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As a 50+'r, I wear my helmet:

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Fifty Plus (50+) Share the victories, challenges, successes and special concerns of bicyclists 50 and older. Especially useful for those entering or reentering bicycling.
View Poll Results: As a 50+'r, I wear my helmet:
As a 50+'r, I wear my helmet whenever I bicycle
75.72%
As a 50+'r, I wear my helmet most of the time when I bicycle
13.87%
As a 50+'r, I wear my helmet some of the time when I bicycle
4.05%
As a 50+'r, I never wear my helmet when I bicycle
5.20%
What's a helmet?
1.16%
Voters: 173. You may not vote on this poll

As a 50+'r, I wear my helmet:

Old 06-02-08, 05:13 PM
  #26  
cccorlew
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As a 50+er.....
How about "As someone with stuff in their head they don't want to lose."
I've worn a helmet since the mid 70s. My very swell Bell Biker. (No, not literally. Only when i bike. Jeeezzz you guys.)
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Old 06-02-08, 05:14 PM
  #27  
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I ride this innocuous woods road behind my house on my mtn bike and hardly ever wear a helmet while doing so. I started riding in the late 70's when practically no one was wearing a helmet except racers who used those leather hair net things. Occasionally you'd see a road rider wearing one of the new Bell "turtle shell" helmets with the red stripes on them. I have never hit the ground in 31 years of riding.
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Old 06-02-08, 05:27 PM
  #28  
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I always wear a helmet. I always wore a helmet on motorcycles as a kid; I knew two folks w/severe brain damage from bike accidents so wearing a helmet on a bike always seemed the right thing to do.
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Old 06-02-08, 06:14 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by Suzie Green View Post
I ride this innocuous woods road behind my house on my mtn bike and hardly ever wear a helmet while doing so. I started riding in the late 70's when practically no one was wearing a helmet except racers who used those leather hair net things. Occasionally you'd see a road rider wearing one of the new Bell "turtle shell" helmets with the red stripes on them. I have never hit the ground in 31 years of riding.
Ah, yes, the good ol' days. I had one of those Bell Brainiac helmets that I took on a bike tour across Europe in 1984. Back then, few people here in the states wore helmets--and NOBODY in Europe did. I remember a newspaper photographer in Austria jumping out of his car to snap a picture of me. The caption probably read: "Weirdo at large. Appears to be harmless, but you never know."

Much worse, was when I approached a lovely young woman in Italy to say buongiorno--and she laughed in my face.
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Old 06-02-08, 06:22 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by Jet Travis View Post
Much worse, was when I approached a lovely young woman in Italy to say buongiorno--and she laughed in my face.
That still happens to me ...helmet or no helmet.
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Old 06-02-08, 06:29 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by Jet Travis View Post
Ah, yes, the good ol' days. I had one of those Bell Brainiac helmets that I took on a bike tour across Europe in 1984. Back then, few people here in the states wore helmets--and NOBODY in Europe did. I remember a newspaper photographer in Austria jumping out of his car to snap a picture of me. The caption probably read: "Weirdo at large. Appears to be harmless, but you never know."

Much worse, was when I approached a lovely young woman in Italy to say buongiorno--and she laughed in my face.


Maybe that's what the guy was staring at. When I was riding in Europe in 1978, a playground full of kids in the Netherlands burst out laughing as I rode by wearing my Bell helmet.
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Old 06-02-08, 06:37 PM
  #32  
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I always wear my helmet. I feel naked without it - it's like driving the van without a seatbelt.

Now that I've voted I always wear one I have to admit that I rode my bike for 3 miles Sunday without one. But I had a good reason. The helmet was locked in the van with my keys I grabbed the bike off the bike rack and rode home to retrieve the extra set of keys
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Old 06-02-08, 06:41 PM
  #33  
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Old 06-02-08, 07:11 PM
  #34  
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Regarding test riding after repairs and adjustments - IMHO that's the time when a helmet is mandatory, because God only knows what could happen if you fouled it up! I'll do a test ride in sweatpants and sneakers with no gloves, but I always wear the helmet.
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Old 06-02-08, 07:13 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by Tom Bombadil View Post
--
True.
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Old 06-02-08, 07:17 PM
  #36  
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Helmet always.
My brain has enough trouble as it is.
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Old 06-02-08, 07:23 PM
  #37  
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Old 06-02-08, 07:24 PM
  #38  
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I don't wear a helmet unless an event requires it.

Why?

Exactly.
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Old 06-02-08, 07:32 PM
  #39  
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Okay. I selected "Most of the time." The facts are that when I ride my road bike I wear the helmet, period. But if I go out for a Sunday afternoon toodle around the neighborhood (gated, nice roads, little traffic) with my wife on the Navigators I usually wear my Tilley hat as a palm frond defelctor and sun shade. We're talking ~10 MPH rides stopping to chat with people along the way regularly, and yeah, I know, I could hurt myself then too. But you asked, I gave the honest answer.
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Old 06-02-08, 07:51 PM
  #40  
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My first helmet was a hard shell Bell Tourist, circa 1985. I crushed it following a power dismount during a moonlight mountain bike ride. The impact knocked me cold. I came to my senses surrounded by concerned friends. I guess I'm proof helmets work.

Anyway, I voted "whenever", but realized I pedal "exposed" while testing adjustments.
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Old 06-02-08, 09:38 PM
  #41  
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Always follow the rules. I was the first-born.
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Old 06-02-08, 09:41 PM
  #42  
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My opinion is that bicycle helmets are too light and flimsy to provide any significant protection. It is also my opinion that bicycle helmets are so light and flimsy that they'll do no significant harm.

The fact is that they are required by law where I live.

The result is that I always wear one when riding.
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Old 06-02-08, 09:42 PM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by chipcom View Post
I don't wear a helmet unless an event requires it.

Why?

Exactly.
You aren't 50+ and shouldn't be voting.

The wisdom comes when you ACTUALLY reach 50.
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Old 06-02-08, 09:49 PM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by TruF View Post
Always follow the rules. I was the first-born.

I was the first-born and follow the rules when it suits me and make up new ones when i need to.
What kind first born are you if you aren't sure the world revolves around you?
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Old 06-02-08, 09:51 PM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by deraltekluge View Post
My opinion is that bicycle helmets are too light and flimsy to provide any significant protection. It is also my opinion that bicycle helmets are so light and flimsy that they'll do no significant harm.

The fact is that they are required by law where I live.

The result is that I always wear one when riding.
The first salvo has been fired.

Never fails.
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Old 06-02-08, 10:12 PM
  #46  
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http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content/full/321/7268/1035

Bicycle helmets: it's time to use them

The evidence that they reduce head injuries is too strong to ignore

Papers p 1055

Bicycling is a worldwide activity. In both developed and developing countries it serves as an important means of transportation as well as an enjoyable recreational activity for adults and children. Thus, injuries related to bicycling are comparatively common, and head injuries account for one third of visits to emergency departments, up to two thirds of hospitalisations, and three quarters of deaths.1 Head injuries also carry a substantial risk of long term disability. Thus, preventing head injuries associated with this common, worldwide activity is important.

Safety helmets for bicycling have been available for at least 20 years. Although randomised controlled trials have become the gold standard for providing evidence of the effectiveness of clinical interventions, these trials are not feasible for examining whether helmets prevent head injuries. Given that the rate of head injury is about 20 injuries per 100 000 people, a randomised controlled trial would need to involve tens of thousands of people.2 Evidence for the effectiveness of helmets has come from two other types of studies: case-control studies, in which the proportion of people wearing helmets among cyclists with head injuries is compared with that of cyclists without head injuries, and ecological studies examining changes in the rate of head injury over time among populations wearing helmets and those not wearing helmets.

The strongest evidence for the effectiveness of helmets comes from case-control studies; this design is one of the cornerstones of modern epidemiology. A systematic review of five case-control studies, published in the Cochrane Library, found that helmets reduced the risk by 63-88% for head, brain, and severe brain injury among cyclists of all ages.1 Four of the studies controlled for a series of important covariates.3-6 Helmets seemed equally effective in reducing injuries in crashes involving motor vehicles and in accidents associated with falls and other causes.

In this week's journal Cook and Shiekh (p 1055) describe a study that used an ecological time series analysis.7 Examining all admissions to NHS hospitals in England over a four year period, the authors found that head injuries as a proportion of monthly admissions for trauma related to bicycles fell from 40% in 1991-2 to 28% in 1994-5 while total emergency admissions for trauma related to bicycles did not change. These changes showed a consistent year to year trend in which the proportion of head injuries related to trauma from bicycles became lower in each successive year. Changes occurred in all age groups and are ascribed by the authors to an increase in the use of helmets. Similar findings from ecological studies have also been reported in the United States, New Zealand, and Australia 8 9 10 ; these findings were associated with an increased use of helmets occurring as a result of educational and legislative initiatives.

Despite this large body of evidence on the effectiveness of helmets in preventing head injuries in cyclists and their beneficial effects for populations of cyclists, critics, especially in the United Kingdom, continue to question the usefulness of helmets. Their criticisms fall into two main categories: "risk homeostasis" and lack of adjustment for other confounders. Hillman has argued that while helmets may offer some inherent protection to cyclists there is no overall benefit because cyclists who wear helmets ride in a less cautious manner so that their overall risk of injury is unchanged.11 This theory of risk homeostasis has been discussed for decades, but the evidence that it applies to helmet use and bicycling is non-existent.12 The other criticism is that case-control studies on helmets have not adequately controlled for all potential confounders, especially unmeasured factors such as differential risk taking behaviour in cases and controls. Adequate adjustment for differences between cases and controls is important for the validity of any case-control study. Four of the five studies in the Cochrane review controlled for potential differences between cases and controls, such as age and severity of the crash. 3 4 5 6 Crash severity can be used as a proxy for the hypothesised effects of risk taking behaviour. The magnitude of the protective effect of helmets found by these studies (threefold to eightfold ) makes it clear that unmeasured confounders cannot explain the differences in the risk of injury between cyclists who wear helmets and those who do not.

Healthcare providers and public policy makers have a duty to promote the health of the public and to base their recommendations on evidence of effectiveness. The evidence that bicycle helmets prevent head injuries is as strong as that for any injury prevention programme. While many programmes have their critics, the weight of the evidence for the effectiveness of helmets is strong; the evidence for a lack of protection is weak, circumstantial, and largely based on rhetoric. Further delays in promoting the use of helmets will be measured in the number of lives ruined by the devastating consequences of preventable brain injury.

Frederick P Rivara, professor of paediatrics.

(fpr@u.washington.edu)

Diane C Thompson, research scientist.

Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center, Departments of Pediatrics and Epidemiology, Box 359960, 325 Ninth Avenue, Seattle, WA 98104, USA

Robert S Thompson, director.

Department of Preventive Care, Group Health Cooperative of Puget Sound, 1730 Minor Avenue, Suite 1600, Seattle, WA 98101, USA
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Old 06-02-08, 10:39 PM
  #47  
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I've crashed countless times, on road and off. Twice, for sure, the helmet saved by life. Several other times, quite likely, but twice for sure.

I always wear my helmet when I ride. Back when I lived in St.Louis, I didn't wear one when on an indoor trainer, but that was the only exception. Since moving to CA I have no use for an indoor trainer, so I wear a helmet all the time. Well, technically, different helmets at different times, but still, . . . some helmet 100% of my riding time.

I do take the helmet off at rest stops on rides, or when stopping for coffee. I notice a lot of riders leave theirs on, even when they're off their bikes. Now that does seem odd to me.

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Old 06-02-08, 10:47 PM
  #48  
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Old 06-02-08, 10:56 PM
  #49  
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I always, always, always wear mine.
Almost learned the hard way.
Worse than me landing on my head, it could've been Mrs S. and it was my fault.
Back before she was Mrs S, we were out riding in the Park.
I was hot dogging it a bit and I clipped her front wheel with my rear.
Down she went. Hard.
The only thing that came between her head and the asphalt was her arm.
A guy came up behind us to make sure everything was OK.
"Get a helmet" he said. We did.
I'm a believer.
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Old 06-03-08, 05:30 AM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by TruF View Post
Always follow the rules. I was the first-born.
Rumor is you first-borns make the rules--and makes sure everyone else follows them. In the nicest possible way.
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