Supported Lejog goes Off topic

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.
wilddavid
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Supported Lejog goes Off topic

Postby wilddavid » 2 Jan 2016, 12:35pm

I have to say on the issue of wearing a cycle helmet " Why would you not wear a helmet". Mick F states that "helmets are very uncomfortable" if you are bald or almost totally bald. I am totally bald, and my helmet is extremely comfortable to the degree that I cannot feel it on my head. Maybe this is a case to ensure a good fitting helmet with appropriate internal support.

Many of us are aware of James Cracknell and his serious road injury whilst cycling in America in 2010. James Cracknell is an advocate for the wearing of cycle helmets on the basis that the helmet he was wearing saved his life.

Look at the number of cyclists who wear helmets in comparison to those who don't. Good helmets with adequate ventilation and internal padding should wick away most of your sweat anyway, so I cannot go along with not wearing a helmet due to sweating. I am a runner too, and sweat vigorously during exercise, though I don't have a problem on the bike with sweat in my eyes.

A good fitting helmet would appear. a must for any cyclist. We don't need to be covering large distances to be involved in an accident.

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Mick F
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Re: Supported Lejog

Postby Mick F » 2 Jan 2016, 12:59pm

wilddavid wrote:I have to say on the issue of wearing a cycle helmet " Why would you not wear a helmet". Mick F states that "helmets are very uncomfortable" if you are bald or almost totally bald. I am totally bald, and my helmet is extremely comfortable to the degree that I cannot feel it on my head. Maybe this is a case to ensure a good fitting helmet with appropriate internal support.
Long and involved story why I'm bald, but suffice it to say it happened suddenly between May and August last year. Although I had been getting thin on top generally for years and years, what was left suddenly fell out. I could pull my hair out in tufts if I pulled hard enough.

I don't know how long you've been bald or what shape and size your head is, but my scalp is very sensitive at present and my head is small. I need to wear a hat of some sort when I go outside and I've yet to try it without ......... maybe when the weather is warmer. Maybe I'll get used to being bald in the future, but at the moment, it's uncomfortable to be bare headed.

I've not tried a child's helmet. Maybe they would be ok, but an adult small size helmet like I have with all the padding that it came with isn't comfortable at all. Not really the top, but the sides and the plastic headband bits.

Yes, as the weather is cold, I could wear a skull cap under the helmet, but what's the point? As soon as the weather warms up, I'd be too hot. Therefore I've shelved the whole idea.
Mick F. Cornwall

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Re: Supported Lejog

Postby LollyKat » 2 Jan 2016, 2:29pm

wilddavid wrote:A good fitting helmet would appear. a must for any cyclist.

Appearances can be deceptive :D . This could be moved to the helmet sub-forum any moment....

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Re: Supported Lejog goes Off topic

Postby Steady rider » 2 Jan 2016, 6:53pm

wilddavid » Sat Jan 02, 2016 12:35 pm wrote
A good fitting helmet would appear. a must for any cyclist.


It may appear a must but is simply wrong. Cyclists vary in wearing this and that. People do vary, some will have a tee shirt on and others thick jumpers, hats and gloves. From the safety view point you are probably safer overall without a helmet. This may be difficult to understand without someone providing a full lecture on the risks v benefits and explaining the pros and cons.

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Re: Supported Lejog goes Off topic

Postby beardy » 2 Jan 2016, 9:03pm

I am a runner too, and sweat vigorously during exercise, though I don't have a problem on the bike with sweat in my eyes.
A good fitting helmet would appear. a must for any cyclist. We don't need to be covering large distances to be involved in an accident.

Are runners immune to accidents?
Or are you really going to surprise me and say you wear a helmet while running too?

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Re: Supported Lejog goes Off topic

Postby Bicycler » 2 Jan 2016, 11:11pm

I appreciate that to many coming to this topic anew it may seem like a black and white issue, common sense, a 'no-brainer'. The reality is more complex and there are real differences of opinion.

wilddavid wrote:I have to say on the issue of wearing a cycle helmet " Why would you not wear a helmet". Mick F states that "helmets are very uncomfortable" if you are bald or almost totally bald. I am totally bald, and my helmet is extremely comfortable to the degree that I cannot feel it on my head. Maybe this is a case to ensure a good fitting helmet with appropriate internal support.

Or it may be an individual matter where one individual's experience doesn't transfer to the next person. I've never had a problem with saddle soreness and never changed a bike's original saddle unless it's been knackered. That doesn't mean that I can write off others' discomfort and expensive solutions!

Look at the number of cyclists who wear helmets in comparison to those who don't. Good helmets with adequate ventilation and internal padding should wick away most of your sweat anyway, so I cannot go along with not wearing a helmet due to sweating. I am a runner too, and sweat vigorously during exercise, though I don't have a problem on the bike with sweat in my eyes.

Again I'll regale you with a tale of my idiosyncrasy. I have a natural tendency to overheat. Outside of formal shirts I own virtually no clothes with long sleeves. I sweat buckets. It is not unusual for me to be overheating in a room where somebody else wearing long sleeves and more layers is turning up the heating. It really does have a huge affect on my quality of life in the summer months. Adding a polystyrene hat to my head really does severely affect my enjoyment of cycling. Undoubtedly I am an extreme case but I get back to my earlier point that you can't use your own experience to draw conclusions about other people's comfort levels.

Many of us are aware of James Cracknell and his serious road injury whilst cycling in America in 2010. James Cracknell is an advocate for the wearing of cycle helmets on the basis that the helmet he was wearing saved his life.

Well, there are those that would have preferred him to have declared his sponsorship by a helmet manufacturer whilst making such claims http://www.kimharding.net/blog/?p=1693
Leaving that aside and assuming his complete integrity, we can say that "my helmet saved my life" is an unprovable assertion of very limited evidential value. It is a common claim. The number of people making the claim that they have been saved is massively greater than the number that can possibly have been saved when we compare helmeted and unhelmeted cyclists. Thus we can say that the majority of such claims are false.

A good fitting helmet would appear. a must for any cyclist. We don't need to be covering large distances to be involved in an accident.

There's an implicit assumption here that cycling is particularly likely to bring about a serious head injury (or else why wear a helmet for cycling when you wouldn't for other activities?). Statistics don't support this. The risk per mile is comparable to walking.

This is a hugely contentious topic within the cycling community and the debate takes many forms. There are doubts about the effectiveness of helmets, whether they may create new risks, and how they affect the risk taking of helmet wearers and those around them. Even if their benefits were certain there are compelling arguments against their promotion and compulsion because both have been associated with declining rates of cycling and increases in the perceived danger of cycling.

Here area couple of short(ish) links for you to read: A summary of the National Cycling Charity CTC's views on helmets: http://www.ctc.org.uk/campaigning/views ... le-helmets
British Cycling's Policy Director Chris Boardman on why he refused to wear one whilst talking about cycle safety: https://www.britishcycling.org.uk/artic ... reakfast-0
(EDIT: links now working)

I'm not trying to sway you, but it's important that we all respect each other's choices. At the end of the day no-one wins if people are made to feel unwelcome and that can be the result when people have to constantly defend their own personal safety choices. Live and let live!
Last edited by Bicycler on 3 Jan 2016, 1:13pm, edited 1 time in total.

denniswpearce
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Re: Supported Lejog

Postby denniswpearce » 3 Jan 2016, 10:52am

Hi Folks,
Some interesting thoughts, so thanks for them. Its a good job we all think differently otherwise what a boring world it would be.
Firstly.....Mick / Martin......I too am mostly bald but do not find a helmet uncomfortable, but do sweat quite profusely and its a case of just wiping it off. For me it works. The wind does dry it off and my face after stopping cycling is white with dried up salt from sweat. Still happy to put up with it in the thought that the helmet could protect my skull in the event of an incident.
Incidentally when on my turbo trainer, the sweat just rolls off of me and obviously I don,t need my helmet when on that machine in my garage.
Have seen several of the "24 hours in A & E" programmes and the multiple injuries suffered by cyclists from being hit by cars. Your body breaks and can generally heal ( not always of course ), but your head is very vulnerable and once damaged is usually not recoverable.
Its not everyones choice but for me its a helmet every time ( plus its high vis with reflective strips on it ) Always wear bright colours, so I can be seen easily. Assuming the car or lorry driver is not texting as well as driving.
Rick......if you click on the 12 day Lejog and go to the orange "printable detailed information" then you can see that it is mandatory to wear helmets in that section. Also not everyone is perfect at spelling, we all make mistakes, but its a minor thing.
So thanks for your thoughts guys.
Dennis

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Mick F
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Re: Supported Lejog goes Off topic

Postby Mick F » 3 Jan 2016, 11:13am

Nicely put, thank you for posting it.

For my own part, I've cycled all my life and only worn a helmet since 2004. I've never enjoyed them and only worn them due to peer pressure. I sweat in them, they made my head itchy, flies and insects got caught in the vents, the chin straps were uncomfortable ......... the list is endless.

In a way, I'm glad I have a real excuse for not wearing one. The chances of my hair growing back is rather minimal to say the least, so it looks like I'll never be wearing one again.

Something I've said before on this subject, is that ever since bicycles were invented, countless millions of people rode them every single day to work in this country alone right through the 20th century. Not one of them wore a helmet ............. most wore a flat cap!
Mick F. Cornwall

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Re: Supported Lejog

Postby Vorpal » 3 Jan 2016, 1:40pm

denniswpearce wrote: Still happy to put up with it in the thought that the helmet could protect my skull in the event of an incident.
Incidentally when on my turbo trainer, the sweat just rolls off of me and obviously I don,t need my helmet when on that machine in my garage.
Have seen several of the "24 hours in A & E" programmes and the multiple injuries suffered by cyclists from being hit by cars. Your body breaks and can generally heal ( not always of course ), but your head is very vulnerable and once damaged is usually not recoverable.

Where do they get all the cyclists, then? It's actually relatively rare for a cyclist to be hit and severly injured by a vehicle. Anyway, helmets aren't designed to protect one's head in a crash. They are designed for a 12 mph bump. Their protection is nearly negligible in a road traffic crash with a motor vehicle.

Heads heal, too. Evolution has designed our skulls pretty well to protect our heads. And those programmes on the telly are sensationalist.
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Re: Supported Lejog goes Off topic

Postby martinn » 3 Jan 2016, 5:16pm

I was hoping that this would not end up here, sorry!

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Re: Supported Lejog

Postby profpointy » 3 Jan 2016, 6:23pm

denniswpearce wrote:Hi Folks,
Some interesting thoughts, so thanks for them. Its a good job we all think differently otherwise what a boring world it would be.
Firstly.....Mick / Martin......I too am mostly bald but do not find a helmet uncomfortable, but do sweat quite profusely and its a case of just wiping it off. For me it works. The wind does dry it off and my face after stopping cycling is white with dried up salt from sweat. Still happy to put up with it in the thought that the helmet could protect my skull in the event of an incident.
Incidentally when on my turbo trainer, the sweat just rolls off of me and obviously I don,t need my helmet when on that machine in my garage.
Have seen several of the "24 hours in A & E" programmes and the multiple injuries suffered by cyclists from being hit by cars. Your body breaks and can generally heal ( not always of course ), but your head is very vulnerable and once damaged is usually not recoverable.
Its not everyones choice but for me its a helmet every time ( plus its high vis with reflective strips on it ) Always wear bright colours, so I can be seen easily. Assuming the car or lorry driver is not texting as well as driving.
Rick......if you click on the 12 day Lejog and go to the orange "printable detailed information" then you can see that it is mandatory to wear helmets in that section. Also not everyone is perfect at spelling, we all make mistakes, but its a minor thing.
So thanks for your thoughts guys.
Dennis



So, why do you think they havn't worked in Australia? Ok, this is admittedly a provocative challenge, but wearing rates, post compulsion have gone up from pretty low to nearly everyone, but head injury rates (rates means per cyclist, not absoulute numbers) has actually not gone down at all. Yet you imply it's a clear cut benefit.

denniswpearce
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Re: Supported Lejog goes Off topic

Postby denniswpearce » 3 Jan 2016, 7:47pm

Oops, its only an opinion. No evidence to support either way. Please don't take offence guys.
We are all entitled to one wether it is right or wrong.
As I wrote previously, its a good job we are all different.
Long live everyone's opinion.
Dennis

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Re: Supported Lejog goes Off topic

Postby kwackers » 3 Jan 2016, 8:07pm

wilddavid wrote:Many of us are aware of James Cracknell and his serious road injury whilst cycling in America in 2010. James Cracknell is an advocate for the wearing of cycle helmets on the basis that the helmet he was wearing saved his life.

Cracknell suffered a contrecoup brain injury.

It's quite an interesting injury because it deals with the idea that if you whack the skull the brain tries to stay in place and then bounces off the skull wall. What's interesting about this is that due to decades of experimentation with unfortunately monkeys with perspex skulls what we see is that in fact this doesn't happen.
(The brain has the same density as the liquid it 'floats' in. When the skull suddenly stops there's no reason for the brain to move forward let alone 'bounce' off the skull.)

Experiments on even more unfortunate monkeys along with data from soldiers who'd suffered brain injuries whilst having been 'shot in the hat' showed that the prime cause of brain injuries had nothing to do with 'bouncing off skulls' and everything to do with rotation.
So basically if you spin the head suddenly the mass of the brain causes different bits to spin at different rates, this in turn causes some of the axons to stretch potentially to breaking point resulting in brain injury.

So basically if the force applied to Cracknell's skull was linear then he (probably) wouldn't have suffered the injury, but instead what happened was the mirror hit his helmet and spun his head, either sideways or pitched it violently forward either of which would have rotated the brain resulting in the injury.

If you accept that this was the mechanism for his injury then making his head bigger both increases the chance the truck will actually hit his head and also means his head has further to move in order for the helmet to clear the trucks mirror. This results in much larger rotational forces than would otherwise have been the case. It's even completely possible that without the 'bigger' head the mirror may not have struck him at all.

IMO if there was any case for not wearing a helmet then Cracknell provides it.

As a point of interest, linear deceleration is the reason that large animals that like to headbutt each other during mating season don't get brain damage - they hit each other head on with no rotation. It's also why woodpeckers have complex mechanisms for keeping their heads moving in straight lines rather than in an arc when they're woodpeckering.

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Re: Supported Lejog goes Off topic

Postby irc » 3 Jan 2016, 8:42pm

wilddavid wrote:Many of us are aware of James Cracknell and his serious road injury whilst cycling in America in 2010. James Cracknell is an advocate for the wearing of cycle helmets on the basis that the helmet he was wearing saved his life.


Not riding east into a rising sun might have prevented the accident and saved his life.

Using a mirror might have saved his life. I use a mirror and as well as warning me of some close passes over the years I have once had to ride off the road on to the gravel shoulder to avoid being hit from behind. Also in America.

Mirror laws anybody?

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Re: Supported Lejog goes Off topic

Postby reohn2 » 3 Jan 2016, 10:48pm

irc wrote:
wilddavid wrote:Many of us are aware of James Cracknell and his serious road injury whilst cycling in America in 2010. James Cracknell is an advocate for the wearing of cycle helmets on the basis that the helmet he was wearing saved his life.


Not riding east into a rising sun might have prevented the accident and saved his life.

Using a mirror might have saved his life. I use a mirror and as well as warning me of some close passes over the years I have once had to ride off the road on to the gravel shoulder to avoid being hit from behind. Also in America.

Mirror laws anybody?


And there are those that think a RVM is completely unnecessary on a bike.I beg to differ since first fitting one some 15(?) years ago I'd never go back to riding without one.
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