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Re: Helimeds.

Posted: 31 Dec 2019, 12:23pm
by Cugel
Syd wrote:Hi Mike(s)

I have read both sides of the argument and take on board points from both sides.

I too was close to giving up on helmet wearing, especially on my commute as I generally cycle alone, until an incident made me rethink things.

I have discussed the incident elsewhere before but, in summary, I was struck side on by a car exiting a side road. This caused the bike to pivot and I was ejected backwards onto the road. The resulting impact caused compression on the rear of the helmet to the point hairline fractures were starting. I got up and walked away and was able to fly off to China on holiday two days later.

A passing nurse insisted I go to hospital for a checkup and called an ambulance. I was confirmed to be ok and the doctor happy I fly as above. I am not claiming for one moment that the ‘helmet saved my life’ but I am sure it saved me from an injury that would have resulted in the doctor being much less inclined to let me fly.

I have also been told many times that my impact was outside of the testing parameters of the helmet. Yes, I am sure it was but it still offered me protection in that incident.

I also appreciate that those circumstances are rare and I’ve got even begun to look at the infinitesimal odds of it happening to me again but it did demonstrate to me that, in those circumstances, the helmet was useful.


A good point and given in a meaningful context. You're right to suggest that there will be incidents and accidents where head protection - even of the small kind offered by a cycling helmet - will reduce harm.

Although I've never hit my head (at all) when coming off the bike, I have hit it when doing various DIY things, fell-walking and (worst incident) ice skating. In none of those scenarios is helmet wearing normal - but the ice-skating incident knocked me out and I spent a day in hospital just in case the nastier symptoms of concussion manifested. A cycling helmet would have acted perhaps as it did in your related incident. Less harm .... but (as you say) nothing like "saved my life".

Would I now wear a cycling helmet when ice skating? Perhaps - at least when learning. In practice I avoided any more ice skating, along with the sort of girlfriend who pushes you hard in the small of the back as you're wobbling about in your very first effort to skate. :-)

Cugel

Re: Helimeds.

Posted: 31 Dec 2019, 12:49pm
by Cunobelin
Marcus Aurelius wrote:
Mike Sales wrote:Here are some more "lone voices" who do not accept helmet orthodoxy.

“THE Transport and Health Study Group completed an extensive review of cycling for its book Health on the Move 2. We concluded against the promotion of cycle helmets and strongly against their compulsion.
“One of the main reasons is that the risks of cycling are in the same range as for walking or driving. Young males face higher risks as drivers. A mile of cycling is typically safer than a mile of walking.

“In addition, the health benefits of cycling are large with the daily cycling benefits to health as much as giving up cigarette smoking.

“Helmet laws have not noticeably reduced serious head injuries, except by reducing cycling.
“An excessive focus on helmets adds ‘fear’ to the obstacles hindering a cycling revival.”
Malcolm Wardlaw,
executive member,
Transport & Health Study Group



[url]https://www.scotsman.com/news-2-15012/transport/should-safety-helmets-be-made-compulsory-no-1-2335355 :([/url]


People who are pro helmet wearing, tend not to shout so much about it, as the truths are so self evident ( to any sane thinking individual) there really is no need to try and find incidents / stats to back up a flimsy ( at best ) argument ( for avoidance of doubt that’s the vehemently anti lid brigade’s argument(s)). Anti helmet people shout it from the metaphorical rooftops, pro helmet wearers just wait for the latest ‘cyclist who wasn’t wearing a lid death story’ to be attributed largely to head injuries, and let people make their own minds up, as to whether or not a lid may have possibly helped, or not.


Where to start?

Do you accept that the truth is equally self evident for pedestrians?

In fact it is not "self evident" at all and any sane thinking individual would want to see evidence beyond a few hysterical claims... remember your staging earlier of flimsy incidents and anecdotes, to justify your lack of scientific support. Reading the scientific research, triangulating that data to make an informed decision is the rational way forward.

As for the emotional blackmail.... This is the whole point, the word is attributed, not proven, backed up or proven. Many deaths are due to the severity and extent of injuries

Re: Helimeds.

Posted: 31 Dec 2019, 1:10pm
by pjclinch
Marcus Aurelius wrote:People who are pro helmet wearing, tend not to shout so much about it


But they do, to the point of literally shouting abuse at people without them on the streets, and bullying non-conformers. I had to have it out with the head of my children'd primary school to stop staff consistently belittling and undermining their choice in front of their peers.

Marcus Aurelius wrote:as the truths are so self evident ( to any sane thinking individual)


The immediate supposition that one is surely better off with a lid is natural, but it doesn't bear up to further scrutiny. "Common sense" gets you off to a start, but allied with scientific method it has you asking further questions to make sure the initial assumptions stand, rather than just being rationalisations of cognitive bias. And that's where the "self-evident truths" fall down.

Asked to complete a report on cycling among children and young people for a children's charity, childhood risk specialist, cyclist and self-described helmet wearer Tim Gill knew from experience that just parroting the Received Wisdom wouldn't cut it and dug deeper, prompting a 20 page annex on the helmet debate including stuff like:

People unfamiliar with debates on cycle helmets may be surprised that so much research and discussion is warranted. It may seem obvious that cycling exposes riders – especially young riders – to the risk of death or injury due to head impacts, and that wearing a cycle helmet will protect against these. But as even a brief look at the literature shows, the arguments are anything but obvious.
and
This author’s personal view is that helmet wearing is a sensible measure for adults and children. I will continue to wear a helmet, and will continue to tell (and eventually, to ask) my daughter to do the same, partly to reduce the damage and distress caused by the comparatively minor mishaps that are most likely to befall cyclists, and partly (if I am honest) because of the power of the ‘what if…’ question, were anything more serious to befall her or me. But those of us who cycle should be under no illusion that helmets offer reliable protection in crash situations where our lives may be in danger. Neither should we believe that widespread adoption of helmet wearing would see many fewer cyclists killed or permanently disabled. The evidence so far suggests otherwise


Gill is smart enough to realise that his personal decision is based on gut feeling (aka "common sense") and his overall evidence based conclusion that, "the annex to this paper argues that the case has not yet been convincingly made for the compulsory use or promotion of cycle helmets" have different targets: himself as an individual and wider public health policy don't play by the same rules.

You'd do well to read the whole thing, free download at https://timrgill.files.wordpress.com/2010/10/cycling-rpt-gill-05.pdf

You've shown you don't do science. That's okay, not everyone can or does or wants to, but what isn't okay is pretending you can ignore it because you don't like it and/or don't understand it. If you want to wear your helmet nobody's stopping you. If you want to preach that everyone is clearly better off with them then your arguments don't fit the facts on the ground. While people tend to see the arguments as coming down to guilty/not guilty, in point of fact most of us characterised as "anti helmet" have it as the Scottish "not proven" verdict, and are pro (informed) choice.

Pete.

Re: Helimeds.

Posted: 31 Dec 2019, 1:40pm
by horizon
Here's what I thought about over breakfast this morning:

Person A: I'm feeling unfit, the cost of the Tube is horrendous, I need more exercise.
Person B: Why don't you cycle to work?
Person A: I just wouldn't feel safe on a bike - the traffic is awful and the drivers frankly dangerous.
Person B: Well actually what you need is a helmet: it makes cycling much safer and indeed many people say it saved their life.
Person A:

I got stuck on Person A's response.

Re: Helimeds.

Posted: 31 Dec 2019, 1:46pm
by Mick F
Just come back from a spot of Lidl shopping.

The vehicle next to our car in the carpark was a big van from an outdoor adventure running company. The sort of company who organise and support the runs.
https://www.runventureonline.com
This was them. Just Googled it.

Their van was painted in Dartmoor views with runners over the tors, just like the front page of their website but with more views and more runners.

Note the runners aren't wearing helmets when the terrain would certainly need them. If it were bikes, all the riders would be in them, so why not the runners with all those trip hazards and big solid rocks?

I despair of this situation, I really do.
One rule for one set of people, and another rule for the others.

As my late father-in-law would say, "Stupid Stupid Stupid!"

Re: Helimeds.

Posted: 31 Dec 2019, 2:02pm
by pjclinch
Mick F wrote:One rule for one set of people, and another rule for the others.


It comes back to being about culture, and cultural conventions tend to be the starting point for a lot of rules. Sometimes they even make sense, but certainly not always.

Pete.

Re: Helimeds.

Posted: 31 Dec 2019, 2:23pm
by Mike Sales
pjclinch wrote:
It comes back to being about culture, and cultural conventions tend to be the starting point for a lot of rules. Sometimes they even make sense, but certainly not always.

Pete.


I think helmets, especially compulsion, are a sign of a bicycle-hating culture.

Re: Helimeds.

Posted: 31 Dec 2019, 2:56pm
by pjclinch
Mike Sales wrote:
pjclinch wrote:
It comes back to being about culture, and cultural conventions tend to be the starting point for a lot of rules. Sometimes they even make sense, but certainly not always.


I think helmets, especially compulsion, are a sign of a bicycle-hating culture.


While now it's the case that they're used as a stick to beat cyclists with (paradoxically, some of the worst offenders are cyclists themselves), when I got my first one along with my first Proper Bike in '89, part of the background was I wanted to be seen as taking cycling seriously. While the MTB boom was just beginning it hadn't really cut in big-time yet, and cycling was much less widespread than it is now. The bike had fallen out of fashion and favour, and I think cycling was more an object of pity than hate, at least when used as transport for anyone past driving age (that has given a solid basis to become a cycle-hating culture, of course).

So my motivation was partly to say "this is a Real Thing I do by choice", though of course a side-effect is giving the wearer an out-group uniform, all the better to separate those ghastly them from nice, normal us. Outside of cycling the us/them is between people who ride and people who don't, within cycling in our distorted sport-centric cycle culture there tends to be a Proper Cyclists/people on bikes thing, and I say that as I used to be guilty of subscribing to that particular view. People who don't toe the line with helmets and either hi-viz or racing kit clearly aren't quite the thing, so it's again ironic that part of the hatred of cyclists by the gammons-du-jour is driven by cyclists themselves.

Over in NL people just ride bikes to get around as a normal thing. If they want to dress up in lycra and helmets and get on impractical bikes later on that's fine, but it's a whole different thing from transport, and you're not a second class rider if you're trundling along with groceries in normal clothes on your omafiets.

Pete.

Re: Helimeds.

Posted: 31 Dec 2019, 3:34pm
by pjclinch

Re: Helimeds.

Posted: 31 Dec 2019, 4:16pm
by Mick F
Good interesting read.
Thank you.

Re: Helimeds.

Posted: 31 Dec 2019, 4:37pm
by Cunobelin
Mick F wrote:Just come back from a spot of Lidl shopping.

The vehicle next to our car in the carpark was a big van from an outdoor adventure running company. The sort of company who organise and support the runs.
https://www.runventureonline.com
This was them. Just Googled it.

Their van was painted in Dartmoor views with runners over the tors, just like the front page of their website but with more views and more runners.

Note the runners aren't wearing helmets when the terrain would certainly need them. If it were bikes, all the riders would be in them, so why not the runners with all those trip hazards and big solid rocks?

I despair of this situation, I really do.
One rule for one set of people, and another rule for the others.

As my late father-in-law would say, "Stupid Stupid Stupid!"


It never ceases to amaze me how promoting wider use of helmets such as this is dismissed as "anti-helmet"!

No-one has ever come up with any reason whatsoever why pedestrians would not benefit, just refuse to discuss it.

Re: Helimeds.

Posted: 31 Dec 2019, 4:42pm
by gbnz
pjclinch wrote: It comes back to being about culture, and cultural conventions tend to be the starting point for a lot of rules. Sometimes they even make sense, but certainly not always.


I'd agree :wink: On a temporary basis I happen to be Up North, renting in a poor part of town. All the neighbours are chain smokers (NB.No exaggeration) and smoking remains a cultural convention.

Yet one who rarely speaks told me I had to wear a cycle helmet, "it wasn't right", "you" should have to wear cycle helmets...........

I didn't comment on the clouds of fag smoke coming out of said neighbours mouth or make any comment about the suggestion that a level of increased risk is posed by smoking :shock: . Though was mildly amused a couple of weeks back to be told by said neighbours son, while son was smoking his cigarette, that his father had been taken to hospital because he had some sort of breathing and/or heart issue :lol:

Quite bizarre how the message on wearing cycle helmets has got through, yet cigarette use continues to be regarded as "normal".

Re: Helimeds.

Posted: 31 Dec 2019, 4:43pm
by Mike Sales
Cunobelin wrote:It never ceases to amaze me how promoting wider use of helmets such as this is dismissed as "anti-helmet"!

No-one has ever come up with any reason whatsoever why pedestrians would not benefit, just refuse to discuss it.


It's obvious innit? You are comparing dishcloths and apples.

Re: Helimeds.

Posted: 31 Dec 2019, 5:20pm
by Mike Sales
pjclinch wrote:For more on cultural aspects, see https://www.kaupunkifillari.fi/blog/2019/03/31/rethinking-safety/


Worth reading.
John Adams puts it this way: risk is a cultural construct.

Risk, most dictionaries agree, involves exposure to the possibility of loss or injury. Perceptions of this possibility are embedded in culture and vary enormously over space and time. One frequently encounters the contention that it is important to distinguish between “real”, “actual”, “objective” risks and those that are merely “perceived”. But all risk is perceived. Risk is a word that refers to the future, and the future exists only in the imagination. And the imagination is a product of culture.

Re: Helimeds.

Posted: 31 Dec 2019, 7:33pm
by cotswolds
Mick F wrote:https://www.runventureonline.com

Nah, that's not dangerous. This is dangerous.

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