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I don't wear a helmet 8-15-18

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I don't wear a helmet 8-15-18

Old 08-17-18, 11:37 AM
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I don't wear a helmet 8-15-18

Been road riding and touring since the 70's. Was always of the opinion that I was a safe and conservative rider. Over the years I've had a few crashes & spills, but the other day, without any notice, I was ejected off the bike at a modest speed, maybe 15mph. The incident happened without any advanced warning and with a speed and momentum that I did not have time to react. The result was some minor rash on my forearm, shoulder and hip and a huge egg on the side of my skull! Had I been wearing a helmet, I would have continued my ride, but being a bit dazed and confused I sat it out until I gathered my wits and got home to care for my injuries.

If you've ridden with me in the past, or have seen me riding, I sincerely apologize for setting a poor and dangerous example .

I now wear a helmet!
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Old 08-17-18, 11:47 AM
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I've had a couple of bumps and bruises, but I don't think I've ever hit my head hard enough to cause injury.

However, my mother, and a few friends really like helmets, so I've decided to wear one almost always, as much for their peace of mind as my own.

There have been a few times on hot days in low risk areas where I've deemed that it was safer to remove the helmet than to wear it... very conscious decision.
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Old 08-17-18, 11:47 AM
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I've "used" my helmet sufficiently to turn it into trash perhaps three times. There was no chance to react during any of those events. The first and worst time, I was run down from behind by a pickup truck and was catapulted probably 20 feet, making a three-point landing on my head and elbows before tumbling down the road. Anybody who thinks that they will be able to react quickly enough to control their impact with the ground or other object is living in a fool's paradise. I would likely be dead if not for my (deceased) helmet.

That said, I think that riding at slow speed around untrafficked neighborhoods and bike paths does not necessitate helmets.

Last edited by davester; 08-17-18 at 12:15 PM.
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Old 08-17-18, 11:52 AM
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6 years ago while out on a training ride, I woke up in the middle of the road. Parts scattered all over, one of my shoes was about 100 feet away. My helmet was totally crushed on the front, other than major road rash and a slight concussion I was ok. My only problem was I broke my phone in the crash. I had to ride 8 miles home with a broken bike and my butt totally exposed and bleeding from sliding on it. Turns out I hit a small pot hole that I did not see and flipped over the handlebars. I was on my tri bike and was probably doing 25+ mph. If not for the helmet I would've been seriously injured. I don't preach, I don't tell anyone what they should do but I wear mine when I'm out. But, I still wear my earphones with music blasting so I'm not perfect.
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Old 08-17-18, 11:53 AM
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Yikes I'd get my head checked to be safe. I always wear one, each to their own. It's saved my butt a few times.
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Old 08-17-18, 11:56 AM
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Hmm, maybe it's time to pull my helmet out of the closet
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Old 08-17-18, 12:02 PM
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I never noticed you were helmetless when we rode together. That's weird. Well, I'm not a helmet advocate, and I don't like to preach, even though I'm in a good position to do so. A helmet saved my life in a big crash, and it's weird that I was even wearing one, because this was back in the day when I was nearly the only person to wear one. So don't apologize. You're OK now, and you are going to be OK in the future, too.
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Old 08-17-18, 12:10 PM
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I was hit by a car a couple weeks back. My helmet has a huge dent rather than my head. Time to find a replacement now that I’m feeling well enough to ride - the dented one did its job and is now retired of course.
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Old 08-17-18, 12:11 PM
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I can't say a helmet has ever saved my life, but I know it could, so that's reason enough for me to always wear one.

I see a lot of parents with helmets on the kids but not their own heads. I think they're underestimating their child's ability to connect dots.
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Old 08-17-18, 12:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Velognome View Post
I was ejected off the bike at a modest speed, maybe 15mph. The incident happened without any advanced warning and with a speed and momentum that I did not have time to react
glad it was just a close call for you & thanks for the safety reminder. btw what caused your ejection?
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Old 08-17-18, 12:15 PM
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Old 08-17-18, 12:17 PM
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I rode into a similarly invisible, wheel-shaped pothole a few years ago. I know that because I remembered the details of the crash later the same day.

All I knew at the time (i.e., a few minutes after I'd gotten up and resumed riding, in a daze) was, first, that my bike didn't feel quite right. Then I began to experience a feeling of intense dread, and I found myself thinking, "Don't look down!," meaning, don't look down at your arms and legs.

What I saw when I finally looked: torn jersey with abraded skin showing on both shoulders, deep scrapes on both arms, gloves torn to rags, blood coming from gashes in my legs.

My helmet took a couple of major hits, too, obviously.
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Old 08-17-18, 12:20 PM
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Thanks for sharing and glad you emerged OK. I always wear a helmet and have literally picked someone up off the road with a cracked helmet so it's a no-brainer for me (sorry about the pun....).

I remember as a kid I that I was too cool to wear a seatbelt in the car. How times change.
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Old 08-17-18, 12:22 PM
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Major crash in 2012 with a helmet on. 2018 now and still have memory loss and inability to stay focused anymore. I can't see ever riding without one.
Steel is real...and comfy.
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Old 08-17-18, 12:28 PM
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I don't preach helmet use either. I have lost two due to accidents and need to replace the current one. One of those accidents resulted in permanent vision impairment in my dominant eye. When I look at a horizontal line, there is a dip in a portion of it. Really hard to take an eye exam because it is right in the middle of my focus. If I didn't have the helmet on, it could have been a permanent brain impairment beyond what I did prior to the accident! I got 59 years of good use from it.
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Old 08-17-18, 12:38 PM
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I should wear mine more often than I do.

Every excuse I have for not wearing it pales in comparison with the protection it offers.

Thank you for the reminder.
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Old 08-17-18, 12:45 PM
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I ride almost exclusively on paved bike trails, so I've always figured I could react quickly enough to stay upright. Two weeks ago I was the only one riding in a group that didn't have a helmet on. So much for peer pressure! Hit s slimy patch on a curve and the bike shot out from under me. I'm just healing from road rash on both sides, a slight concussion and a badly cut/bruised face. I consider myself very, very lucky it wasn't worse. Yes, I'll start riding with a bucket.
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Old 08-17-18, 12:47 PM
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Not preaching, more an apology to those who I have ridden with for setting a bad example

Noglider, my big hair confused you, there was never a helmet

Helmet or not, I think there are situations for both, but I was totally surprised by this dump, it was on a section of road and at a speed I did not think as hazardous.
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Old 08-17-18, 12:51 PM
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Sorry about your head bump, @Velognome! No need to apologize, though, as far as I'm concerned.

I am curious: are the bicycle accident statistics in the US so much worse than in Europe? This thread reads as if you guys are falling down like ripe apples!

I've looked into statistics before and find it quite difficult to rationalize the wearing of a helmet for the kind of riding I do:


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Old 08-17-18, 01:17 PM
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I once woke up sprawled out in an intersection. As my situation became clear (oh snap! I'm sprawled out in the middle of an intersection!!!), I crab walked my way to the nearest curb with astounding speed. THEN I scanned my surrounding to see my crumpled bike and a panel van that... oh yeah, that's the van that popped out the side street in front of... oh snap! I smashed into that thing with my face! Ambulance ride to the hospital, doctor exam, diagnosis: concussion.

That was in 1982, the last time I ever rode without a helmet. (...also the last time I ever rode with headphones playing music.)

We all learn in our own ways...

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Old 08-17-18, 01:22 PM
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Besides personal safety, the other big reason for helmet use is to set a good example for your kids. I see families from our street out cycling, with the kids in helmets and the parents bareheaded. Then, when I see the kids heading out by themselves, they have the helmet on, until they're out of view from their house, at which point the helmet is removed and draped over the handlebars, where it's likely to cause an accident. A child (or grandchild) is far more likely to wear a helmet if his parents routinely wear theirs. Our offspring form their habits, both good and bad, by our example.
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Old 08-17-18, 01:25 PM
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Originally Posted by GrainBrain View Post
I always wear one, each to their own. It's saved my butt a few times.
Is that where you're supposed to wear it? Who knew?....

Last time I rode without a helmet, summer of 1982. "Easy" ride with a friend, shoulder of Hines Drive in the suburbs of Detroit. Crossing an exit ramp, I look over my shoulder to check for cars that might be approaching the ramp. Next thing I remember is water splashing in my face. Turns out my friend slowed down, no call-out (my bad; he wasn't experienced at group riding and I was following too close), my front wheel caught his pedal and I did an endo. He had to drag me off the road. Aprx. 15 minutes intermittent LOC. All memory of it is sketchy. No memory of the endo or the impact; just fleeting moments of water in my face (he squirted me with my bottle 'til I came to), a car stopping to help, a towel, an ambulance, etc, pieced together randomly. Moderate concussion, per the hospital. Hamburger face and extreme headaches for several days,

Three helmet-impact crashes since then, walked away from all of them. All at fairly low speed, but still significant damage to the helmet. As I've read, your speed going down the road is not all that counts. It's the speed you reach as you fall at the 9.8 m/sec**2 acceleration of gravity as well. So "slow" rides on "safe" routes aren't really relevant.

Last edited by madpogue; 08-17-18 at 01:29 PM.
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Old 08-17-18, 01:28 PM
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Originally Posted by due ruote View Post
I see a lot of parents with helmets on the kids but not their own heads. I think they're underestimating their child's ability to connect dots.
This was me for quite a while, even though I owned a helmet for use on organized rides that required one. There came a point where, for unrelated reasons, I reevaluated that choice and forced myself to put it on more regularly. Didn't take long to become a habit, and now I almost never ride without it. And as @T-Mar stated above, the example I set makes a huge difference... "Do as I say, not as I do" only goes so far.

Glad you're okay, @Velognome.
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Old 08-17-18, 01:30 PM
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I've always worn a helmet (For me, it's "Why not?" - its even easier than putting on a seatbelt). Luckily, I haven't had the need for one.
I did see a woman on a bike wreck while crossing train tracks in a very strong rainstorm. She went down SO FAST. Upright one instant, on the ground motionless the next. She was wearing a helmet and was still knocked out cold for 3 or 4 minutes. It was scary. I always think, what if she wasn't wearing a helmet?

Off-topic - I was the first person on the scene, and was trying to call 911 - but I couldn't, because the rainwater on my iPhone made the touchscreen inoperable. Luckily a few drivers stopped and were able to call using dry phones. And of course, people still honked at us to get out of the way...
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Old 08-17-18, 01:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Sir_Name View Post
I was hit by a car a couple weeks back. My helmet has a huge dent rather than my head. Time to find a replacement now that I’m feeling well enough to ride - the dented one did its job and is now retired of course.
Now that I know you're ok, how's the bike?
If someone tells you that you have enough bicycles and you don't need any more, stop talking to them. You don't need that kind of negativity in your life.
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