Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Road Cycling
Reload this Page >

Anyone have a "Im not wearing a helmet story"?

Notices
Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Anyone have a "Im not wearing a helmet story"?

Old 04-21-04, 07:01 PM
  #1  
whitemax
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
whitemax's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 2,150
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 115 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
I know I must have looked like an idiot today when I went on a group ride without a helmet. The route is lightly traveled and my thoughts were that I can't hear what is going on around me as well as without one. The wind whistling around the helmet is very distracting to me. The other thing is that I shelled out a lot of money for a bike and am short on funds. Anyone here have a real life story while not wearing a helmet? I probably need to get a good dose of reality so I will wake up and get one.
whitemax is offline  
Old 04-21-04, 07:40 PM
  #2  
RobotSonic
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Guelph, Canada
Posts: 304

Bikes: Kona Kikapu & Cannondale r400

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
sure i have one... my friend and i were riding one day through the park when we were younger and she hit something going down a hill and fell...i tried to stop because there was no way to get around her and i hit her...well my head hit the ground a bunch and once everything stopped i took off my helmet and it had a whole bunch of gouges(sp?) in it which looked like they came from either my chainrings or hers. point being, if i didnt have a helmet i would have sliced my head open...if you are really that low on funds just to go wal-mart and get a really cheap one until you can afford a better one....they all work.
RobotSonic is offline  
Old 04-21-04, 08:11 PM
  #3  
Dutchy
We drive on the left.
 
Dutchy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Adelaide, South Australia
Posts: 1,096
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
A week before our wedding my wife an I were riding on some seriously steep dirt trails through an pine plantation. We came across some deep tyre tracks in dry clay that had been dug up by the bulldozers during winter. The undulating surface caused my wife to bounce around and lose clear vision of the track. I could see what was happening a shouted for her to slow down, she didn't. She hit a tree trunk laying across the track inside the ruts, and flew over the bars like Superman, landing solidly on her right shoulder, head and chest. The helmet took most of the impact but she was able to get up (stop crying) and ride back to the car. I can't imagine what would have happened without the helmet. This helmet debate is getting old. If your local laws say wear a helmet then do so. If you like the idea of eating through a straw, while someone else wipes your chin because you dribble everywhere, then don't wear one.

CHEERS.

Mark
Dutchy is offline  
Old 04-21-04, 08:28 PM
  #4  
Moomins
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Posts: 27

Bikes: Trek 830 MTB https://webuser.bus.umich.edu/tle/bike2.html

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Ok this is what I can put together from what happened to me:

It was the summer of 1994 and I had a peugeot marsailles (spelling) roadbike. I was coming home from Grand Haven, MI to Spring Lake MI, neighboring towns, connected by two bridges that met in a 'T'. I was with a friend who was going north on US 31 and I was taking the right out of the T (east) onto M-104. The 'T' is acually sideways
....^
....|
us 31 north
....|
....|---- -m104-->'
....|

I actually don't remember making the right turn off US31 northbound bridge to the M-104 eastbound bridge. I woke up in the hospital.

The M-104 bridge continues down to a bikepath. A road crossing the path didn't have an exactly smooth transition, just a minor bump where the road was laid.

What I suspect that happened is that I was hauling downhill, gleefully pedaling for all I was worth, and I hit the bump which jarred the bike enough to throw me/and or knock my front tire off.

I must have gone head first over the bar, the bike's frame was bent and the front tire dislodged. Luckily for me a registered nurse who knew me stopped since M-104 is the main street in Spring Lake. She didn't even recognize me, because lacerations on my chin had caused so much blood, when she found out who I was she though I was going to die on the spot, since she couldn't recognize me.

I suffered a major concussion and my face was messed up pretty bad from asphalt burns. I still have faint faint scars that you can see but only if I point them out. I also lost a tooth and had to get root canals in two others to keep them in.

Now I really don't know what happened to cause the accident, someone could have pulled out in front of me, though with the heavy traffic I would doubt they could have done that and left without someone reporting it, so i figure it was just a case of too much speed downhill combined with a bump near the bottom.

That is what caused me to get my current trek mountain bike, (I was already using my old huffy mbt at college in ann arbor, my peugeot was only for me to use during the summer at home since I didn't have anywhere to keep it at school besides outside).

So take it from me, I'm pretty fearless when it comes to biking and I still ,when just commuting, don't always wear a helmet, yeah it's stupid, I do trust myself to ride but of course I can't control other people. When I do get my new bike (which some of you are helping me by answering my newbie questions since it's been so long since I've gotten one), it will be faster then the one I have now and I will defintely get a helmet too.
Moomins is offline  
Old 04-21-04, 08:31 PM
  #5  
hair07
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: ann arbor, mi
Posts: 279
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
i find the "helmet dilema" to be pretty interesting. i always wear one, primarily b/c i'd feel like a complete moron if i didn't wear one and got hurt(which surely would happen) or worse. people would go: were you wearing a helmet, and i'd go: no, and they'd go: why weren't you wearing a helmet etc etc. i just think it would get boring and tedious. so to avoid all that, i wear a helmet.
that said, while talking about this once w/ someone (who doesn't wear a helmet all the time): i asked him why and he said he just doesn't like wearing it. i said, well, i don't love mine either but cmon, cost v. bennefit, right? and he made the point that the bicycle is the most common means of transportation to work throughout the world (i didn't verify this, but even if walking is more popular, i bet cycling is a close second) and it's probably very likely that the vast majority of those people don't wear helmets. but they survive. he thought that the horror stories were rare examples and the odds were with him, and for him cost of helmet outweighed bennefit of helmet so he didn't wear one. to him i say: good for you.
NOTE: i didn't used to wear a helmet all the time. i did get into a crash (i got doored by a cab passenger while doing about 20; i hit the door so hard i bent it backwards the way it's not supposed to go and broke it) and my head was fine. so i count myself lucky. you just never know.
lastly, if you want a helmet but funds don't permit, take the other poster's advice and get a cheap one at target or sportmart or whatever. just so long as it passes the minimum specifications, it'll be fine. i'm kind of a retro grouch, but i really like when i see roadies wearing old, hardly vented, all white helmets that couldn't have cost more than 3 bucks at a garage sale. it's especially effective if they're very strong riders.

dan
hair07 is offline  
Old 04-21-04, 08:33 PM
  #6  
Laggard
Lance Hater
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 4,403
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
To me, not wearing a helmet feels like not wearing a seatbelt. I can just feel my head smacking the concrete or going through the window. I feel naked without a helmet.
Laggard is offline  
Old 04-21-04, 08:36 PM
  #7  
Laggard
Lance Hater
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 4,403
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by whitemax
The other thing is that I shelled out a lot of money for a bike and am short on funds. Anyone here have a real life story while not wearing a helmet?
Maybe should have bought a slightly cheaper bike and spent the difference on a helmet?

At least your bike will look good while you're in a coma.
Laggard is offline  
Old 04-21-04, 08:39 PM
  #8  
roadfix
hello
 
roadfix's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 18,602
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 161 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 20 Times in 11 Posts
Well, I drove one Sat morning to our weekly pack ride and realized I forgot my helmet. I felt naked and insecure from just the thought of not having any head protection. I drove back home. The following Sat on the ride people were talking about a spill a week ago which brought down about a dozen or so riders.
roadfix is offline  
Old 04-21-04, 08:43 PM
  #9  
gonesh9
wonderer, wanderer
 
gonesh9's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: portland, or
Posts: 1,712

Bikes: surly crosscheck, yeti 575, salsa moto rapido, kona ute

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
I always wear a helmet, but just last weekend I had ridden to the bar to meet up with a friend. We decided to head over to another bar, and since he was driving (not drinking) I just chucked my panniers and helmet in his truck and left my bike locked up at the first one. Well, at the end of the night he dropped me back off at my bike, and I was a mile or so down the road when I realized I didn't have my helmet on. I'd left it in his car. It was also about this time that I realized I wasn't riding very straight, and was a little more tipsy than I thought. Even with being as dumb as I had been, I had enough sense to get off my bike and walk it the rest of the way home. I am really glad I did, too.
__________________
Bicycle-eye
gonesh9 is offline  
Old 04-21-04, 08:44 PM
  #10  
ClevelandGuy
Senior Member
 
ClevelandGuy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 182
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Just look at it this way. If there is anything in your head worth protecting, then wear a helmet and protect it! If not, well, no big loss I guess.........
ClevelandGuy is offline  
Old 04-21-04, 08:46 PM
  #11  
cyclist2
ride'n on
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Perth {western Australia}
Posts: 37

Bikes: Zeus RD 1100 road bike/Kuaharra mtb

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by whitemax
I know I must have looked like an idiot today when I went on a group ride without a helmet. The route is lightly traveled and my thoughts were that I can't hear what is going on around me as well as without one. The wind whistling around the helmet is very distracting to me. The other thing is that I shelled out a lot of money for a bike and am short on funds. Anyone here have a real life story while not wearing a helmet? I probably need to get a good dose of reality so I will wake up and get one.
The one time I wasnt wearing my helmet the cops busted me $50 .$50 wasted!!!!
cyclist2 is offline  
Old 04-21-04, 09:51 PM
  #12  
pinky
Ink-Stained Wretch
 
pinky's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Holyoke, MA
Posts: 1,731
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I would've put my head through the side window of a Lexus...instead my helmet spidered the window and bounced off...letting my arm and shoulder go through.
pinky is offline  
Old 04-21-04, 10:19 PM
  #13  
slvoid
2-Cyl, 1/2 HP @ 90 RPM
 
slvoid's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: NYC
Posts: 15,762

Bikes: 04' Specialized Hardrock Sport, 03' Giant OCR2 (SOLD!), 04' Litespeed Firenze, 04' Giant OCR Touring, 07' Specialized Langster Comp

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
I endo'd once and my head went sliding before my body pitched over.
Try taking your barehead, run as fast as you can, now dive head first into pavement and slide. Then compare medical costs and pain and suffering vs. cost of helmet.

You notice a lot of stories here are from people getting into accidents WITH a helmet and are alive today to tell their tale. You wonder how many people right now are dead/in a coma because they didn't have a helmet and aren't here to tell their story.

Moral of the story? Protect your noggin.
slvoid is offline  
Old 04-21-04, 11:08 PM
  #14  
SchreiberBike
One knee is enough
 
SchreiberBike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: East Central Illinois
Posts: 281

Bikes: 1978 Fuji - now fixed and pegged. 1980s Cannondale Touring - pegged with 18 speeds. 2001 Cannondale CADD 3 - not being ridden

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
If it's a choice between riding and not riding, ride.

If it's a choice between spending a pittance on a helmet, Walmart.com $17.42, and buying medicine for your child, buy the medicine for your child.

Otherwise, go to a store and buy a perfectly good, certified, cheap helmet and then ride.
SchreiberBike is offline  
Old 04-22-04, 05:13 AM
  #15  
TrekRider
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Gambrills, Maryland
Posts: 2,717
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
When I begin riding again about two years ago, I didn't wear a helmet. I figured since I wasn't racing or riding traffic, I didn't need one.

After about two weeks, I was negotiating an tricky, descending trail, with multiple switchbacks. I was going too fast for a curve, went off the trail, did an over-ender, and flew through the air, barely missing at least two trees with my unprotected noggin.

As soon as I was able to gather my wits, check my bike, and re-mount, I rode directly to the LBS and purchased a good, but inexpensive helmet. The Trek Vapor is highly recommended by both Bicycling and Consumer's Report and is only about $50. The Giro Gila was also highly recommended by Consumer's Reports and is about $75.

Which is cheaper, $50 now or catastrophic, perhaps fatal injuries later?
TrekRider is offline  
Old 04-22-04, 07:37 AM
  #16  
billwatson58
Planet Saver
 
billwatson58's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Near western burb of Chicago
Posts: 289

Bikes: Cannondale CAAD-10, Novara Randonee, Raleigh Super Grand Prix, Schwinn Mirada Sport winter beater

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Another topic really, but don't shop at Walmart. They are evil. www.walmartsucks.com It may be a good price for a helmet, but there a lot of other "costs" to society caused by Walmart that need to be factored in.

Back on topic - I was commuting through the west side of Chicago last fall and a block ahead of me I see a helmetless guy riding toward me cross the street, tries to hop the curb, falls, and I see his head bounce off the sidewalk. I stop to check on him and he says he's fine. He sees that I'm wearing a helmet and says "I sure could have used one of those things you got on your head". I ask him a couple more times if he's ok and then continue on. A guess of the percentage of people riding on the west side of Chicago without helmets: 90%+.

Originally Posted by SchreiberBike
If it's a choice between riding and not riding, ride.

If it's a choice between spending a pittance on a helmet, Walmart.com $17.42, and buying medicine for your child, buy the medicine for your child.

Otherwise, go to a store and buy a perfectly good, certified, cheap helmet and then ride.
billwatson58 is offline  
Old 04-22-04, 10:43 AM
  #17  
DEKKERFAN
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 78
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by whitemax
I know I must have looked like an idiot today when I went on a group ride without a helmet. The route is lightly traveled and my thoughts were that I can't hear what is going on around me as well as without one. The wind whistling around the helmet is very distracting to me. The other thing is that I shelled out a lot of money for a bike and am short on funds. Anyone here have a real life story while not wearing a helmet? I probably need to get a good dose of reality so I will wake up and get one.
True Story. I always wear my helmet, but on this one day, really, only this one time, I decided to not where one and... you guessed it... I end up crashing. Across the road at the bottom of a hill was a downed wire that was about 3 to 4 feet high in the middle of the road. Wham... what the? ... caught like a fish in a net. Luckily for me it broke from the house and I didn't get the full force that I could have. As I lay there on the boiling hot blacktop alls I could think was; "no helmet, I'm such an idiot".
Don't make the same mistake... protect that brainbox.
DEKKERFAN is offline  
Old 04-22-04, 11:26 AM
  #18  
khuon
DEADBEEF
 
khuon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Catching his breath alongside a road near Seattle, WA USA
Posts: 12,234

Bikes: 1999 K2 OzM, 2001 Aegis Aro Svelte

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 1 Post
Originally Posted by DEKKERFAN
True Story. I always wear my helmet, but on this one day, really, only this one time, I decided to not where one and... you guessed it... I end up crashing.
For me, statistically speaking, I am less likely to crash while wearing a helmet than I am if I wasn't. I will have to say that 95% of the time that I decide to take a quick spin to see if some adjustment I've done works out or just to try something while leaving my helmet behind, I've crashed. This is not to say that I don't crash while wearing a helmet but it seems like the certainty of crashing while not wearing one is much higher for me than if I were wearing one. This is also a reason why I carry a mobile phone with me on rides. Having one with me almost gurantees that someone will never want to call me while leaving it at home often results in the opposite happening.
__________________
1999 K2 OzM 2001 Aegis Aro Svelte
"Be liberal in what you accept, and conservative in what you send." -- Jon Postel, RFC1122
khuon is offline  
Old 04-22-04, 02:30 PM
  #19  
Jonny B
Not-so-Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Norfolk, England
Posts: 805

Bikes: Orbea Enol roadie, Fly Micromachine BMX, Fort Track fixed

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
About three weeks after I got my road bike, I rode into town to get a train up to the big city. Going down the main street towards the train station, there's a bike path on the sidewalk (up a curb of course). I saw a side road, and decided to hop up onto the path. Big mistake: there was a tiny 1 inch curb across the side road, my 23mm tyres were no match for it. Scraped up my hands and leg, but managed to keep my head clear of the asphalt. Then I bought a helmet.
Jonny B is offline  
Old 04-22-04, 03:33 PM
  #20  
Avalanche325
Senior Member
 
Avalanche325's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Pasadena, CA
Posts: 3,162

Bikes: Litespeed Firenze / GT Avalanche

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I had a friend that died on a motorcycle. He was doing about 10MPH. He hit some sand, the bike shot out and he hit his head on the curb. His girlfriend, wearing a helmet, was unhurt.
Avalanche325 is offline  
Old 04-22-04, 04:45 PM
  #21  
bitemail
Senior Member
 
bitemail's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 68
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
My brother died on his motorbike and he WAS wearing his helmet. When your time is up its up...A helmet will help you in a crash but dont expect it to be a life saver all the time.
bitemail is offline  
Old 04-22-04, 05:56 PM
  #22  
dobber
Perineal Pressurized
 
dobber's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: In Ebritated
Posts: 6,555
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
The incident that convinced me the value of wearing a helmet and eyewear was the gravel truck.

Tooling along one of our lovely secondary road. For some bizarre reason, one side has a nice wide 12' shoulder, the other nada. So I'm riding the shoulder against traffic (a no-no but better than being in the lane with the speed limit at 65).

Big old dump truck come rumbling along, hits a bump at a pretty good clip. Now these guys are suppose to tarp thier loads. Yeah, right.....

Out the top of the truck comes a shower of gravel, 1"-2" size. Took a couple of hits, left some good size welts and a nice cut in my chin.

But I stayed upright and maintained control.
dobber is offline  
Old 04-22-04, 07:52 PM
  #23  
nick481
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: massachussetts
Posts: 13

Bikes: p.o.s. but im about 2 buy a nice one

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
if im just riding to the store or something i dont usually wear a helmet but if im goin for a ride like 10 miles or more i deffinately wear one, ive had a couple of run ins where ive almost gotten hit, thank god i havn't
nick481 is offline  
Old 04-22-04, 08:00 PM
  #24  
gattm99
Rouleur
 
gattm99's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: HARRISBURG IL
Posts: 720

Bikes: ROAD MOUNTAIN

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 38 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 3 Posts
I hate to be a poop stirer, well not really, but I don't wear a helmet, never have, I got one at a second hand store this winter which I intend to wear on pay rides so that I don't get so many mean looks and lectures. To me it is a matter of personal choice I will respect anyone who wears a helmet, and I would like to be respected as well, if I wanted to be preached at I would go to church. I don't beleive that bicycling is an inherently dangerous activity and I've had more accedents in cars, some serious, then I have had on a bike. and blah blah blah, now let the flames begin
gattm99 is offline  
Old 04-22-04, 08:04 PM
  #25  
khuon
DEADBEEF
 
khuon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Catching his breath alongside a road near Seattle, WA USA
Posts: 12,234

Bikes: 1999 K2 OzM, 2001 Aegis Aro Svelte

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 1 Post
Originally Posted by nick481
if im just riding to the store or something i dont usually wear a helmet but if im goin for a ride like 10 miles or more i deffinately wear one, ive had a couple of run ins where ive almost gotten hit, thank god i havn't
Whether you choose to wear a helmet or not is... well... your choice. However, you might want to be consistant about it. Distance is not a factour when determining the chance of an accident.
__________________
1999 K2 OzM 2001 Aegis Aro Svelte
"Be liberal in what you accept, and conservative in what you send." -- Jon Postel, RFC1122
khuon is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.