Helmets: is it just me...

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.
northernmonkey
Posts: 45
Joined: 30 May 2009, 10:29pm

Helmets: is it just me...

Postby northernmonkey » 29 Sep 2010, 6:56pm

...or do drivers react differently when you're wearing one?

I'd gotten well out of the habit of wearing my helmet over the summer, enjoying the freedom, wind in my hairs, etc. However, after a (very) near miss last week, decided to start wearing it again every trip. I use my Surly LHT for my daily commute into the City, from south east London. Like most of us, I love riding my bike, and am always in a good fettle as soon as I climb aboard, even when it's chucking it down. I consider myself a good road user whilst on the bike- always stop at red ATS, don't ride on the pavement, courteous to other users, sure to give a friendly wave or at least an acknowledgment when shown a courtesy by another, and in general find cycling in London a pleasure. No, really! On the whole, I find drivers to be a lot better towards cyclists than they used to be. Indeed, most of the hassles I have are from pedestrians and occasionally...other cyclists.

Over this last week though, I've seen a marked increase in bad driver behaviour towards me. Just tonight, two blokes in a van decided it would be a hoot to drive me into the kerb on the south side of Tower Bridge. When I protested loudly and expressed my displeasure in the clearest possible terms, they declined to discuss the matter and drove off (good luck sorting out the wing mirror gents). Not 3 minutes later, a car deliberately turned right in front of me near the Bricklayers Arms roundabout, causing me to jam the anchors on. I shouted, he stopped, I stopped and turned to approach his car, he drives off after chucking a few choice expletive my way. This kind of thing very seldom happens when I'm sans lid, presumably because I look a bit of a lump, complete with cropped hair. I can't stress enough that I'm Mr Middle-aged Respectable Nice Guy!! And tonight I was in an especially good mood, having spent MORE money on bike bits (essential of course). It's as if helmet wearer equates to looney-lefty, dippy, eccentric, yoghurt-knitting, tree-hugging softy.

I found the same thing a couple of years ago when I wore one of those horrendous pee-pot helmets. As far as I'm concerned, it's a genuine phenomena.

Rant over.

Nutsey
Posts: 1270
Joined: 19 Apr 2010, 3:31pm

Re: Helmets: is it just me...

Postby Nutsey » 29 Sep 2010, 7:13pm

Open their boot. Cracks me up every time.

Not white van man though. These manual workers love a fight.



Edit function not working on mobiles again...

User avatar
gentlegreen
Posts: 1361
Joined: 23 Aug 2010, 1:58pm
Location: Bristol
Contact:

Re: Helmets: is it just me...

Postby gentlegreen » 29 Sep 2010, 7:32pm

I've been going helmetless this summer too - lapping up all the sunshine I can.

I've been deliberately doing it on the way home too recently - in my case it's in aid of "Grey Power" - I'm 50 years old and can carry off a decent bluff where excess weight looks a bit like muscle ..

How much more pleasurable when you overtake laddo in his fancy car when you're clearly twice his age. :wink: A touch of "Copenhagenize" too, on occasions when the 50 year old demonstrates manners of a bygone era. I'm pretty nimble too - having done more freestyle dancing than was strictly necessary back in the days of repetitive beats .. and I still have music on the Sennheisers that demands a certain grace...

:mrgreen:

Jonty

Re: Helmets: is it just me...

Postby Jonty » 29 Sep 2010, 7:35pm

I've experienced more bad and careless behaviour from motorists when I've been driving compared with when I'm cycling.
We all make mistakes when driving and we all make mistakes when cycling. Of course you're likely to get a real fright when cycling as you're so much more vulnerable.
When we're frightened we're more likely to react aggressively and blame the other person even when we are at fault, either wholly or partially.
jonty

northernmonkey
Posts: 45
Joined: 30 May 2009, 10:29pm

Re: Helmets: is it just me...

Postby northernmonkey » 29 Sep 2010, 7:38pm

Going lidless is liberating isn't it? A lot more comfortable too, especially when like me, you've got a head like a thirty bob cabbage.

Never though of undoing the boot- genius!

Good point Jonty. The thing that makes me angry is not so much their behaviour, I just resent them making me upset, jolting me out of my good mood. As you say, we all make mistakes, whether driving or riding. I honestly believe these tools tonight were acting that way deliberately though, with the possible exception of the second driver. Having said that, if he didn't see a big red-faced lardy bloke in a bright red top and silly hat, riding a bike with flashing lights on it, he shouldn't be driving!

User avatar
bigjim
Posts: 3145
Joined: 2 Feb 2008, 5:08pm
Location: Manchester

Re: Helmets: is it just me...

Postby bigjim » 29 Sep 2010, 10:57pm

Out on the race bike wearing the helmet and some lycra I get my fair share of abuse. But once I'm aboard the mountain bike, no helmet, scruffy shorts, gym vest on my journey to the gym and back. I never get any hassle even from white van man. My wife says I've got one of those faces that always looks angry. Mind you I have the cropped hair and weigh in at 14 stone + and 6'2".
Nothing left to prove.

Jonty

Re: Helmets: is it just me...

Postby Jonty » 30 Sep 2010, 11:50am

I can't recall ever being verbally abused when on my bikes. I think my natural charm must radiate along the highway. The sheer beauty and functionalism of my suburb bikes could of course render them speechless.
jonty

User avatar
bigjim
Posts: 3145
Joined: 2 Feb 2008, 5:08pm
Location: Manchester

Re: Helmets: is it just me...

Postby bigjim » 30 Sep 2010, 3:02pm

you wish.
Nothing left to prove.

wrapround
Posts: 6
Joined: 4 Oct 2009, 10:08pm

Re: Helmets: is it just me...

Postby wrapround » 30 Sep 2010, 3:30pm

I am a none helmet user - always wear a cap though. Very occasionally some people do deliberately go out to abuse cyclists. Once, years ago I had crested a climb in the peak district, in the height of the summer, and a car with youths in pulled up alongside and threw eggs at me and then sped off. It leaves you dumbfounded. But anyway, 'a head like a thirty bob cabbage' - a great line that one, really made me laugh.

northernmonkey
Posts: 45
Joined: 30 May 2009, 10:29pm

Re: Helmets: is it just me...

Postby northernmonkey » 30 Sep 2010, 7:24pm

Glad to say I had a very pleasant commute today- home and back (lidless). Gave them all a giggle in the office too as I wore LYCRA shorts for the first time in years. Not a pretty sight but dead comfy.

Chin chin