Magic hats in France

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.
Ron
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Re: Magic hats in France

Postby Ron » 2 Sep 2014, 7:46pm

There were leaflets lying around on the Stena ferry running between Harwich and the Hook this summer headed ' Important Information for cyclists'.
Most of the advice was quite reasonable, but belated as cyclists would already have boarded before seeing the leaflets.
The text urged cyclists to read "this very important safety notice" which told them to "make sure they were wearing hi viz and protective headgear at all times during embarkation, and before rejoining your bike on the vehicle deck".
There was no advice offered regarding where you could borrow a helmet and hi-viz, and the vehicle deck crew did not comment to cyclists failing to comply.

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rudge
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Re: Magic hats in France

Postby rudge » 2 Sep 2014, 8:03pm

Puny but determined wrote:I have just been enquiring about insurance with Brittany Ferries as we are about to set off for France. I was told by the (French) person answering the phone (0871 244 1501) that helmets are compulsory. I am almost certain that he is wrong and said so, to which he replied that we will be stopped straight away without one! Is this something I have missed?

Not true. Serious, proper gear, French cyclists mostly wear helmets, but bikes are used in France as everyday transport by a wide variety of people who do not favour proper gear. None of them wear helmets, in my experience.

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simonineaston
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Re: Magic hats in France

Postby simonineaston » 2 Sep 2014, 11:46pm

Bear in mind cycles are in use by French mesdames to go into town for shopping - and if you think they are going to be seen with a plastic hat perched on their freshly coiffure'd hair-do, you & et tous les gendarmes in China can take a running jump!! :wink: Or that's how it looked to me last time I went.
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beardy
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Re: Magic hats in France

Postby beardy » 2 Sep 2014, 11:52pm

Puny but determined wrote:I have just been enquiring about insurance with Brittany Ferries as we are about to set off for France. I was told by the (French) person answering the phone (0871 244 1501) that helmets are compulsory. I am almost certain that he is wrong and said so, to which he replied that we will be stopped straight away without one! Is this something I have missed?


Did they mean on the ferry rather than in France?

Puny but determined
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Re: Magic hats in France

Postby Puny but determined » 3 Sep 2014, 11:47am

I don't think so. I was expecting him to say that under the terms of the insurance I might have to wear one but he was emphatic that it was compulsory in France. At first I think he thought a meant a MOTOR bike but said 'even on a push bike' so I clarified that that was my question. I was myself in (very rural) eastern France only about 6 weeks ago and not only was I not stopped I saw hardly anyone wearing a helmet (or in any other of the 5 countries or 1000 miles en route). I wondered if there had been a change in the law. I am more concerned that Brittany are peddling this information as true.

Puny but determined
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Re: Magic hats in France

Postby Puny but determined » 3 Sep 2014, 11:49am

PS I didn't buy their insurance.

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pjclinch
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Re: Magic hats in France

Postby pjclinch » 3 Sep 2014, 12:13pm

Googling images of the Paris Velib scheme taken/posted in the last month suggests that either your man at the ferry is wrong, our French friends have a very lax attitude to their helmet law, or Paris is not in France any more...

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bovlomov
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Re: Magic hats in France

Postby bovlomov » 3 Sep 2014, 12:37pm

The French aren't famous for elfe et sécurité.

Psamathe
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Re: Magic hats in France

Postby Psamathe » 3 Sep 2014, 2:16pm

From my experience when I lived in France, they do have a lot of rules. And the main advantage of that is that "rules are made to be broken" and the French seem experts at doing that. So they have plenty of opportunity to do what is virtually a national pastime (breaking rules).

Ian

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661-Pete
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Re: Magic hats in France

Postby 661-Pete » 3 Sep 2014, 7:21pm

We have cycled in France sans casques, no problems. In urban areas after dark (or in poor visibility) you have to wear hi-viz, but I don't know how strictly that's enforced.

If you're going to venture onto very rural roads (which are a delight to cycle upon if you dodge the loose gravelly bits), some sort of dog repellent might be worthwhile. I've never tried one myself and there have been times when I wished I had. Any suggestions?
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661-Pete
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Re: Magic hats in France

Postby 661-Pete » 3 Sep 2014, 7:24pm

Puny but determined wrote:I have just been enquiring about insurance with Brittany Ferries as we are about to set off for France. I was told by the (French) person answering the phone (0871 244 1501) that helmets are compulsory. I am almost certain that he is wrong and said so, to which he replied that we will be stopped straight away without one! Is this something I have missed?

Definitely not true. We've sailed with Brittany Ferries many times (with the car), we often see cyclists boarding and many of them don't have helmets. You will be asked to dismount and walk when going up the gangway, but you'd want to do that anyway :roll: .
Suppose that this room is a lift. The support breaks and down we go with ever-increasing velocity.
Let us pass the time by performing physical experiments...
--- Arthur Eddington (creator of the Eddington Number).

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bikes4two
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Re: Magic hats in France

Postby bikes4two » 3 Sep 2014, 7:57pm

The advice that helmets are compulsory in France was quite simply wrong. Given that most call centre conversations are recorded, maybe you should write & complain?
Without my stoker, every trip would only be half a journey

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Audax67
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Re: Magic hats in France

Postby Audax67 » 3 Sep 2014, 9:23pm

661-Pete wrote:We have cycled in France sans casques, no problems. In urban areas after dark (or in poor visibility) you have to wear hi-viz, but I don't know how strictly that's enforced.


It's outside city limits that CE-standard reflective hi-viz must be worn after dark. In towns it's not obligatory. The very first application of this law - which only came in within the last four or five years - got it bass-ackwards and some poor wight who was riding through town without got stung 35€. Moral: once the sun goes down, put it on wherever you are. Same goes if visibility is reduced.

Note that there's no faffing about with "legal twilight" here: once the sun goes down it's night.
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Bicycler
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Re: Magic hats in France

Postby Bicycler » 4 Sep 2014, 12:05am

Audax67 wrote:Note that there's no faffing about with "legal twilight" here: once the sun goes down it's night.

That's pretty much the rule for cyclists here. It's motors that have the odd rules: http://www.ctc.org.uk/cyclists-library/ ... egulations
CJ wrote:'Lighting-up time' and the 'Hours of Darkness'

These commonplace phrases have meant many different things in the past and continue to cause confusion. Remember: for a cyclist the only thing that matters is the sun, the moment it dips below the horizon, our lights must go on, even though there may be plenty of light to see by for another half hour or so on a clear evening.

Sunset to sunrise: that's lighting-up time, when drivers must also switch on their sidelights at least. They can leave off the headlights for another 30 minutes, until - you guessed it - the 'Hours of Darkness', which nowadays endure from half an hour after sunset until half an hour before sunrise.

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Audax67
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Re: Magic hats in France

Postby Audax67 » 4 Sep 2014, 8:00am

Thanks to Busch & Müller, these decisions are now taken from us.
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