How long should the pressure to conform be resisted?

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pwa
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How long should the pressure to conform be resisted?

Postby pwa » 27 Apr 2015, 9:51am

I wear a helmet for almost all my cycling because, whilst recognising that a helmet has its limitations, I think that it can give me a significant degree of protection in some situations. Many of you mull over the same considerations and come to a different conclusion, and that's fine by me.

But I have a question. For those of you who choose not to wear a helmet and find yourselves under (you say) increasing pressure to conform, how long will you resist that pressure?

I ask this question because it occurs to me that if (and I do mean "if") you are fighting a losing battle there must (?) come a point when, for your own sanity, you decide to give it up as a lost cause and move on. This is a hypothetical question and I do not want to suggest that you are doomed to failure.

beardy
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Re: How long should the pressure to conform be resisted?

Postby beardy » 27 Apr 2015, 9:59am

The pressure can be resisted by arguing the point and if as you suggest this gets too much then it can just be dropped by answering with silence or a shrug of the shoulders.

The pressure can also be resisted by just not wearing a helmet and I have had no trouble doing this, except being excluded from some events* and in fact it even has its own benefits and makes life generally less miserable, I can not see myself ever being tempted to put up that sort of resistance.

I did a nice long ride yesterday, including a group ride where I was (sadly) the only helmetless rider, as usual not a word was said by anybody.


* At which point I apply the theory that any ride that requires them probably wasnt for me anyway.

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bovlomov
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Re: How long should the pressure to conform be resisted?

Postby bovlomov » 27 Apr 2015, 11:32am

The direct pressure on me to conform is from strangers - and is only fleeting, as they never want to discuss the matter further. People who know me agree with me, respect my decision, or don't but don't fancy rattling that cage. I have no employer. I don't race.

So the pressure to conform is indirect. It comes from knowing that there are legislators working night and day to engineer compulsion, and these people are given oxygen by charities, pressure groups and the media.

In answer to your question: I don't feel I am fighting a losing battle, and even if legislation is passed then the battle would still be worth fighting (as it is still being fought in countries with mandatory helmets).

I think this ghetto provides some hope. Here are plenty of informed helmet wearers willing to discuss the subject, and they come with all sorts of reasoning. They wear helmets for certain types of cycling but not others; because of pressure from family, friends or employers; because they have an eye to future compensation claims should they be injured; and because they have weighed up the information they can find and have decided that the discomfort is minimal and the helmet may some protection. Is it fair to say (as I will) that no informed person makes the claims for helmets that the pro-compulsion lobby do? No one after a full discussion is prepared to say that legislation would save so many lives and save so many serious injuries that it is something that Parliament needs to address immediately. In other words, the pro-compulsion support is largely empty, consisting of the utterly ignorant led by a few myopic obsessives. Reason is our best weapon.

maxcherry
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Re: How long should the pressure to conform be resisted?

Postby maxcherry » 27 Apr 2015, 11:38am

What pressure?

I have not had anyone demanding i wear a helmet. No court orders or police flagging me down and telling me to walk my bike until i buy a helmet.
People really need to stop fretting and just enjoy the ride 8)
Honestly chaps, I'm a female!

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pjclinch
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Re: How long should the pressure to conform be resisted?

Postby pjclinch » 27 Apr 2015, 12:09pm

pwa wrote:
But I have a question. For those of you who choose not to wear a helmet and find yourselves under (you say) increasing pressure to conform, how long will you resist that pressure?

I ask this question because it occurs to me that if (and I do mean "if") you are fighting a losing battle there must (?) come a point when, for your own sanity, you decide to give it up as a lost cause and move on. This is a hypothetical question and I do not want to suggest that you are doomed to failure.


The indications are that we may well be winning.

But assuming it was otherwise, I'd resist as long as I wasn't forced. I ride a recumbent, conformism isn't really my thing. Even riding a bike has been pretty non-conformist for a lot of my riding career.

Pete.
Often seen riding a bike around Dundee...

Mike Sales
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Re: How long should the pressure to conform be resisted?

Postby Mike Sales » 27 Apr 2015, 12:55pm

I hope I never go along with nonsense because others do.

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Re: How long should the pressure to conform be resisted?

Postby Vorpal » 27 Apr 2015, 1:11pm

The only people who have put any pressure on me to wear a helmet are a couple of colleagues. After a couple of lunch periods spent explaining all the reasons that helmet aren't magical, they left me alone.

Mini V seems to be under some pressure, as she said to me a couple of weekes ago, 'it's dangerous to ride without a helmet'. So, we went for a little ride (helmetless) so I could ask her if we had done something dangerous :mrgreen: and then we talked about risk compensation. I'm not sure that at 8 years old, she quite understands, but I think she gets the idea that something that 'feels safer' may not be.
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bikepacker
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Re: How long should the pressure to conform be resisted?

Postby bikepacker » 27 Apr 2015, 2:16pm

I do wonder why most of the pressure I get from others to wear a helmet is always from those who have been conned into buying one.
There is your way. There is my way. But there is no "the way".

Phil Fouracre
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Re: How long should the pressure to conform be resisted?

Postby Phil Fouracre » 27 Apr 2015, 5:11pm

In answer to the OP, for ever!!
Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity

Thermostat9
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Re: How long should the pressure to conform be resisted?

Postby Thermostat9 » 27 Apr 2015, 6:01pm

maxcherry wrote:What pressure?

I have not had anyone demanding i wear a helmet. No court orders or police flagging me down and telling me to walk my bike until i buy a helmet.
People really need to stop fretting and just enjoy the ride 8)

I've had people I don't know tell me I should wear a cycling helmet (and similarly ride my motorcycle with a headlight on in daytime) both of which I ignore, unless they go on about it and then I'll point out that what I choose to do (or not) about a voluntary activity is none of their business. :wink:

This does not happen at all often though.

MartinC
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Re: How long should the pressure to conform be resisted?

Postby MartinC » 28 Apr 2015, 6:47am

pwa wrote:..........................I ask this question because it occurs to me that if (and I do mean "if") you are fighting a losing battle there must (?) come a point when, for your own sanity, you decide to give it up as a lost cause and move on.....................................


:D Yebbut. The question works just as well the other way round. How long should this pressure to conform to an arbitrary and unproven 'rule' be continued?

Perhaps it's one answer to both questions. The pressure should be discontinued 'til the case is proven at which point the resistance should be ended. Still waiting!

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Mick F
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Re: How long should the pressure to conform be resisted?

Postby Mick F » 28 Apr 2015, 8:29am

pwa wrote:I wear a helmet for almost all my cycling because, whilst recognising that a helmet has its limitations, I think that it can give me a significant degree of protection in some situations.
Yep. That's me! :D
Mike Sales wrote:I hope I never go along with nonsense because others do.
I've never conformed, or at least tried not to conform. I'm not a sheep.
Mick F. Cornwall

TonyR
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Re: How long should the pressure to conform be resisted?

Postby TonyR » 28 Apr 2015, 9:13am

pwa wrote:But I have a question. For those of you who choose not to wear a helmet and find yourselves under (you say) increasing pressure to conform, how long will you resist that pressure?


I don't see it as resisting the pressure. I see it as an opportunity to educate and inform and generally its been quite successful in getting people to at least appreciate the issues even if it does not change their personal views.

Malaconotus
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Re: How long should the pressure to conform be resisted?

Postby Malaconotus » 28 Apr 2015, 9:23am

I am currently plastic hat shopping as I am doing the Tour de Yorkshire Sportive on Sunday and I am not dogmatic enough to not do something I enjoy because I don't like the dress code (kinda like I'll wear suit and tie for interviews and weddings)

Given the difficulty I've had finding something that feels remotely comfortable I am very confident I won't be wearing it again habitually. 'Giving in to pressure' means not passive conformity but actively donning a large lump of polystyrene foam so it doesn't need 'resisting'.

hufty
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Re: How long should the pressure to conform be resisted?

Postby hufty » 28 Apr 2015, 5:56pm

Stick it to the man, don't do up the straps properly!

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