Big Bike revival ... yet more helmet normalising!

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.
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Lance Dopestrong
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Re: Big Bike revival ... yet more helmet normalising!

Postby Lance Dopestrong » 22 Apr 2019, 10:38am

Cyril Haearn wrote:Lance accepts wearing a helmut while pjc refuses, two different attitudes, care to explain briefly?


If I don't I can't get the insurance to train. I'm afraid buddy that it's not that I accept it, or agree with the compulsion, it's simply that I have no choice in the matter if I am to get the insurance cover I need to deliver high level training. I can't afford a defence solicitor, a life time of specialist medical care, or an adapted disabled friendly house if one my students breaks their spine and sues me, so the insurance is essential and I'm over a barrel.

During my personal riding I may or may not wear a lid depending on may factors. My personal insurer has made no stipulations regarding bounce potties, leaving me free as an adult to make an informed decision each time I go for a ride.
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Psamathe
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Re: Big Bike revival ... yet more helmet normalising!

Postby Psamathe » 22 Apr 2019, 10:49am

Lance Dopestrong wrote:
Cyril Haearn wrote:Lance accepts wearing a helmut while pjc refuses, two different attitudes, care to explain briefly?


If I don't I can't get the insurance to train. It's not that I accept it, or agree with the compulsion, it's simply that I have no choice in the matter.
.....

Last summer my travel insurance for touring Europe required me to wear a helmet (requirements and reality were not always the same); a lot of discussion here about Nationwide requiring headgear to be worn. I believe I've seen posts from others here about CTC/CUKs own insurance policy offerings also requiring helmet wearing https://forum.cyclinguk.org/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=111440 although that was from 2017 so things might have changed by now.

I don't think the issue is only for training.

Ian

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pjclinch
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Re: Big Bike revival ... yet more helmet normalising!

Postby pjclinch » 22 Apr 2019, 11:05am

Psamathe wrote:
pjclinch wrote:
Lance Dopestrong wrote:Perhaps, and this is just an idea, CUK could present the information and let us adults make up our own minds? I don't see why they have to take a stance on something that isn't obligatory, and which has no immediate prospect of becoming so.


That would be what the CUK Helmet Briefing is for. And whether you read it or not CUK appear to be quite on board with you making up your own mind.

I think they are right to take a stance because the general public's assumed knowledge of the matter is out of step with the evidence. Cycle helmets are peripheral to cycle safety, but on the ground you could be forgiven that "cycle safety" and "helmet wearing" are practically interchangeable.

I would agree they should take a stance but I think they should pursue their stance more than I believe they do. I appreciate "limited resources", etc. but it is becoming more pernicious, more and more schools introducing "policies" and nobody contesting the basis for those decisions.


I think we're in Furious Agreement here, but the reality on the ground is that so many people "know" helmets are Wonderful that suggesting otherwise is heresy and you'll be dismissed out of hand if you try. I've been playing this game for about 15 years now, and whatever you do is wrong because you're trying to implement a fundamental cultural change which starts off by requiring people to admit that what they firmly believe isn't nearly as black and white as they thought.

Because for Joe & Jane Public "cycle safety" and "wearing helmets" are broadly interchangeable, an organisation that keeps saying that that's not the case is risking dismissal in to irrelevance, because they're "obviously" nutters. Another side of this is the misunderstanding that not going on about helmets is the elephant in the room, so Chris Boardman does a piece for TV about something useful and after the piece is shown the presenter ignores everything they've just been told and starts off with, "But Chris, you weren't wearing a helmet"...

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Lance Dopestrong
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Re: Big Bike revival ... yet more helmet normalising!

Postby Lance Dopestrong » 22 Apr 2019, 11:15am

And had Chris been on the ball he'd have replied, "Yes, and I'm still alive."
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Re: Big Bike revival ... yet more helmet normalising!

Postby pjclinch » 22 Apr 2019, 11:18am

Lance Dopestrong wrote:And had Chris been on the ball he'd have replied, "Yes, and I'm still alive."


He is on record as saying helmets are a "complete red herring". But for that kind of thing he refuses to engage on the (IMHO reasonable) basis that as soon as you start the whole thing will be derailed, the whole time will be spent on helmets and nobody will change their mind and the thing he wanted to talk about will be lost.

Like I said, whatever you do is wrong.

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The utility cyclist
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Re: Big Bike revival ... yet more helmet normalising!

Postby The utility cyclist » 23 Apr 2019, 7:48pm

gaz wrote:
The utility cyclist wrote:Re insistance of LA for helmets, why aren't CUK/Sustrans putting pressure on LAs to not enforce these matters and make sure that the reality of the failures/weakneses of helmets be put out as a matter of course.

I've posted twice on these boards where I have heard direct from the mouths of LA officers that Cycling UK have objected to their helmet policies and not allowed them to continue with them.

The first were local authority "health promotion" rides, part funded by CTC. The LA officer in charge was a helmet evangelist and explained that the only reason helmets were not compulsory was CTC insistence as a condition of funding. I never got to the bottom of the funding arrangement, although I dug no further than looking for a record in the annual accounts. Helmets became compulsory on these LA rides about 12 months ago, I presume the funding had ended.

The other related to Kent County Council's "Kent Rider" scheme, an in-house cycle proficiency for primary school kids. It included a video, best referred to simply as "wear a helmet or die". Speaking to a local cycle forum in 2018 KCC's head of road safety mentioned his despair that Cycling UK had banned the video. The reason, KCC last ran "Kent Rider" in 2011, switching to Bikeability in 2012. Cycling UK would not allow it to be shown as it is not part of the Bikeability standard.

Sustrans, I've definitely seen some very dodgy stuff one of their "Bike It" officers promoted in Scotland, I hope that was down to a loose cannon.

Unfortunately the voices of Cycling UK and Sustrans aren't the only ones out there. Central government policy and that of the whole "road safety" industry remains the encouragement of hi-vis and helmets.

Thanks for that reply

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Cunobelin
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Re: Big Bike revival ... yet more helmet normalising!

Postby Cunobelin » 27 Apr 2019, 10:30am

The big difference to me is that I make a continuing and variable risk assessment, about my safety, and part of that is avoiding an accident in the first place

The motoring lobby works on the principle that they WILL hit a cyclist and that cyclist has to mitigate the injuries THEY inflict.

More would be achieved by better vehicle design... et the motoring lobby is quite happy with designs they know will maximise rather than minimise injuries in vulnerable road users

As the guru who "invented the SUV" (Clotaire RApaille) once pointed out...

These vehicles are selected and driven by drivers who know they have poor road skills, and that they WILL have accidents. It is all about ensuring that when that happens the other guy comes off worse

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Lance Dopestrong
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Re: Big Bike revival ... yet more helmet normalising!

Postby Lance Dopestrong » 27 Apr 2019, 11:19am

Pretty well put. Victim blaming is fast becoming unacceptable in every other walk of life but when it comes to slaughtering cyclists its somehow still an ok pastime.
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vat1666firerates1
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Re: Big Bike revival ... yet more helmet normalising!

Postby vat1666firerates1 » 27 Apr 2019, 10:06pm

I am surprised nobody from CUK HQ or a Trustee has come on here to defend BBR position

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RickH
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Re: Big Bike revival ... yet more helmet normalising!

Postby RickH » 27 Apr 2019, 10:18pm

vat1666firerates1 wrote:I am surprised nobody from CUK HQ or a Trustee has come on here to defend BBR position

This isn't an official channel of communication with Cycling UK, it is an open forum for anyone, not just members, to discuss (mostly) cycling. Whilst the is one trustee who frequents the forum (having been a forum member before being elected to the trustees), I doubt they will give an opinion unless the trustees collectively deem it to be a good idea (which I personally doubt they would).

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Re: Big Bike revival ... yet more helmet normalising!

Postby horizon » 27 Apr 2019, 10:42pm

vat1666firerates1 wrote:I am surprised nobody from CUK HQ or a Trustee has come on here to defend BBR position


I don't think there is much to defend. As has been said above, CUK are caught up in the public belief that helmets are a panacea. There may be other things that I might criticise CUK for but this isn't one of them. The OP is right, CUK is normalising helmets by photographing people wearing them but it hasn't asked them to put them on (unlike the BBC for instance who do insist that presenters wear them).
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Re: Big Bike revival ... yet more helmet normalising!

Postby fastpedaller » 28 Apr 2019, 12:13am

An interesting discussion. Anyone here from Northumberland? When we holidayed in Northumberland in 2017, I caught the end of an early evening (6 ish) 'magazine programme' for the local ITV network. There was the 'senior safety executive' or whatever he was called, advocating cyclists should wear high viz with 'POLITE' and chequered area on the back, and helmets and 'take care of their own safety'. As I said, I only saw part or this 'article' but it made me fume. when we returned home I tried to find further details about 'his' recommendations so I could make a complaint, but was unsuccessful.
Ironically (in our car) during this holiday we (and a car behind) just missed passing to the afterlife when a huge truck on the A1 single carriageway coming in the opposite direction decided he would overtake at least 3 vehicles, forcing both cars onto the verge to avoid him. Maybe the safety bod should get more Police on the job instead of dressing cyclist up to look like Police? The number of extremely dangerous potholes we encountered was staggering as well - but I reported those.

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Cunobelin
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Re: Big Bike revival ... yet more helmet normalising!

Postby Cunobelin » 28 Apr 2019, 10:27am

I am afraid that I cannot find the link(s) to verify all of this, but it is something that I remember from a few years ago when helmets became compulsory for cycle training in schools...and I know this is 20 years ago

There were three linked items

One was helmet use and it showed that children from deprived areas were less likely to own or use a helmet and that parents could not afford or did not prioritise buying a helmet just to access the training

The second was a paper that showed that the children from deprived areas were suffering more cycle-related cycling injuries.

The third was proof that cycle training in children was effective and reduced the number of accidents these children were experiencing

A parental questionnaire survey concerning children's cycling accident involvement and exposure to traffic. A control group of children who had not been trained had 3 to 4 times as many casualties as the trained group.


The outcome was that training was far more effective in that it reduced accidents by a greater factor than helmets mitigated injuries when they occurred

However as always, logic was not a feature and the far greater benefit of the training was denied to the most vulnerable group on the Altar of Compulsion

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Re: Big Bike revival ... yet more helmet normalising!

Postby Oldjohnw » 28 Apr 2019, 10:43am

I'm from Northumberland but am unaware of this. But then, I don't watch telly.

Skilled training is more important, IMV. I see kids just charging straight into main roads or straight on to pavements without any awareness of their surroundings, or any traffic sense.
Last edited by Oldjohnw on 28 Apr 2019, 2:43pm, edited 2 times in total.
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gaz
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Re: Big Bike revival ... yet more helmet normalising!

Postby gaz » 28 Apr 2019, 10:51am

The Big Bike Revival page on Cycling UK website (January 2019). Helmets are not as prevalant as the link in the OP to an article on "Building Communities" (August 2018).

It doesn't change the OP's criticisms of the normalising of helmets and ultimately BBR is a part of the "Building Communities" programme.
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