Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Bicycle Helmets

11 comments:

reverend dick said...

Ok.
A) Bikes are Good.
B) Bullshit. Helmets can make a BIG difference in level of injury. They don't eliminate trauma but they definitely mitigate it. I've been participant in many wrecks in which helmets played a (helpful) starring role.
C) Yes, people are sheep- but I don't think they are afraid to ride I think they just don't want to. They are lazy, comfort loving sheep.
D) I ride without a helmet probably 30% of the time.

Gunnar Berg said...

I don't think I disagree with any of your points. I generally wear a helmet in town traffic, not always. Seldom a longer rural ride, but I'm always on a road or bike trail, usually paved. And Minnesota Nice applies to drivers here. Generally considerate.

Gunnar Berg said...

Anecdotally, our former neighbor was a surgeon. We live a small town but he said there was at least one bike injury a week. I did a little more checking. Now this may be an inflated statistic, but it doesn't exactly make me want to throw my lid away. 14X

"Riding without a bicycle helmet significantly increases the risk of sustaining a head injury in the event of a crash. Nonhelmeted riders are 14 times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash than helmeted riders."

Anonymous said...

it's a little different in Copenhagen and Amsterdam and Munich because: you're on a bike path all the time and have legal right of way all the time; and also because you're on a big town bike that only goes about 12 mph, although it can do 12 carrying a week's worth of groceries, and up and down curbs and rail crossings. anyway, it's a little different and better over there. Not wearing a helmet is ignorant. I do it about 10% of the time.

mw

Gunnar Berg said...

Wear or not wear 10% of the time? We just want to know what percentage of ignorant you are. I figure I'm about 50% stupid.

Silk Hope said...

A little different in DK, NED, and D. Sorry MW it is lightyears in difference. In So Cali we are the enemy, even in our little semi euro hamlet of Laguna Beach. The other problem is that the Geography in the Euro cities is so totally different that ours, not to mention that most of the highway/street traffic design in Europe is entirely for the bike. In So Cal you need to get to your friends house 80 mile away.. like now.

As for the Helmet deal there is no argument, at least in my household. WEAR EM! It has saved my melon (life) more than half a dozen times.

I always love it when parents go for a ride with their kids. Brain bucket on little Johnny but none on dad or mom. What is little Johnny supposed to run the house while dad or mom is a vegetable in the wheelchair?

At least Gunnar has nice drivers, something I can only dream of.

Anonymous said...

I rode about thirty miles yesterday with no helmet. I almost always wear one though. You can opt for brain damage if you think that's cool.
reverend, I know, I was being a little sarcastic with the word "little."

mw

Anonymous said...

It might be true that bicycle helmets are poorly designed but that's not a sufficient argument against them.

The only accident I've had on a bike in the last 20 years involved me, alone, in a low speed slide in gravel... I hit the side of my head on the ground, broke my helmet but not my head. Without a helmet I would have probably been cut, bruised, or worse.

The argument that not wearing a helmet is correlated with fewer accidents is spurious... it is based on cultural differences between countries. In Holland and Denmark Bicycles dominate traffic and the right of way (fewer accidents, fewer helmets). In Canada and the U.S.A, bicycles are, at best, guests on busy city streets (more accidents, more helmets). Helmets are not the cause of the higher number of accidents in north america.

He's a slick talker but he's at least partially full of crap.

Allan Pollock

Gunnar Berg said...

Speaking of slick talkers:

"The argument that not wearing a helmet is correlated with fewer accidents is spurious..." Now don't cha just love calling people 'spurious'? ;-)

God darnit, Mr. Pollock, you use your tongue prettier than a twenty dollar whore.

And besides that, I think you're right about everything you said.

Anonymous said...

This kind of argument works when the listeners don't understand that correlation does not imply causation.
Since this lack of understanding appears to include 90% of the people on this planet, it is used quite often!
-Tony

Mimbres Man said...

Here in the 3rd world where people drive fast and crazy, nobody who rides bicycles for transport wear helmets. The only helmet users are recreational cyclist, i.e., the mtn bikers.
Being a mtn biker, I wear a helmet all the time on the trail and I've crashed landing on my head more than once...once waking up in the hospital (that was a bad crash). Most crashes are high or low speed rollovers or slide-outs where my ears get full of sand, but on the bad crash I landed square on my head just above my right eye socket. My brain sloshed around good. Without the brain bucket who know what the outcome would have been. Other than a sever concussion, I just had a little minor swelling of my right cheek.
Helmets offroad...recommended.
Helmet touring...your choice.