How long should the pressure to conform be resisted?

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

Postby Steady rider » 28 Apr 2015, 7:23pm

There may be a few questions to consider,
one the safety issue of helmet use - this has pros and cons - not a conclusive benefit,

second question, would legislation have health implication if people cycle less,

third question, bullying people in wearing via legislation or coercion or misleading information - social and legal issues,

forth question, basic freedoms, if people are not allowed to make a choice about cycle helmets do they have enough human rights protection for making individual choices.

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

Postby TonyR » 28 Apr 2015, 9:42pm

Malaconotus wrote: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'.


I would recommend wearing it for a bit this week before the race. The last time I did what you are doing for a 100 mile sportive, my neck muscles were really sore by the end. Since I ride those sorts of distances without a helmet without a problem I can only conclude it was because my neck muscles weren't used to carrying the extra weight.

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

Postby Malaconotus » 28 Apr 2015, 11:35pm

TonyR wrote:I would recommend wearing it for a bit this week before the race. The last time I did what you are doing for a 100 mile sportive, my neck muscles were really sore by the end. Since I ride those sorts of distances without a helmet without a problem I can only conclude it was because my neck muscles weren't used to carrying the extra weight.


Thanks, Tony. Yes, I've had this experience before and I almost spent a lot more than I should to get a lightweight one. As I type I am wearing my new Specialized Echelon for exactly that reason.

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

Postby maxcherry » 29 Apr 2015, 2:00am

Malaconotus wrote:
TonyR wrote:I would recommend wearing it for a bit this week before the race. The last time I did what you are doing for a 100 mile sportive, my neck muscles were really sore by the end. Since I ride those sorts of distances without a helmet without a problem I can only conclude it was because my neck muscles weren't used to carrying the extra weight.


Thanks, Tony. Yes, I've had this experience before and I almost spent a lot more than I should to get a lightweight one. As I type I am wearing my new Specialized Echelon for exactly that reason.



?
Is typing that dangerous!
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Steady rider
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Re: How long should the pressure to conform be resisted?

Postby Steady rider » 29 Apr 2015, 8:49am

Heads weigh about 4.5 to 5 kg, helmets about 200 to 300 grams, and are subject to up to about 1 - 10g forces.

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

Postby Malaconotus » 29 Apr 2015, 9:09am

Steady rider wrote:Heads weigh about 4.5 to 5 kg, helmets about 200 to 300 grams, and are subject to up to about 1 - 10g forces.


Interesting. So the helmet is adding around 5% to the weight supported by my neck muscles? And it is peripheral weighting so it's adding more leverage?

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

Postby Steady rider » 29 Apr 2015, 6:03pm

Roughly speaking yes.

One approach is to consider general cycling and hitting road surface defects, say one per week, imposing a 2g force, 50 occurring per year. Helmets will tend to add to out of balance forces on a fairly regular basis based on the assumed data.

Another approach is to consider head injuries to cyclists, say 50 per fatality, say 110 deaths per year, 5500 head injuries, say 6 million bicycle riders, 6000000/5500 = 1100 years cycled on average roughly for a fairly serious head injury, so serious head injuries are relatively rare.

The above is only to illustrate a point, the disadvantages of helmets may occur often compared to the benefits that people may hope for. The potential benefit of having protection is easy to assume and the disadvantages are difficult to foresee.

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

Postby mjr » 22 May 2015, 4:29pm

I made a start on the calculations in viewtopic.php?p=768134#p768134 but then of course someone started insulting my old Giro helmet and saying theirs is only wafffer-thiiin and so on. :lol:

I feel we should resist as long as possible, asking friendly science-led doctors to give us medical exemptions if a helmet law is ever brought in and so on... but at the moment, even in peak times in the centre of a fairly cycle-hostile city, 42% wearing is the highest reputable figure that I've seen. Out here in the fens, it's much much lower. We're a long way from losing this argument.

I just wish bike shops would stop giving hard shells the hard sell in their email newsletters and focused on the fun bits of cycling. I know a relatively expensive accessory that has to be replaced frequently (every collision or every 3 years, whichever comes first) is attractive to retailers, but it's disgusting that even some "ethical" bike shops seem addicted to promoting fear of cycling. Don't they see the benefits of trying to get as many people cycling as possible? Or do they think that their marketing makes no difference compared to all the other helmet-addicted shops?
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
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horizon
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Re: How long should the pressure to conform be resisted?

Postby horizon » 19 Aug 2015, 12:43pm

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.


I don't think anyone really understands the complexity of the helmet wearing issue (though reading the threads on here, forum members seem to be ahead of the game).

Adapting to socially expressed norms is part of growing up, fitting in and belonging to adult society. It's a justifiably strong force: we're expected to give up childish opposition to things we find difficult or uncomfortable - going to school for instance. I think the pro-cycle helmet lobby have captured that psychological ground.

For those of us (i.e. most people who take cycling seriously) who value consistency between their actions and their sense of responsibility (often expressed socially) wearing a helmet may become a public expression of our other values. We don't wish to be as seen as careless, irresponsible people (or indeed parents) and so there may be huge a psychological pressure (both internal and external) to wear a helmet. I think the pro-cycle helmet lobby have captured that psychological ground as well.

As people in society we need consensus around difficult ideas so that we can get on with our lives. It's called "group think" and has been proven over and over again to be an effective force in the acceptance of ideas. I think the pro-cycle helmet lobby have captured that psychological ground as well.

As individuals we have a strong desire to fit in to society and to do this we become followers of what is commonly agreed to be fashionable. Look at all those hat wearing people in old news reels and films. I think the pro-cycle helmet lobby have captured that psychological ground as well.

However what the helmet lobby haven't quite captured is the idea that helmets protect you from injury anymore than they have been able establish that school uniform, flared trousers, trilbies, clean shaven chins and ties protect you.

If I continue not to wear a helmet against the growing tide it will be because I love the single truthful idea more than I need to fit in to society's norms. But that's just me.
When the pestilence strikes from the East, go far and breathe the cold air deeply. Ignore the sage, stay not indoors. Ho Ri Zon 12th Century Chinese philosopher

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

Postby irc » 19 Aug 2015, 1:05pm

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?


Nothing short of a helmet law would persuade me to wear a helmet for normal everyday cycling and touring. Even then if there was any scope for a medical exemption I'd look into it.

Pressure to conform? I don't see it. By cycling as a means of transport I am already a non conformist. I don't feel any pressure to conform as far as wearing helmets go. On the odd occasion non cycling acquaintances have mentioned that I don't wear a helmet they have seemed quite satisfied when I've said that the protection they give is limited and in any case cycling is very safe.

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

Postby Tangled Metal » 19 Aug 2015, 1:45pm

What pressure? I have never realized there has been pressure to wear a helmet but then I am thick skinned, so my partner tells me.

I am getting a helmet for rides with the family. The reason is there is evidence the use of a helmet in a developing child can have positive effects in the case of an accident. I think that I read somewhere helmets are of benefit to children purely because of the fact they are still developing. Since both me and my partner (the mother) stopped wearing helmets a few years back he is adamant that he will not. Being a very clever kid he has been able to undo most types of clasps, buckles and strapping systems available from about the age of 9 months. That is down to his evident interest in working out how things work (he's 2 1/2 years and can change the time of the oven clock and a lot of other things too a lot easier than his mother can). So our only hope is to make him believe it is normal to wear helmets when out cycling. This means I do now feel a pressure for the first time ever to wear a helmet, but only to convince our child not to rip his off the first time our backs are turned.

PS the only real pressure is the feeling we are bad parents for letting our son ride in a trailer and child seat without a helmet for so long. We should have tried harder to get him to wear it when younger. In an ideal world we could get him to wear his without us wearing ours (well I no longer have any helmets that haven't been trashed by being thrown around the back of various cupboards during tidy ups and spring cleans).

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

Postby horizon » 19 Aug 2015, 2:37pm

Tangled Metal wrote:
PS the only real pressure is the feeling we are bad parents


Pressure
Feeling
Bad parents

Well, that's it in a nutshell (if you'll excuse the analogy :D ). They've got you by the S&C there.
When the pestilence strikes from the East, go far and breathe the cold air deeply. Ignore the sage, stay not indoors. Ho Ri Zon 12th Century Chinese philosopher

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

Postby hufty » 19 Aug 2015, 5:42pm

Tangled Metal wrote:...there is evidence the use of a helmet in a developing child can have positive effects in the case of an accident.

(1) Can we have a citation please, otherwise it sounds like a "common sense innit" statement
(2) Is the risk of your child having a head injury significantly less when he or she isn't in the trailer
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Re: How long should the pressure to conform be resisted?

Postby Steady rider » 19 Aug 2015, 7:41pm

Robinson's 1996 report provided injury data for children. In Victoria, the equivalent number of injuries
for pre law levels of number of cyclists increased by 15% from 1990 to 1992. Robinson provides data in
Table 2 for children in NSW. The equivalent number of injuries increased from 1310 (384 head + 926 other
injuries) pre law in 1991 to 2083 (488 head + 1595 other injuries) in 1993. The relative injury rate increased
by 59% from 1310 to 2083. The relative increase in 'other' injuries of 72% and 27% for 'head' raises serious
concerns. The proportion of head injuries decreased from 29.3% to 23.4% and would give the impression of
a benefit if viewed in isolation.
http://www.cycle-helmets.com/robinson-head-injuries.pdf
So there is evidence suggesting that children may be less safe wearing helmets.

On testing helmets, the smaller size (small radius) of a child's helmets means it has less surface area in contact with the ground compared to a larger helmet of an adult. This results in higher levels of accelerations compared with the larger helmets for the same drop tests, potentially less benefit etc.

For children the head size is larger than an adults in relation to body size overall - balance aspects to consider.

Some children have been strangled by the straps, rare cases. Taking a negative view, it looks like helmets putting children at risk without much hope of a benefit, Taking a positive view, helmets may provide a benefit.

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

Postby Tangled Metal » 19 Aug 2015, 7:57pm

Helmet debate again. Read all the other ones for that. It's where I read about helmet use for children having evidence of being of benefit due to some reason I can't recall. I'm really not going to waste my arguing with you over this. I read some research from a link on one of the many debates that children's developing brain suffers damage more than adult brains from lower impact injuries, causes more damage in the types of impacts helmets are good for. Sorry if I can't quote enough academic papers for you but I'm happy to accept what I did read hence my feeling the need to put a helmet on my child.

Sorry if my choice based on the research / expert advice I have read offends you and you feel the need to educate me to your view. Waste your time if you want I'll just stop reading this thread. Perhaps you could take it to an existing helmet debate and leave this thread out?