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Helmets cramp my style

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Helmets cramp my style

Old 05-14-07, 10:28 PM
  #1426  
closetbiker
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Suprisingly, I don't get tired by this. I'm not trying to change anybodys minds, but I do believe that most people have made up their minds because of misunderstood information. I'm just trying to put out information to get people to think a bit.

Limitations of helmets, perspective and the benefits from exercise that negates certain risks that will shorten a life are most often misunderstood.

On that note, here's that Time magazine graphic

sorry for the bad quality - the top triangle are homicides, the next, suicide, then accidents, followed by other diseases, diabetes, chronic lower-respiratory disease, stroke, cancer and the final triangle, heart disease

- Accidents kill only 4% of people and motor vehicle accidents make up almost half of that total.

Deaths on bicycles are a tiny slice (less than 1%) on par with falling out of bed and choking on food. Far more prevelant are choking on other objects (more people die choking on pens than crashing on bicycles here in Canada), dying in a fire, or falling down stairs.

Much larger in the picture (almost half of all deaths) are from conditions cycling helps prevent, such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes and chronic respiratory diseases. -
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Old 05-15-07, 08:59 AM
  #1427  
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closetbiker can you post a larger size pic?
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Old 05-15-07, 09:52 AM
  #1428  
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Rajit - I have a very good life and disability insurance policy for those who depend on me. That way, those who depend on my are okay no matter what manages to eventually get me. Do the sure thing first, then wear the helmet if you wish.

I wish that the thing that was most likely to do me in was not wearing a helmet while cycling! (my vote is the fer-de-lance...)
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Old 05-15-07, 01:09 PM
  #1429  
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Originally Posted by aMull
closetbiker can you post a larger size pic?
I wish I could but I had trouble with the scan to get it at the maximum 100kb size.

I'm at work now, I have the mag at home.
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Old 05-15-07, 01:25 PM
  #1430  
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Originally Posted by rajit
... I was pretty smug in my analysis/rational, but the bottom line was that I cared only for myself. Then I grew up. I started caring about the people around me and understanding that they feared for my safety without the helmet. Whether or not their fears are rational are irrelevant. My wearing a helmet gives the people who love and depend on me some peace of mind. In my case, to not wear the helmet seems selfish... But I gave up trying to convince others of that a long time ago.
Rajit
It seems to me to be a grown up means to stand up to some things that you might not like, but are better for the ones you care for.

If their fears are irrational it would be he better (and perhaps more difficult course) to face reality.

I find it almost amusing whena post like this is made directly after a post showing the relative rarity of deaths on a bicycle. We had just discussed the point of minor injuries being a learning tool.

It would seem to be selfish to not point out as was earlier in the thread that riding a bicycle has more health (and brain injury) benefits than not riding a bike. People worry about the things that help us and don't worry about the things that don't. Convicing is an impossible task, everyone has to work that one out for themselves.

Further links that might help your (or thier) quest for knowledge

on relative odds of being injured

https://neptune.spacebears.com/opine/helmets.html

on the effectiveness of helmets

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

and from a link that shows riding a bike even without a helmet can reduce brain injuries (just as it can reduce many other ailments) https://www.elbowvalleycc.org/evccbhl.html



In a 1998 radio phone-in program an Alberta doctor reported that there are on the order of 10.000 brain injuries suffered annually in this province. Some 80% of these are due to strokes and heart attacks, with the remaining 20% being traumatic brain injuries. Of these remaining 2,000 about one half were as a result of motor vehicle collisions, and following the reasoning presented above, only about 50 or so will be a result of bicycle falls or collisions. As cycling can result in many physiological changes that lead to a reduction in the risk of suffering a stroke or heart attack, it may be counterproductive to emphasise the numbers of cycling related brain injuries, and the health risks associated with cycling.
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Old 05-15-07, 01:35 PM
  #1431  
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Originally Posted by rajit
I guess I mean more than just income to my family!!
Of course, but make sure you take care of the financials so that they won't be left destitute.

Yes, my family would miss me. I have worked 14 hours a day and spent time with them for about 26+ years. Still married to the same wonderful woman too.

What do I do to think of them? Insurance and honestly, ride slower. If you think a helmet is going to save you at high speed - well, the manufactors disagree. They say up to 14 MPH.
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Old 05-15-07, 02:21 PM
  #1432  
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the best way to reduce injuries would be to follow the advice given here,

https://www.bicyclesafe.com/index.html

and listen to the advice of a couple of physicians here

https://www.magma.ca/~ocbc/demarco.html

and here

https://www.magma.ca/~ocbc/keating.htm

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Old 05-16-07, 09:52 AM
  #1433  
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Originally Posted by rajit
I agree, but did you mean what you wrote?... I was replying to the original poster...I could care less about whether or not a helmet increases safety...not using a helmet was selfish... I was not arguing for or against helmet use as a safety device.
I guess it's easy to forget when participating in a thread that has been ongoing for over 2 years that some posters just jump in commenting on the original post. My comments were tainted and in reference to the more recent postings.

i think I did acknowledge that one can't easily change minds and that irrational fear does exist but if one wanted to be a grown up one would have to examine some truths that maybe he wouldn't want to or maybe try to understand the fear.

That would be understanding the true risks and benefits of riding a bicycle and wearing a helmet being selfish or not.
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Old 05-16-07, 04:29 PM
  #1434  
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As someone who is strongly opposed to the "You have to wear a helmet!" camp, I think rajit makes an extremely valid point. I am absolutely for freedom of choice on this matter and have remained unconvinced by all arguments to the contrary. But my wife worries more when I ride without a helmet and refuses to believe that helmets don't "make you safe". The inconvenience of wearing a helmet may be more than matched by the concern caused her by my bare-headed habits.

Hmm...
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Old 05-16-07, 05:05 PM
  #1435  
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I can understand when someone has an irrational fear, but with some examination isn't it possible to show that the perceived risks of riding a bicycle are no greater than some other things the fearful one has done or is doing? Driving a car comes to mind.

Isn't there the issue of the health benefits of riding a bicycle offsetting risks that the fearful ones do not have in their other activities that run the same risks?

In that linked Time article, there was a passage that went

"There's reason to be critical of experts, but not to replace their judgement with laypeoples opinions."...(for example) pollutants in fish can be dangerous, but for most people - the cardiac benefits of fish easily outweigh the risks...(it is) important to remember to pay proper mind to the dangers that, as the risk experts put it, are hiding in plain sight.
it's like a lot of discussion of that study about the cyclist who measured the passing distances of cyclists weather a helmet was worn or not, and even a wig being worn and getting more clearance. I find the point not being about passing distance, it's about unintended consequences.

People mean well, but miss something sometimes and there is an unintended consequence. In this case, worrying about the wrong things when riding a bike and even worrying about riding a bike at all.

That first physicians' link I recently gave said,

... bicycling is not as dangerous as popularly perceived. Furthermore it does not contribute to the aforementioned litany of personal and public health problems. Expressed in potential life-years gained versus potential life-years lost, Dr. Mayer Hillman estimates that regular cycling's net benefit to personal health outweighs its risk of injury by a factor of 20 to 1, even in a country as hostile to cycling as Great Britain [10]. Cyclists very likely live longer and healthier lives than non-cyclists and, unlike motorists, they incur no harm to society at large. Whenever someone chooses to cycle rather than drive, both personal and public health benefit. Cyclists, therefore, are allies of the medical profession. We should be doing all we can to encourage the activity.
the second phsycians link said

Since I started looking at the evidence, I have not worn my helmet. If I am worried about my health, I should get on my bike. If I am worried about accidents, I would follow the advice in Cyclecraft
Putting on a helmet is not bad and might make someone feel better but it also just may divert attention from an area that may well need more attention. No helmet ever prevented a collsion from occurring and isn't that a far more effective way to feel safer?

If we focus on the helmet, we get stories where ridiculous claims are made that a helmet saved the life of a cycist after a truck "ran over his head" and ignore the circumstances that led up to the collision. We take a preventable collsion and learn nothing from it, leaving the same situation to be repeated.

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Old 05-16-07, 05:42 PM
  #1436  
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I can understand when someone has an irrational fear, but with some examination isn't it possible to show that the perceived risks of riding a bicycle are no greater than some other things the fearful one has done or is doing?
Often, no. Humans are such silly things. I'm terrified of flying. I know and accept that flying is incredibly safe, but every time I get onto that airplane my pulse pounds and my hands sweat.

The bottom line, though, is that folks hold on to certain beliefs no matter what. My wife believes that helmets "make you safe" and all the evidence to the contrary won't change that. It's frustrating for me, but then, I'm sure I hold on to deep seated and incorrect beliefs too. C'est la vie. So maybe easing a loved one's fears -- even unfounded ones -- is a valid enough reason to put on a helmet. Of course, she still makes me fly, so maybe a bit of tit-for-tat is fair here...
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Old 05-16-07, 05:45 PM
  #1437  
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BTW, I agree with everything else you wrote. One helmet-related irritant in my world is the number of folks who will tell me that "A helmet saved my life!"

I started riding and racing in the days when hairnets were the only thing out there, and serious head injuries were vanishingly rare. So folks today either vastly overrate the effectiveness of helmets, or they fall off and hit their heads a lot more. If helmets really do save as many lives as the anecdotes would have us believe then the fatality rate among cyclists prior to the mid '80s would have approached 50%.
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Old 05-16-07, 06:20 PM
  #1438  
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Originally Posted by Six jours
maybe easing a loved one's fears -- even unfounded ones -- is a valid enough reason to put on a helmet.
it might ease them, but it doesn't help the problem and puts a cyclist in a worse position than a focus on something more tangible. Their fears potentially harm cyclists from greater danger. I guess it depends on the degree to which they express them is the degree to which harm may come.
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Old 05-16-07, 09:36 PM
  #1439  
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Yup. Keep yer helmet on yer handlebars.

Kinda stupid, but funny if you're tired:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WDuq9VR_pzg
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Old 05-16-07, 09:58 PM
  #1440  
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interesting comment

Originally Posted by Six jours

I started riding and racing in the days when hairnets were the only thing out there, and serious head injuries were vanishingly rare. So folks today either vastly overrate the effectiveness of helmets, or they fall off and hit their heads a lot more. If helmets really do save as many lives as the anecdotes would have us believe then the fatality rate among cyclists prior to the mid '80s would have approached 50%.
This is a good point and something I wondered about for years. I grew up never using a helmet, kids didn't have them then and except for someone riding with their football helmet, trying some death defying jump, while wearing a cape, I can't remember anyone ever using one. In the mid 1970's, I think the Bell biker, MSR and Skid Lid , came out.....I still have the first two. Since then, you can't even ride a group ride, without a helmet on, or they won't let you eat the cookies at the rest stop. Passing out from the bonk and crashing would be the result of that policy, kinda counterproductive, huh? I can remember plenty of cyclists riding without helmets in the 80's but these days you'd think someone was a complete reprobate if they decide not to wear one. Its an interesting phenomenom.
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Old 05-16-07, 11:57 PM
  #1441  
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Exactly. I honestly don't care if my fellow cyclists wear helmets or not. I think it should be a non-issue, left up to the individual, and I don't understand the militance displayed by so many helmet advocates. When I see some wobbly first-year rider steer a course up to a grizzled veteran with 20, 30, 40+ years of experience and self-righteously tell him that he needs to put a helmet on, I get a bit hot under the collar.

So my only real comment for the thread: mind your own business. Do whatever you want, but leave other grown-ups to make their own decisions.
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Old 05-17-07, 06:04 AM
  #1442  
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Originally Posted by 30306RN


From following this for a bit, isn't it as good as the rest of the pro-helmet (statistics based) research out there?

What I really don't understand is why the pro-helmet crowd (video above ) talks about concussions when a helmet seems not to help with them: i.e. from what I understand (following research posted on these forums and Ontario Coalition for Better Cycling: https://www.magma.ca/~ocbc/) the internal smashing around will occur if you fall on your head regardless of helmet's crushing action.

As far as I understand (and please correct if I'm wrong) helmets are tested to absorb the impact of falling from some number of feet. But there is no proof that this absorption actually helps prevents brain injury. All the studies I've seen are statistics from hospitals and regions or what not. Did anyone model and simulate the effects of helmet's absorption on the brain in a way that it passed scientific peer review and not by a select few? Did anyone use the scientific method to prove or disprove the advantages of helmets?

At the moment it seems to me a helmet prevents your scalp/ear from getting messed up and absorbs a limited amount of the impulse but it doesn't spread the impulse over one's head: that's what construction helmets suspended on straps are for (and quite frankly I think I rather wear one of those). It might even allow your head to slide better if it's a hard shell. Isn't that about right?

BTW more often than not I wear a helmet: like my friend points out, it may be the difference between open casket or closed ... unless I land on my face .

BTW statistics are good for some things. But it's too easy to skew people's minds and too hard to get them to unwrap. I still cannot get some avid Lotto 6/49 players to understand that when I play the numbers 1,2,3,4,5,6--such that's it's easy for me to check if I won--I have as much chance as they do.

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Old 05-17-07, 08:44 AM
  #1443  
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There is much research that shows bike helmets do nothing to prevent brain injury. Much of it is explained and linked on this thread.

Sussinctly put by Chief Pathologist Clive Cooke, in Coroner's Court Testimony, in Perth, Australia,

"In situations of a fall they [helmets] are next to useless because they do not protect against diffused brain damage. The damage to the brain would still have occurred because it is the rattling inside the skull that caused the damage."

Bike Helmets are tested by a drop of 6 feet which replicates an impact of 14 mph. They were never meant for impacts with motor vehicles and primarily intended for use by children.

read more here

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

Written by Brian Walker, one of the leading experts on the mechanics of helmets, and whose company Head Protection Evaluations is the principal UK test laboratory for helmets and head protection systems of all kinds


"In a recent Court case, a respected materials specialist argued that a cyclist who was brain injured from what was essentially a fall from their cycle, without any real forward momentum, would not have had their injuries reduced or prevented by a cycle helmet. This event involved contact against a flat tarmac surface with an impact energy potential of no more than 75 joules (his estimate, with which I was in full agreement). The court found in favour of his argument. So a High Court has decided that cycle helmets do not prevent injury even when falling from a cycle onto a flat surface, with little forward momentum. Cycle helmets will almost always perform much better against a flat surface than any other."

"In other legal cases with which I have been involved, where a cyclist has been in collision with a motorised vehicle, the impact energy potentials generated were of a level which outstripped those we use to certify Grand Prix drivers helmets. In some accidents at even moderate motor vehicle speeds, energy potential levels in hundreds of joules were present."


"The fact is, cycle helmets are the most fragile type of safety helmet. In todays road traffic accidents, it's not unlikely for a helmet to be subjected to severity loads greater than it is designed to cope with."

" Referring back to the Court case mentioned early, the very eminent QC under whose instruction I was privileged to work, tried repeatedly to persuade the equally eminent neurosurgeons acting for either side, and the technical expert, to state that one must be safer wearing a helmet than without. All three refused to so do, stating that they had seen severe brain damage and fatal injury both with and without cycle helmets being worn. In their view, the performance of cycle helmets is much too complex a subject for such a sweeping claim to be made. "

as far as the video goes, anyone can see the helmet on the handlebars is a red herring. The real problem is maxs' behavior. Riding like he does, he's going to end up in the same place, helmet or not.

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Old 05-18-07, 09:55 PM
  #1444  
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In the last 2 years I have fallen twice. Once turning into a driveway at 10mph and hit loose gravel and once in a bike lane at 15mph and hit debris in the lane. First time I sprained my shoulder and hit my head, second time broke my arm and hit my head hard enough to crack my helmet in 3 places.
I consider myself a cautious rider but "you know what" happens.
There is no doubt that I would have sustained head injuries in both cases, without the helmet.
I do not leave home, on a ride, without my helmet.
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Old 05-18-07, 10:03 PM
  #1445  
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There is no doubt that I would have sustained head injuries in both cases, without the helmet.
Yes, there is a great deal of doubt. You really can't know what the results would have been without a helmet, as you didn't repeat the test bare-headed. Your anecdote assumes that you have an innate knowledge of how much energy your helmet absorbed and how much energy your skull and brain can endure before serious damage occurs.

I really don't mean this post to be a flame, but I'm honestly pretty tired of hearing this sort of personal anecdote. Again, to hear the present day cyclist talk, you'd think that the death rate pre-helmet would have been astronomical, when it clearly was not. So again, either the present day cyclist vastly overrates the effectiveness of helmets, vastly underrates the ability of the skull and brain to withstand abuse, or simply falls on his head way more than his historic counterpart.
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Old 05-18-07, 11:09 PM
  #1446  
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Well, roadie said he has no doubt he would sustain head injuries. I imagine that's true. Common sense tells me without a helmet you would probably have more injuries to the exterior of your head and maybe skull. But helmet or not, there seems no proof in the scientific community your brain would have suffered any worse: I don't actually know that, but I imagine if there was it would be fairly popular and someone would have responded to my earlier post with it.

I hope when I fall I also--like roadie--absorb most of the fall with the rest of my body. I hope you healed well.

I actually quite like the term skid lid to describe a helmet: I think it's appropriate for the protection it provides (afaik). My take is that it's not a concussion shield. I would very very much like it to be, because that means I get that much more benefit out of wearing the darn thing!!!

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Old 05-19-07, 12:02 AM
  #1447  
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Originally Posted by DieselDan
I watched a little girl, about 8 or 9, fall off her bike from a dead standstill. Her head hit the ground, and her helmet broke into two peices. This fall was from an 11" frame 20" wheel bike! At a stand still! She did skin up her elbow.
That doesn't surprize me, it's been calculated that if you're standing still and fall over backwards the average person's noggin will be traveling at 12 mph by the time it hits the ground...

Further more, I see lots of Families on our local Bike Trail, sure, the Kids are wearing Helmets, the Parents aren't...so my question is, if one of the Parents fall and end up with a serious Brain Trauma, who will take care of the Kids?? And why do most Parents let their Kids ride with Helmet Straps hanging 6" below their Chins? Isn't it obvious to them that their Helmets will fall off before the Kids head hits the Deck??

I really don't care, People can do what they like as long as they are prepared to pay for the consequences...it just seems pretty strange to me....
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Old 05-19-07, 09:21 AM
  #1448  
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Originally Posted by Jaguar27
That doesn't surprize me, it's been calculated that if you're standing still and fall over backwards the average person's noggin will be traveling at 12 mph by the time it hits the ground...

I really don't care, People can do what they like as long as they are prepared to pay for the consequences...it just seems pretty strange to me....
Wow, another reply from the first page.

Anyway, bike helmets are made for that type of fall. A drop from a short distance with no forward momentum with no third party (ie. car) involved. Still, it should not have broken in 2. The helmet failed. A helmet works by crushing. And jakub.ner has it right. There is a difference between head injuries and brian injury. A helmet helps with the former and not with the latter.

The question seems to me to one that I recently brought up. Just how much protection do we want or need? Don't we learn from bumps and bruisies and are we on a quest to try to prevent superficial injuries? Or is it that most people don't understand when the claim is made that helmets prevent up to 88% of head injuries, it's referring to a flawed study of children falling over (much like dieseldan described) that had received treatment and not adults riding much faster and falling or being hit by automobiles?

How is it even with essentially the same helmets availible from '75 to '88, this helmet controversy wasn't even an issue, but just a couple of years later the consensus to wear helmets was so strong entire countries were formulating legislation to force people to wear helmets if they didn't voluntarily do so on their own?
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Old 05-19-07, 10:44 AM
  #1449  
charles vail
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the real reason

Originally Posted by closetbiker
Wow, another reply from the first page.

Anyway, bike helmets are made for that type of fall. A drop from a short distance with no forward momentum with no third party (ie. car) involved. Still, it should not have broken in 2. The helmet failed. A helmet works by crushing. And jakub.ner has it right. There is a difference between head injuries and brian injury. A helmet helps with the former and not with the latter.

The question seems to me to one that I recently brought up. Just how much protection do we want or need? Don't we learn from bumps and bruisies and are we on a quest to try to prevent superficial injuries? Or is it that most people don't understand when the claim is made that helmets prevent up to 88% of head injuries, it's referring to a flawed study of children falling over (much like dieseldan described) that had received treatment and not adults riding much faster and falling or being hit by automobiles?

How is it even with essentially the same helmets availible from '75 to '88, this helmet controversy wasn't even an issue, but just a couple of years later the consensus to wear helmets was so strong entire countries were formulating legislation to force people to wear helmets if they didn't voluntarily do so on their own?

It keeps the helmet manufacturers in business. Can you imagine a product that is cheap to make, uses materials no company wants to throw away, needs replacing every few years due to aging and multiply that my the ever increasing world population and the fact that children grow and need several in their lifetime. I wish I had thought of it first. I'd be a billionare and I would pay to have people lobby for my product, plus I would fund studies and hire folks to, out shout, any skeptics. In addition, I would hope that the philosophy that, "we need these, just to stay alive on our bicycles", pervades the thinking patterns of the entire population, from childhood to adults, so that my products need would never seriously be questioned. My marketing strategy would be exactly what it is, presently. I could go on but I think you get my point.
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Old 05-19-07, 11:33 AM
  #1450  
Zeuser
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Originally Posted by slugger
Pro-choice is the only choice. And that goes for helmets too.
Nope. It's not your choice since your head injuries is going to cost me.
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