"Don't forget to wear a helmet"

This sub-forum all discussions about this "lively" subject. All topics that are substantially about helmets will be moved here, if not placed here correctly in the first place.
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mjr
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Re: "Don't forget to wear a helmet"

Postby mjr » 11 Aug 2017, 3:27pm

LollyKat wrote:I live near a park and see this regularly. It really concerns me that these children don't learn how to fall without hitting their heads. There is a lovely Dutch video on youtube somewhere showing a small child learning to ride a two-wheeler - she falls lots of times at first (on a pavement) but instinctively saves her head each time.

+1. There are several, but I think you may mean this one which has appeared on this forum before:

https://youtu.be/zkPYPeR97rU
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
All the above is CC-By-SA and no other implied copyright license to Cycle magazine.

LollyKat
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Re: "Don't forget to wear a helmet"

Postby LollyKat » 11 Aug 2017, 9:25pm

Yes - that's the one. Thanks for finding and posting it.

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Cunobelin
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Re: "Don't forget to wear a helmet"

Postby Cunobelin » 12 Aug 2017, 8:29am

pjclinch wrote:
belgiangoth wrote:I agree it's bobbins, but that doesn't mean that the local council will change their view on the rules for providing cycle training. Furthermore it is provided under the umbrella of British cycling who require helmets because they are a racing group and conform to uci regulations. (The uci prob insist on them because it's a thing they can point to if a rider is injured or dies in a race).


Speaking to BC about their helmet policy is remarkably difficult, even if (like me) you're a BC Coach, but if (like me) you're bloody minded enough you can sometimes engage them a bit. And it boils down to their insurance, which is okay for competitive events but they do more than that these days, and on their campaigns web page it's now at the point where there's plenty of evidence backed talk about why helmets don't mean much for everyday riding... followed by an evidence-free point that BC recommend them for all cycling. <sigh>

The most ridiculous reasoning for a helmet I've come across recently is from Sustrans. A trainee can go without with written permission, but trainers must wear them, somewhat at odds with their own policy of freedom of choice. Why? Because when they had trainers who didn't wear them they had lots of complaints from members of the public. So, helmet policy for trainers working for Sustrans is underpinned by the opinions of ignorant busybodies. I have requested this be reviewed, as part of the exchange where I declined to help them with training if I couldn't do it without a helmet, but I'm not entirely confident of movement any time soon.

Pete.


Sustrans' stated position:

We support the individual’s freedom of choice whether to wear a cycle helmet or not, and for parents to make that choice for their children.

Helmet wearing isn't a legal requirement in the UK, and the evidence is inconclusive as to whether it makes cycling safer.

What does make cycling safe is changing the layout of roads, streets and public space to make them safer for people to get about by bike.

In the Netherlands, for example, it is the way that space is designed that leads to people of all ages and abilities getting about by bike safely rather than helmet wearing.

In places where a helmet law has been passed, cycling numbers have actually decreased.

Indeed, given the current concerns about obesity and the many thousands of deaths related to physical inactivity, making it compulsory for people to wear helmets provides a deterrent to people wanting to cycle, and also sends the message that travel by bike is dangerous rather than easy and a great way to get around.


It would be interesting to challenge the organisation for failing to adhere to its own policy

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Cunobelin
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Re: "Don't forget to wear a helmet"

Postby Cunobelin » 12 Aug 2017, 8:34am

My personal experience was to teach the Scout and Cub cycling badges, I also used to raise funds with an annual sponsored cycle ride which raised about 40% of the Group's funds each year

It was inclusive with a short route completely off road for the Beavers to a long route for Adults, Scouts and Families.

Then we had to start excluding people because they did not have a helmet, and the organisation was unwilling to enter int an intelligent debate.

So I stopped both activities.

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bigjim
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Re: "Don't forget to wear a helmet"

Postby bigjim » 12 Aug 2017, 11:26am

Well this is the front page of Cycling UKs newsletter. Actually two without helmets. Wait for the complaints.
Image
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De Sisti
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Re: "Don't forget to wear a helmet"

Postby De Sisti » 12 Aug 2017, 11:32am

Nothing wrong there. It's a photo-shoot and they're stationary. :)

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Cunobelin
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Re: "Don't forget to wear a helmet"

Postby Cunobelin » 12 Aug 2017, 11:51am

bigjim wrote:Well this is the front page of Cycling UKs newsletter. Actually two without helmets. Wait for the complaints.
Image


To be pedantic, more worrying is the fact that several are poor fitting.

There is evidence that if an impact happens, a poorly fitting helmet can double the chances of a serious injury

(As always - read and make up your own mind

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Cunobelin
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Re: "Don't forget to wear a helmet"

Postby Cunobelin » 12 Aug 2017, 11:54am

bigjim wrote:Well this is the front page of Cycling UKs newsletter. Actually two without helmets. Wait for the complaints.
Image



ON a more light hearted note....

Reminds me of a "Sky Ride" in Southampton a few years ago. Turned a blind corner and came across a pile of cyclists ... and at the front was a small child who with that indignant voice that only children manage was addressing their mother:

"You told me to stop!"

brynpoeth
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Re: "Don't forget to wear a helmet"

Postby brynpoeth » 12 Aug 2017, 5:34pm

Cunobelin wrote:
bigjim wrote:Well this is the front page of Cycling UKs newsletter. Actually two without helmets. Wait for the complaints.
Image


To be pedantic, more worrying is the fact that several are poor fitting.

There is evidence that if an impact happens, a poorly fitting helmet can double the chances of a serious injury

(As always - read and make up your own mind


Children and adults should always take off their helmets to play
A helmet can catch in a gap in a climbing frame where a head passes easily, I read that this led to the death of a child

Overheard from the neighbours garden:
Grandad - we will put the climbing frame away for the winter now
Little Amanda - no grandad, we will put YOU away for the winter!
Cycling? Of course, but it's far better on a Gillott.

drossall
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Re: "Don't forget to wear a helmet"

Postby drossall » 12 Aug 2017, 10:46pm

Cunobelin wrote:My personal experience was to teach the Scout and Cub cycling badges, I also used to raise funds with an annual sponsored cycle ride which raised about 40% of the Group's funds each year

It was inclusive with a short route completely off road for the Beavers to a long route for Adults, Scouts and Families.

Then we had to start excluding people because they did not have a helmet, and the organisation was unwilling to enter int an intelligent debate.

So I stopped both activities.


I'm a Scout Leader. I've always taken the view that getting people cycling is more important than the helmet debate. I've got a helmet that is basically only used for Scouts. A few weeks back, the Troop spotted the fact that I tend to ride to meetings (as opposed to on Scout activities) without a helmet, and asked why. That was embarrassing :oops:

I look after the helmet carefully. It took my LBS ten years to find one big enough to fit. If I ever damage it, I'll probably not get a replacement. Of course, it's long past the time when it's recommended to replace it, but it spends most of its time in a helmet case in the loft. And it's not actually there for safety anyway. But, although bikes and helmets are provided for the planned cycling activity one afternoon at summer camp in a couple of weeks, I need to remember to take my helmet. There's no chance the site will have one big enough.

That said, when we do cycling, I do spend time making sure helmets are properly fitted and so on. Good points made above about that.

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pjclinch
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Re: "Don't forget to wear a helmet"

Postby pjclinch » 13 Aug 2017, 9:56am

Cunobelin wrote:Sustrans' stated position:

<snip>

It would be interesting to challenge the organisation for failing to adhere to its own policy


I spend quite a lot of time challenging organisations about their helmet positions and it isn't interesting at all; it's a desperately dull Pain in the Bottom (oh look, Autocorrect's online!) and I'm quite sure some/most of the people I speak to feel the same way about me, which doesn't make it any better.

It only took a couple of goes to get to the relevant person at Sustrans (Chris Bennett, Head of Behaviour Change and Engagement) and we had quite a long 'phone call about it where he was entirely reasonable and said it was time to review it. Which is a fairly good outcome at this point in the process, but not the same as a Result. There'll be more people involved than just him, and I suspect PR and perceptions of it are very significant issues for an organisation like that. But fingers crossed, and you're invited to plug away at them too (though as noted, it's not as interesting as you suggest).

Pete.
Often seen riding a bike around Dundee...

jazzkat
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Re: "Don't forget to wear a helmet"

Postby jazzkat » 13 Aug 2017, 10:57am

I have just stopped wearing my helmet. When I came back to cycling some twenty or so years ago, I started mountain biking and wearing a helmet is a must for that in my opinion, when I started riding exclusively on the road I just carried on putting the lid on. It just felt odd riding without a helmet.

The reason I've stopped wearing one is that I believe helmet use has normalised the idea that cycling is dangerous. I'm with Chris Boardman with this and while I know on my own I won't change anyone's opinion, the journey starts with the first step and all that.
Around here the biggest danger is close passing motorists on the narrow lanes and herds of cows coming the other way! Having a helmet won't save me from either of those :lol:

Purely anecdotal and not scientific in any way but I've only had one, fast, close pass (on the main road) in the time that I've been lid-less. Further supporting the thought that wearing a lid encourages close passes.
It also means I get to wear some nice cycling caps :D
It's funny what you notice but almost all cyclists wear helmets. The only exceptions seem to be one or two of the older roadies who I assume have just never worn one and the guys on their way to work wearing normal clothes on bso's. It has become entrenched cycling=helmets.
I've nothing important to add to the discussion but I wanted to share my experience.

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Re: "Don't forget to wear a helmet"

Postby drossall » 13 Aug 2017, 1:16pm

Actually I think the logic demands asking whether helmets are good for mountain biking either. Helmets are designed for toppling over, rather than colliding with cars - we all know that. Toppling over is more likely with mountain bikes, perhaps. However, debate around risk compensation would still apply to mountain biking. So would limitations around hitting something solid at speed, where the biomechanics of falls and head injuries are much more complex than trivialising questions around "If I hit you with a plank, would you rather have your head protected?" would suggest.

Overall, then, I'd probably rather have a helmet if I were to hit my head on an overhanging branch. If I were actually to come off on a descent, or hit a tree, I'm not quite so sure.

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Re: "Don't forget to wear a helmet"

Postby jazzkat » 13 Aug 2017, 6:07pm

I tended to fall off due to overbalancing while riding slowly over rocky, rutted or boggy bits of track so it was probably within the design parameters of the helmet (maybe) but I broadly agree with you about the risk compensation and the hitting at speed. There is, of course, a thought that if you weren't wearing a helmet, would you have banged your head on the low hanging branch in the first place?
I think until someone does a proper and thorough, scientific investigation into helmet effectiveness it will continue to be a hotly debated subject with no outcome. I doubt anyone will put their money into such an endeavor as there are many vested interests that might not like the results.

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Cunobelin
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Re: "Don't forget to wear a helmet"

Postby Cunobelin » 13 Aug 2017, 6:31pm

jazzkat wrote:I tended to fall off due to overbalancing while riding slowly over rocky, rutted or boggy bits of track so it was probably within the design parameters of the helmet (maybe) but I broadly agree with you about the risk compensation and the hitting at speed. There is, of course, a thought that if you weren't wearing a helmet, would you have banged your head on the low hanging branch in the first place?
I think until someone does a proper and thorough, scientific investigation into helmet effectiveness it will continue to be a hotly debated subject with no outcome. I doubt anyone will put their money into such an endeavor as there are many vested interests that might not like the results.


This is not a personal... so please do not take it as such

To me the effectiveness of helmets in a cycling context remains a red herring as it is narrow, corrupt and biased agendada

What is needed. is a wider ranging examination of the effectiveness of helmets ....across ALL at risk groups


However as you say there are vested interests that do not want this... imagine the problems that the pro helmet lobby would face if they were to be forced to recognise the reality that helmets would be more effective for pedestrians, drivers, passengers and above all those out for a night in the pub


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