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the pros want helmets, apparently(30 posts)

the pros want helmets, apparentlyDougSloan
Mar 31, 2003 2:20 PM
AIGLE, Switzerland (AP) -- The group representing professional cyclists wants riders to wear helmets at all times, a proposal that comes after the death of Andrei Kivilev.

The Associated Professional Cyclists said Monday it hopes most riders will agree to the plan before the end of the season so helmets will be mandatory starting next year.

The association added that ``wearing a helmet is only one of the factors in the safety of cyclists.''

Kivilev, a 29-year-old top rider from Kazakhstan, died March 12 from head injuries after falling from his bike during the Paris-Nice race. He was not wearing a helmet at the time.

Professional cyclists complain that hard helmets are heavy and make them sweat. In 1991, riders rejected an International Cycling Union ruling to make wearing a helmet obligatory.
I love that last commentKristin
Mar 31, 2003 2:28 PM
Professional cyclists complain that hard helmets are heavy and make them sweat.

Awww. The poor little babies don't want to get all sweaty on their bicycle ride? What a hoot. What would happen if football players decided they didn't want to wear helmets anymore because they were too sweeeeaaaa Teeeee? Boo hoo.

Sorry, I just think its funny that these guys that go out and ride their a$$es off up mountains over 2000 mile courses are whining because they might have to wear a helmet and get a little sweaty. Of course, the statement isn't attributed to anyone. Lance's water boy may have said it.

I am neither for or against anyone wearing helmets while riding. The only thing I'm against is me getting brain damaged. (No comments from the peanut gallery!)
Some hockey players didn't wear them for years...TJeanloz
Mar 31, 2003 2:38 PM
In the NHL, they passed the rule that all new players had to wear helmets, but people already in the league were "grandfathered" into not needing them. I believe Craig McTavish was the last to play without a helmet, more than 10 years after the rule passed.
the old ones had no teeth or brains left anyway? nmDougSloan
Mar 31, 2003 2:39 PM
now the debate rages about shields...russw19
Mar 31, 2003 3:20 PM
I know this is off topic, but now in the NHL, the debate is going over if they should wear shields on their helmets or not. I grew up playing ice hockey and always had to wear a helmet with a full cage. I play roller hockey now, which is still a physical game, but far less dangerous and much slower than ice hockey, but I still play with a helmet and full cage. The debate on old time hockey players and helmets parallels cycling. If you grew up all your life wearing one, it will be second nature to do so now. If you grew up not wearing one, and now as a professional, half way thru your career someone was trying to force you to wear one, you might be inclined to tell them to piss off. It's your head, not theirs.

That was McTavish's stance, and he is outspoken about how forcing players to wear helmets lead to more head injuries. Players take for granted they wear helmets and have a Superman complex, they aren't as in control of their sticks anymore, and players shoot head high in situations, where that wasn't as common 20 years ago. The game has evolved and I can see his point to an extent. But I wouldn't dare take the ice without a helmet in a modern game.

But only a few countries have mandatory helmet rules in racing. It's the riders from the countries who never had to wear a helmet who speak out against being forced to wear one now. Not to many American or Belgian cyclists are opposed to the rules, but the French and Italians are because their countries don't have mandatory helmet use rules. I've been in a Pro-1-2 sprint in the US, and I wouldn't dare race in those conditions without helmet, anymore than I would play in the NHL without one.... but some people either just never learn, or they just can't be told what to do, even if it could save their life.

Mandatory helmet rules,TJeanloz
Apr 1, 2003 8:38 AM
I believe that the UCI mandates helment use for all amatuer events worldwide. It is only events that have professionals that are allowed to forgo the helmet rule -- and even then, some countries, like Australia, require helmet use in those events too. The current UCI situation is that almost every pro in the field was required to race in a helmet as an amatuer, and can thus more easily adapt to a requirement in the pro ranks.

That said, I completely understand McTavish's stance that wearing a helmet leads to a superman complex. I have personal experience with this -- I was hit by a car on the one day out of 100 that I was wearing a helmet. If I hadn't been wearing the helmet, I would never have put myself into the situation where the accident was possible.
so, helmets = SUV's?DougSloan
Apr 1, 2003 8:52 AM
I have crashed bad twice with helmets on, and I can tell you that I certainly didn't have any "superman complex," either before or after. All the shredded skin and messed up shoulder injuries are enough to cause me to be cautious.

Can someone really make a case that riders are less careful when wearing helmets? I kind of doubt it, as there are so many other ill consequences of crashing that the helmet alone wouldn't be the determinative factor in caution, I'd think.

Do you ever ride without a helmet?TJeanloz
Apr 1, 2003 9:48 AM
I usually ride without a helmet. For better or worse, that's the way it goes. I can vouch for the fact that I am far more cautious when I'm not wearing a helmet than when I am. And in the case of the particulars of my accident, I am 100% sure that it would not have occurred if I were not wearing a helmet. It comes down to split-second decisions, and when I'm not wearing a helmet, I always err on the side of the most cautious outcome; this, unfortunately is not the case when I do wear a helmet.
in front of my houseDougSloan
Apr 1, 2003 10:13 AM
If I'm testing a change to a bike, I'll run up and down the street in front of my house without a helmet. Never, ever, out on the open road, though. However, it would be almost impossible to crash on my street, as it's closed loop, small, gated, new, wide, street neighborhood.

If you feel you must be "more cautious" when not wearing a helmet, then what does that tell you about the need to wear one? Why not be cautious all the time? Is it sort of like driving without insurance? When you know that your policy expired, you try to be extra cautious. However, that's exactly when someone (uninsured, of course) runs a light and t-bones you.

Bottom line, do you really think pros are more cautious when not wearing helmets, or will be less cautious when they do? Also, even assuming so, will the increased caution when not wearing one actually result in fewer or less severe injuries (as some things happen despite caution)?

How can you claim to be more cautious w/o a helmet. . .czardonic
Apr 1, 2003 12:14 PM
. . .when the most cautious thing you can do is put one on in the first place?
If only life were as simple as the oneliners this board makes itrussw19
Apr 1, 2003 2:32 PM
Come on now, I see your point, but let's think about that one for a second.... OK riding the 40 feet from my front door of my apartment to the mailbox or laundry room without a helmet, or putting on a helmet and flying down the side of a mountain with freshly glued tubulars...

Look, I really do get your point about wearing a helmet... I am sure most of the people on the board do. But you are basing other people's decisions in life on your code or morality and ethics. For some people, they feel they only need to use safety devices in certain situations.. others take the precautions and use them all the time... but you can't make your perceptions the base for judging another's state of mind.

Do you wear a steel mesh glove every time you get out a kitchen knife and cut a tomato? If the state you live in didn't mandate it by law, would you wear your seatbelt if you were literally driving 2 blocks up the street? Do you wash the apples you buy in the grocery store with antibacterial soap? Do you unplug all the electronics in your house and unplug the phone lines in a storm?

You all are smart adults, you can see where I am going with this. There are a million little unforeseen things that can kill you every day. If you live your life in fear of them, are you really living? I know my answer to that, but I bet everyone on the board doesn't all have the same answer. Each day we make decisions about what the acceptable level of risk of the activites we are going to participate in is going to be. That level is different for every one of us. For some, that level allows for riding in certain situations without a helmet, like to test the shifting adjustment you just made to your derailleur in your own driveway. You could still fall, you could still hit your head, you could still die. Do you wear a helmet when you walk from your front door to your car? You could still fall and hit your head and die. And no, I am not just being silly, this happens to thousands of people every year. In FACT, more people fall and hit their heads and die while in their own homes than those that do so in bicycle related accidents.

If life were as simple as you all are trying to make it out to be, sure you would see everyone wearing helmets when they ride, but then we would have to discuss if you were an idiot for not wearing one in the shower. How about instead of that we just leave the discussion as "if you choose to not do it, I won't push my individual ideals, ethics, and morality upon you." Everyone's point is different on this, but I think we have all heard enough. The best thing about being a human is cognitive reasoning. And if a person reasonably decides that a situation's risk was not high enough to warrant the use of a helmet, accept that person's decision as their own and know that you make a thousand of the same decisions in your everyday life before you rush to criticize them for their actions.

So can we all just drop this silly helmet debate. I think everyone here who is not a professional cyclist agrees that we all think what they do is risky and the situation they put them selves in madates helmet use. God forbid someone have an opinion that goes against the opinions of the readers of RBR forums. But until I am in their shoes and racing side by side of them, I will try to not judge based on simply not being in the situation. The day I turn pro, I will make up my mind to when I wear a helmet. Oh wait, I do that everyday already... OK so I guess I will just have to make up my mind and mine alone about this.

Don't let fear rule your life.

Does anyone remember the last goalie without a facemask?KeeponTrekkin
Apr 1, 2003 6:40 AM
I think it was a name like Gump Worsley, playing in the '70's.

I can't imagine playing the position, much less putting your unprotected face up front.
Lance said it...OverStuffed
Mar 31, 2003 3:12 PM
in an interview with Charlie Rose. Rose asked why he didn't wear a helmet in the mountain stages. Lance replied that it was too hot.
So I just called Lance a girly man?Kristin
Mar 31, 2003 3:38 PM
Hmmm. But I thought these guys were suposed to be tough? Really! If 6 ounces of styrofoam and paint, and a little bit to sweat in your eyes is something to complain about...

(Tongue in cheek of course. Know these guys are tough. I don't get why they can't just wear the danm things though. Why not err on the side of safety. Especially if you have kids/wives.)
Anyone have a photo of a circa 1991 helmet?PdxMark
Mar 31, 2003 3:07 PM
Not that it really matters, but out of curiosity, I wonder how different a Pneumo or Ghisallo today is relative to a 1991 helmet...
Anyone have a photo of a circa 1991 helmet?russw19
Mar 31, 2003 3:25 PM
Giro came out with the Ventoux in 93 or so. In 91 they had the soft shell styrofoam helmets that had the lycra covers. You really need to go back to more like 87 or 88 to see the heavy helmets like the Bell helmets with the hard plastic shells. I forget what they were called. But in 91, they weren't that bad. LeMond wore a Giro helmet that had the thin plastic shell like a modern helmet in his 89 and 90 Tour wins. You can see pictures of it when they show him winning the World's in 89. It was the same era when he rode the Scott Drop-In bars.

The bell in the late 80s was the V-1 pro nmjaybird
Apr 1, 2003 6:27 AM
PHOTO......PHOTO....... I've still got one.MR_GRUMPY
Mar 31, 2003 5:17 PM
I bought one, back in 92 real cheap. I planned to use it as a spare, just in case. Used it only a few times because it was soooooo ugly. It was all foam with a lycra cover. The cover that I had, was yellow with mesh on top. On the sides it had LOOK on both sides. I'm a pack rat, so it's been down in my basement for the last 10 years, along with a few tubes from the same era that I'll patch as soon as I get a chance.
Mar 31, 2003 5:25 PM
Hey look! It's John Tomac! (nm)I Love Shimano
Mar 31, 2003 6:53 PM
Hah - my 1st helmet was a Bell Image Pro, circa 1993? (nm)jtferraro
Mar 31, 2003 8:08 PM
heres a old giro!!!I thought this was high tech!!!the bull
Mar 31, 2003 6:00 PM
thats because I was used to this!!!the bull
Mar 31, 2003 6:02 PM
Still got mine! nmMel Erickson
Mar 31, 2003 6:09 PM
Holy cow! ;-) (nm)jtferraro
Mar 31, 2003 8:09 PM
don't wear a helmet, and you could wear this again. (nm)rufus
Apr 1, 2003 9:50 AM
here is the inside.the bull
Mar 31, 2003 6:08 PM
here is the inside of the old one!metal "buckles".the bull
Mar 31, 2003 6:10 PM
Old habits die hard...KeeponTrekkin
Apr 1, 2003 6:49 AM
I started wearing a bike helmet in 1990 and reluctantly. It was just so much less comfortable. Now, it's second nature and I feel so unprotected without it. Amazing how foolish I was.

Now my 4 1/2 y.o. daughter yells at me if I unbuckle my seatbelt before parking in the garage. How times change.
any pics of hairnets?cyclopathic
Apr 1, 2003 7:01 PM