Carlton Kirby on ES and cycle helmets

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Tonyf33
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Carlton Kirby on ES and cycle helmets

Postby Tonyf33 » 29 Mar 2015, 10:24pm

So today I was watching the tour of Cataluna and CK starts banging on about helmets and "cycling is dangerous" ("especially at these speeds"). he goes on to say " whenever I see someone on the road without one I just want to shout" :evil:
And when someone tweeted him to tell him he didn't know what he was talking about and to stop going on about helmets he pathetically said " well i feel a block is coming on" and then laughs..so it's ok to have an opinion but you're not prepared to even defend your position on it with actual real facts but just block people whom challenge your misplaced one..how sad..or is that your don't have any proof that they work or could it be that cycling isn't dangerous at all?

Yeah well Mr Kirby, I just pinged you an email to tell you that your words are wholly inaccurate and irresponsible as a broadcaster ..

His co-commentator tries to defuse matters and starts on with the 'traditional cyclist' routine and obviously doesn't want to cause an on air scene so basically agrees with him but frankly this type of thing should be cracked down on by broadcasters as factually the former is just false & his opinion is just trying to force down the throats an item that has no statistcal evidence that it makes cycling safer.
It's more wild west nonsense that re-inforces the garbage that is cycle helmets..I just want to shout :twisted:

Tonyf33
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Re: Carlton Kirby on ES and cycle helmets

Postby Tonyf33 » 30 Mar 2015, 5:05pm

So I got a reply...
"Thank you Tony for taking the time to get in touch. I really did kick over a basket of snakes with my thoughts. Rightly or wrongly my only concern is for the safety of everybody. There is of course, as you point out, a much wider issue of cycling activity which I would naturally hate to diminish. There have been other arguments that compulsory helmet use is simply the idea of politicians as a means of allowing them to hold back funds which should be spent making cycling safer in other ways. I acknowledge the points but my own was simply that I believe, and still do, that everyone should wear a helmet. Having suffered head trauma myself while crashing without one I am now committed to their use. I guess I may be accused of being a fence hopper as a result. Anyway, I take your views on board and thank you for airing them. Kind regards, Carlton"

ballibeg
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Re: Carlton Kirby on ES and cycle helmets

Postby ballibeg » 2 Apr 2015, 7:48am

His comments were very sensible. How anyone could consider them irresponsible is beyond me.

Having come off my bike and hit a wall this spring my helmet took the impact and saved my life according to my cycling buddy, an A&E consultant.

Put that in your statistical pipe and smoke it.

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mjr
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Re: Carlton Kirby on ES and cycle helmets

Postby mjr » 2 Apr 2015, 8:23am

Sadly, medics are often poor at statistics and probability and evidence, as anyone who's worked in a stats department can probably tell you. They're great at some things, but this problem is not new: it's why Florence Nightingale revolutionised medical care by actually compiling and analysing the data instead of regurgitating common so-called "knowledge".

If all the "last night a helmet saved my life" tales were true, why don't casualty numbers fluctuate with helmet usage? Why do casualty rates seem to increase?

When I see people cycling without body armour, it makes me want to sing :-)
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Re: Carlton Kirby on ES and cycle helmets

Postby bovlomov » 2 Apr 2015, 8:26am

ballibeg wrote:His comments were very sensible. How anyone could consider them irresponsible is beyond me.

Having come off my bike and hit a wall this spring my helmet took the impact and saved my life according to my cycling buddy, an A&E consultant.

Put that in your statistical pipe and smoke it.


I had to check your posting history to make sure you're not a troll... ...and it seems you're not. Had you been a troll, you could hardly have done a better job though. Personal anecdote, appeal to medical authority, blanket dismissal of statistics. BINGO!

So, in order:
Having come off my bike and hit a wall this spring

I'm sorry to hear that.
my helmet took the impact

...go on...
and saved my life according to my cycling buddy, an A&E consultant.

Your medically qualified buddy may not realise how improbable that is.
Put that in your statistical pipe and smoke it

But then, he may be like you: not interested in numbers.

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[XAP]Bob
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Re: Carlton Kirby on ES and cycle helmets

Postby [XAP]Bob » 2 Apr 2015, 8:57am

ballibeg wrote:His comments were very sensible. How anyone could consider them irresponsible is beyond me.

Having come off my bike and hit a wall this spring my helmet took the impact and saved my life according to my cycling buddy, an A&E consultant.

Put that in your statistical pipe and smoke it.


I have no doubt that you managed to hit you head. I very much doubt that it saved your life, and that you ended up with no serious damage from the same incident.

There is a scale of injury, and even if helmets were perfectly efficient their very design means they can only move you so far along that scale.
The most likely change is "scrapes and bruises" -> "fewer scrapes and bruises"; "death" -> "scrapes and bruises" is just not within scope.

I presume your buddy is also a materials scientist? Personally I approach things from a physicist's viewpoint - so I'm interested in how the materials involved behaved, that gives a pretty good indication as to whether they did any good (energy wise) or not - do you have any photos of the helmet, or even a description of the crash and helmet?

To assert that a cycle helmet saved your life is optimistic at best, and outright deceitful at worst - they just aren't designed to cope with such things*. One hint to this is that the marketing never mentions safety (at least not to my knowledge at the moment), compare this with the insane amounts of money spent on advertising car safety features.


* When a pedestrian falls and dies of a consequent head injury that is considered a freak - so there are extremely rare cases where small impacts cause serious results, but probably any change to the impact (making it earlier/later/a different angle/....) would affect the outcome.

When a cyclist falls it is assumed that instant fatal head injury will be the result - and there is just no evidence to suggest that that is the case. We, humans, are actually quite good at not bashing our heads against things - we learn from a young age that it hurts, and learn how big our head is, so we can navigate past doorways and the like. I have a problem at my in-law's house, their kitchen door is low, high enough that I can walk under it in bare feet (as I normally do) but low enough that if I wear shoes then I thump the very top of my head into the door frame (because of the step down through the door my stride is normally aligned to ensure this happens). I do this at least once every time I visit - normally with a bag of shopping in each hand.
Consequently wearing shoes makes me more likely to hit my head - the increase in my size as a result of a helmet is far greater...
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Re: Carlton Kirby on ES and cycle helmets

Postby pjclinch » 2 Apr 2015, 10:38am

Doctors have often been fed a diet of how cycle helmets save lives, prevent up to 85% of head injuries etc. Not being involved in proper conrolled studies they've no particular reason to doubt that, so they do what most of us do: repeat the "good advice", for the benefit of everyone else.

There's no shortage of examples of medical advice that has been "known" to be good for years changing.

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ballibeg
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Re: Carlton Kirby on ES and cycle helmets

Postby ballibeg » 2 Apr 2015, 10:46am

No wonder they've a separate tucked away section of the forum for you guys.

You've made too many assumptions and ignored too many facts to be taken seriously.

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Re: Carlton Kirby on ES and cycle helmets

Postby Bicycler » 2 Apr 2015, 11:22am

No need to be so confrontational. There's a difference between reasoned debate and needless antagonism. If you disagree with someone else say why you disagree and try and keep it respectful.

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bovlomov
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Re: Carlton Kirby on ES and cycle helmets

Postby bovlomov » 2 Apr 2015, 11:29am

ballibeg wrote:You've made too many assumptions and ignored too many facts to be taken seriously.

We await these facts with interest.

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Re: Carlton Kirby on ES and cycle helmets

Postby martinn » 2 Apr 2015, 1:41pm

The problem with any helmet debate is the speed that it can degenerate into a simple " you dont know what you are talking about argument" and end up with neither party listening to the data presented. I really blame this on Thompson, Rivara & Thompson, who published a study unfortuently having read this paper, it has a massive amount of bias in the way the results have been interpreted, (eg helmets also stop approximatly the same number of limb injuries as head injuries, which should start the alarm bells ringing) which has since coloured much thinking on this subject.

I work in the health care enviroment, have spent many years working in A&E (no longer do so) and ask the Consultants who I work with, who believe in evidenced based medicine, why they think a cycle helment will save their life, and for the most part this comes back as "it must do something", when i point out the evidence regarding Helmet wearing it becomes very clear that they have not read any of these studies, and refuse to do so. (I dont have time to do that) Even those published in the BMJ (British Medical Journal) http://www.bmj.com/content/346/bmj.f381 ... eytype=ref, this is worth reading.

Simply put, if the medical professional has not been able to critically evaluate the evidence by reading the papers published on the subject including those that challenge their point of view, their view cannot be considered to be authorive on the subject, at best it would be their opinion, and not evidence.

However if you choose to wear a Helmet because that makes you feeel safer, and willing to enjoy cycling, that is fine, as long as you keep your opinions to yourself, until you have read and evaluated the evidence such as there is.

But the question regarding compulsion is this, if cycling is so dangerious, why do the dutch have such a low head injury rate?

Debate is good, if you have good strong scientific evidence, then present it, personally I would start to wear a helmet if it could be proved to make a significant difference.

Martin

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pjclinch
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Re: Carlton Kirby on ES and cycle helmets

Postby pjclinch » 2 Apr 2015, 2:47pm

I work in a health care environment too (Clinical Scientist). I fix things rather than people, but I do have access to a medical research library and have the scientific skills to take advantage.

I wore a helmet every trip I made for over a decade, including a couple of nasty accidents that cracked my helmet. At around the turn of the millennium I was espousing their deep good sense in an internet discussion and someone who I assumed was an idiot taking another point of view said I should look at the original research evidence. I thought I'd do better than that, and went in to the library resolved not just to read up but to come up with a long list of citations demonstrating why he was an idiot.

Here's what I came up with:

1. errrrrr....
2. that's it.

Pretty convincing list, eh? It turns out the stuff supporting helmet use has more holes in it than your typical Tetley tea bag. The stuff showing helmets make around zero difference, plus or minus error bars, is limited in how many conclusions you can draw by the nature of the population data sets, but they stand up a lot better than the stuff concluding helmets save lives. With my tail between my legs I admitted he'd been right, I'd been wrong. I don't wear one these days unless I'm coaching Go-Ride (the rules state I must) or if I'm doing something like pushing my boundaries at Glen Tress, where I expect to part company with the bike or I'm not trying hard enough.

A pal of mine in the doctoring game (pathology) had opined on his Facebook feed that they must do good. He was quite surprised when his dad (one of the pioneers of air ambulance around London, quite a noise in A&E before he retired, I understand) was ambivalent about them. I also suggested it wasn't that clear cut. Jim's a smart lad and a great advocate of evidence based medicine, and he does his reading. Last few times I've seen him riding in to work on his bike he's had a bare head...

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Cunobelin
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Re: Carlton Kirby on ES and cycle helmets

Postby Cunobelin » 2 Apr 2015, 2:55pm

mjr wrote:Sadly, medics are often poor at statistics and probability and evidence, as anyone who's worked in a stats department can probably tell you. They're great at some things, but this problem is not new: it's why Florence Nightingale revolutionised medical care by actually compiling and analysing the data instead of regurgitating common so-called "knowledge".

If all the "last night a helmet saved my life" tales were true, why don't casualty numbers fluctuate with helmet usage? Why do casualty rates seem to increase?

When I see people cycling without body armour, it makes me want to sing :-)



Sadly most "head injury research" excludes the majority of head injuries from their cohort!

When you look at cohort studies of hospital admissions you find that cyclists are a very small group, outnumbered by many others..... the most common factors in admission cohorts are alcohol, assaults and simple falls. More people suffer head injuries on stairs than on bicycles!



However by limiting the cohort to cyclists, these are all excluded.

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Re: Carlton Kirby on ES and cycle helmets

Postby Cunobelin » 2 Apr 2015, 3:03pm

ballibeg wrote:His comments were very sensible. How anyone could consider them irresponsible is beyond me.

Having come off my bike and hit a wall this spring my helmet took the impact and saved my life according to my cycling buddy, an A&E consultant.

Put that in your statistical pipe and smoke it.



Of course this is relevant.....
I have a colleague who fell down steps at work... the ones leading from the secure bike park to the lift.

He was still wearing his helmet and the consensus was that his helmet had taken the impact and that this saved him from a more serious head injury.... he is a radiology consultant and the colleagues who assessed him were a neurologist and an A and E consultant

Unequivocal proof that helmets should be worn on stairs, especially given that more head injuries are admitted through falls on stairs than cycles, one should really ask why there is no campaign for compulsion

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Re: Carlton Kirby on ES and cycle helmets

Postby pjclinch » 2 Apr 2015, 6:05pm

The answer being, I'd suggest, is stair-users aren't an outgroup that need telling (including by their own number, after sufficient indoctrination) how they should go about their business.
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