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Helmets: Always, Sometimes, or never?(85 posts)

Helmets: Always, Sometimes, or never?Softrider
Apr 17, 2002 7:10 AM
I was riding a local multi-use trail the other day and I noticed something that was fairly disturbing. The vast majority of people were not wearing helmets. Probably only 1 in 10 had helmets, and most of those were parents with little kids.

I always wear a helmet, and probably wouldn't feel right without it. I was curious how others on the board felt about the issue.
Apr 17, 2002 7:16 AM
If I catch my kids without a helmet, they lose their bike for a day. Catch'em again, lose it for a week.
re: Helmets: Always, Sometimes, or never?Me Dot Org
Apr 17, 2002 7:17 AM
I have gone on 3 rides without a helmet in the past 2 years. (I live in a 4th story apartment - it's a pain going back upstairs if you forget it.)

On one of those 3 rides where I forgot it - I got into an accident. Plowed into the back of a car going about 18 mph - 10 stitches in my jaw.

NOW if I forget my helmet, I go back upstairs and get it - EVERY time.
re: Helmets: Always, Sometimes, or never?mackgoo
Apr 19, 2002 2:03 AM
So you feel you wouldn't have needed stitches in the jaw had you had the helmet?
Apr 17, 2002 7:19 AM
My wife suffered a crash a few years ago on a century ride. She did the metric, I did the 100, so I was not with her. She had a broken jaw, concussion, broken wrist and over 100 stitches in her face. The doctor told me that she would have been dead without a helmet. To this day, all she remembers is coming to in the middle of a country road.

Everytime I see someone riding without one (or riding with it tipped way up), I think there's a person that doesn't have $35 worth of grey matter between their ears worth protecting.
I wear my helmet most of the timeonespeed
Apr 17, 2002 7:19 AM
When I commute, ride into the city or go out on weekend or training rides, the helmet is always on my head.

Tooling around the neighborhood on errands I am probably going to leave it at home.
re: Helmets: Always, Sometimes, or never?netso
Apr 17, 2002 7:20 AM
I wear a helmet always. After having a major accident, in which I was without a helmet, I suffered a bad head injury.
This would have been prevented with a helmet.
my disturbing and flame-inducing thoughts on helmets...SteveO
Apr 17, 2002 7:20 AM
when I'm on the local multi-use trail, or around the neighborhood, i NEVER wear a helmet.

serious riding or in traffic, i ALWAYS (ok, well, usually) wear a helmet.

I realize i'm putting myself at increased risk of serious injury, but no more risk then every time i take a run, a walk, cross a street, etc.

When I see the ardent helmet-advocates wearing a helmet on their morning run, i may reconsider.
have you tried russian roulette? .colker
Apr 17, 2002 7:44 AM
you seem the right guy for this..hmm.. game? no more risk than afternoon shopping in east jerusalem.
thats why i dont go shopping in E.J.SteveO
Apr 17, 2002 7:56 AM
perhaps you too would be suited for russian roulette... i presume you dont wear a helmet when you run? Why not? Your risk is no less than neighborhood cruising.
now seriously:colker
Apr 17, 2002 8:28 AM
i'm not the preacher type. life is better when people chose how to take care for themselves but i always tell people on bikes to wear helmets. i've fallen unexpectedly while cycling and hit my head on the ground. it was a slow, light fall but, wasn't i wearing a helmet....
now seriously:SteveO
Apr 17, 2002 9:02 AM
i certainly understand the added protection of a helmet... but i simply CANT understand the hypocricy involved with claiming cycling (in general) necessitates a helmet while other pursuits of equal risk do not (running 8 mph at aerobic threshold, while exhausted, certainly puts one at higher risk of injury than riding a bicycle at 8 mph in a relaxed, refreshed state - but noone preaches the necessity of 'running helmets'. why?)

Running, surfing, softball, basketball, and many of our other daily pursuits are of equal risk to neighborhood cruising. Heck, 15,000 people die annually due to falls IN THEIR OWN SHOWER. Certainly high-risk in my opinion.

Just very hypocritcal to preach helmet safety, yet not wear them in other high-risk activities, imo.
Shower accidentsKurtVF
Apr 17, 2002 4:25 PM
I've always heard this one but must say I am highly skeptical. I worked as a surgeon at a level 1 trauma center for several years and saw many and all kinds of accidents but I must say I never saw a shower or bathtub accident. I did admit 3 people for accidents that occurred on the golf course (two of them needed to be seen by a neurosurgeon). I think golfers should wear helmets but people taking showers probably don't need to.
Studies show MUTs and sidewalks are the most dangerous for cyclists.MB1
Apr 17, 2002 8:30 AM
You are actually safer riding with traffic.
Amen to that! The GW Parkway Trail...Gregory Taylor
Apr 17, 2002 8:37 AM very dangerous on the weekends. Way too crowded, full of unpredictable riders/joggers/rollerbladers.

Ahhh....let them have the bike trails....gimmie the road anytime.
Great views, though,djg
Apr 18, 2002 8:29 AM
which may be part of the problem. Like the Cap Crescent trail, it's excellent and uncrowded for commuting, but jam packed on weekends, unless you go early or late or when it's cold out.

Personally, I think that rollerbladers are the devil's spawn. There are inconsiderate trail users of all stripes, but it seems that the vast majority of bladers I encounter take up a huge swath of path, use headphones so they cannot hear approaching riders (or even faster bladers), and by and large are oblivious to the idea that they are sharing a resource.
Yes, Roller Bladers Are Evil...Gregory Taylor
Apr 18, 2002 5:23 PM
...but they probably think the same things about us.

They did some repaving recently on the GW Parkway trail, and the immediate reaction from a few cyclists that I know wasn't "Yippie!" but "#&*@!, now there will be more roller bladers."

Even with all of the people, I still think that I am one of the luckiest people on earth for being able to ride my bike to work along such a beautiful route.
I've had more close calls on the trails than on the road ...jmr986
Apr 17, 2002 8:40 AM
but, I've been bad and have not worn my helmet on the trail lately. When it's cold I wear a stocking cap, but I did buy myself a brand new Giro Eclipse which I promise I'll wear.

Although I usually dont get above 15mph on the trails I've had kids pull out in front of me on a pass, leashed dogs run across the path in front of me, and of course the smokers who walk right down the middle oblivious to everything.
MUTs are the LAST place I'd ride helmetless...Spinchick
Apr 17, 2002 9:12 AM
not that there are any places I would.
'even satan can quote scripture to his benefit'SteveO
Apr 17, 2002 9:13 AM
i dont doubt the validity of those studies, but we need to put in things into perspective...

1. 'Traffic' consitutes public streets; Certainly neighborhood streets are safer than national highways, which leads to misleading statistics.

2. Certainly a leisurly ride (remember, i already stated that i wear a helmet during 'serious' riding) on a flat, traffic-free path is safer than riding 30 in congested traffic.

3. 'Most dangerous' is ambiguous. Surely being struck by a semi on a public road would be 'more dangeous' than striking another bicyclist on an MUT.

I rely on my personal perception of the environment, along with my actions, to determine my safety, not statistics.
And we can use your example to see if Darwin is correctGregory Taylor
Apr 17, 2002 9:16 AM
Apr 17, 2002 9:31 AM
I fail to see the relevance of your response to my post.
are you saying my perception of my surroundings are less accurate that conclusions drawn from National statistics?
Yes, you got to remember what bicycle helmets do.MB1
Apr 17, 2002 9:41 AM
Bicycle helmets are pretty much designed to protect your brain from a single fall from 6'. There is a small amount of abrasion protection and a requirement that they don't explode on impact (so if you bounce you still have some protection).

The problem with MUTs is that your skills protect you the least there. Traffic is somewhat predictable-there are rules that everyone has been tested on before driving. Anyone in any condition can and does use MUTs.

Dogs, kids, rollerbladers, folks with headphones-anyone is out there on MUTs. They can cause YOU to have that 6' fall that does the real brain damage. Your forward speed has little to do with the potential injury-it is the drop.

BTW doctors technical term for cyclists and motorcyclists without helmets is "Organ Donor".
im fully aware of the benefit of helmets..SteveO
Apr 17, 2002 10:11 AM
again, i'm relying on MY environment, which National statistics dont accurately represent.

Do I ride the MUT only at night? (certainly an MUT is safer at night than the roads). Is my MUT cinder, therefor rollerbladers are non-existant? Perhaps there's a separate bicycling/pedestrian lanes?

Is my MUT actually a city road, with multiple, full-width lanes which is shut down during the weekend, the users of which all respect the 'rules of the road'? (which it is)

I certainly believe 300 cyclists following the 'rules of the road' puts me in a safer environment than thousands of cars doing the same.

As far as the helmet protecting you from a fall, perhaps forward speed is not a factor, but it's the same 6' fall, on foot or on bike. My chances of said fall at 'high speed', exhausted, on foot are greater than my chances at 'slow speed', fully alert on a bike.

I'm sure with little effort i could find some stats which show head injury rates sustained while driving cars far exceed those sustained while riding bikes; somehow, though, i dont think i'll be able to convince anyone to wear helmets while driving, even though 'it cant hurt', statistics show, etc etc etc. hypocrisy fact... here it is...SteveO
Apr 17, 2002 10:24 AM
50-60 percent of all head injuries are sustained in motor vehicle accidents.

12 percent are sustained in bicycling-related accidents.

everybody put your helmet on for tommorrows drive, else darwin may strike.
Statistics.....Len J
Apr 17, 2002 10:34 AM
can support whatever you want.

What is the % of time spent driving in the US vs Cycling?

I suspect that Head injuries/hour driven are much lower than Head injuries/hour Cycling.

Nice try but it doesn't wash.

that was MY POINTSteveO
Apr 17, 2002 10:39 AM
jeez, gotta spell things out around here.
No it wasn't....Len J
Apr 17, 2002 10:56 AM
Your point is that driving is a higher risk activity for head injuries than cycling and therefor you should wear a helmet while driving. I disagree. In fact, If you would read my post, you would see that I said: "I suspect that Head injuries/hour driven are much lower than Head injuries/hour Cycling". That's Lower.

Just to "Spell it out" as you say, For every hour of driving there are less head injuries that for every hour cycling.

jeez, gotta spell things out around here.

Do you just do this to be argumentative?

yes it was, follow the thread...SteveO
Apr 17, 2002 11:10 AM
ill spell it out for you...

1. mb cited studies.

2.i followed up with 'even satan can quote scripture to his benefit', which is an age-old way of saying 'you can make statistics say anything you want' (which was your argument to me, which i then claimed was my point). Seems pretty straightforward.

3. i went on to give reasons that i believe my personal observations, in my environment, hold more weight than national statistics.

As far as being argumentative, i'm merely stating my observation (hypocricy) and belief; you and several others are the ones who seem to be condemning my opinion.

New observation: apparently, if you maintain a difft opinion, your argumentative, but if you criticize other for their opinion, your right.

Oh, it's highly relevant...Gregory Taylor
Apr 17, 2002 10:37 AM
What I am saying is that, over time, the RBR Board will be given the unique opportunity to see whether you, SteveO, are in fact correct -- that you can safely choose to selectively ignore (viz., when you are not riding "seriously") the commonly-accepted wisdom that a rider should wear a helmet everytime that they throw a leg over a bicycle. If you, SteveO, are (heaven forbid) tragically incorrect in your hypothesis, and are involuntarily removed from the gene pool as the result of a head injury while riding on an MUT -- an injury that could have been avoided by a helmet, a piece of safety equipment that you actually own -- then we will have once again proved that ol' Mr. Darwin was indeed correct, and that survival is indeed the exclusive domain of the fittest.

If, however, you safely survive your ordeal of repeated trips down the MUT, sans helmet, then we here at the RBR Board will salute you on your willingness to risk life and limb in order to prove your point that MUT's are not the death traps that the bureaucrats make them out to be.

We, however, will (by and large) still be wearing our helmets.

By the way, I don't mean to sound like a prick. My smart alecky comments aren't intended that way. It's just that, in my book, head injuries are potentially catastrophic and very avoidable. I hate riding with my helmet too, especially for stuff like a run to the store for beer, etc. I look like a dork. ("Well, that's because you are!") But, the potential downside of not wearing a helmet (even just around the neighborhood) far outweighs my own personal preferences. Do what you want, just don't ask me to agree that riding without a helmet is ever smart...
If you'll re-read my posts Mr Taylor,SteveO
Apr 17, 2002 10:42 AM
you'll see i never asked anyone to agree that riding without a helmet is smart. In fact, i ADMTTED it is.

I'm merely pointing out the hypocricy involved with preaching helmet safety, while refusing to wear one in higher-risk activities.

Bike fall or car accident, a helmet can save your life.
so why arent you wearing one when you drive? or jog?

You cant rationlize it. Its hypocritical.
No, not really.Gregory Taylor
Apr 17, 2002 11:21 AM
If by pointing out the supposed "hypocricy" involved in preaching helmet safety you are, ultimately, looking for an excuse or justification to ignore the message, then I'll not acknowledge that you are, in fact, making any concession at all.

Putting that off to one side, I still don't think that there is really any hypocricy involved in "preaching" helmet safety. If you accept that head injuries can happen while riding a bike, and you acccept that the simple expedient of wearing a bit of sporting equipment can prevent the injury, then there is nothing hypocritical about saying that it is a good thing. It is.

Looping in other activities like showering or driving or jogging to show the alleged "hypocricy" don't really affect the basic logic here. Cars, for example, already have tons of federally mandated safety equipment. Bikes have almost none. Yes, wearing a helmet on top of the belts, airbags, door beams, and rollover hoops might save additional lives -- racing drivers wear them -- but a mandatory helmet law would be considered overkill in an already heavily-regulated mode of transportation. Wearing a helmet while riding a bike is hardly safety "overkill". Motocycles are probably a better analogy -- same exposed position for the rider, and most states mandate helmets.

As for showers, etc., good luck enforcing that one. Yes, showers are dangerous. Not only could you slip, you could also scald yourself. If that is the case, isn't it hypocritical to consider having hot water in the house a good thing? And just try washing your hair with a helmet on...

As for other sporting activities, it isn't controversial at all that we make kids wear helmets for baseball (batting helmet), ice hockey, skateboarding, and rollerblading. As for joggers, I'd LOVE to see helmet laws for joggers. Make the rotten *&@^!'s sweat....payback for clogging up my local MUT.
Apr 18, 2002 3:50 AM
I realize the car analogy is a little skewed because there is a lot of federally mandated safety equipment... but the fact remains the DESPITE that equipment, head injuries are a VERY common result of motor-vehicle accidents.

throughout my defense, i've never tried to convince anyone that NOT wearing a helmet while bicycling is safe, nor have i ever tried to convince anyone that they SHOULD wear a helmet while driving.

My intention was merely to point out that we all weigh risk throughout our lives. You apparently feel that the risk of sustaining head injury while driving doesnt warrent wearing a helmet (though i cant figure out why, statistics dont lie, right?). I'm certainly not condemning you for that.

I, personally, feel that risk of sustaining head injury when putzing over to my buddies house on my bike, in a closed neighborhood, amongst neighbors, after dinner, is FAR less than that while barrelling down a highway at 55, separated from 3000 pounds of oncoming traffic by nothing more than a 4-inch strip of paint.

I suppose when more people take more steps to eliminate, or even to REALIZE actual risk in their lives, i may reconsider my position.
We have found common ground upon which to disagree...Gregory Taylor
Apr 18, 2002 5:03 AM
...and so as gentlemen (or whatever...) we should hoist a beer and drink to each other's good health. I promise that I won't ask you to wear a helmet in case you fall off of the barstool.

Back in the 1980's never, unless racing.....53x12
Apr 17, 2002 10:59 AM
Now, I always wear it. I do now because of traffic and I'm much wiser then when a teenager (least thats what my dog tells me). When I first started serious cycling in 1985, most people didn't wear helmets. Pro's especially the euro guys never did. Of course you'd see Lemond pop one on for roubaix or downhill decents in the Tour.
I'd like to say I always wear one, but...floatch
Apr 17, 2002 7:21 AM wouldn't be true. I always wear one on my commute, I always wear one when MTBing, and I always wear one on a long solo ride or any group ride. However, when I go out for a spin around the block after dinner, or to watch the sun set, I usually ride out in sandals and a t-shirt. Maybe I'll end up damaged, who knows? There are just times I don't want to fill up water bottles, put on my sidi's, and wear a jersey. I just want to spin around the block and enjoy the weather, you know?
99.99999% of timeRideLots
Apr 17, 2002 7:23 AM
The only time I don't is when I'm working on the bike and just take it down the street for a quick shakedown or diagnosis. This is at 10 mph on a dead end that's gated, flat, clean road with almost no cars. Probably safer than on rollers in the garage.

One time a few years ago I went for a ride, and about a mile from the house I realized something just didn't seem right -- I had forgotten my helmet. I could not believe it. I felt guilty, naked, and vulnerable the whole ride of about 25 miles. At the same time, I was recalling the days in the 70's and 80's when I rode all the time with no helmet - almost no one wore them. It didn't seem wrong at all, then.
Ditto. nmMB1
Apr 17, 2002 8:30 AM
Apr 17, 2002 8:55 AM
I would have said always, but I forgot to put one on for my commute a few weeks ago. I felt much how you described and I did "Helmet Laws Suck" rides on my motorcyle.
AlwaysDave Hickey
Apr 17, 2002 7:26 AM
I always wear mine. I had a 25mph crash last year and cracked my helmet. I probably wouldn't be here if I wasn't wearing one.
I've also noticed people on multi-use trails not wearing helmets. Most of my near-misses have come on hike/bike trails. People are crazy if they don't wear helmets
It's like riding without a seatbelt.Len J
Apr 17, 2002 7:27 AM
Once I got used to wearing it, I felt uncomfortable without it.

I wear a helmet on every ride. I also wear one whenever I rollerblade or snow ski. Some would say I am anal about it but I figure why risk major head injury when a helmet is an easy and cheap protection.

I only needed one major accident where I heard the sound of my helmet hiting the road to convince me to never go without. BTW, split the helmet in two, imagine me without the helmet. I would be a distant memory.

uh...not exactlymr_spin
Apr 17, 2002 7:46 AM
Too much hyperbole makes cynics of us all. A seatbelt will help protect your whole body. A helmet is only good for your head.

There are many common bad things that can happen to you on a bike for which a helmet will offer no protection. You can't say that about a seat belt.

Wear a helmet? Of course. I always do. Why be stupid? But it's not the magic suit of armor marketers claim it is or people wearing one feel it is.

I find it amazing how whenever there is a motorcycle or bike accident reported in the paper (which means it was bad), they always mention if the rider wasn't wearing a helmet. As if it matters when a semi runs you down from behind. As if it mattered to Fabio Cassartelli.
You missed my point.Len J
Apr 17, 2002 8:30 AM
The comparison I was making was how "uncomfortable" I now feel when either riding without a helmet or driving without a seatbelt.

Apr 17, 2002 7:28 AM
Wear one for group rides or mtb, but not always when riding alone. Sorry, it just feels better riding with the wind in my hair. Perhaps if I had a family to support that relied on me I would reconsider.
Apr 17, 2002 7:29 AM
I was involved in a nasty crash while descending. If I wasn't wearing a helmet I woundn't be here to type this. I remember my wife bringing my helmet into the emergency room and the doctor examining it. He said it saved my life..
No helmet = stupidtempeteKerouak
Apr 17, 2002 7:34 AM
Let's face it. Why wear no helmet.

It's a reach at an arm's lenght, next to my bikes. Yet I am sometimes stupid too. And it has saved my life (I was hit by a car three times, and the helmet was destroyed once)

Do as you feel...

Please see this:
I wear mine AlwaysIcefrk13
Apr 17, 2002 7:37 AM
always, exceptJS Haiku Shop
Apr 17, 2002 7:39 AM
when pulling the little one around in the kiddie trailer, which is just in the neighborhood (no thru streets). in fact, this is probably the most important time to wear a helmet, since it's when the little one is watching me ride. hmmm...sometimes so far, but *always* going forward.

thanks for the good post. made me think.
Funny, that.Len J
Apr 17, 2002 7:43 AM
When my kids were little, I got used to wearing a seatbelt because i felt it was hard to discipline them to do it if I wasn't. Kids never respond to a hypocrite!

Good for you

Yes you really shouldtempeteKerouak
Apr 17, 2002 7:57 AM
I have no children yet, but I've thought about how we always tell children to do somethings that feels like a punishment, or a freedom limitation, only to act as if, once they'll be big, they'll be able to do as they want; i.e. not wear helmet, not buckle-up...

But the kids that becomes conscious of his "child state" than will want to fight it and be "like a grown-up".

So he/she will not wear it; becaue the grown-ups don't.

Helmet unless ona beach cruiser... But you seem to think the same, therefore;

I like the way you think JS Haiku. Plus you know the Pixies...
Influence on ChildrenKing Henry
Apr 17, 2002 8:15 AM
Not only have my wife and I always worn our helmets, but we also had our son always wear his helmet while in the kiddie trailer. It was challenging at first, but the fact that we wore our helmets made it easier. He is now 3 1/2 and rides his own two-wheeler around the block and joins me on long rides on his trailer bike. Fortunately, he will not get on either bike without first donning his helmet; we don't even have to mention it to him. I only wish we could make a few more things this automatic.
One Concussion Later...Gregory Taylor
Apr 17, 2002 7:41 AM
..the answer is "always." I fell climbing (!!) up a local hill...wearing a helmet. A mechanical "event" (I pulled out of a pedal) wound up hurling my carcass over the bars. I cracked the helmet, and was moderately concussed. I shudder to think what would have happened if I wasn't wearing it...

For those who take comfort in the fact that they don't go fast when they are not wearing a helmet, I wasn't going fast either. It's the fall, not necessarily the forward speed, that gets you.
Apr 17, 2002 7:42 AM
Another "Always"MikeC
Apr 17, 2002 7:42 AM
Heck, I'd feel more comfortable staying in bed all day, but there's more to life than comfort!
I know what a pain zealots can be, but after I crashed about this time last year, landing flat on my back and splitting my helmet, I need no other reason. That happened while doing something stupid, and you never know when you'll end up doing something stupid (otherwise you wouldn't do it!).
Always. Safety first.Just last weekend I saw 3 apparently128
Apr 17, 2002 7:53 AM
experienced riders (great rig, form etc...), without helmets on. I wondered if they were of the super-pro-euro I don't wear a helmet crowd, of if this is a new sort of backlash trend, like cigarette smoking in films.
Maybe next thing we'll see a helmetless pro sucking a Gullois drafting a diesel delivery truck...

Then again, in the aggregate, ignoring the anecdotal 'if it weren't for that helmet' stories, has the incidence of cycling head injuries lessened with the increase in helmet usage?? Or is it just another evil helmet manufacturer plot!

Once had the weird, cross-pollenated thought, when starting out on the bike; "do I have me seatbelt on?," then realized i was on the bike... oh yeah.
99% of the timeDuane Gran
Apr 17, 2002 7:54 AM
In the past two years I think I have ridden 5 times without a helmet, each time as an oversight. Two of those times I've had minor crashes. Karma?

In fact, just last week I started my ride and realized that I was wearing my cap but forgot my helmet. I decided not to turn back. On my way home a van passed too closely and hit my shoulder with the mirror. Fortunately it wasn't at high speed and I kept control of the bike.

Little experiences like this affirm my preference for wearing a helmet. Undoubtedly someone will chime in about some contrary studies on helmet safety and whatnot, but I have personally seen mangled helmets and unschathed heads that were wearing them. I think it is self evident that helments reduce the chance of serious head injury.
Always. Can't hurt, and it might help. (nm)cory
Apr 17, 2002 8:01 AM
Almost alwaysAlpedhuez55
Apr 17, 2002 8:17 AM
I was side swiped by a car in the early 80s when helmets were either a heavy expensive plastic ones or leather straps. I was not wearing one. Lucily I did not have any head injuries other than a broken jaw and teeth and a mild concussion.

Now I always where one. Once in a while I will skip it if I only go a couple of blocks though. I was on a road ride a couple of years ago and forgot my helmet and i felt naked. I think I also dropped my speed way down. THere is a downhill section I usually take at about 35 MPH but I rode the brakes all the way and took it at about 15 MPH out of fear. THe helmet really provides peace of mind.
4239 out of 4242 miles last yearterry b
Apr 17, 2002 8:21 AM
4 trips to the corner coffee shop @ .5 miles each and about a mile of testing adjustments spread over many, many adjustment sessions. all this on a 1 car an hour local lane.

rest of the time, without exception.
4239 out of 4242 miles last yearAndor
Apr 17, 2002 9:14 AM
Accidents happen close to home...
you're absolutely rightterry b
Apr 17, 2002 10:43 AM
but I harken back to the years as a kiddo and all of college bombing around inner city streets sans lid. maybe I was just luck in those days, but then it seems everyone else was too.

however, regardless of how slow you're going it is a long way down to the ground regardless of how fast you're riding and I ought not to be living a double standard.
Always.Ken of Fresno
Apr 17, 2002 8:34 AM
Years ago it used to be more of an issue. The helmet I had didn't feel comfortable or look very good. These days helmets look way cool and mine fits like a glove. Won't ride without it now.

Always. nmWannabe
Apr 17, 2002 8:41 AM
Apr 17, 2002 8:57 AM
I wrecked badly enough once to crush the entire front left side of a helmet. It would have been my head without that bit of foam and plastic. I rode away with road rash as opposed to scooping my brains of the pavement.

It has been said that motorists subconciously respect a helmeted cyclist more than a non helmeted one. I know this is true for me (barring pros of course).



A. (
Me, 95% of the time, but my friends 50%...timfire
Apr 17, 2002 9:10 AM
I wear my helmet most of the time, but do occasional forget and do occasionally just want to feel the wind in my hair.

However, my two roomates only wear their helmets maybe 50% of the time.

--Timothy Kleinert
re-posting one funny link about stupid riding w/out helmettempeteKerouak
Apr 17, 2002 9:21 AM

See this one lucky stuntman crack his melon!
re: Helmets: Always, Sometimes, or never?BikeViking
Apr 17, 2002 9:28 AM
I was descending a REALLY short steep section on my MTB (no flaming!! LoL) Anyway, I hit a bump, braked and flew over my handlebars, smashing my head and ribs into the hardpack. I still remember to this day thinking when I felt my head hit the ground "Thank God I wore my helmet!" I was fine but those bruised ribs hurt for DAYS!!!

I am never without it...
I had that same moment not long agoterry b
Apr 17, 2002 10:51 AM
on my road bike, came down a short, steep descent into a sharp right turn and lost it when I hit some sand that had run out of a small arroyo. Went down on my left side, hit shoulder first and then (the only time out of all my crashes) went in on the left side of my helmet above my eye. I clearly remember thinking, "I'm sure glad it's the plastic and not my forehead."
re: wheels: Always, Sometimes, or never?colker
Apr 17, 2002 9:30 AM
100% helmet.
Only when you crash.grzy
Apr 17, 2002 9:33 AM
Problem is I never know when that's going to happen, so I always wear one. The amount of medical technology available these days is astounding - however they're still not very good at fixing smashed heads. Speed plays a big role, but a fall from five or six feet while stationary is more than adequate to scramble your brain.
Always, Thank God!MP
Apr 17, 2002 9:37 AM
I always wear my helmet, and last year that proved to be a wise decision. While riding near Bodega Bay I somehow went off the road, hit a rut and went flying over the handlebar. I landed on the pavement, and when I woke up, I had a serious case of road rash along my left side. Apparently, I hit with my left shoulder and head. The helmet worked and cracked wide open. My doctor said that without it I would have spent significant time in the hospital. As it was, I got away with a mild concussion and the road rash. Wear the helmet!
mE no not NeVer Wear'M DUmm heLlmutTS (nm)Crankist
Apr 17, 2002 9:51 AM
If you want to beat this subject to deathColnagoFE
Apr 17, 2002 10:02 AM
and then some go visit rec.bicycles.soc. This thread is akin to campy vs Shimano in the length people will go to defend waearing or not wearing one. It's get old really quick. Personally I wear one all the time.
re: Helmets: Always, Sometimes, or never?flying
Apr 17, 2002 10:17 AM
Never in the past 13 years except for bike races & Tri's.
Average 5000 mi per year.
I know it is not the popular or pc answer.
But I don't.
re: Helmets: Always, Sometimes, or never?Rode Warrior
Apr 17, 2002 10:42 AM
Always, period!

I am under strict orders from my wife to not get killed.
nuff said.

always ...tarwheel
Apr 17, 2002 10:45 AM
I don't have the statistics to back it up, but I would be willing to bet that most bicycle accidents are not caused by bikers being hit by cars or trucks. Most are probably caused by the bike hitting a rock, pothole, stick, another bike wheel, etc, and then going down. Ask Elephantino. These are also the kinds of accidents where you are very likely to land on your head. But regardless of the cause of an accident, nobody plans them. They usually happen so quickly that most people don't have time to react or take protective actions. That's why they're called accidents, and that's why I wear a helmet all of the time.
Hey, It is YOUR head - your
Apr 17, 2002 12:50 PM
If you like the wind in your hair - ride without a helmet. If you fall, you only hurt yourself. The most damage you can do to others is sputtering your brain all around. It is not pretty, but not dangerous either... Although your mom [sister/wife/husband/kids] would hate to see that... So, a cyclist w/o a helmet stirs no emotions in me whatsoever.
I wear a helmet even on my short rides to a grocery store...
Absolutely ALWAYS! -NMTig
Apr 17, 2002 2:48 PM
re: Helmets: Always, Sometimes, or never?heloise
Apr 17, 2002 4:52 PM
I commute (~3 blocks/neighborhood streets) w/o a helmet.

otherwise it's ALWAYS.

I've had two concussions WITH helmets. Not sure where i would be today without.
Once in a great while, no helmet. Screw it I can't be...Sintesi at home
Apr 17, 2002 6:08 PM
proper and safe every day.
re: Helmets: Always, Sometimes, or never?jaekormtb
Apr 17, 2002 8:21 PM
I'd be really curious to see statistics about the incidence of injuries that could have been prevented by a helment in countries such as Japan or China. In both of these countries, bicycle commuting is mainstream, yet NOBODY wears helments (except for the occasional fully-lycra-clad hobbyist). Any ideas?
to wear a helmet or not wear a helmet? that is the question...ZvierBoy
Apr 18, 2002 4:09 AM
The was a time I never wore one even though I purchased one with my bike back in '94 or so. Fast forward about 6 years, my girlfriend starts suggesting, nagging, etc to start wearing one but i don't. Then one day I do, and guess what, this particular day I fell of bike. It was a situation where I almost got front ended by a car who turned right into a bike lane. Ever since then I wear the helmet, I don't leave home without.

For me it took a near-miss, don't let it happen to you.

To Each their ownhikerryank
Apr 18, 2002 7:34 AM
Me though, I've broken two helmets in the last six months. One on the MTB and one on the Road. So if I go further than the driveway, I've got the bucket on.
Always, always, ALWAYS (nm)mmquest
Apr 18, 2002 9:22 AM
re: Helmets: Always, Sometimes, or never?mackgoo
Apr 19, 2002 2:02 AM
My wife always makes me wear my helmet. I did just pick up an old Cinelli hair net though. Hah, I'll show her.