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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Re: Failing friendship over helmet wearing

Postby Mattyfez » 5 Mar 2016, 3:30pm

Thanks all, some good advice there I think.. I'll just lay it out; Cut the offensive comments and accept I don't wear one, or go find someone else to be rude to.

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Si
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Re: Failing friendship over helmet wearing

Postby Si » 5 Mar 2016, 5:23pm

Friends is bad enough....just imagine if you work with fellow bikeability instructors who tell nervous trainees that they are certain to die if they don't wear a helmet!

(note: there is nothing in the bikeability standards that says anyone must wear a helmet or that they will save lives)

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pjclinch
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Re: Failing friendship over helmet wearing

Postby pjclinch » 6 Mar 2016, 12:44pm

Si wrote:
(note: there is nothing in the bikeability standards that says anyone must wear a helmet or that they will save lives)


Only that if they do wear one they must understand how to fit it correctly. Which they generally don't...

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Re: Failing friendship over helmet wearing

Postby Steady rider » 6 Mar 2016, 5:50pm

Mattyfez you are in David's camp, David and Goliath I am referring to, David chose not to wear a helmet and Goliath wore a bronze helmet.
Helmet choice goes back at least 3 thousand years. Telling your friend that you are in David's camp and he is in the Goliath camp make lighten the discussion.

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Mick F
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Re: Failing friendship over helmet wearing

Postby Mick F » 6 Mar 2016, 7:35pm

Si wrote:Friends is bad enough....just imagine if you work with fellow bikeability instructors who tell nervous trainees that they are certain to die if they don't wear a helmet!

(note: there is nothing in the bikeability standards that says anyone must wear a helmet or that they will save lives)
I've helped out a couple of times with the children locally.

The lady who runs the whole thing makes a point about the children wearing a helmet, and makes sure they are fitted correctly. I have even been involved with the advice and the fitting correctly thing.

Since the last time, I've stopped wearing a helmet and now I'm unconvinced about them at all. It took me to be physically uncomfortable with wearing one, to be uncomfortable with the whole subject.
I managed for 50odd years of cycling without one, to wearing one for less than ten years.
Why? For goodness sake?

Any road up, if the Bikeability lady asks me again this year, I'll put my foot down about the helmet situation.
Advice and not Compulsion.
Mick F. Cornwall

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Si
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Re: Failing friendship over helmet wearing

Postby Si » 7 Mar 2016, 10:33am

Yes. I'm not against people wearing helmets in bikeability, indeed I have to wear one myself for some of my employers. But my advice to trainees is: "A helmet might save you from minor injuries in some crashes, but the best way to stay safe is to listen to what we say and ride safely".

As I've said before: I've only done one bikeability session where a helmet might have saved a trainee from injury: we had just done a demo and I told the kids to go back to their bikes so they could have a go...one child turned around and walked straight into a lamp post, putting a small dint into his lid :lol:

And only one bikeability session where we've had a head injury....we were lined up in the playground ready to go when two children playing football ran through our group - these two footballers ran into each other and one fell, smacking his head on the tarmac and stunning himself.

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pjclinch
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Re: Failing friendship over helmet wearing

Postby pjclinch » 7 Mar 2016, 12:38pm

Mick F wrote:Any road up, if the Bikeability lady asks me again this year, I'll put my foot down about the helmet situation.
Advice and not Compulsion.


It may well be out of her hands. When I'm working for Perth & Kinross I have to insist all my trainees use helmets, because that's P&K policy. They are in loco parentis, and what they say goes. My (Scottish) trainer's materials quite specifically point out it's up to me to toe the line of Local Authority policy.

While I have put it to P&K that I think it should be up to individual carers (in line with current Sustrans helmet policy) we're dealing with multiple levels of detached bureaucracy with no idea about the matter beyond What Everyone Says Is Common Sense and I suspect nothing will happen soon, so I make sure we do a classroom session where a bit of reality is given (if you do this make sure you use citations/examples from eminently trustworthy sources so you can't be accused of going off-piste) and rue the time wasted faffing about getting them adjusted properly.

It may be that she's going somewhat beyond the LA line in which case you might well have a fair point. For helping put your foot down have a look at http://www.ncb.org.uk/media/443203/cyclingreport_2005.pdf, Tim Gill's "Cycling and Children and Young People". It has a ~20 page discussion of the helmet debate which is distinguished by the author not having a vested interest in the outcome, being a keen fan of actual evidence, having been commissioned by a children's welfare charity without an axe to grind on the issue, looking at a broad spread of evidence that looks at it from many angles, and being lucid and well written.
Also pull up current Sustrans policy, http://www.sustrans.org.uk/about-us/our-position/our-position-use-bike-helmets.

We also need to face the facts that if everyone had a free choice that would in effect be all their carers having free choice and you'd get fairly few kids without them in the current climate. If they are going to wear them they should be properly fitted, partly to satisfy the L1 Outcome on clothing and equipment but mostly if they are going to do any good they need to be properly fitted.

Si wrote:And only one bikeability session where we've had a head injury....we were lined up in the playground ready to go when two children playing football ran through our group - these two footballers ran into each other and one fell, smacking his head on the tarmac and stunning himself.


We did have a head injury in a fall from a bike last year... One of my assistant trainers came off, and she took it on the chin so her helmet was no use. Still, in what must have been a million-to-one chance she survived somehow, got back up and got on with the session.

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mjr
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Re: Failing friendship over helmet wearing

Postby mjr » 7 Mar 2016, 6:29pm

Mick F wrote:I managed for 50odd years of cycling without one, to wearing one for less than ten years.
Why? For goodness sake?

Maybe you assumed that they must offer some benefit because they look protective, but didn't look into the data behind them?

The last time I wore a helmet, I took a risk that I should not have and ended up sliding down the road as a result. I studied statistics to degree level and know about risk compensation and all that and I still did it. So I can easily understand why helmet-wearing and injury rates seem uncorrelated in most datasets, as well as having the practical experience that cycling freely doesn't often result in terrible injuries.

pjclinch wrote:Only that if they do wear one they must understand how to fit it correctly. Which they generally don't...

The bike racing season has started again fully. Loads of professional cyclists demonstrating that they are professing a belief in helmets for their sponsors, rather than really believing in them, by not fitting them properly: rakish angles, dangling chinstraps and so on.
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Re: Failing friendship over helmet wearing

Postby Vorpal » 7 Mar 2016, 8:22pm

mjr wrote:The bike racing season has started again fully. Loads of professional cyclists demonstrating that they are professing a belief in helmets for their sponsors, rather than really believing in them, by not fitting them properly: rakish angles, dangling chinstraps and so on.

Professional cyclists wear them because the rules say so.
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Re: Failing friendship over helmet wearing

Postby Tonyf33 » 8 Mar 2016, 4:06am

After seeing master Thomas's glancing blow with a telegraph pole (or somesuch) at last years TdF pretty much all the pelaton & Bikeradar/other race orientated forum users will have you believe he would have died a thousand deaths without it.
As opposed to him likely not hitting the pole with his head at all because he couldn't shy it away enough to avoid the glancing blow due to the extra diameter of his noggin (much of the blow was on his upper torso thst I could see) and that by time he hit the pole he was doing much less than 15mph anyways.
Pro riders as much as others are duped into thinking helmets are the be all and end all of safety, just look at how few injuries there are at the pro level due to not taking overt risks due to being so well protected...oh wait :roll:

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[XAP]Bob
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Re: Failing friendship over helmet wearing

Postby [XAP]Bob » 8 Mar 2016, 6:10am

Racing drivers wear helmets too, and nomes suits...

We should make them compulsory for driving a car, if it saves just one life....
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way. No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
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pjclinch
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Re: Failing friendship over helmet wearing

Postby pjclinch » 8 Mar 2016, 7:56am

Tonyf33 wrote:After seeing master Thomas's glancing blow with a telegraph pole (or somesuch) at last years TdF pretty much all the pelaton & Bikeradar/other race orientated forum users will have you believe he would have died a thousand deaths without it.
As opposed to him likely not hitting the pole with his head at all because he couldn't shy it away enough to avoid the glancing blow due to the extra diameter of his noggin (much of the blow was on his upper torso thst I could see) and that by time he hit the pole he was doing much less than 15mph anyways.


Or there is a possibility somewhere in between which does actually fit the case the damn things are designed for, something like G took a bit of a whack, but rather than lose 5 minutes due to waiting for the stars to stop circling his head he lost less than 1 from being able to get back on quicker.

There's a lot of ground between Saving Your Life and Causing Avoidable Accidents

Pro riders are pretty hardy and will get back on with hideous road rash, but if you're dazed you really do have to wait a bit for the adrenaline to see you through. So a helmet, like a hairnet before it, can help with just getting back on and getting back in. This is not a factor where serious injury is on the cards, of course, and not something that obviously requires everyone to wear one.

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Zigster
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Re: Failing friendship over helmet wearing

Postby Zigster » 8 Mar 2016, 9:11am

I'm a Cub Scout leader. I've never done the Cyclist Activity Badge with my Cubs because the badge requirements insist that everyone has to wear a helmet, not just in the requirements but even goes further and provides a clear instruction further down, although it suggests that a cycle helmet is only as effective as a turban ...

"! You must always wear a cycle helmet when riding your bike. The only exception is if you’re Sikh and you wear a turban."

Some of my Cubs know I don't wear a helmet all the time and I know from experience similar to the OP's how irrationally cross people can get if you even suggest that helmets aren't essential. It's easier just to let someone else do Bikeability with them.

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mjr
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Re: Failing friendship over helmet wearing

Postby mjr » 8 Mar 2016, 9:43am

pjclinch wrote:Or there is a possibility somewhere in between which does actually fit the case the damn things are designed for, something like G took a bit of a whack, but rather than lose 5 minutes due to waiting for the stars to stop circling his head he lost less than 1 from being able to get back on quicker.

Except that, as Tonyf33 points out, the impact seemed to be to his shoulder/torso rather than his helmet. I can't play the video (itv uses the rubbish brightcove video player) but the still on http://www.itv.com/tourdefrance/video-g ... graph-pole shows an undamaged hat.

Zigster wrote:I'm a Cub Scout leader. I've never done the Cyclist Activity Badge with my Cubs because the badge requirements insist that everyone has to wear a helmet, [...] It's easier just to let someone else do Bikeability with them.

Isn't this part of the problem? It's easier for most of us to just walk away rather than challenge this irrational "road safety" culture that's harming cycling and public health, which hands control of cycling education to the paranoia-pushers. I can appreciate why people do it and I won't blame anyone who decides not to fight these attacks on our cycling, but I ask everyone to at least consider objecting to those sorts of requirement formally.
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AlaninWales
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Re: Failing friendship over helmet wearing

Postby AlaninWales » 8 Mar 2016, 11:13am