Are head injuries something you worry about when cycling?

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.
Jon Lucas
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Are head injuries something you worry about when cycling?

Postby Jon Lucas » 3 Sep 2018, 12:59pm

I started a little discussion on this on the Geraint Thomas thread, so thought I would start a separate one. Helmet wearing advocacy started due to concerns about head injuries to cyclists, but as has been said many times on this forum, these are actually rare compared to those sustained through other activities and other ways of travelling. Yet helmet wearing has now become normalised for many cyclists.

So I would be interested to hear, whether you wear a helmet or not, whether injuring your head is something that worries you when cycling. In the 50 years that i have been cycling most days, it has never worried me, and while I have had a few incidents on the bike, including one collision with a car that left me being taken to hospital by ambulance, the injuries I've received have always been to other parts of my body well away from my head. I have ridden in most road conditions, including roads with very high accident rates, and have certainly been scared of the potential interaction between me and some of the poor drivers we have to face on roads, but a worry about head injury has been the last thing on my mind in these conditions.

But perhaps I'm just a bit odd and every other cyclist is worrying about it all the time. It would be nice to know if that was the case. :wink:

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SimonCelsa
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Re: Are head injuries something you worry about when cycling?

Postby SimonCelsa » 3 Sep 2018, 1:08pm

No, I don't worry about it myself. Had 3 offs this winter on black ice. Head didn't hit the deck once although one of the falls was quite spectacular. I can recall that slow motion animation with myself sliding on the road with the bike in the air above me. I was more worried about my newly acquired 'Buffalo' shirt which fortunately didn't suffer. A couple of paint scrapes only and some twisted bars.

Having said that when my kids were younger (i.e less than 10) I tended to make sure they wore a helmet. Hypocritical perhaps?

JamesE
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Re: Are head injuries something you worry about when cycling?

Postby JamesE » 3 Sep 2018, 1:31pm

Not at all. I've come off the bike I think five times ever from various causes – rear-ended by a car, caught the handlebars on a flapping tarpaulin, foolishly tried to brake while turning sharply through loose gravel – and never come close to hitting my head. The only way I can imagine suffering serious head injuries is in a high-speed head-on crash where I'd probably get so mangled anyway that a helmet wouldn't make much difference.

tatanab
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Re: Are head injuries something you worry about when cycling?

Postby tatanab » 3 Sep 2018, 1:39pm

NO.

In 55 years of cycling I have sustained 2 head injuries. In 1971 I was hit pretty much head on by a car, impact speed probably only about 30mph, and sustained a minor concussion along with broken collar bone and many skin wounds. in 1975 I was racing on the track (velodrome) when things went wrong and I went from 30mph to zero in a blink of an eye. My leather strip "helmet" did what it was supposed to and stopped me taking my scalp off, many other skin wounds.

I do not know how many times I have crashed and not hit my head. In my youth crashing did not matter but as I get older I would really rather not.

Marcus Aurelius
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Re: Are head injuries something you worry about when cycling?

Postby Marcus Aurelius » 3 Sep 2018, 1:46pm

They didn’t used to be something I worried too much about, then I got brought down by a phone zombie walking in front of me whilst at speed, now they figure in my thinking a lot more.

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mjr
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Re: Are head injuries something you worry about when cycling?

Postby mjr » 3 Sep 2018, 2:10pm

I worry about all injuries, although not all the time. I just think that I was crashing so much more often when I used a helmet that it was more likely to harm me than help. Even if the top of my head was safe, the rest of my body - even the lower part of my head, including my face, which hit the tarmac years ago when I was a small child... running not cycling - was still exposed.

I started using a helmet after a relative was crashed into by another cyclist - as did she. I now realise that was a very silly reason to start using them because they are intended for falls, not collisions. I only stopped when I started to develop a neck injury that got worse the more I cycled - I gave up the helmet and it went away. I concluded that my neck isn't really designed to balance another half-pound on top of my head all day. I then only used it for certain rides for a while, but then I noticed that those tended to be the rides I crashed on or crashed worse on - and that's despite me being well aware about risk compensation and other recursions from my education, so I suspect there's some physical drawback(s) to use too.
Last edited by mjr on 3 Sep 2018, 2:16pm, edited 2 times in total.
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mjr
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Re: Are head injuries something you worry about when cycling?

Postby mjr » 3 Sep 2018, 2:14pm

By the way, I collided with another cyclist on Saturday as he inexplicably turned across me (no junction there). I braked and steered hard away from the collision and stayed upright. I think we both stayed up. I don't know if I'm extra-motivated not to hit the deck, even on the verge, because I only have a soft cap on, but it's subconscious if so.

He's not sure what happened but he knows his helmet hit something - I think it was probably my water bottle. I dared not ask if it saved his life from my killer bottle. ;-)
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
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[XAP]Bob
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Re: Are head injuries something you worry about when cycling?

Postby [XAP]Bob » 3 Sep 2018, 2:26pm

No.
Then against Indont worry about my car bursting into flames either.
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.
There are two kinds of people in this world: those can extrapolate from incomplete data.

crazydave789
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Re: Are head injuries something you worry about when cycling?

Postby crazydave789 » 3 Sep 2018, 2:59pm

since I read the early data and the protests by the professional cyclists on the subject, not really - although car drivers are much much worse now IMO.

the roads are more hazardous with blind truckers, texting car and van drivers or the ones never off their phones. pedestrians don't seen to pay attention anymore and there is much more to injure you in the way of road furniture and potholes.

so a helmet might help you in the event of the odd knock, self injury, an angry pothole or diesel slip but not much else if anything else is part of the accident. that's my view anyway.

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Cunobelin
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Re: Are head injuries something you worry about when cycling?

Postby Cunobelin » 3 Sep 2018, 3:22pm

Nope....

Now whether the next village has a cake stop....... there is a real concern

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pjclinch
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Re: Are head injuries something you worry about when cycling?

Postby pjclinch » 3 Sep 2018, 5:49pm

I started using a helmet at the tail end of the 80s as I was buying my first Proper Bike and saw myself as a Proper Cyclist, and that seemed to be the direction Proper Cyclists were going in, and it seemed daft not to etc. I wasn't particularly worried about head injuries, having been getting about by bike for years without having had any or wearing a helmet.

Cut forwards to the start of the noughties and having done a lot of reading I decided to ditch the lid. And for a while I was very conscious that I wasn't wearing a helmet, which amounts to worrying about head injuries. After a while I got used to my unlidded MO and then I stopped worrying about it.

A culture of helmet wearing draws attention to the possibility of head injuries. There seems to be an idea that if you fall off a bike (something we all know happens from time to time, amusingly I fell off mine in a "sand trap" a couple of minutes after I'd had a discussion about whether it was safe for me to ride without a helmet only 3 days ago) it's practically inevitable that you'll hit your head (mine didn't get anywhere near the ground in my recent "unplanned dismount").

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Mick F
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Re: Are head injuries something you worry about when cycling?

Postby Mick F » 3 Sep 2018, 6:22pm

No.
Mick F. Cornwall

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NATURAL ANKLING
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Re: Are head injuries something you worry about when cycling?

Postby NATURAL ANKLING » 3 Sep 2018, 8:05pm

Hi,

What's the point.

Anyone who worries at all about head injuries is VERY unlikely to post here............because they are afraid to face the onslaught of needling by non helmet wearers.
Its a club.

You might as well talk about deep cleaning chains.

I do wear a helmet but the thought of head injuries is not in my mind, if at all.
Its more that I will suffer crippling injuries to the rest of my body, and that will be being hit by a motor vehicle.

My reasons for wearing a helmet-
I like it.
Peak keeps sun and flies out of my eyes, (I do wear protective glasses).
Keeps rain off my head until you stop moving.
I have a good neck so no problem after 250 mile day rides :)
Warmer in winter.
Cooler in summer.

I fell over in the bath a few weeks back...............hit my head on bath.......1st time ever hope its the last.........much more likely maybe than hitting my head falling off bike which is also a first 10 months ago, scrapped cracked helmet and put on new one. :P Riding for 50 years knocked off by a foreign driver 43 years ago, stiff leg all week.

Don't buy a car which has a reputation for instantaneous combustion there have been some over the years.
Don't sleep in a bunk bed..........if you are prone to sleepwalking :)
Don't over soap your feet in the shower / bath :(
Priority Is Still 500K In 24..Just Dreaming...Stay Focused Guys And Keep Sharp...
You'll Find Me At The Top Of a Hill...............Somewhere...After Dark..

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mjr
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Re: Are head injuries something you worry about when cycling?

Postby mjr » 3 Sep 2018, 8:35pm

NATURAL ANKLING wrote:Anyone who worries at all about head injuries is VERY unlikely to post here............because they are afraid to face the onslaught of needling by non helmet wearers.
[...]
I have a good neck so no problem after 250 mile day rides :)

Maybe you get needled because you needle others.

You're probably injuring your neck too but you might not notice until you die another way.

Warmer in winter.
Cooler in summer.

Can't be both. It's made from house insulation, so my money's on it being warm but draughty in both.
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
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Jon Lucas
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Re: Are head injuries something you worry about when cycling?

Postby Jon Lucas » 3 Sep 2018, 8:56pm

NATURAL ANKLING wrote:
What's the point.

(


If that is a question rather than a statement, the point is to give those who are worried about head injuries a chance to say so as well as those of us who are not. Looking through the helmets sub-forum, those who post here seem to split fairly evenly between those who wear them and those who do not, much like the general cycling population, so nobody should have concerns about posting here and having their concerns ridiculed.