Relating personal experience - Isn't it strange ...

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TonyR
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Re: Relating personal experience - Isn't it strange ...

Postby TonyR » 18 Jan 2016, 10:24pm

rmurphy195 wrote:.....and the seat belt thing had become so obvious that I fitted them to my old bangers even before they were compulsory.


You've not read the Isles Report then?

For suddenly I was banging my head on overhanging branches on country lanes. Such things didn't seem to exit in my yoof, and neither did the overhanging head-height door mirrors on trucks, on which I banged my head as I sat upright having stopped at a red light, just as a lorry pulled up beside me!


Yes funny how those thing happen with a helmet but not without. Have you considered it might be because your head is a lot bigger than it was before with the helmet strapped on?

Now I'm getting more close shaves - a handful each month, then each week, - then on each ride.


You've not read Ian Walker's research either then?

I want to enjoy my cycling for a while yet, and I don't want my wife to enjoy having to care me 'cos I couldn't be bothered with a little caution.


Logic would say then that you leave the helmet off given the evidence that you are probably more likely to be head injured wearing one.
Last edited by TonyR on 19 Jan 2016, 8:03am, edited 1 time in total.

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[XAP]Bob
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Re: Relating personal experience - Isn't it strange ...

Postby [XAP]Bob » 19 Jan 2016, 7:33am

rmurphy195 wrote:Hi, it's the OP here - back to personal experience ...

I do hark back to the heady days of the late 60's when I used to just get the bike out of the shed, and hop onto it and cycle from my home in east Birmingham out to Tamworth, or Fillongley, or to watch the planes at Elmdon Airport as it was then just clad in my normal shoes, trousers and shirt, with a cape in my saddlebag in case it rained. I'll call this "Shirtsleeves" mode.

Then later, on my shiny Raleigh sports bike bought with my first pay packets - same thing, except to work each day and out at weekends.

While I did succumb to the classic "car pulling across in front of me and into the back of it I went", close shaves were rare and as I recollect I had only a handful - in total in several years! Car drivers and cyclists were all just people on the road.

Fast forward to the early 90's. Took up cycling again to regain some fitness. By then I'd been through the motorbike phase (when I found at first hand that bonedomes were a good idea, let alone compulsory) and the seat belt thing had become so obvious that I fitted them to my old bangers even before they were compulsory. Cycling helmets had appeared by then, so it was only natural to wear one. For which I was very grateful.

For suddenly I was banging my head on overhanging branches on country lanes. Such things didn't seem to exit in my yoof, and neither did the overhanging head-height door mirrors on trucks, on which I banged my head as I sat upright having stopped at a red light, just as a lorry pulled up beside me! By then I'd already discovered the joys of delayed-concussion-from-a-bang-on-the-head so I was happy to escape that one, thank you!

But even then I was quite happy to commute long the main Bristol road into my office central Birmingham during the rush hour from time to time until I had to move jobs in the mid 90's.

Fast forward again about 12 years, during which time my riding in Brum had been just Saturday afternoons across into Selly Oak,or the MAC for to meet up fr the occasional club evening ride. Still in Shirtsleeves mode, plus a helmet.

Now I'm getting more close shaves - a handful each month, then each week, - then on each ride. Finally ended up getting shaved too closely and thankful for getting off lightly (and for landing handily in the roadway outside the fire station!). Big bruises on the various "contact points" under soft clothing, hardly a mark under the contact point under a not-so-soft helmet.

So now I still have a hat, but take care to wear light-coloured shirts, and/or hi-viz, - and a bikecam in case I get walloped by another t**-**g who decides to bend the truth to take advantage of will-o-the-wisp witnesses. And I use bike paths more. And pavements.

And like BC (and someone from Spa Cycles I think it was in a magazine a few months back) I want to go back to the shirtsleeves approach to cycling.

But we aren't there yet, so I don't mind expressing my preferences for wearing a helmet for most of my riding 'cos I have personal experience of the benefits, even though I'd rather not have to. I want to enjoy my cycling for a while yet, and I don't want my wife to enjoy having to care me 'cos I couldn't be bothered with a little caution.

After all, that's why I fitted those seatbelts (and yes, they worked too).

Did you notice that here helmet wearing increases the incidence of you hitting your head on stationary objects?

That's a pretty damning indictment of their effect!

If you are getting that many close shaves, and allowing lorries to pull alongside you at lights than I would seriously concerned about your road position - not your headwear.
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Bicycler
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Re: Relating personal experience - Isn't it strange ...

Postby Bicycler » 19 Jan 2016, 9:54am

Bob wrote:If you are getting that many close shaves, and allowing lorries to pull alongside you at lights than I would seriously concerned about your road position - not your headwear.

In all seriousness I agree with this. As you note the roads have changed since we were young, but so has the way cyclists are encouraged to ride in traffic. In particular it has been recognised that cyclists can and should seek to minimise potential risks through careful road positioning.

It may well be worth seeking out some cycle training taught to National Standards. At least you could acquire a copy of the accompanying text Cyclecraft (used copy here for £2.79 - http://www.amazon.co.uk/Cyclecraft-comp ... 0117037400). I say this not to patronise you or imply that you can't ride. I am of a similar age and experience but exposure to this information a few years back was a revelation which led me to adapt my riding to modern conditions. In my personal experience :wink: it has made my cycling considerably safer.
Last edited by Bicycler on 19 Jan 2016, 10:19am, edited 2 times in total.

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Si
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Re: Relating personal experience - Isn't it strange ...

Postby Si » 19 Jan 2016, 9:56am

If you are getting that many close shaves, and allowing lorries to pull alongside you at lights than I would seriously concerned about your road position - not your headwear.


While I'm not going to tell you to wear a helmet or not wear one - that's your choice - I would suggest that if you are getting worried about your safety on the road then you might like to get your riding checked out. You may have been riding for more years than I've had hot dinners and have a wealth of experience under your tyres, but as you say: conditions are changing. Just as changes in conditions have persuaded you to don more "protective" gear, shouldn't those changes in conditions also persuade you to see if you can improve your riding?

Get in touch with BikeRight!- they can give you a free one-to-one advanced cycling session. At the worst it'll just confirm that you are already doing everything properly, but it may show up some bad habits and help you to enjoy your cycling much more. I can honestly say that, despite having the experience of commuting across the worst of Brum for years, I benefited no end from doing such a session and am now much happier riding on much worse roads.

It'll take about three hours, it'll cost you nothing, it's fun, it may save your life. Why wouldn't you try it?

http://www.bikeright.co.uk/westmidlands 0121 200 2266

Bicycler
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Re: Relating personal experience - Isn't it strange ...

Postby Bicycler » 19 Jan 2016, 10:18am

Si wrote:it may save your life.

"My cycle training saved my life" :D

rmurphy195
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Re: Relating personal experience - Isn't it strange ...

Postby rmurphy195 » 19 Jan 2016, 11:11am

Thanks for the advice Si/BiCycler - I did get a copy of cyclecraft a while back which has proved very useful, thanks. And I should point out that the truck mirror incident was quite a few years ago! It wasa one-off, and its the one-offs where I find a bit of secondary safety useful.

As I've said elsewhere, there seem to be a higher proportion of considerate drivers around these days, just the determined minority seem to be more determined, and sometimes road positioning etc. simply gives you more room to manouvre rather than deterring these people! And I'm admittedly a bit more nervous since the bump - which was not related to my road positioning by the way, he came across an urban dual carriageway that I was riding on.

And my cycle training and experience has saved my skin on many an occasion, it's the occasions where that doesn't work that we need to eradicate from our daily lives, and that isn't going to happen soon enough!

As for the overhanging branch - in my yoof I used to just pedal along A-roads to wherever I wanted to go, these were clear of such obstructions (the A41/A40 through various interesting places to Aylesbury and Hayes was a favourite, bike and later motorbike) and other road users simply weren't a problem then. No need for maps, just follow the signs.

Apart from big lorries that is that just got in the way (I can fondly remember pedalling past an artic flatbed going uphill somewhere near Edge Hill). But of course I now use the quieter lanes which often have untrimmed hedges/trees overhanging the roadway at least in these here parts. Anyone who uses the road up from Alvechurch through Barnt Green to Longbridge will be familiar with the problem! (Also one of those places where you really do need to keep well into primary position, even going uphill)

Cheers - Richard
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""You know you're getting old when it's easier to ride a bike than to get on and off it" - quote from observant jogger !

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horizon
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Re: Relating personal experience - Isn't it strange ...

Postby horizon » 19 Jan 2016, 12:49pm

rmurphy195 wrote:
I found at first hand that bonedomes were a good idea, let alone compulsory) and the seat belt thing had become so obvious that I fitted them to my old bangers even before they were compulsory. Cycling helmets had appeared by then, so it was only natural to wear one. For which I was very grateful.



I think there is subliminal sleight of hand here - segue is maybe the word used these days. Cars had their seatbelt moment, motorbikes their helmet moment, what then for cyclists? One thing that society can deliver effectively these days (maybe from the war years on) is public safety campaigns - brilliantly done and supported by industry, the medical profession and the research labs. How can you address the very real problem of cycling deaths and injuries with the tools at your disposal? You need an easily understood product, a visible and easily enforceable "act of doing", a simple message and a groundswell of public concern. Finally it needs to be achieveable in terms of not being opposed by any particular interest group or lobby. Well, helmets were the winner on all points. If you cannot do it all, then at least do something (even if it's the wrong thing). And best of all, it should have the added bonus of distracting from the real problem.

I think the helmet campaign has been brilliantly effective, not least because it draws in people who aren't even cyclists. The funny thing is that cyclists never needed a "wear shoes" campaign or even really a "check your brakes" campaign. And motorists never got a (heaven help us) "slow down around cyclists" campaign. Or lorry firms a "put mirrors on your tipper lorries" campaign.

And it had sequential logic: seatbelts ... motorbike helmets .... cycle helmets. Let's repeat that: seatbelts ... motorbike helmets .... cycle helmets. Unarguable then.
When the pestilence strikes from the East, go far and breathe the cold air deeply. Ignore the sage, stay not indoors. Ho Ri Zon 12th Century Chinese philosopher

Steady rider
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Re: Relating personal experience - Isn't it strange ...

Postby Steady rider » 19 Jan 2016, 1:48pm

Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 1983, 37, 66-69
Time trends in motorcycle accidents in Britain

http://jech.bmj.com/content/37/1/66.full.pdf+html
The risk rate for motorcyclists changed from 2.03 to 2.00, 1973 to 1974, -1.4%

http://www.rospa.com/rospaweb/docs/advi ... tsheet.pdf

The main reason cycle helmet legislation did not progress into many countries is the result in discouraging cycling and the Robinson 1996 paper showing the accident rate increased compared the levels of cycling activity.
http://www.cycle-helmets.com/robinson-head-injuries.pdf

Clearly for cycle helmet legislation it had 2 major problems.

rmurphy195
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Re: Relating personal experience - Isn't it strange ...

Postby rmurphy195 » 20 Feb 2016, 5:39pm

Original point made?
Brompton, Condor Heritage, creaky joints and thinning white (formerly grey) hair
""You know you're getting old when it's easier to ride a bike than to get on and off it" - quote from observant jogger !

Bicycler
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Re: Relating personal experience - Isn't it strange ...

Postby Bicycler » 20 Feb 2016, 7:47pm

Why revive this thread?
Original point made?

Not really. This was the original point:
rmurphy195 wrote:Isn't it strange that when relating personal experience, or events that I've witnessed myself in regards to helmets, there's always someone, somewhere who tries to convince me that it can't be so?

As I said first time round viewtopic.php?f=41&t=102864#p971540 nobody is disputing the experiences you have had, merely your interpretation of those experiences and the extent to which conclusions can reasonably be drawn from them. You present your personal experiences as evidence, or at least a reasoned basis for decision, so they need to be scrutinised as such.