Bicycles!

DanRoM

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What is your opinion on helmets?
Bicycling is not dangerous, so there's no reason to wear one. The helmets are shit anyway because the regulations are insufficient with respect to real-world impact forces. So basically all helmets do is ruin your hair.

Exception: You do downhill mountainbiking or something like that. In that case, wear an appropiate helmet with face protection.
 
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47

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Bicycling is not dangerous, so there's no reason to wear one. The helmets are shit anyway because the regulations are insufficient with respect to real-world impact forces. So basically all helmets do is ruin your hair.

Exception: You do downhill mountainbiking or something like that. In that case, wear an appropiate helmet with face protection.

Like I told my friend when he laughed why I wear my helmet when I ride. You only need to need it once ;)

I use it for protection and also partialy for sun cover. I'm so udet do it that I don't feel comfortable without it, really. Though I don't change that often.
Actually, my current one is only my second one, and I've been using them since I was 18. It's not like it turns to dust or gets mushy after 5 years, I think part of that is manufacturers needing to sell more.
 

MacGuffin

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Michael Schumacher basically toppled over when standing on his skis next to a rock.

And did the helmet help him?

Speaking of dangers: By now it's dark when I have to go to work (I'm still using my bicycle, mind you, not my car!). And in addition, it was dark and foggy in the mornings this week. So you should think that

a) people ride their bicycles with lights on
b) use the cycle path on the right side of the road and not the left one (after all, we're not in Britain)

But apparently that was too much to ask of a young couple on bicycles who pulled their little child along in a trolly. I nearly had a head-on collision with them because

a) they were going in the wrong direction
b) they didn't have their lights on
c) the headlights of the oncoming traffic on the road blinded me, which was amplified by the fog

And when I was barely able to avoid colliding with them, the woman shouted an angry "Hey, pay attention!" in my direction. That is where I lost it. I usually never lose my temper but this time I couldn't avoid to use insults and swear words - after I hit my brakes hard.

Let's just say they drove off in a hurry.
 
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eizbaer

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Further proof that just because you're having a kid, there should not even be the tiniest bit of a suggestion that you have any sense.

I also love people who scream at you for stopping at a red light... Had a guy behind me the other day who was going along at a super leisurely pace come up from behind and literally SCREAM at me for stopping at a red light because he wanted to cross the road. Well fuck you, too, get off your fucking bike and walk across. Next up: people who DO have a light, but somehow think it's their job to illuminate the sky or something. Guess what, that "super bright LED 5000 extreeeeeeme" thing you go going on there, that thing is actually blinding everyone else around you.
 
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47

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Michael Schumacher basically toppled over when standing on his skis next to a rock.

And did the helmet help him?

Well, yeah. Imagine if he wasn't wearing one.
 

Racin

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Bicycling is not dangerous, so there's no reason to wear one. The helmets are shit anyway because the regulations are insufficient with respect to real-world impact forces. So basically all helmets do is ruin your hair.

Exception: You do downhill mountainbiking or something like that. In that case, wear an appropiate helmet with face protection.

Bullshit.

Do bicycle helmets reduce the risk of injury to the head, face or neck? With respect to head injury, the answer is clearly yes, and the re-analysis of the meta-analysis reported by Attewell et al. (2001) in this paper has not changed this answer.

A meta-analysis by Elvik et al. (2009) reported a 64% reduction in the risk of head injury when a hard helmet is worn[...]
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0001457512004253

There are no better single safety item to significantly decrease the risk of head injuries while bike than the helmet. I don't know if the above statement is "just" self justification but please do not tell others what is clearly factually wrong.
 

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I rather be on the safe side and use it.
 

eizbaer

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Whatever state he is in, I'm very sure that being dead is better.

I'd say that is a very subjective statement... and your very personal preference. But that should not count as any sort of argument against wearing a helmet that does clearly help avoid or at least reduce injury.

I'll go with my own personal story: son of a colleagues of my dad took a friends new MTB for a spin down the road, just 100m. He fell, hit the curb with his head, died before they could even finish calling the ambulance. Massively unlucky and the chances of that happening to anyone are basically nought, but a helmet would most probably have helped - a lot. That is why every single time I'm on my bike, I wear a bloody helmet. Also because it has further reflective shit on it and I'm more visible.
 

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Having flipped head over heels a couple times and blacking out one of those times, helmets are awesome. Being a kid was awesome.

I survived being a kid without wearing a helmet
 

Redliner

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Some of us survived being a kid without wearing seatbelts. ;)
 

93Flareside

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Bicycles!

I survived being a kid without wearing a helmet

You probably weren't actively trying to kill yourself like my friends and brother tried. Friend of ours ruptured his spleen. We began nailing our ramps together after that.

I eventually stopped wearing a helmet once I started biking to get places rather than for fun.
 

DanRoM

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Bullshit.
Most studies showing a decrease in head injuries due to wearing a bicycle helmet are, because of insufficient statistical methodology. So a meta-study is most likely bullshit, too.

To your credit, at least you didn't cite Rivara/Thompson/Thompson directly - but their studies are referenced in the paper you mentioned.

So, the situation is this: Yes, a helmet can reduce the severity of head injuries from a cycling accident. It's no guarantee, though, and depending on the situation a helmet can also increase the risk of serious facial injuries or worse, a broken neck.
BUT: The danger of being involved in an accident is not high enough to warrant the loss of comfort induced by wearing one (disregarding the cost, which isn't high enough to matter). Just have a look at countries where many people ride bikes (NL, DK - hey, you live there): Almost nobody wears a helmet. That should tell you enough, really.

If you are afraid of having an accident, do something about that by learning how to ride a bike in traffic properly. Yes, I'm assuming you can't, because most people can't, even in a bicycle-heavy country like Germany. Learn what the risks are and how to avoid them. Encourage others to do the same. That's a far better investment than a helmet. Of course, you can wear one in addition to that. But it's not as important as you think.

I am somewhat emotional on this topic. I view riding a bicycle first and foremost as a mode of transport on short distances, and as a good way to avoid too much car traffic in town. Riding a bike is fun, good for your health and avoids pollution.
Essential to that is cycling being easy and straightforward. Anything making it more complicated is bad. Having to deal with a helmet (probable/possible negative effects: having to take it with you at your destination, ruining your precious hairstyle, looking ridiculous) is a complication.
Even more important in the grand scheme of things: The more people choose cycling over driving a car, the safer it is to ride a bike ("safety in numbers"). Seeing people cycling only with helmets makes people think of cycling as an unsafe mode of transport and thus discourages non-cyclists from becoming cyclists. Making wearing helmets a social convention is therefore a bad move for cyclists. Australia went one step further and implemented a mandatory helmet law: The result was: 1) less people rode bikes, 2) the risk of an accident for the individual biker increased (because car drivers were becoming less used to bikers - the opposite of "safety in numbers"). The current state of science on this topic is that promoting helmets has a negative effect on public health - the positive effects of reduced injuries are outweighed by the negative health effect of people not cycling at all.

Conclusion: If you want to ride a bike, do so, but do it safely. If you want to wear a helmet, by all means, do so. But don't tell others to wear one as well, because chances are they use a car instead (and perhaps crash into you).
 

MacGuffin

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You probably weren't actively trying to kill yourself like my friends and brother tried. Friend of ours ruptured his spleen. We began nailing our ramps together after that.

I eventually stopped wearing a helmet once I started biking to get places rather than for fun.

I grew up in the 60's, 70's and early 80's. I got myself killed twice, fell from my bicycle and from trees and fences and walls endless times. If we ever meet, we can show each other our scars, if you like :p

Still... I'm very alive and kicking.
 

93Flareside

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Lately it seems like I'm actively trying to destroy my right hand. Almost blew it off with a gun and I've now got a dent on the side of my middle finger because I had some hot solder drip on it.
 

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To me, the environment where you cycle, and how used to and attuned to cyclists the rest of the traffic is also plays a major part in a decision to wear a helmet. Over here, where most major roads have separate cycling paths, and all motorists have extensive experience with cyclists being anywhere is a lot different than going to cycle on narrow roads, without cycling paths and speeding motorists who only see cyclists as a form of moving chicanes. In the former scenario I see no boon in wearing a helmet, keeping yourself visible and riding in a sane manner is enough to keep you safe. In the latter scenario, a helmet would be a good thing to have on your head.

Starting this week, I've trebled my biking commute, from 2.4km to the nearest train station, to 7.2km to the big train station 2 towns over, where the intercity trains stop. This in anticipation of a schedule change of the railway company, and a change in railway companies for the local trains to the big trainstation 2 towns over, which kinda fuck up my current travel schedule. It's basically one long straght road, which is nice when the wind is behind you, and sucks when the wind is in your face. Mornings I can do it in 20 mins, in the afternoon it takes me about 7 mins longer to get home. Part of that is to do with the train station being 20m lower than my house, so most of the morning route is downhill, where in the afternoon most is slightly uphill. But another large part is due to the fact that at 5:50, I'm basically alone on the road, so I can take traffic lights as guidelines on how fast I can approach intersections, and at 17:00 it's quite busy, so I really need to take heed of traffic lights.

And yesterday some mouth-breathing lowlife shitforbrains dimwit decided to vandalise my rear light while my bike was parked at the station. Asshole.
 

CraigB

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Took the newest Homegrown out on the local trails today. Not all went well. First I have a terrible chain suck problem going from the middle ring to the small ring, that cost me some time to unstick it. Then I had trouble with the chain falling between the spokes and the rear cluster. I think that led to what finally did the ride in, a broken spoke on the rear. Oh well, I'll go get a new spoke at the bike shop tomorrow and hopefully it won't be a cascade of broken spokes like I had last time.








When I got home this afternoon after the failed morning ride I found my mailbox stuffed with parts I bought on eBay for the Klunker project. So I got to work on it and got it completely ready to ride. May order up a BMX front brake though, this one isn't very good. A very fun ride though. I rode it down to the store and rode home without issue.









 
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