Shouty Helmet wearer

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.
mmcnay
Posts: 28
Joined: 15 Aug 2017, 10:10am

Shouty Helmet wearer

Postby mmcnay » 3 Sep 2019, 3:11pm

Hello,

To introduce myself. I don't wear a helmet when riding, but my wife does. And so does my young son. My choice not to, her choice to. And our choice for our son.

Yesterday afternoon, I was cycling with my son, on a cycle path next to a busy road. A young man on a passing road bike, wearing team colours and a streamlined helmet, shouted that I should be wearing a helmet like my son was. He was loud, his face creased in self-righteousness. I told him to mind his own business. He sped off, the coward, giving me the finger.

This is the second time this has happened - a shouty helmet wearer has queried a choice I make about my own safety - a choice that has no effect on anyone but me - or my family who respect my decision and the rationale behind it. Both times when I was with my young son. Both times by people on road bikes who don't stop to engage, they just shout and keep moving. Cowards.

This isn't just about wearing a helmet. This is about choices and tolerance of others. If you want to shout at me about my decision not to comply with your standards - Do it when I'm on my own, when I don't have a child to look out for. Shouting at me makes me more determined not to give in. If you want to query my decision, then stop me and have a chat. A reasoned chat about dangers and statistics is more likely to be successful.

Better still, mind your own business. We are all imperfect humans and cyclists. So spend your energy on becoming a better human or cyclist and not forcing your opinions on people who don't do it like you do.

Anyway, rant over.

Happy cycling!

mattheus
Posts: 746
Joined: 29 Dec 2008, 12:57pm

Re: Shouty Helmet wearer

Postby mattheus » 3 Sep 2019, 3:41pm

I've had the same. Idiots.

(I am often a "roadie in team colours". but not always (-: )

millimole
Posts: 464
Joined: 18 Feb 2007, 5:41pm
Location: Leicester

Re: Shouty Helmet wearer

Postby millimole » 3 Sep 2019, 4:10pm

I've never had a comment about my choice of headgear.
I wonder if it's related to the rest of the outfit?
Do riders in 'all the gear' get these comments if they're unhelmeted much more than riders in casual attire?
(As you might have guessed, I tend towards everyday clothing and flat cap)

I'm a trendy consumer. Just look at my gormless idiot phone.
Leicester; Riding my Hetchins since 1971; Audaxing on my Dawes; Riding to work on a Decathlon Hoprider

pwa
Posts: 10302
Joined: 2 Oct 2011, 8:55pm

Re: Shouty Helmet wearer

Postby pwa » 3 Sep 2019, 4:12pm

I'm afraid that in this era of social media and "realithy TV" some people think they have a right to mouth off about anything, whether it is their business or not.

LollyKat
Posts: 2886
Joined: 28 May 2011, 11:25pm
Location: Scotland

Re: Shouty Helmet wearer

Postby LollyKat » 3 Sep 2019, 4:15pm

mattheus wrote:I've had the same. Idiots.


Same here - I usually just ignore them, or better still smile and wave. Occasionally I've pointed out that cycle helmets didn't exist when I learnt to ride in the 1950s. :lol:

Mike Sales
Posts: 3345
Joined: 7 Mar 2009, 3:31pm

Re: Shouty Helmet wearer

Postby Mike Sales » 3 Sep 2019, 4:17pm

I wonder if helmet wearers ever get shouted at by non-believers?

User avatar
mjr
Posts: 13790
Joined: 20 Jun 2011, 7:06pm
Location: Norfolk or Somerset, mostly
Contact:

Re: Shouty Helmet wearer

Postby mjr » 3 Sep 2019, 4:24pm

millimole wrote:I've never had a comment about my choice of headgear.
I wonder if it's related to the rest of the outfit?
Do riders in 'all the gear' get these comments if they're unhelmeted much more than riders in casual attire?
(As you might have guessed, I tend towards everyday clothing and flat cap)

Not as far as I can tell. It may be related to the bike and/or the location, as I feel it happens to me much more in England but away from Norfolk and the fens, and slightly more if I'm riding a road bike or hybrid than if I'm riding a roadster or folding bike.

millimole wrote:I'm a trendy consumer. Just look at my gormless idiot phone.

Has something infected your phone?

Mike Sales wrote:I wonder if helmet wearers ever get shouted at by non-believers?

I've been both over the years and it seems to be very much only users shouting at non-users in this country.

Abroad, I've been part of a touring group which had a Dutch woman shout at us that "the Tour de France is that way" which I suspect was aimed at the 80%ish helmet users among us ;) but that's about the only time I've ever been in earshot of anything like that!

It's far less common than motorists shouting at cyclists, though.
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
All the above is CC-By-SA and no other implied copyright license to Cycle magazine.

Tangled Metal
Posts: 5709
Joined: 13 Feb 2015, 8:32pm

Re: Shouty Helmet wearer

Postby Tangled Metal » 3 Sep 2019, 4:44pm

Happened to my partner when a bunch of riders from a Kendal cycle club (Kendal on the jerseys) went past and one guy told my partner off for not wearing helmet.

A little up the road and I was waiting, helmetless, and annoyed waiting for a comment. Luckily he didn't say a word. I was fuming since I heard him say it.

We were 5 minutes down the road from the canal towpath we popped off and about another 5 minutes along that from home. We'd only been checking up on a house for sale and hardly critical to wear anything on our heads. Spur of the moment ride out to check it out.

I regret not contacting the club.

Another related issue was how our kids head made a comment about our son not riding to and from school with a helmet on. It was a comment made in his school report! How bad is that? If he doesn't want to wear a helmet for the few minutes it takes to get to school or from school then be doesn't have to. It's a route down safe back allies and dead end roads. He walks if icy or any hint of being slippy. It's safe. He's also riding at walking pace next to one of us.

BTW I suspect I won't get such a comment from strangers on bikes being a few cms under 2m and male. I've never had one before except from non cycling work colleagues and a boss at work. I don't mind that because you can tell them the truth about helmets. These roadies and other opinionated cyclists kind of hit and run.

BTW the pace they were riding they wouldn't lose me before I'd said my piece. :wink:

User avatar
Wanlock Dod
Posts: 499
Joined: 28 Sep 2016, 5:48pm

Re: Shouty Helmet wearer

Postby Wanlock Dod » 3 Sep 2019, 5:32pm

In my experience folks are much more tolerant of people on bikes not wearing helmets than they are of cyclists not wearing helmets.
Normal clothes = no helmet expected
Lycra = helmet expected

User avatar
Cugel
Posts: 2497
Joined: 13 Nov 2017, 11:14am

Re: Shouty Helmet wearer

Postby Cugel » 3 Sep 2019, 5:37pm

Mike Sales wrote:I wonder if helmet wearers ever get shouted at by non-believers?


Ha ha - I never raise the subject myself with other cyclists but if a would be helmet zealot makes the attempt to do a helmet-fascist upon me, as with the fellow the OP mentions, I enjoy the ensuing word-wrastle immensely! If they go red and purple i' the fizzog as I explain to them their fashion-victim status, all well & good. :-)

Of course, I can catch the ride-by helmet zealot who shouts his order about my lack of a Mekon-head hat, so they cannot avoid my return-lecksha about their own foolish "choice" of hat. Perhaps I will digress and also inform them of their poor pedalling style, bad choice of bicycle or even their obvious lack of cycling ability. This also is great tease-fun, for me at least.

Helmet fascists should reap what they sow, doncha think?

Cugel

Vorpal
Moderator
Posts: 17220
Joined: 19 Jan 2009, 3:34pm
Location: Not there ;)

Re: Shouty Helmet wearer

Postby Vorpal » 3 Sep 2019, 5:49pm

I've been shouted at a time or two. I actually prefer that to being lectured because bloody cyclists who don't wear helmets cause everyone's insurance rates to go up :roll: :roll:
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

User avatar
cyclemad
Posts: 151
Joined: 23 Jan 2018, 9:16pm

Re: Shouty Helmet wearer

Postby cyclemad » 3 Sep 2019, 5:51pm

but isn't it better/safer to wear a correctly fitted cycle helmet rather than nothing at all?

Mike Sales
Posts: 3345
Joined: 7 Mar 2009, 3:31pm

Re: Shouty Helmet wearer

Postby Mike Sales » 3 Sep 2019, 5:59pm

cyclemad wrote:but isn't it better/safer to wear a correctly fitted cycle helmet rather than nothing at all?


The evidence says not.

The enduring popularity of helmets as a proposed major intervention for increased road safety may therefore lie not with their direct benefits—which seem too modest to capture compared with other strategies—but more with the cultural, psychological, and political aspects of popular debate around risk.


https://www.bmj.com/content/346/bmj.f3817.full?ijkey=I5vHBog6FhaaLzX&keytype=ref

Vorpal
Moderator
Posts: 17220
Joined: 19 Jan 2009, 3:34pm
Location: Not there ;)

Re: Shouty Helmet wearer

Postby Vorpal » 3 Sep 2019, 6:00pm

cyclemad wrote:but isn't it better/safer to wear a correctly fitted cycle helmet rather than nothing at all?

Not necessarily. There is some evidence that cyclists who wear helmets take more risks and/or have more crashes.

See viewtopic.php?f=41&t=132247
or viewtopic.php?f=41&t=126849

https://www.cyclehelmets.org/ has extensive information about the research and data available about the usefulness of helmets.
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

User avatar
Wanlock Dod
Posts: 499
Joined: 28 Sep 2016, 5:48pm

Re: Shouty Helmet wearer

Postby Wanlock Dod » 3 Sep 2019, 6:10pm

cyclemad wrote:but isn't it better/safer to wear a correctly fitted cycle helmet rather than nothing at all?

There is a school of thought that suggests helmet promotion is nothing more than a distraction away from genuinely helpful interventions as far as cyclist safety is concerned.