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A cyclist died in NY without helmet

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A cyclist died in NY without helmet

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Old 07-13-05, 10:12 AM
  #51  
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Originally Posted by phinney
I really wish the people that think it's stupid to ride without a bicycle helmet would either stop riding or get real helmets. Bicycle helmets offer only a very limited amount of protection. Cyclists that actually expect to crash, like BMX stunt riders, don't wear bicycle helmets because bicycle helmets are inadequate even in the low speed crashes they experience.

Please stop kidding yourselves about the safety provided by a typical cycling helmet. And especially stop preaching about how safe you are and how stupid everyone else is.

I fully support anyone that wears a bike helmet. It's a great idea. There is probably an impact level were even a bicycle helmet will do some good. However, there are much safer helmets available. You've picked your level of protection and have to deal with the consequences. Please let the rest of us do the same.
some excellent points. but if it were my wife/son/daughter/girlfriend riding?

I'd want them to always wear SOME sort of protection.

I guess some people preach - I think most, like me, are simply putting it out there for consideration. There is a level of risk involved with riding, and if there is a level of safety precaution one can take to counterbalance that, it seems sad to let habit, peer pressure or a little discomfort suprecede that.

Since your brain is uber important and a lightweight helmet will save it in most minor accidents, and today's helmets are way more comfy and light and cool and are improving all the time (each of my three lids has been better - and cheaper! - over the past 13 years or so), I'd urge new and younger riders to start off with the habit. Us old coots could do to adopt new ones too.

If not, no preaching from me. It's your noggin and I know well the joy of the wind in your hair (Least i did when I had hair!! )
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Old 07-13-05, 10:18 AM
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imho, there is preaching, there is vehemance and there is stupidity.
Preaching is where everybody tells people to wear helmets.
Vehements is the people who have hateful comments towards people who do not wear helmets whether it is all the time or not.
Stupidity is abound regardless of whether the cyclist wears a helmet or not. Its found in the person who crashes into a kid because he wasn't smart enough to slow down and make the kids aware of his prescence to the person who absent mindldly runs into a parked trailer going uphill to the person who takes off at an intersection without realizing that a driver may cut in front of them.
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Old 07-13-05, 02:54 PM
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Originally Posted by dahvaio
It sucks he died but it is his own freakin fault.
He was actually one of my dearest friends. I was working on getting my bike down from Connecticut so that we could ride together, which he asked me to do often.

He was like a little boy with his bike, having picked up cycling recently and fallen completely in love with it. It was the grand majority of what he talked about, and he was following the Tour religiously. He loved Cycling.

When something like this happens, people close to the person who died often scour the web for everything they can find about what happened so they can have some closure. Maybe it's a good idea to keep in mind that they could be reading what you're saying, and maybe you could say it with just a little more sensitivity.

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Old 07-13-05, 06:19 PM
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Originally Posted by yttrx
He was actually one of my dearest friends. I was working on getting my bike down from Connecticut so that we could ride together, which he asked me to do often.

He was like a little boy with his bike, having picked up cycling recently and fallen completely in love with it. It was the grand majority of what he talked about, and he was following the Tour religiously. He loved Cycling.

When something like this happens, people close to the person who died often scour the web for everything they can find about what happened so they can have some closure. Maybe it's a good idea to keep in mind that they could be reading what you're saying, and maybe you could say it with just a little more sensitivity.
Agreed.
From the way KA spoke about cycling, I was expecting to see more respect from this community, Not such a callous post from a jerk trying to make a point.

I can only grin when I wonder how he would have responded after reading this thread....
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Old 07-13-05, 06:33 PM
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Originally Posted by phinney
...
Please stop kidding yourselves about the safety provided by a typical cycling helmet. And especially stop preaching about how safe you are and how stupid everyone else is....
Both Lance Armstrong and Jan Ullrich have had crashes in the past two weeks where their helmets got smashed. Both were riding the next day. Both said that their helmet was THE reason they were able to ride the next day. THEY would not respond to the death of a fellow cyclist by urging other cyclists to ride without a helmet.

In my neighborhood, NOT wearing a helmet is a "macho" thing. Popular with guys aged sixteen to thirty. The same guys who pull out of driveways into traffic at full speed. The same guys who run red lights at full speed. And cut in and out of traffic. Cut off other bikes. Pass other cyclists on the left while that cylist is making a left turn. Come around corners at midnight at full speed on the wrong side of the street with NO lights. If you say anything to "Mr. Macho" about his riding "style", you get a lecture on how it is "a free freakin' country". It seems no one ever explained to these guys that freedom comes with responsibility, especially to the people our behavior impacts. AND, we are never free to take needless risks with the health and lives of OTHER people.

Every close call I've had in the past three months on the road has been with a "macho" cyclists. I KNOW they will do something stupid, so I get out of their way. And, their lack of a helmet is like a bumper sticker on their forehead that says "Get out of my way...I'm a freaking moron".

My nine year old nephew is not allowed on his bike without a helmet. When he sees "Mr. Macho" riding without a helmet, he says "How come HE doesn't have to wear a helmet". It is hard to explain to a nine year old the amount of brain damage caused by excessive levels of "macho".

The tragic results of THIS accident might have been avoided if the cyclist had been better educated on his responsiblities, and LESS educated on freedom. Every responsible cyclist has a duty to help educate new cyclists and poorly trained cyclists on how to share roads and trails safely. When a cyclist dies because he doesn't know how to ride safely, the fault belongs to ALL of us.

I assume that the folks who have been bragging about their "freedom" to ride without a helmet carry a million dollars in health insurance and a couple of million dollars in disability insurance. Certainly, no "freedom lover" wants his friends and neighbors to be stuck with millions of dollars in medical bills while "Mr. Freedom" lays in bed for years in a coma, or spends decades in a wheelchair.

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Old 07-13-05, 06:55 PM
  #56  
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Originally Posted by yttrx
He was actually one of my dearest friends. I was working on getting my bike down from Connecticut so that we could ride together, which he asked me to do often.

He was like a little boy with his bike, having picked up cycling recently and fallen completely in love with it. It was the grand majority of what he talked about, and he was following the Tour religiously. He loved Cycling.

When something like this happens, people close to the person who died often scour the web for everything they can find about what happened so they can have some closure. Maybe it's a good idea to keep in mind that they could be reading what you're saying, and maybe you could say it with just a little more sensitivity.

I have been riding the same path for the past year and one half and I have walked it for the past 20. Damn, it's a 5 minute ride from my house. Yet, recently, I decided the 9 mile round trip to Prospect Park was a wiser choice. This trip takes me through sections of Brooklyn I'd rather not navigate on a bike--yeah the drivers' skills leave that much to be desired, YET it's alot safer than riding the Verrazano Path --either by the water or on Shore Road north of the bridge. Another option if riding to Coney Island through Cropsey and then on to the path by the Belt Parkway.

The pedestrians on the Verrazano path have no regard for the cyclists. 8, 10 years ago, there was a clear demarcation (both in terms of lines/signs and in the minds of the participants) between PEDESTRAIN ---nearest the water--- and BICYCLE ---nearest the highway-----paths.

Not any longer: the pedestrians, almost to the last one, insist on walking (or running) on the bike path.
It gets worse: people don't look after their kids----they expect me, on a bike, going upwards of 20mph, to mind their kids. There are just so many times one can comment about it to them ---they DON'T GIVE A ****!!!! They let their 2 year olds run around unattended. They let their 4 and 5 year olds ride around on bikes unsupervised (they're hanging out doing something else). They let their dogs run around.

Riding on this path has become anything but pleasant. The pressure is all on the cyclist. We either stop or run into them.

Not to mention that the path is quite worn with bumps and cracks. They have enough money to cut the grass every week but not to repave the path.

Then we have the fishermen: casting away with no regard to what they might hook.

It's really a shame. The cops could care less about who's walking where or doing what.

Needless to say, thought I didn't know him, this tragedy has affected me in a personal way.

I walked half the path this morning (bay 8th to the bridge) and rode it in its entirety this afternoon,
trying to find a sign as to where he had crashed. I found nothing. There are more and less dangerous parts of the path. If I knew where, would it make any more or less sense to me?

North of the bridge, the path directly by the water is 'sinking' and they're put up a dividing fence---a clear sign of impending renovation. A few weeks ago, on a day I'd missed my morning ride in Prospect Park, I was out riding north in this area on a late afternoon. I passed a woman on a bike. I was riding in the rightmost part of the lane. Suddenly, a child, maybe 12 or so, probably her son, is bearing down on me spinning like crazy; he must've been pushing close to 20. I was easily doing 20. Of course, I assumed he'd keep a straight course and pass to my left. But he didn't.The ****er almost crashed right into me. He continued on as if nothing had happened, while I cursed him. Who makes sense of that ****? Where the **** was his mother?

I think the people responsible for the path need to rethink a few things. And perhaps the cyclist perspective should be heard.

**They must find a way to enforce the demarcation of the path. If they decide that there's not enough room for safe cycling, then so be it--- parts of the path are very, very narrow.

**They must take down all the poles/posts holding the signs that basically tell us nothing. It's too easy for a cyclist to hit one of them (given their positioning). I wonder if he hit one of these posts.
They need to pad the low, metal highway fences. I wonder if he went headfirst into one of them.


P.S. I recently was hit by a car driving through Borough Park (on my way to Prospect Park).
Separated my shoulder and smacked my head quite hard on the pavement. I was wearing a helmet.
No doubt it prevented a concussion (at least).

Anyone who makes an argument for not wearing a helmet is an idiot.

Last edited by eat_raw; 07-13-05 at 07:00 PM.
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Old 07-13-05, 07:13 PM
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Damn, sad story. As a matter of fact, I was riding there yesterday. Nice 15mph wind from the east.

Anyway, it's so freaking dangerous on that path now! They put up that fence from the pier all the way to the VZ Bridge area it's almost impossible to pass someone safely.

It's just an accident waiting to happen.
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Old 07-13-05, 08:35 PM
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Both Lance and Jan have helmet sponsors. When they mention the helmet the sponsor smiles. I saw Jan go head first over the bars down the side of a mountain a couple of years ago with no helmet, climb back up, and finish the stage. It must have been a miracle.

A "smashed" helmet or rather a cracked helmet doesn't prove anything to me. The way a helmet should work is to compress to dissipate impact energy. If the helmet fails structurally by cracking it probably didn't compress and therefore didn't even provide the designed for level of protection. If you bump your head and the helmet cracks but doesn't have a significant amount of compressed foam (the foam doesn't spring back) then get a different brand of helmet. Fewer and smaller vents with a harder shell is better.

I went mountain bike riding once with a group of friends from work. One of them was wearing a bmx helmet and everyone else had bike helmets. The guys with the bike helmets were making fun of his bmx helmet and convinced him that if he had to get a "real" helmet.
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Old 07-13-05, 08:48 PM
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Originally Posted by phinney
Both Lance and Jan have helmet sponsors. When they mention the helmet the sponsor smiles. I saw Jan go head first over the bars down the side of a mountain a couple of years ago with no helmet, climb back up, and finish the stage. It must have been a miracle.

A "smashed" helmet or rather a cracked helmet doesn't prove anything to me. The way a helmet should work is to compress to dissipate impact energy. If the helmet fails structurally by cracking it probably didn't compress and therefore didn't even provide the designed for level of protection. If you bump your head and the helmet cracks but doesn't have a significant amount of compressed foam (the foam doesn't spring back) then get a different brand of helmet. Fewer and smaller vents with a harder shell is better.

I went mountain bike riding once with a group of friends from work. One of them was wearing a bmx helmet and everyone else had bike helmets. The guys with the bike helmets were making fun of his bmx helmet and convinced him that if he had to get a "real" helmet.
Watch the first stage of last year's TDF. A bunch of riders went down at high speed on the last corner, one of them went down on the side of his head coming around a corner at around 30mph. I viewed it in slow motion and his head made 2-3 bounces on the pavement before his body finally settled. You're telling me he'd still be able to open bottles of ketchup by himself if he weren't wearing a helmet and his skull hit the pavement first and bounced along at 30mph?
Have you ever crashed a helmet before with a large impact? I have, the front is clearly DENTED first, then a crack radiated away from the DENT. Isn't a dent in the material another word for compression?

Ideally, the best helmet would be one with a hard outer layer, a hard foam inner layer, and a softer layer in between to dissipate energy. But I'm pretty sure that'll cut into the profit margins of the helmet manufacturers, so we'll have to deal with forking over $180 for a piece of hard foam with a few carbon fiber bits in it.
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Old 07-13-05, 08:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Cadd
Damn, sad story. As a matter of fact, I was riding there yesterday. Nice 15mph wind from the east.

Anyway, it's so freaking dangerous on that path now! They put up that fence from the pier all the way to the VZ Bridge area it's almost impossible to pass someone safely.

It's just an accident waiting to happen.
That place is a death trap. After every winter, at the beginning of the path, there are literally TONS of potholes, some of them large enough to fit a sink into. And then there's the section right after the VNB with about 1000ft of bird crap, then there's the section after that with all the damn kids...
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Old 07-16-05, 03:02 PM
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=v= Lousy title on this thread. You know, recently a cyclist died in Portland with helmet, under rather similar conditions. Is there a thread on here somewhere with that title? If not, ask yourself why not.

I guess I'm finding it tedious, and more than a little bit crass, that every cyclist death gets comandeered into a discussion about What The Cyclist Did Wrong -- a topic picked to death by dozens of people who weren't at the scene and don't really know what took place. This guy is the fourth Brooklyn biker to be killed recently, and this is the fourth blame-the-cyclist discussion I've had to endure afterwards.

Let's see, one had her head run over by a truck after almost being doored, so not only did we get the utterly vapid helmet question but lectures about taking the lane. Well, not long after that someone was killed while taking the lane, so immediately it was about how maybe perhaps he didn't take the lane enough. Yeesh, people.

I can understand wanting to focus on safety, but pointing fingers at the dead, no matter how convoluted the argument needs to be, isn't really going to convince anyone. Reexamine your tactics. Less crassness, more compassion. Please.
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Old 07-16-05, 07:35 PM
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Originally Posted by slvoid
Watch the first stage of last year's TDF. A bunch of riders went down at high speed on the last corner, one of them went down on the side of his head coming around a corner at around 30mph. I viewed it in slow motion and his head made 2-3 bounces on the pavement before his body finally settled. You're telling me he'd still be able to open bottles of ketchup by himself if he weren't wearing a helmet and his skull hit the pavement first and bounced along at 30mph?
Have you ever crashed a helmet before with a large impact? I have, the front is clearly DENTED first, then a crack radiated away from the DENT. Isn't a dent in the material another word for compression?

Ideally, the best helmet would be one with a hard outer layer, a hard foam inner layer, and a softer layer in between to dissipate energy. But I'm pretty sure that'll cut into the profit margins of the helmet manufacturers, so we'll have to deal with forking over $180 for a piece of hard foam with a few carbon fiber bits in it.
The dent indicates the helmet did something. By the volume of material compressed it would be possible to calculate how much energy was dissipated. It's the "hard foam" that dissipates the energy which is the strategy the helmets are supposed to work under. A hard shell would force more material to be available for compression as well as help to maintain the helmet integrity. When Bell (a leader in helmet technology at the time) first developed a bicycle helmet it had a hard shell and lacked the extreme voids of today's helmets and used NACA ducts instead. Of course they didn't sell very well probably because they were perceived as too hot and heavy and not really necessary. I wore one for years mountain biking.

I've been motorcycling for 40 years and have had crashes at supra-legal speeds on public roads, in the woods, on MX tracks, etc. I once caught a kicker that tossed me off the bike a little before the top of a 40ft fall-away at maybe 50mph. I didn't touch earth until the bottom of the fall-away at a trajectory pretty much normal to the ground - now that was an impact. Pedal bike crashes are seldom a significant event unless a car is involved.

If the TdF crashers head was bouncing it was an elastic impact which indicates the helmet wasn't doing anything. The impact velocity was probably too low to initiate helmet compression, so, other than maybe save some scalp abrasion and superficial bruising the helmet probably didn't do much for him. This is likely as with the 100's of sprint crashes in cycling before mandatory helmet use there certainly weren't a plethora of vegetables being generated. When Davis went through the back of the car if he had been wearing a helmet the general consensus would be that it saved his life - but he wasn't wearing one.
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Old 07-16-05, 07:45 PM
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The thread was never about to blame the death cyclist, if you think it is then you have "reading comprehension" problem. If the title reads "A cyclist died in NY" it wouldn't make any difference.

Nobody was there when it happened, including me, the OP. If you read the first post again, the only reason I posted was because I felt sorry for the guy who probably has a beautiful life and it's taken away by... exercising. I also pointed out the fact that the medical guy believed he could have alived by wearing helmet, and I hope everyone, including me, who reading the thread to sympathize with the guy and be more extra careful. There are some posters who blame the victim, but only a few, so read first before giving your thoughts.


Btw, eat_raw gave a perfect example of what's going in Shore road right now, with all the fences that have been put up since July 4th, the bike lance is much more narrow, and I guess they're partly responsible for the accident, since you can't jump on the right lance to avoid people anymore.

Peace,
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Old 07-16-05, 08:11 PM
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Originally Posted by phinney
If the TdF crashers head was bouncing it was an elastic impact which indicates the helmet wasn't doing anything. The impact velocity was probably too low to initiate helmet compression, so, other than maybe save some scalp abrasion and superficial bruising the helmet probably didn't do much for him. This is likely as with the 100's of sprint crashes in cycling before mandatory helmet use there certainly weren't a plethora of vegetables being generated. When Davis went through the back of the car if he had been wearing a helmet the general consensus would be that it saved his life - but he wasn't wearing one.
I think you need to go back to your high school physics book. If his head bounced back 5 ft up, yeah, the helmet didn't do anything, if it skipped twice 1-2" off the ground, then yeah, I'd say it did something. Like I said, go back and watch it before making a judgement. As always, when you break it down to horizontal and vertical forces, that's just pure theory, in real life, it's a combination of both. But even in theory, anyone ever tried jumping up and landing head first on their skulls on concrete? Ever wonder why no one in nascar even thought about HANS devices till earnhardt's head popped off?
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Old 07-16-05, 08:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Nam
Btw, eat_raw gave a perfect example of what's going in Shore road right now, with all the fences that have been put up since July 4th, the bike lance is much more narrow, and I guess they're partly responsible for the accident, since you can't jump on the right lance to avoid people anymore.

Peace,
You've been watching too much TDF, it's lane, not lance.
Hehe.. I haven't been by the shore in a while, do they still have fridge sized potholes near the pier?
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Old 07-16-05, 11:38 PM
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Originally Posted by yttrx
SNIP When something like this happens, people close to the person who died often scour the web for everything they can find about what happened so they can have some closure. Maybe it's a good idea to keep in mind that they could be reading what you're saying, and maybe you could say it with just a little more sensitivity.
I was not pointing fingers at the dead nor blaming the victim/deceased. I stated that the accident made me reconsider my own helmetless riding. If anyone close to the person who died read my statement and was upset by it then I do apologize, however his unfortunate demise may have saved at least one life, perhaps more. yttrx, he was your friend. He was my - there's no way I can think of to properly characterize our relationship other than two guys who ragged on each other in an Internet newsgroup - but certainly I've learned things from him over the years including this ultimate lesson on the fragility of a human's life. God bless the deceased. R.I.P.
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Old 05-10-06, 07:25 PM
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I've read several posts where individuals are concerned that wearing a helmet somehow makes them look like a 'dork'. I live in central North Carolina, near the Raleigh area. Cycling is VERY popular here. In this area the only cyclists that are considered out of place are those who do not wear helmets. Typically, the only adult cyclists who don't wear helmets around here are newbies or someone who rides their X-mart bike down the block, once a month for 'exercise'. Yes I've seen a few serious cyclists here without helmets, and they are definetly not seen as 'cool'. I don't know why attitudes are different here, but the helmet situation here is, almost everyone wears one.
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Old 05-10-06, 08:09 PM
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Originally Posted by gcasillo
I used to be sheepish about calling out "On your left!" to other cyclists, but I've recently gotten into the habit of it. Mainly because I've had other cyclists give me the same curteousy, and I grew to appreciate it. No malice in letting other people know where you are in space. With a youngin', you gotta prepare for the worst. No telling what he might do even if you call out your presence.
I never say "on your left" when a child is in front, almost everytime the child will look over left shoulder because that is where my voice is coming from. Next thing you know as he looks his bike drifts in front of me. Slow down and stay as far right as possible.
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Old 05-10-06, 08:22 PM
  #69  
Cadd
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FYI - The Belt Pkwy MUP is still horrible. Actually, I think it's much worse than it was back in mid 2005! Hopefully, it'll be ready this time next year.
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Old 05-10-06, 08:37 PM
  #70  
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Originally Posted by Nam
I was in Shore road, Bay Ridge in Brooklyn, NY about an hour ago and saw a dead cyclist on the road. I wasn't there when it happened but I overheard the eyewitness told the police that he was trying to pass a little kid who was going left and right, he confused and hit the fence that seperate the highway and the Shore road, his head smashed right into the fence, blood was coming out the whole lane. The ambulance guy said that if he had had the helmet, he'd probably still alive.
A friend of mine, with whom I'll be touring Ireland soon, was riding with a friend who turned unexpectedly up a bike trail. My friend tried to follow him and crashed into a chain link fence.

His helmet straps caught in the fence and it snapped his neck. Luckily he suspect it from the sound and didn't try to move and told the ambulance guys. They put pins in his skull and had him in a halo for 6 weeks at least. He survived without injury but 9 out of 10 people to whom that happened wouldn't have.

It was the HELMET that almost killed him.

But actually in both cases it had nothing to do with the helmet but had everything to do with careless riding. Let's try to put the blame where it belongs?
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Old 05-10-06, 08:46 PM
  #71  
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Originally Posted by phinney
Nothing gets my attention faster than kids in the road on bikes. We were out on the tandem just the other day enjoying a nice downhill when we came up on a couple of kids (maybe I should mention we were on a, lets say, 6 hour training ride - our second that day ). I cut the speed back and told my wife "nothing is more unpredictable than kids on bikes". Sure enough, even though they were coming our way on the opposite side of the road and knew we were there, at the last second one of them cut across in front of us and into a driveway and I could tell the second one was considering doing the same. My wife was surprised at my correct appraisal of the situation. Not sure why she was surprised.
On Tueday I was home trying to get over this )(U_(* cold and I was feeling OK (Dayquil can fool you) so I decided to take a ride. While returning I was taking a pedestrian overcrossing and there was a younger MAN on a bicycle ahead of me. I took it easy because I don't like blasting by people as if I'm trying to make them look silly or something.

But apparently he felt that he had to hurry and although I couldn't tell it he was giving it everything he had without showing the strain. We were riding up the overcrossing which is something like 50 feet above the top of road and near the top he almost rammed the fence and almost fell over onto the pathway.

I felt a little bad that he was actually racing with me and I didn't even notice it since I was going almost as slow as I could go. I tried to say something kind to him as I passed as if he had just stopped to look around but I had gone almost a block before he came down off of the overpass.

The moral is that you can't tell what any other rider OR driver is thinking so you have to remain vigilant whenever you're around someone else and not just kids.
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Old 05-10-06, 08:49 PM
  #72  
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Originally Posted by alanbikehouston
Both Lance Armstrong and Jan Ullrich have had crashes in the past two weeks where their helmets got smashed.
You'd think that as closely as I follow both of those guys I'd have seen headlines about their crashes but it seems to have slipped my attention.

Could you post a citation to these accidents?
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Old 05-10-06, 08:55 PM
  #73  
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Originally Posted by linus
Here we go again. I'm sick of this crap.
Too cheap to pay for a membership but you want people to respect you?
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Old 05-11-06, 12:59 PM
  #74  
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Originally Posted by phinney
If the TdF crashers head was bouncing it was an elastic impact which indicates the helmet wasn't doing anything.
Elastic impact...to the skull? Now that's funny
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Old 05-11-06, 01:24 PM
  #75  
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attacking a person's membership status does not prove your point
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