Big Bike revival ... yet more helmet normalising!

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.
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Cugel
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Re: Big Bike revival ... yet more helmet normalising!

Postby Cugel » 30 May 2019, 1:34pm

Mike Sales wrote:
pjclinch wrote:
charliepolecat wrote:There is no question that a lot of these anti helmet comments are silly. If you don't want to wear a helmet and the organiser says you should, don't ride it.


The problem then becomes by just going with the flow we end up with few to no organised rides anyone can go on.
And then if "the organiser" becomes the government and its attitude to letting people ride bikes on its patch, as is the case in NZ and much of Oz, then we end up with a massive own-goal for public health and the marginalisation of cycling as a reasonable means of mass transport.
That's not "silly", that's stupid to the power of ten.

Pete.


I completey agree, but would add that as wearing becomes more and more the norm, and accepted as a necessity, cycling is more and more an activity for the intrepid and those prepared to take accept an enhanced risk, not a normal way of getting to school or work.
Contrast those countries where cycling is still ordinary transport, and those where it is unusual.


After moving to West Wales I thought I might find and join a local club. Alas, the only one practically near enough has a helmet rule! Tedious and discriminatory. Still, their loss. :-)

Cugel

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661-Pete
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Re: Big Bike revival ... yet more helmet normalising!

Postby 661-Pete » 2 Jun 2019, 11:57pm

charliepolecat wrote:There is no question that a lot of these anti helmet comments are silly. If you don't want to wear a helmet and the organiser says you should, don't ride it.
I note that you didn't write "a lot of these anti-helmet commenters are silly". Fair enough.

Maybe I have been 'silly' in the past. Yes - silly of me to face-plant back in 1984 (something I was carrying caught in front wheel). Broke 4 teeth and lacerated upper lip. Hard to see what cycle helmet would have done about that.

And silly of me to repeat face-plant in 2005. Cause unknown (I was knocked unconscious). Broke dental bridge which had been replacement for original broken teeth - also broke nose. Hard to see what cycle helmet would have done about that.

And silly of me to get knocked off by errant cabbie in 2012. Result: nose-bleed (got off lightly that time - but think nose was broken again). Hard to see what cycle helmet would have done about that.

Yes OK this is part of my personal life-story. Sorry if it doesn't provide pro-helmet testimony....

But the point - which you seem to be missing - is this. Of course one can decline to go on an organised ride (I've another engagement on the day in question, anyway). But the message being put out to the public at large is: "cycling = danger without helmet; cycling = perfect safety with helmet".

This of course is a total myth which we would do well to dispel....
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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Re: Big Bike revival ... yet more helmet normalising!

Postby Mike Sales » 3 Jun 2019, 8:55am

charliepolecat wrote:There is no question that a lot of these anti helmet comments are silly. If you don't want to wear a helmet and the organiser says you should, don't ride it.


I got great enjoyment from club runs and made good friends. On dubious Sundays the commitment got me out of bed and on my bike.
Now I have moved to another area I could quickly get to know likeminded people, if local clubs did not mandate foam hats.
I refuse to kowtow to the public panic over cycling.

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Re: Big Bike revival ... yet more helmet normalising!

Postby Cyril Haearn » 3 Jun 2019, 6:26pm

Mike Sales wrote:
charliepolecat wrote:There is no question that a lot of these anti helmet comments are silly. If you don't want to wear a helmet and the organiser says you should, don't ride it.


I got great enjoyment from club runs and made good friends. On dubious Sundays the commitment got me out of bed and on my bike.
Now I have moved to another area I could quickly get to know likeminded people, if local clubs did not mandate foam hats.
I refuse to kowtow to the public panic over cycling.

An elderly lady told me I should join a choir, you could try that, apparently there is a favourable ladies:laddies ratio (mostly females)
I plan to try that
Nice one Cyrille, nice one son..
Cycling-of course, but it is far better on 49" fixed
We love safety cameras, we love life "1330"

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Re: Big Bike revival ... yet more helmet normalising!

Postby iRider » 5 Jun 2019, 11:53pm

And I thought Brexit was a divisive issue...

I get the point that there is and will always be debate on the question does wearing a helmet offer any safety benefits to the wearer. So to that subjective question I believe the answer should be, it’s your choice, wear one if you think you will benefit from doing so, and don’t bother if you don’t.

What I can’t get my head around (No pun intended) is the argument that professional bodies showing people wearing helmets, in some way makes them less safe or in some way shifts blame for an accident onto one party or another.

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Re: Big Bike revival ... yet more helmet normalising!

Postby The utility cyclist » 6 Jun 2019, 1:02am

iRider wrote:And I thought Brexit was a divisive issue...

I get the point that there is and will always be debate on the question does wearing a helmet offer any safety benefits to the wearer. So to that subjective question I believe the answer should be, it’s your choice, wear one if you think you will benefit from doing so, and don’t bother if you don’t.

What I can’t get my head around (No pun intended) is the argument that professional bodies showing people wearing helmets, in some way makes them less safe or in some way shifts blame for an accident onto one party or another.

As per my original thread title, it normalises something that has a massive detrimental effect on cycling. It sends the message out that helmets should be worn, that one of the big organisations is happy to show that when introducing people to cycling or back to cycling, women particularly that wearing hi-vis and helmets is pretty much the done thing.

So much so that it's accepted that this is how things should be (normalising), from that you have essentially given the green light to shift the onus of responsibility to the vulnerable persons (and nowhere else in society do we do this to the extent we do for people riding bikes if at all). Not only does this shift in responsibility not work to increase safety (as we've seen over millennia in all walks of life), because of that shift, if you do not follow the pattern/normal procedure (of wearing a helmet) then if an incident occurs then you are blamed for not doing so. Even if the incident itself was caused by a motorist and the resulting incident and/or injury would still have occurred whether you were wearing one or not.
Michael Mason was killed by a motorist Gail Purcell who mowed him down from behind, he was well lit and in a street with more than excellent street lights, in fact many pedestrians saw him from the side of the road, his killer apparently did not see him and drove straight through him flinging him into the air, he subsequently died from massive trauma.

The MET police response, no charge and used the lack of wearing a helmet as part of the absolving of blame of the killer. Never has this been applied to a pedestrian despite how many suffer from death and serious injury by trauma to the head, this is never applied to the victims of crime who are occupants or drivers of motor vehicles despite four times as many motorists dying solely from head traumas than people on bikes (25% of all motorist deaths die from head injury as a partial cause). This is unlawful discrimination, and yet it occurs on a regular basis and to the detriment to people riding cycles, their safety and the application of the law against those that kill and maim when a cyclist is the victim of that crime.
The whole normalising means children are forced to wear helmets during cycle training, quite how this is allowed beggars belief. The stats clearly show us that more children die solely of head injuries in England and Wales alone when in a motorvehicle incident than the total number of child cyclists by all causes in the whole of the UK. It's another part of blame/responsibility shifting, get killed and it's your own fault for not wearing something that by design cannot save you anyway.

It's precisely the same if women were told to wear anti rape devices all the time they were out knowing that the stats showed that they did not work, that they encouraged men to rape them more or the incidence of rape was higher with those that wore them and if they didn't wear the device (despite it not working to protect from rape) that they would be blamed nonetheless for being raped and the rapist given a slap on the wrist and told stop being careless and don't do it again and left to rape again, and again and again.
You think that's extreme, it's not, it's PRECISELY THE SAME as what has happened with cycle helmets and the normalising of them.

Yes it's a massive thing, yes it's as big as Brexit as it removes innate freedoms, cycle helmets are used as a tool that encourages unlawful actions by authorities who swear oaths/attestations to be fair, be unbiased and to uphold laws (but don't). They create a massively worse environment and pressure on people just wanting to go about their lawful business to conform or be victim blamed in the event of injury/death and constantly being in fear of harm due to the responsibility to not be harmed placed on your shoulders that you know cannot change because those causing the most harm are being absolved, are not punished and so have no cause to modify their behaviour in the slightest.

cycle helmets and the normalising/promotion of such is the singularly worst thing to happen to cycling since the motor car could go over 10mph

If you don't understand how normalising certain things in life can be really, really bad then I might suggest you do some reading/ask people who know about these things to explain it to you in depth.
Last edited by The utility cyclist on 6 Jun 2019, 12:10pm, edited 2 times in total.

Oldjohnw
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Re: Big Bike revival ... yet more helmet normalising!

Postby Oldjohnw » 6 Jun 2019, 6:54am

yes it's as big as Brexit


Really?
John

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Cugel
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Re: Big Bike revival ... yet more helmet normalising!

Postby Cugel » 6 Jun 2019, 8:02am

Oldjohnw wrote:
yes it's as big as Brexit


Really?



The UC is right about the tendency in human societies like ours to seek or create pariahs on which the general populace can vent it's many angsts. Cyclists have become pariahs. Those without a plastic hat are a particularly juicy pariah to many. Meanwhile, criminal activity amongst the motoring classes (including some who are also riders of bicycles) is regarded as a justifiable expression of freedom bordering on the heroic.

Personally I try to remain calm on both the bike and in the car, despite the many dangerous, selfish or thoughtless actions of others. I would love to tell them all off with a rant but it never works. I know why, as I have felt what they feel when told off myself for a stupid action, in my yoof.

Brexit is another symptom of our growing intolerance of others and need to justify venting our general angsts by condemning the different. If they aren't really that different, we make them so with silly stereotyping and other forms of "othering". It's a bad habit. It works in all directions, within every anxious breast. The UC rant-post is another example, sadly.

Cugel
Last edited by John1054 on 6 Jun 2019, 9:52pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Edited to remove unnecessary sniping.

mattheus
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Re: Big Bike revival ... yet more helmet normalising!

Postby mattheus » 6 Jun 2019, 8:30am

Oldjohnw wrote:
yes it's as big as Brexit


Really?

A lot more people will die of diabetes and car crashes than will die of Brexit this year.

That's one angle!

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Re: Big Bike revival ... yet more helmet normalising!

Postby iRider » 6 Jun 2019, 10:44am

Dear god, have you actually listened to yourself? Cycling for most is a pastime or a commute. Most of those are thinking adults who are quite capable of making a decision without over thinking it like you do.

Talk about loss of perspective :shock:

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Re: Big Bike revival ... yet more helmet normalising!

Postby Cugel » 6 Jun 2019, 11:21am

iRider wrote:Dear god, have you actually listened to yourself? Cycling for most is a pastime or a commute. Most of those are thinking adults who are quite capable of making a decision without over thinking it like you do.

Talk about loss of perspective :shock:


Matty has a point - although the aftermath of Brexit may well be rather more damaging than we'd all hope. Already there are vast increases in poverty and persecution of the poor from austerity. A post-Brexit Tory neolib gang of the ideologically crazy might well wreak even more serious damage to many people's health, wealth and happiness.

But I digress.

I feel that those who have accepted carmageddon as the norm, shrugging their shoulders at the thousands of deaths, maimings, ruination of lives & families et al are the ones who have lost perspective. If these deaths, maimings and many other harms (let's not forget the polluting harms, by the way) were caused by another "convenience" factor such as teddy bears with spikes behind their eyes or beef having a small but significant risk of giving you CJD .... there'd be an outcry and legislation to curb the nasty source of the harm. In fact, there has been.

But cars are exempt because we love them so. As we love them, they must be good and all the harm they cause is somehow just drivers who don't drive well enough (but that's forgiveable too, apparently).

But you're right to suggest that cycling is still relatively safe compared to other risky activities (such as being in a car). Even pedestrians and gardeners have a worse time of it from the harms!

Cugel

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Re: Big Bike revival ... yet more helmet normalising!

Postby mjr » 6 Jun 2019, 2:49pm

iRider wrote:Dear god, have you actually listened to yourself? Cycling for most is a pastime or a commute. Most of those are thinking adults who are quite capable of making a decision without over thinking it like you do.

Talk about loss of perspective :shock:

OK, if you want: the overview of public health and society is a perspective and I humbly suggest that it's the people who argue that helmet use is merely a matter of personal choice who have suffered loss of perspective, in that they only have the personal perspective and not the society-overview one.

I also doubt that cycling for most is a pastime or a commute. I suspect the number of utility riders outnumber both, although that's not completely clear from official statistics because of rubbish definitions which, like you, don't regard utility cycling as worth a mention. We know that 12% of adults cycle at least weekly and that only 2-3% commute, but not the percentage doing it as a pastime (because utility cycling like visiting friends or going to entertainments is lumped in with a pastime as "leisure") or as part of another task.
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Re: Big Bike revival ... yet more helmet normalising!

Postby iRider » 6 Jun 2019, 3:25pm

mjr wrote:
iRider wrote:Dear god, have you actually listened to yourself? Cycling for most is a pastime or a commute. Most of those are thinking adults who are quite capable of making a decision without over thinking it like you do.

Talk about loss of perspective :shock:

OK, if you want: the overview of public health and society is a perspective and I humbly suggest that it's the people who argue that helmet use is merely a matter of personal choice who have suffered loss of perspective, in that they only have the personal perspective and not the society-overview one.

I also doubt that cycling for most is a pastime or a commute. I suspect the number of utility riders outnumber both, although that's not completely clear from official statistics because of rubbish definitions which, like you, don't regard utility cycling as worth a mention. We know that 12% of adults cycle at least weekly and that only 2-3% commute, but not the percentage doing it as a pastime (because utility cycling like visiting friends or going to entertainments is lumped in with a pastime as "leisure") or as part of another task.


What a ridiculous statement... "it's the people who argue that helmet use is merely a matter of personal choice who have suffered loss of perspective, in that they only have the personal perspective and not the society-overview one". On the one hand you lot are arguing that society overview driven by the media and cycling community are in some way adversely influencing personal perspective and therefore personal choice. Now your saying personal choice based on personal perspective in some way is detached from and not driven by society overview... I was going to say You Couldn't make this rubbish up, but clearly you can :lol: :lol:

Then you go on to claim some sort of factual position with a statement that includes the words, Doubt, Suspect, Not Completely Clear, Official Statistics, Rubbish Definitions... Come back when you have some thoroughly researched and properly analysed date.

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Re: Big Bike revival ... yet more helmet normalising!

Postby Mike Sales » 6 Jun 2019, 3:47pm

It is, at bottom, a question of whose roads are they? Who are they for?
In the countries we can call Anglo-Saxon, it is motor vehicles which own the highway, and the more vulnerable use the roads on sufferance. Consequently the roads are unpleasant and frightening for cyclists. The price of admission is to wear a helmet and hiviz. The point is not really whether they do any good, for they don't, but that they show acceptance of motor dominance. These countries have low cycling rates, high cyclist injury rates and a flabbier population.
In what we may call the Nordic countries a different approach is taken. The road are for people, and should be safe enough to encourage cycling and walking. These countries use various road engineering measures to lessen the danger from motors. Few cyclists wear helmets. They have high rates of cycling, low injury rates and healthier people.

In Britain we are still free not to wear plastic, unlike down under (where compulsion produced no reduction in cyclist injury rates but a reduction in cycling).

Since helmets cannot be shown to reduce injuries, I urge cyclists to let their free flag fly (apologies to Crosbie, Stills, Nash and Young). That is, if they still have any left.

https://www.badscience.net/2013/12/bicycle-helmets-and-the-law-a-perfect-teaching-case-for-epidemiology/#more-3027

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Re: Big Bike revival ... yet more helmet normalising!

Postby mjr » 6 Jun 2019, 4:54pm

iRider wrote:What a ridiculous statement... "it's the people who argue that helmet use is merely a matter of personal choice who have suffered loss of perspective, in that they only have the personal perspective and not the society-overview one". On the one hand you lot are arguing that society overview driven by the media and cycling community are in some way adversely influencing personal perspective and therefore personal choice. Now your saying personal choice based on personal perspective in some way is detached from and not driven by society overview... I was going to say You Couldn't make this rubbish up, but clearly you can :lol: :lol:

No, I'm fairly consistently saying that the personal perspective is linked to the societal perspective, but I can't speak for the rest of "you lot".

Of course the self-contradictory viewpoint you just made up is rubbish.

iRider wrote:Then you go on to claim some sort of factual position with a statement that includes the words, Doubt, Suspect, Not Completely Clear, Official Statistics, Rubbish Definitions... Come back when you have some thoroughly researched and properly analysed date.

Words like "suspect" are used to highlight what's beyond the limits of the available data (and note the spelling of that). Your claim was the astonishing "Cycling for most is a pastime or a commute", so it's up to you to provide "some thoroughly researched and properly analysed" for it.

If you'd like me to get it for you, about £1m should make a reasonable start. How would you like to pay?
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
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