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My girlfriend won't wear a helmet and it scares the crap out of me

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My girlfriend won't wear a helmet and it scares the crap out of me

Old 08-09-06, 12:38 PM
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My girlfriend won't wear a helmet and it scares the crap out of me

I'm fortunate to have a girlfriend that will ride with me (although at a slower pace) but she hates wearing a helmet. Brings back bad childhood memories she says.

I just don't want to see her hurt and her being a novice rider doesn't help.

Has anyone been in this situation before?
Is there some helmet I could suggest to her that maybe she wouldn't turn her nose up at?
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Old 08-09-06, 01:34 PM
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How slow a pace and what kind of riding (road, trail, MUP)?
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Old 08-09-06, 01:37 PM
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bicycle_helmet

Selected quotes (obviously my bias here):

Helmet use in New Zealand, for example, rose from 43% to over 95% in under three years, with no measurable change in head injury rates (Scuffham, 1997).
In general, analyses of the relative merits of different bike safety interventions put helmets low down, because no helmet will reduce the probability of crashing (and there is some evidence that helmets may increase this likelihood). Proactive measures including bike maintenance and riding skills are far more important.
Although the link is not causal it is observed that the countries with the best cycle safety records (Denmark and the Netherlands) have among the lowest levels of helmet use.
Cycle helmet promotion or high levels of use may deter cycling by reinforcing the misconception that bicycling is more dangerous than traveling by passenger car [1]. Such a reduction in cycling might cause an increased risk for remaining cyclists due to a "safety in numbers" effect.
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Old 08-09-06, 01:59 PM
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I was out riding with my girlfriend last night and I slowed down a bit because I saw some glass in the road up ahead. My girlfriend was looking at the river to her right and not really paying close enough attention. Before she knew it she was on my back tire and didn't have a chance to slow down fast enough. She lost control and went down and skidded across the road. A lot of road rash and a crack in her helmet. We were only going about 12 mph.... Tell her to wear the helmet -- accidents happen.
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Old 08-09-06, 02:19 PM
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Helmet use in New Zealand, for example, rose from 43% to over 95% in under three years, with no measurable change in head injury rates (Scuffham, 1997).
So you had to go all the way to New Zealand to find this stat. In the US head injuries have fallen due to helmet use.

http://www.cdc.gov/ncipc/fact_book/1...d_Injuries.htm
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Old 08-09-06, 02:24 PM
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It is possible that people with helmets operate more recklessly. The half helmets usually worn to not protect the front of your face. Age may also be important. Younger riders with faster reactions might get less benefit from a helmet. The helmet makes your head heavier and less manuverable in an accident.

"It is important that a helmet should fit the cyclist properly - according to research up to 96% of helmets have been found to be incorrectly fitted, and an incorrectly fitted helmet puts you at up to three times more risk."
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Old 08-09-06, 02:51 PM
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Originally Posted by operator
Helmet use in New Zealand, for example, rose from 43% to over 95%...
27.4% of all statistics are made up. Besides, there is already a sticky on to-wear-vs-not-to-wear:

http://bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=96298

The OP asked how to get his girl friend to wear a helmet, not IF she should wear one. My advice, tell her you honestly feel it's not safe to ride naked and you refuse to ride with her until she wears a helmet. Shed a tear to show her your sincerity.

Also , you may want to find out WTF this is all about:

Originally Posted by dwoloz
Brings back bad childhood memories she says.
Maybe she was beat up by mormons as a kid.
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Old 08-09-06, 03:07 PM
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Originally Posted by dwoloz
she hates wearing a helmet. Brings back bad childhood memories she says.
B.S. she doesn't want to mess up her hair. My daughter tried to pull the same crap. Tell her she is not wearing the helmet for herself, she is wearing it for you and anyone else that cares for her.
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Old 08-09-06, 03:16 PM
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Tell her no helmet, no "raincoat".
Or get a new GF.
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Old 08-09-06, 03:17 PM
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Tell her she looks sexy with helmet hair.
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Old 08-09-06, 03:25 PM
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Look at it this way, if she crashes and goes brain dead just pretend you are dating Paris Hilton
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Old 08-09-06, 03:52 PM
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My g/f had a similar problem, but I told her that she needs to wear one or I won't ride with her....

I suppose she likes me enough that she gave in and wears the helmet every time we ride... =)

No brain, no Pain !!!
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Old 08-09-06, 04:05 PM
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Originally Posted by kerk
B.S. she doesn't want to mess up her hair.
+1

what POSSIBLE bad childhood memory could she have from wearing a helmet? oh i know! they other kids made fun of her helmet hair

don't ride with her if she won't wear one!
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Old 08-09-06, 04:08 PM
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Originally Posted by kerk
B.S. she doesn't want to mess up her hair. Tell her she is not wearing the helmet for herself, she is wearing it for you and anyone else that cares for her.
Bingo... then take her out and let her pick the helmet.
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Old 08-09-06, 04:11 PM
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Get her into a discussion on hospitals and life support - whether she is in favour of patients being able to self-euthanise. But what happens if you're not mentally capable of making choices. Do you think comatose patients should sit on life support or should the family be allowed to shut them down.

So I'm just your boyfriend - do you want me to sit around while you're on life support or can I just leave that to your family and go on with my life?

The way I see it, this is one of those beliefs that you need to talk about before your relationship continues (esp. if you are a cyclist) Your decision not to wear a helmet affects other people - what are they going to go through if you do have a head realted accident. ("You're more important to me than how your hair looks or how you think you look dorky in a helmet") Oh, and the childhood thing needs to be looked into as well - claustrophobia? Or bullying for having one? Different solutions depending on the answer.
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Old 08-09-06, 04:33 PM
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Originally Posted by operator
Cycle helmet promotion or high levels of use may deter cycling by reinforcing the misconception that bicycling is more dangerous than traveling by passenger car [1]. Such a reduction in cycling might cause an increased risk for remaining cyclists due to a "safety in numbers" effect.
Cars have airbags, seatbelts, & crumple zones. Bicycles do not.
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Old 08-09-06, 04:48 PM
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Originally Posted by dwoloz
I'm fortunate to have a girlfriend that will ride with me (although at a slower pace) but she hates wearing a helmet. Brings back bad childhood memories she says.

I just don't want to see her hurt and her being a novice rider doesn't help.

Has anyone been in this situation before?
Is there some helmet I could suggest to her that maybe she wouldn't turn her nose up at?
Ever think that the childhood memories it brings up are over protective parents? That she missed out because others were afraid that something might happen when the odds were really very very small? Or perhaps that it is just that others made decisions for her without taking her feeling into account?

These may not be the case, but then again they might.

Now take a look at what you are doing.

If any of these are the case there is a good chance that you have no way of pushing her into wearing a helmet. But you do have a good chance of pushing her away from you. Also from your standpoint you also stand a good chance of pushing her away from wearing a helmet if it is the last of the things I mentioned.

Think about it. Think about asking in a safe caring way just what it is that helmet use brings up (Think about, not do it blindly. If you have to be pushy about it, if you have to force the issue, I would say it is a very bad idea).

If helmet use is that important to you then take the effort to find the right way to approach the issue. My guess is that heavy handed safety Nazi arguments are amoung the very worst, perhaps second only to bullying her into helmet use.
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Old 08-09-06, 04:53 PM
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Originally Posted by slowandsteady
So you had to go all the way to New Zealand to find this stat. In the US head injuries have fallen due to helmet use.

http://www.cdc.gov/ncipc/fact_book/1...d_Injuries.htm
Could you point where it says so? From my understanding it just says that helmet would reduce number of injuries if used, without giving any supporting evidence.
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Old 08-09-06, 05:18 PM
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Helmets do reduce serious injury - I know from experience.

Buy your girlfriend a pretty pink helmet and a nice ballcap. Tell her she can put the ballcap on as soon as she takes her helmet off. But bottom line, I would not ride if she won't wear a helmet. Do you want to take the responsibility of her getting seriously hurt?
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Old 08-09-06, 06:06 PM
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Originally Posted by caligurl
+1

what POSSIBLE bad childhood memory could she have from wearing a helmet? oh i know! they other kids made fun of her helmet hair

don't ride with her if she won't wear one!
I think this sounds the most likely...there also comes a point in life where it really shouldn't matter what you got teased for as a kid. One's confidence as a functional human being should override that in the due course of becoming an adult.

Though I do know people whom have part of their brains still residing in high school, for whatever reason.

Explain to her how much it means to you that she wear a helmet...after all, the only reason you're pestering her to do so is because you care.
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Old 08-09-06, 06:19 PM
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Originally Posted by geo8rge
It is possible that people with helmets operate more recklessly. The half helmets usually worn to not protect the front of your face. Age may also be important. Younger riders with faster reactions might get less benefit from a helmet. The helmet makes your head heavier and less manuverable in an accident.

The first sentence makes no sense. If you go off the bike you are likely to sustain some sort of injury. If someone takes extra risks because of the helmet, frankly, they are on glue.

Second sentence, I can see where you are coming from since the only serious accident I ever had on a bike was hitting a wheel-seizing pot hole and going over the handlebars onto my face. Wasn't fun... ouch.

Third and fourth sentences make no sense. Because they MAY have faster reactions, younger people might get less benefit from the helmet? I have faster reaction times in my car than most people therefore I do not need my seat belt or air bag?

Fifth sentence is also suspect. How heavy do you think modern bike helmets are? My head moves around just as fast with the helmet than without. I do not think this claim has much validity.



"It is important that a helmet should fit the cyclist properly - according to research up to 96% of helmets have been found to be incorrectly fitted, and an incorrectly fitted helmet puts you at up to three times more risk."
Not sure about the numbers but I agree that an awful lot of people are wearing incorrectly fitted helmets. I see this especially with helmets worn right onto the back of the head, offering no front protection whatever. I also see people wearing helmets over top a baseball cap which may lead to the slipping on the helmet in the event of an accident.
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Old 08-09-06, 06:24 PM
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Originally Posted by fordfasterr
My g/f had a similar problem, but I told her that she needs to wear one or I won't ride with her....

I suppose she likes me enough that she gave in and wears the helmet every time we ride... =)

No brain, no Pain !!!
+1

I wouldn't ride with her. How would you feel if she went down and got a head injury?

Does she have a nice helmet? Could you perhaps take her to a bike shop and let her pick out a nice one?
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Old 08-09-06, 06:49 PM
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Originally Posted by dwoloz
I'm fortunate to have a girlfriend that will ride with me...but she hates wearing a helmet...
Just lead by example (and without any further nagging). Once she gets in the habit of considering it "normal" to wear a helmet (by being around you), she'll be more inclined to wear one herself, IMHO.

A gentle hint (and not in the near future) might be to give her a gift certificate from your LBS good for any helmet she wants.

Good luck & happy pedaling!
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Old 08-09-06, 07:17 PM
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Originally Posted by tbdean
27.4% of all statistics are made up. Besides, there is already a sticky on to-wear-vs-not-to-wear:

http://bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=96298

The OP asked how to get his girl friend to wear a helmet, not IF she should wear one. My advice, tell her you honestly feel it's not safe to ride naked and you refuse to ride with her until she wears a helmet. Shed a tear to show her your sincerity.

Also , you may want to find out WTF this is all about:



Maybe she was beat up by mormons as a kid.

Although 27.4% of statistics are indeed made up, the ones that are right usually have a 3.1% margin of error. Its also a worthy note to know that in a recent survey of 500 people it was found that 55% of people liked taking surveys and the other 45% said they didnt care for, nor would ever consider participating in any form of survey as they thought they were annoying and against their belifes.
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Old 08-09-06, 07:24 PM
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Find a nice soft grassy area and get her to learn how to crash instead, it would be a lot more helpful. Anytime I wreck I know its going to happen, it all happens in slow motion.

I dont have a problem with helmet fanatics or anything, but yeesh relax. They didnt need em in the old days, they shouldnt these days. Sure there are those rare accidents, but thats life, you can just as easily trip and fall while walking and rack your skull as likely you can on a bicycle, just try to pay attention more.

Like that guy said above how his girlfriend rammed right into him, she shouldnt of been starring at a lake, sure the water is pretty and everything, especially if its sunset, but dont stare at it that long!

People are just far too over protective these days.
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