Failing friendship over helmet wearing

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.
Mattyfez
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Failing friendship over helmet wearing

Postby Mattyfez » 4 Mar 2016, 7:45pm

A strange thing to post I suppose, but wondered of anyone encountered anything similar.
Basically my friend wears a helmet, ironically not all the time when cycling, and i don't and never have.
This in itself is not an issue, if he wants to wear one or not is really not a concern of mine.. He however takes great issue with my not wearing one, essentially any time we are talking about bike bits, bargains etc. He will demand I buy a helmet rather than the shiney new pedals or fancy tyres the gloves that are on special offer etc.

Obviously this gets my back up a bit, but recently it's gotten worse where I've been called an effing idiot, and he said he'll laugh when I die of a head injury.. At that point I left the pub before I whacked him, ironically I would have punched him in the head and he had no protection! .. And we haven't spoken since.. I just don't know why he gets so abusive about it.

My issues with him are twofold.. Firstly I don't see why he gets so wound up about something that doesn't effect him at all, I couldn't care less whether people choose to wear one or not and don't go around pontificating, but mainly it's that I've felt I've had to justify my choices.. If I'm doing something that affects others, fair enough but it's hardly the case here.

I've also gone to lengths explaing risk compensation, statistics, the fact helmets offer no protection from hard impacts, can increase the risk of impact due to increased head size, can cause rotational neck injury, etc. Etc. And the only counter argument he can muster is 'just get a helmet you ****'..

Frankly I'm sick of it and I don't normally give people like that the time of day but we've been good friends a long time, so it would be a shame to throw a friendship away.. But equally I won't put up with being spoken to like that.. I put up with it for a while as he has some personal issues with his ex wife and access to his son, so figured he was just letting some frustration out, but enough is enough.

Any one else had something similar? How did you deal with it?

Phil Fouracre
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Re: Failing friendship over helmet wearing

Postby Phil Fouracre » 4 Mar 2016, 8:22pm

Well, that's a different angle on the helmet 'debate'! I'm totally with you re not wearing a helmet, he seems a bit extreme, even for a zealot. I think you could give him the benefit of the doubt if he has other problems, but, as you say it doesn't sound as though this really has anything to do with it. Be brutally honest, is it really a strong friendship, sounds to me like you are not convinced. Life's too short to put up with such ridiculous grief, best of luck!
Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity

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[XAP]Bob
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Re: Failing friendship over helmet wearing

Postby [XAP]Bob » 4 Mar 2016, 8:24pm

Next time he doesn't wear one when cycling ask him why?
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Heltor Chasca
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Re: Failing friendship over helmet wearing

Postby Heltor Chasca » 4 Mar 2016, 8:29pm

You've been a good mate to be there. And it's great you've got boundaries. You don't need to be spoken to like that you are right. It's understandable you are upset at your loss of friendship but you are better than his treatment of you. Maybe there are reasons for his separation and access problems.

Maybe tell him you have drawn a line in the sand and if he steps over it again it's time to move on my friend; you'll be better for it. Or maybe that's too forgiving and you should just lamp anyway him to expel your own demons

Vorpal
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Re: Failing friendship over helmet wearing

Postby Vorpal » 4 Mar 2016, 8:35pm

Ask him if it's worth your friendship?
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millimole
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Re: Failing friendship over helmet wearing

Postby millimole » 4 Mar 2016, 8:43pm

I've recently been reading some psychology-light stuff on dealing with people who hold strong views counter to your own. This wasn't about helmets, but I think the principles may apply.
You wouldn't have convinced your pal using rational, fact based arguments - it's possible that your close bond may have actually been damaged by the use of factual & statistical evidence - he may have subconsciously seen this as a threat to his intelligence - after all he had 'thought it all through' for himself.
The theory goes that you should have made him rethink the 'values' associated with cycling and its relation to helmet wearing - you know your friend and might have known which 'buttons to push' but you might have said "surely cycling's all about freedom, about the wind in your hair, being a rebel, and breaking the rules".

Remember - this isn't my theory, it's just what I've seen, and as we know everything on the internet is true!
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beardy
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Re: Failing friendship over helmet wearing

Postby beardy » 4 Mar 2016, 8:47pm

Any one else had something similar? How did you deal with it?


Avoid the subject.

I have two friends, at least, who are absolutely convinced that a helmet saved their lives. They were both fairly badly hospitalised with head and jaw fractures between them.
They lecture, I keep silent, they leave it alone until the next time.

That level of anger and concern sounds more like what you would get from somebody who really loves you!

Mattyfez
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Re: Failing friendship over helmet wearing

Postby Mattyfez » 4 Mar 2016, 8:53pm

Thanks.. Part of me thinks that he bought one through sheer peer pressure, and he feels a bit bitter over my shoulder shrugging 'whatever mate' stance on the subject, popular opinion is, as we know, that you're a reckless deviant, or even idiotic for not complying. But I'm not a qualified psychiatric doctor..

I suppose I'm just struggling with his groundless pseudo religious reasoning that you have to have one.. And of course this rational is readily backed up by non cyclists in our company, as they all think that not wearing one will immediately result in some kind of catastrophic brain injury.

One guy, a rugby player actually!? Chimed in that 'your head is like an egg', when I asked him why he didn't wear a helmet when playing, the response was that they don't get hard hits to the head often.. 'neither do I' I say..

I mean how do you deal with such flawed and illogical ideas that people insist are vital to avoid a horrible death via head injuries..

Batears
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Re: Failing friendship over helmet wearing

Postby Batears » 4 Mar 2016, 9:32pm

Your head = your choice

That is until we find out we are not leaving the EU and then wearing a cycle helmet is made law

No further debate on EU referendum needed

beardy
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Re: Failing friendship over helmet wearing

Postby beardy » 4 Mar 2016, 9:41pm

That is until we find out we are not leaving the EU and then wearing a cycle helmet is made law


Not likely when you consider the existence of all those lidless Dutch cyclists.
Our government on the other hand has said it is just waiting until the existing take up is high enough that any rebellion is only minor.

Mattyfez
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Re: Failing friendship over helmet wearing

Postby Mattyfez » 4 Mar 2016, 9:53pm

Hah!

I think any legislation would be pointless with so few beat bobbies, and most are unfit.. And Swan around in cars, with the amount of bridleways and canals and single track in my area they'd have to scramble a helicopter to fine me for not wearing a helmet! Lol!

Mattyfez
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Re: Failing friendship over helmet wearing

Postby Mattyfez » 4 Mar 2016, 9:56pm

I can see the news article already.. Maverick cyclist costs tax payer £80,000 as helicopter intercept required in order to hand out fixed penalty notice for not wearing a helmet !

Batears
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Re: Failing friendship over helmet wearing

Postby Batears » 4 Mar 2016, 10:00pm

Only if they were speeding too!!

TonyR
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Re: Failing friendship over helmet wearing

Postby TonyR » 5 Mar 2016, 7:03am

I agree with the suggestion upthread of drawing a line. Just put it simply. Would you rather have me as a friend and accept I don't wear a helmet or not accept that I won't wear a helmet and not have me as a friend. Your choice mate.

bikepacker
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Re: Failing friendship over helmet wearing

Postby bikepacker » 5 Mar 2016, 11:11am

A similar thing happened to me. A guy I occasionally rode with asked me to accompany him on a 3 day charity ride. Normally I don't do charity rides but this time I relented when told I did not have to get any sponsors. Three days before the start he phoned me to say he was getting me a helmet, he knew I didn't wear one, but said the charity insisted. Obviously I told him I wasn't going to wear one and dropped out of the ride. He has never spoken to me since. His loss as I did quite a bit of free maintenance on his bikes for which he now has to pay.
There is your way. There is my way. But there is no "the way".