What would you do.....

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.
beardy
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Re: What would you do.....

Postby beardy » 5 Jun 2015, 10:42am

All that may change nothing. But if there are enough people questioning silly policies, then the decision makers may start to feel slightly awkward - even embarrassed - at what they are defending. It does happen.


Unfortunately they have won the media war, even Max Cherry said "but it isnt a walking event" the idea is firmly established that walkers dont need helmets and cyclists do.
The only one who would get embarrassed is MickTheCyclist.

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bovlomov
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Re: What would you do.....

Postby bovlomov » 5 Jun 2015, 11:03am

beardy wrote:Unfortunately they have won the media war,

Won? Surely not!

thirdcrank
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Re: What would you do.....

Postby thirdcrank » 5 Jun 2015, 11:14am

MickTheCyclist wrote: ... After much thought they cancelled the self-organised idea and decided to participate in a local sportive instead. ...


I think this bit is the key - why did they take this line?

All sorts of possibilities but one is that they wanted to avoid the risks of DIY - leave it to somebody with more experience. I get the impression you have already decided to sit this one out. As this is work-related and you are probably known within the company as a committed cyclist, it may lead to questions being asked about lack of loyalty in not supporting the event. Only you know whether your principles are worth risking upsetting your employer. One thing is for sure: you are not going to convince them that wearing helmets is a bad thing, but you may convince them you are a loony if you try.

That isn't based on ethics but rather the practicalities. Hopefully common sense advice on an issue governed by "common sense."

AlaninWales
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Re: What would you do.....

Postby AlaninWales » 5 Jun 2015, 11:19am

bovlomov wrote:
beardy wrote:Unfortunately they have won the media war,

Won? Surely not!

thirdcrank wrote:One thing is for sure: you are not going to convince them that wearing helmets is a bad thing, but you may convince them you are a loony if you try.

Yes, they have.

Personally I don't mind being labelled as a loony when standing up for principles. Whether Mick the cyclist wants that is his decision of course. Others don't seem to see the point of standing up for principles anyway...
Last edited by AlaninWales on 5 Jun 2015, 11:21am, edited 1 time in total.

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mjr
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Re: What would you do.....

Postby mjr » 5 Jun 2015, 11:20am

maxcherry wrote:I still take the stance that tagging along on a sportive while not being part of it is bad form. If one doesn't want to wear the helmet then don't do the sportive and really take a stance against mandatory helmet wearing.

Why is it bad form? The roads are public and still open. Isn't it worse form to encourage loads of road hogs on bikes and only put up a few warning signs for other road users? At least the Tour de Cambridgeshire has the guts to close the roads.
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bovlomov
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Re: What would you do.....

Postby bovlomov » 5 Jun 2015, 11:29am

thirdcrank wrote: One thing is for sure: you are not going to convince them that wearing helmets is a bad thing, but you may convince them you are a loony if you try.

Why so pessimistic? Anyway you don't need to convince them that wearing helmets is a bad thing. Only that mandatory helmets are a bad thing. There's always a risk of being branded 'a loony', when going against the tide. Indeed that might be the very definition of a loony: someone who goes against the tide. But that shouldn't stop you from trying to explain your position.

You may feel like someone at a LiveStrong fundraiser, who has accused Lance Armstrong of being a drug cheat. You'll make lots of enemies, but history will prove you right.

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pjclinch
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Re: What would you do.....

Postby pjclinch » 5 Jun 2015, 11:56am

I'd be inclined to DIY just for me. If I'm going to ride 100 miles I'd prefer it to be on my terms, not just headgear but route, speed, date and associated weather forecast etc. If it's a case of going around asking folk to put their hands in their pocket for a charity then I doubt they'd not do it for a personal ride but would if it was a sportive, especially if you can guarantee £0 spent on entering your private, personal event.

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Bicycler
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Re: What would you do.....

Postby Bicycler » 5 Jun 2015, 12:08pm

+1 to pete's suggestion.

But if it is the sportive or nothing I'd do the ride but make my opinions on helmets known, to the company and the organisers. Much better to explain your objections and having done so appear willing to participate in this one event than to appear obstinate.

Whilst some people refuse to engage with the helmet debate and do just think you are mad, I have found that others are genuinely surprised to find that there is uncertainty about the effectiveness of helmets and that there are compelling arguments against mandatory use. Even if you do not convince anybody, you will at least raise awareness that many experts on cycle policy do not consider them to be a universally good thing, particularly when they are forced upon people. Much better that helmet use is thought of as a personal choice rather than "common sense"

An organiser will read an email but not notice an individual's principled absence. If they get enough such correspondence they may be more inclined to change their policies. Point out that you do not own a helmet and the reasons for that. Mention to the organisers that comparable events are run without a requirement for helmets, so they do have a choice. Refer them to the positions taken by virtually all non-sporting National and international cycling organisations which challenge the idea that cycling is dangerous enough for helmets to be mandated and the damaging effect which they believe perpetuating this idea has upon cycling.
Last edited by Bicycler on 5 Jun 2015, 12:09pm, edited 1 time in total.

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bovlomov
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Re: What would you do.....

Postby bovlomov » 5 Jun 2015, 12:09pm

pjclinch wrote:I'd be inclined to DIY just for me.

Same here, but I guess Mick rather likes the idea of the event.

I suppose you could arrange a rival ride with a few like minded colleagues and/or friends. No dress code. And make it 120 or 150 miles - just because....

Next year they'll be begging to join you.

thirdcrank
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Re: What would you do.....

Postby thirdcrank » 5 Jun 2015, 12:14pm

Why has somebody at this company decided to associate the company with cycling? From a range of possible answers I'll say "publicity reasons."
As I've already suggested, they've dropped the idea of DIY in favour of something organised by others and I fancy that when they looked into it, especially if they consulted lawyers, they were warned of all the (overstated) risks of bad publicity and compo. Even a pic in the local rag of the company name associated with a helmetless rider (not to mention hi-viz) would have the vitriol flowing. Bear in mind also that if this is a big company, decisions may have been taken higher up or even in another country if it's an international company.

Depending on the company, there are all sorts of things that an individual employee might disagree with, without going so far as to confront the bosses. "Do you realise that driving to work in gas-guzzler risks the future of the planet? "etc. If somebody were to ask "I know you are a keen cyclist, is there a reason why you don't wear a helmet?" that might be an opportunity to point them towards the science rather than the "common sense" but I can't see that that's what's happening here.

Let's be wary of making bullets for somebody else to fire.

AlaninWales
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Re: What would you do.....

Postby AlaninWales » 5 Jun 2015, 12:26pm

thirdcrank wrote:Let's be wary of making bullets for somebody else to fire.

A very wise observation if approaching someone who you decide has a dilemma. However, when a person with a dilemma asks "What would you do?" then (as long as the replies honestly reflect what the respondent wloud do), I don't believe this is a consideration.

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bovlomov
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Re: What would you do.....

Postby bovlomov » 5 Jun 2015, 12:42pm

thirdcrank wrote:Let's be wary of making bullets for somebody else to fire.

I'm not sure what you mean by 'bullets'. That your colleagues will think you're a loony? That someone will express disgust in the letters page of the local rag?

As not attending the event is likely, in itself, to be interpreted as disloyal or awkward, I'd say that Mick has little choice but to stick his head above the parapet at some point. The only scandal-free option is for him to buy a helmet and go along with something he strongly disagrees with - to the detriment of his eternal soul.

beardy
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Re: What would you do.....

Postby beardy » 5 Jun 2015, 12:49pm

to the detriment of his eternal soul.


It is only a tiny detriment his soul will survive it.

Even if we may have an objection to compulsory helmets for everyday riding that isnt the same as wearing a helmet as part of entering a fancy dress event.

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gaz
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Re: What would you do.....

Postby gaz » 5 Jun 2015, 12:50pm

Personally I would now simply de-register my interest or just not bother to proceed to registration. I very much doubt that my employer would ask me why I'd had a change of heart.

If asked why I would be happy explaining that I do not wish to ride the event because of the mandatory helmet requirement which was not explained when I registered my interest.

It would be simple enough to concoct a story of some unexpected family event that had now been organised on the same day, preventing me from attending.


If supporting the charity in question was of particular importance to me I'd give the event a wide berth and find another way to support it.
Last edited by gaz on 5 Jun 2015, 12:54pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Bicycler
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Re: What would you do.....

Postby Bicycler » 5 Jun 2015, 12:51pm

AlaninWales wrote:
thirdcrank wrote:Let's be wary of making bullets for somebody else to fire.

A very wise observation if approaching someone who you decide has a dilemma. However, when a person with a dilemma asks "What would you do?" then (as long as the replies honestly reflect what the respondent wloud do), I don't believe this is a consideration.

Quite.

And I'd hope that most employers are amenable enough to listen to employees concerns and reservations, expressed sincerely and politely, without viewing them as confrontations.