to brain damage and death


Originally Posted by pseudobrit
I hit 40mph on downhills as part of my everyday cycling. I'd hate to hit a tree with my bare skull at such speeds. I also like the aerodynamics of the helmet.

- bicycle crash helmets are designed (and tested) to protect a weighted object in a 1.5 meter fall, the equivalant of falling off your bike standing still. By the companies' own admission, they would do nothing to protect you if struck by a car going 30mph, or from hitting your head on a tree at 40mph.



Originally Posted by pseudobrit
You don't like helmets, so don't wear one. Just don't go around telling people who do that they're idiots.
My wearing a helmet has no effect on you, so get over it.
-I don't think people that wear helmets are idoits. I'm already on your side, you're on a bike! I would say misinformed. The point is, lots of people wearing helmets does affect us all, as it gives the public the perception that what we do is inherently dangerous, and keeps people in cars.
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Old 04-19-05, 07:53 AM
  #71  
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Originally Posted by pseudobrit
I hit 40mph on downhills as part of my everyday cycling. I'd hate to hit a tree with my bare skull at such speeds.

Originally Posted by dwightonabike
- bicycle crash helmets are designed (and tested) to protect a weighted object in a 1.5 meter fall, the equivalant of falling off your bike standing still. By the companies' own admission, they would do nothing to protect you if struck by a car going 30mph, or from hitting your head on a tree at 40mph.
Given the extremely limited "protection" offered by current helmet design, if an individual really believes his cycling technique/environment is "too dangerous/risky" without wearing a helmet, it is also too dangerous/risky with it.
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Old 04-19-05, 05:56 PM
  #72  
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Originally Posted by closetbiker
a lot of those companies do.
None of the helmets or visors I've ever worn for hockey have been made by a company that also makes bicycle helmets or equipment.

https://www.pcug.org.au/~psvansch/crag/h-i-mech.htm
"Whilst helmets may possibly reduce the incidence of scalp lacerations and other soft tissue injury, there is the risk that helmets may actually increase both the cerebral and non-cerebral injury rates. ... The addition of a helmet will increase both the size and mass of the head. This means blows that would have been glancing become more solid and thus transmit increased rotational forces to the brain and may increase diffuse brain injury".
This was originally in relation to a football helmet study and the argument is theoretical in nature when applied to bicycle helmets.

Um, the topic heading is Spring airheads- helmets cramp my style. Who is preaching what to whom?
I didn't start the thread.
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Old 04-19-05, 06:14 PM
  #73  
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Originally Posted by dwightonabike
- bicycle crash helmets are designed (and tested) to protect a weighted object in a 1.5 meter fall, the equivalant of falling off your bike standing still. By the companies' own admission, they would do nothing to protect you if struck by a car going 30mph, or from hitting your head on a tree at 40mph.
If the helmet gets hit, it's absorbing some of the impact. It may or may not be enough to save your life or prevent serious injury, but it's a undeniable fact that a helmet will lessen the impact on your head.

I don't see any companies admitting to anything regarding safety. They build their helmets to meet the specifications that the government sets. The government has been the loudest voice in the push for helmets. Do you really think this is a result of Bell and Giro lobbying them?

-I don't think people that wear helmets are idoits. I'm already on your side, you're on a bike! I would say misinformed.
How about this: I wear my helmet and keep my mouth shut, you go bareheaded and keep yours shut. To each his own.

The point is, lots of people wearing helmets does affect us all, as it gives the public the perception that what we do is inherently dangerous, and keeps people in cars.
Bull****:

Bike helmet ownership among bike riders rose from 27% in 1991 to 60% in the new survey.
Bike ridership rose 20% from an estimated 66.9 million riders in 1991 to 80.6 million riders in the new survey, or about three times the U.S. population increase over that time period.


Lazy slob Americans won't get out of their cars whether we wore helmets or not. Turn on the TV. Cars are worshipped and adored in our society.

We are a minority and at least until fossil fuels are gone we will remain such.
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Old 04-19-05, 07:14 PM
  #74  
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Originally Posted by pseudobrit
How about this: I wear my helmet and keep my mouth shut, you go bareheaded and keep yours shut. To each his own.
Sounds like an excellent plan. Let's do it. Encourage your friends to sign up!
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Old 04-19-05, 11:19 PM
  #75  
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Hmm, I'm off to the bike shop for a new giro pneumo tomorrow or the next day, man that's a comfortable lid! But I got teed off about all the rain this winter in the bay area and actually sold mine on ebay, now the weather's warmed up and...

I know, not hardcore enough!! Should have ridden in the winter rain and all!!

But I got a cold, no, well, 2 colds just getting over the 2nd, and now I feel the urge to ride!

Giro pneumo's a comfortable helmet, and the helmet you wear is better than the cheaper one you leave a home. And I do think if nothing else they enhance *visibility* and the accident prevented is better than the accident endured.

(and yes the pneumo's even more comfy than a bright do-rag, and gravel etc doesn't care how visible you are)
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