Can't Use Helmets in the Sun????

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by NYC XYZ, May 8, 2006.

  1. Peter Clinch

    Peter Clinch Guest

    GaryG wrote:

    > Frank impled that in the bit I've copied below:
    >
    > Hadron:
    >>> Again : if your head were to hit a car door, a bonnet , a curb or a
    >>> plain old wall, do you, or do you not think a helemt would be beneficial
    >>> in this case.

    > Frank:
    >> If I _were_ going to hit, _and_ if the impact were within the very weak
    >> capabilities of a bike helmet, it _might_ be beneficial. But
    >> population data makes it clear that must only rarely be the case.
    >> Apparently, in the bulk of such collisions, the helmet is not
    >> beneficial.


    I still don't see where you picked up anything about the relative merits
    of cotton caps, so again, I wonder where you inferred that?

    > No one is in the habit of banging their head on the ground, any more than
    > auto drivers are in the habit of driving into walls or other vehicles at
    > speed...but, clearly these things do happen and in both cases appropriate
    > safety devices are routinely employed, though rarely needed.


    They also happen to pedestrians, who also happen to get killed by them
    from time to time. Trips and falls kill ~350 folk under 75 in the UK
    every year, so how come helmets aren't appropriate safety devices for them?

    > In my own case, in the last 15 years of regular cycling my head has impacted
    > the ground on several occasions (mostly while mountain biking).


    My data specifically exclude MTBing and since it's an arena where people
    are doing deliberately tricky things as a recreation rather than just
    getting about on the roads it would be silly for me to try and persuade
    you they're pointless off road, but also for you to draw on MTB
    experience to say why you should wear one on.

    > Ummm....we're talking about cycling here. You can argue against wearing
    > helmets while walking in another group :)


    Yes, I'm talking about cycling. I don't wear a helmet road cycling
    because it's not very dangerous. It is similarly dangerous to walking,
    which almost everyone does so it's a useful barometer of the degree to
    which protective clothing is considered appropriate.

    Pete.
    --
    Peter Clinch Medical Physics IT Officer
    Tel 44 1382 660111 ext. 33637 Univ. of Dundee, Ninewells Hospital
    Fax 44 1382 640177 Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK
    net [email protected] http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/
     


  2. GaryG wrote:
    >
    > Frank impled that in the bit I've copied below:
    >
    > Frank:
    > > If I _were_ going to hit, _and_ if the impact were within the very weak
    > > capabilities of a bike helmet, it _might_ be beneficial. But
    > > population data makes it clear that must only rarely be the case.
    > > Apparently, in the bulk of such collisions, the helmet is not
    > > beneficial.

    >
    > >
    > > The main point is if you're not in the habit of banging your head on the
    > > ground at all then whether you're wearing a helmet or a cap isn't really
    > > an issue. And cyclists (at least roadgoing a to b cyclists) don't hit
    > > their heads against the ground that often, not particularly more than
    > > classes of people that feel no need to wear helmets, so why should
    > > cyclists feel the need?


    Gary, I wrote the first paragraph above. I did NOT write the second
    paragraph. And in any case, neither paragraph says what you claim. I
    think you need to slow down in your posting.


    > No one is in the habit of banging their head on the ground, any more than
    > auto drivers are in the habit of driving into walls or other vehicles at
    > speed...but, clearly these things do happen and in both cases appropriate
    > safety devices are routinely employed, though rarely needed.


    Auto drivers are not in the habit of smashing their skulls into the
    driver windows, or driver door frames, or B pillars, or roofs of their
    cars, or other hard objects. Yet these items cause the largest number
    of serious and fatal head injuries in America every year - despite
    safety devices like seat belts, air bags etc.

    The advertising industry has done a great job of selling massive
    vehicles with exploding cushions, pretending a person is practically
    invulnerable in such a thing. But such vehicles are still the number
    one source of HI fatalities, killing those people inside them. In
    other words, the impression created by the sellers is false.

    The advertising industry has also done a great job of convincing people
    that simple bike riding is a horrendous source of serious head injury.
    And they've convinced many people that a very flimsy hat makes cyclists
    practically invulnerable. But once again, the impression created by
    the sellers is false.

    Cycling is, very roughly, about as dangerous as motoring, even with a
    bareheaded cyclist and an air-bagged motorist. Neither is very bad.
    Putting a 14 mph helmet on the cyclist makes no detectable difference
    in that fact. What you've been made to believe is false.

    > In my own case, in the last 15 years of regular cycling my head has impacted
    > the ground on several occasions (mostly while mountain biking).


    If you're going to test your balancing skills and reflexes by bouncing
    along rocky trails, that's one thing. Don't extrapolate to folks who
    are riding on smooth roads.

    There is much more similarity in risk between a city pedestrian and a
    city cyclist (actually, the cyclist is much safer) than between an
    adventurous mountain biker and a city cyclist.

    - Frank Krygowski
     
  3. MykalCrooks

    MykalCrooks Guest

    "GaryG" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:uW%[email protected]
    >
    > No one is in the habit of banging their head on the ground,...
    >


    Umm...not meaning to rain on anybody's parade here, but the frequency at
    which I bang my head on the ground while cycling--at least when considering
    the potential finality of consequences--does qualify as a habit. I think its
    the topography of the consequences that counts. If you kill yourself once,
    it's an isolated incident. But kill yourself twice, and you go on record as
    being remarkably habitual. Same with head banging--a couple or few times is
    a nasty habit if ever there was one. Thus, over the decades, I've a
    demonstrated habit of banging my head on the ground. I admit it.

    And so I wear a helmet.

    Mykal Crooks
     
  4. Tom Kunich

    Tom Kunich Guest

    "GaryG" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:uW%[email protected]
    >
    > No one is in the habit of banging their head on the ground, any more than
    > auto drivers are in the habit of driving into walls or other vehicles at
    > speed...but, clearly these things do happen and in both cases appropriate
    > safety devices are routinely employed, though rarely needed.


    Here's what we're getting at Gary - if you sit down on the ground and you
    strike your head against the ground by swinging your head at it then indeed
    a helmet will protect your head from such a injury better than a cotton
    cycling cap. Maybe you've missed the thousands of times we've said that
    helmets WILL probably protect you from minor injuries.

    But in the sort of accidents in which cyclists are seriously injured or
    killed the forces are so great that the helmet is maxed out and you might as
    well wear the cotton cap for all the good it does you.

    Now you might well say (and for the record most of us already assumed) that
    there is a small group of helmet wearers that would have JUST gotten a
    serious injury and the helmet reduced it to just a minor injury. That sounds
    VERY good and we looked very closely at the statistics. No kidding - we were
    actually hoping to see something. But it just isn't there. IF helmets are
    making a difference in any head injuries the statistical relevance is
    approaching zero.

    > In my own case, in the last 15 years of regular cycling my head has
    > impacted
    > the ground on several occasions (mostly while mountain biking). In one
    > case, I took a high-side fall at about 20 mph when my front tire got
    > caught
    > in a rain rut, and the impact to the left side of my head was hard enough
    > to
    > fracture the helmet's styrofoam structure. Since this was on a rock-strewn
    > trail, I was most pleased that: a) I didn't suffer a concussion
    > (presumably
    > because the impact forces were appropriately absorbed by the helmet), and
    > b) my scalp wasn't lacerated by the rocks (something that a cotton cap
    > would
    > not have prevented). FWIW, as a follicly challenged individual, the
    > protection against lacerations is of particular importance to me.


    I've perhaps a silly question - why do you tell us that you needed a helmet
    instead of needing to learn to ride better? Is it that you prefer crashing
    and perhaps overpowering the little protection a helmet can offer and
    killing yourself because you are convinced that a helmet will save your life
    regardless?

    As for experiences - I crashed at high speed on motorcycles riding out in
    the desert perhaps over a hundred times. This was pretty much before safety
    helmets so most of these crashes were without a helmet and I struck my head
    a lot more than once. But I never hit my head harder than a knock because I
    knew I could be killed if I did and I rode so that crashes weren't so bad
    that I couldn't control my fall.

    Why does everyone pretend that it isn't possible to do this? Why are you
    pretending that you are unable to control your mountain bike in such a
    manner that you don't risk your life?
     
  5. MykalCrooks wrote:
    >
    >
    > Umm...not meaning to rain on anybody's parade here, but the frequency at
    > which I bang my head on the ground while cycling--at least when considering
    > the potential finality of consequences--does qualify as a habit.


    Lest anyone misinterpret my attitude: I don't think that helmets are
    useless for absolutely everyone.

    I knew one young woman who was definitely accident prone. For example,
    I saw her fall off her bike while standing stock-still at a stop sign.
    I saw her fall while walking across a parking lot without her bike. I
    saw her fall while trying to load her bike into the trunk of her car.
    And I saw her quit riding for a long while because she'd broken her arm
    by falling when skiing.

    Some people will be on the tail end of the "normal curve." For people
    who fall frequently enough to call it a "habit," pehaps a helmet may be
    of value. But those folks should probably give consideration to
    learning how to preven falls! Then, consider something more robust,
    like an absolutely bottom of the line bike helmet, or (better) a
    motorcycle helmet.

    More ordinary people average hundreds of years of cycling,
    statistically speaking, between serious head injuries. Perhaps those
    people should just ride for, say, 100 years, _then_ purchase a helmet?
    ;-)

    - Frank Krygowski
     
  6. MykalCrooks

    MykalCrooks Guest

    "Tom Kunich" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:p[email protected]
    > "GaryG" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:uW%[email protected]


    >...But I never hit my head harder than a knock because I
    > knew I could be killed if I did and I rode so that crashes weren't so bad
    > that I couldn't control my fall.
    >
    > Why does everyone pretend that it isn't possible to do this? Why are you
    > pretending that you are unable to control your mountain bike in such a
    > manner that you don't risk your life?
    >


    Because not everyone rides as slowly as you?

    mC
     
  7. Peter Clinch

    Peter Clinch Guest

    MykalCrooks wrote:

    > Thus, over the decades, I've a
    > demonstrated habit of banging my head on the ground. I admit it.


    > And so I wear a helmet.


    Over the decades I've banged mine quite a lot on open doors of
    kitchen cupboards. Drawn blood more than once. I don't wear a
    helmet to do the cooking, does that make me silly?

    And I've hit my head on the ground a few times running and jumping
    and cross country skiing too. Don't wear a helmet for those
    either. Nor does anyone else I see.

    Pete.
    --
    Peter Clinch Medical Physics IT Officer
    Tel 44 1382 660111 ext. 33637 Univ. of Dundee, Ninewells Hospital
    Fax 44 1382 640177 Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK
    net [email protected] http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/
     
  8. Peter Clinch

    Peter Clinch Guest

    Tom Kunich wrote:

    > Why does everyone pretend that it isn't possible to do this?


    And why does everyone assume there must have been regular and
    widespread head injury related caranage amongst cyclists before
    helmets were widely available?

    Pete.
    --
    Peter Clinch Medical Physics IT Officer
    Tel 44 1382 660111 ext. 33637 Univ. of Dundee, Ninewells Hospital
    Fax 44 1382 640177 Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK
    net [email protected] http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/
     
  9. Sorni

    Sorni Guest

    Peter Clinch wrote:
    > MykalCrooks wrote:
    >
    >> Thus, over the decades, I've a
    >> demonstrated habit of banging my head on the ground. I admit it.

    >
    >> And so I wear a helmet.

    >
    > Over the decades I've banged mine quite a lot on open doors of
    > kitchen cupboards. Drawn blood more than once. I don't wear a
    > helmet to do the cooking, does that make me silly?


    Do you fly around your kitchen at 25, 35, 45 mph?

    > And I've hit my head on the ground a few times running and jumping
    > and cross country skiing too. Don't wear a helmet for those
    > either. Nor does anyone else I see.


    Much slower speeds; much lower forces. (Not to mention much softer surface,
    at least for XC skiing.)
     
  10. Sorni

    Sorni Guest

    Peter Clinch wrote:
    > Tom Kunich wrote:


    >> Why does everyone pretend that it isn't possible to do this?


    {DO WHAT?!?}

    > And why does everyone assume there must have been regular and
    > widespread head injury related caranage amongst cyclists before
    > helmets were widely available?


    And why do you (and many other AHZs) over-snip your posts so no one knows to
    what the heck you're replying?
     
  11. Peter Clinch

    Peter Clinch Guest

    Sorni wrote:

    > Do you fly around your kitchen at 25, 35, 45 mph?


    No. Is your cycle helmet built to a specification that suggests it
    will not merely undergo brittle failure and absorb very little
    energy when it hits the ground at such velocities? I have my doubts...

    >> And I've hit my head on the ground a few times running and jumping
    >> and cross country skiing too. Don't wear a helmet for those
    >> either. Nor does anyone else I see.

    >
    > Much slower speeds; much lower forces. (Not to mention much softer surface,
    > at least for XC skiing.)


    XC ski does involve downhill, and negotiating them one can easily
    reach speeds that are relevant to cycles. And the trees and rocks
    along the trails are just as hard as the trees and rocks alongside
    MTB trails and roads.

    But again the case that typical cycle helmets are only built to
    specifications where lower speeds are what you can expect them to
    work at, and you still haven't taken that on board.

    Pete.
    --
    Peter Clinch Medical Physics IT Officer
    Tel 44 1382 660111 ext. 33637 Univ. of Dundee, Ninewells Hospital
    Fax 44 1382 640177 Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK
    net [email protected] http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/
     
  12. Peter Clinch

    Peter Clinch Guest

    Sorni wrote:

    > And why do you (and many other AHZs)


    If you look on my web pages you'll find pictures of me wearing a
    cycle helmet, which hardly has me in "Anti Helmet Zealot"
    territory. But why confuse yourself with mere facts, when you mind
    is made up.

    > over-snip your posts so no one knows to
    > what the heck you're replying?


    I over-snipped the last one, granted. It's nothing to do with my
    feelings on helmets, it's a general judgement call to snip out
    stuff that's no longer useful to what I'm saying. If we weren't
    doing that posts would get very very long and accordingly useless.
    But you want to make it about me being an "Anti Helmet Zealot",
    which kinda shows how your "reasoning" works.

    Pete.
    --
    Peter Clinch Medical Physics IT Officer
    Tel 44 1382 660111 ext. 33637 Univ. of Dundee, Ninewells Hospital
    Fax 44 1382 640177 Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK
    net [email protected] http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/
     
  13. Sorni

    Sorni Guest

    Peter Clinch wrote:
    > Sorni wrote:
    >
    >> Do you fly around your kitchen at 25, 35, 45 mph?

    >
    > No. Is your cycle helmet built to a specification that suggests it
    > will not merely undergo brittle failure and absorb very little
    > energy when it hits the ground at such velocities? I have my
    > doubts...


    But if one takes a skidding-type fall... ROUND AND ROUND WE GO.
     
  14. Sorni

    Sorni Guest

    Peter Clinch wrote:
    > Sorni wrote:
    >
    >> And why do you (and many other AHZs)

    >
    > If you look on my web pages you'll find pictures of me wearing a
    > cycle helmet, which hardly has me in "Anti Helmet Zealot"
    > territory. But why confuse yourself with mere facts, when you mind
    > is made up.


    You've since mentioned -- many times -- your change of heart--- er, mind re.
    lids.

    >> over-snip your posts so no one knows to
    >> what the heck you're replying?

    >
    > I over-snipped the last one, granted. It's nothing to do with my
    > feelings on helmets, it's a general judgement call to snip out
    > stuff that's no longer useful to what I'm saying. If we weren't
    > doing that posts would get very very long and accordingly useless.
    > But you want to make it about me being an "Anti Helmet Zealot",
    > which kinda shows how your "reasoning" works.


    I didn't say it had anything to do with helmets; just a trend I've noticed.

    I believe in and practice trimming as much as anyone. I just try to do it
    so as to leave the context in tact for the first-time reader of a post.

    One will note, of course, that you DELETED the reference to WHAT YOU DELETED
    in the first place! Good form, that :-D
     
  15. Tom Kunich

    Tom Kunich Guest

    "MykalCrooks" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    >
    > "Tom Kunich" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:p[email protected]
    >> "GaryG" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    >> news:uW%[email protected]

    >
    >>...But I never hit my head harder than a knock because I
    >> knew I could be killed if I did and I rode so that crashes weren't so bad
    >> that I couldn't control my fall.
    >>
    >> Why does everyone pretend that it isn't possible to do this? Why are you
    >> pretending that you are unable to control your mountain bike in such a
    >> manner that you don't risk your life?
    >>

    >
    > Because not everyone rides as slowly as you?


    Well, you're really the man. How many races have you finished first in? Or
    are you one of those local club guys who rides really fast so that he can
    beat in the girls to show what a man he is?
     
  16. Tom Kunich

    Tom Kunich Guest

    "Sorni" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > Peter Clinch wrote:
    >> MykalCrooks wrote:
    >>
    >>> Thus, over the decades, I've a
    >>> demonstrated habit of banging my head on the ground. I admit it.

    >>
    >>> And so I wear a helmet.

    >>
    >> Over the decades I've banged mine quite a lot on open doors of
    >> kitchen cupboards. Drawn blood more than once. I don't wear a
    >> helmet to do the cooking, does that make me silly?

    >
    > Do you fly around your kitchen at 25, 35, 45 mph?


    A helmet cannot mediate ANY injury to the head that puts more energy into
    the head than a 12.4 mph crash with ONLY the weight of your head. Turning
    around fast and hitting your head can exceed this speed. In fact, one of the
    larger sources of fatal head injuries are accidents in the home.

    I wonder - why do you believe that you don't need a helmet anywhere but on a
    bicycle when you can list all of the major sources of head injuries and
    bicycling isn't among them?
     
  17. Sorni

    Sorni Guest

    Tom Kunich wrote:
    > "Sorni" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]
    >> Peter Clinch wrote:
    >>> MykalCrooks wrote:
    >>>
    >>>> Thus, over the decades, I've a
    >>>> demonstrated habit of banging my head on the ground. I admit it.
    >>>
    >>>> And so I wear a helmet.
    >>>
    >>> Over the decades I've banged mine quite a lot on open doors of
    >>> kitchen cupboards. Drawn blood more than once. I don't wear a
    >>> helmet to do the cooking, does that make me silly?

    >>
    >> Do you fly around your kitchen at 25, 35, 45 mph?

    >
    > A helmet cannot mediate ANY injury to the head that puts more energy
    > into the head than a 12.4 mph crash with ONLY the weight of your
    > head. Turning around fast and hitting your head can exceed this
    > speed. In fact, one of the larger sources of fatal head injuries are
    > accidents in the home.
    > I wonder - why do you believe that you don't need a helmet anywhere
    > but on a bicycle when you can list all of the major sources of head
    > injuries and bicycling isn't among them?


    Sigh. If I fall while descending a steep mountain road, I'd like a helmet
    between my SKIDDING skull and the pavement. If I slam into a wall head
    first at 40+ mph, well, I'd still like to at least have one on but I know it
    won't save my life or brain function.

    (And yes, if I get shot in the chest, I might as well have SOMETHING in the
    way of the bullet, even if it doesn't save me. At least my corpse won't be
    found naked.)
     
  18. Peter Clinch

    Peter Clinch Guest

    Sorni wrote:

    > But if one takes a skidding-type fall... ROUND AND ROUND WE GO.


    Then as people have found out skidding over the last 100 years or
    so on bikes on hard surfaces, their instinct to keep their heads up
    means they tend to do that. Have injuries fallen hugely since,
    say, 1985?

    Pete.
    --
    Peter Clinch Medical Physics IT Officer
    Tel 44 1382 660111 ext. 33637 Univ. of Dundee, Ninewells Hospital
    Fax 44 1382 640177 Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK
    net [email protected] http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/
     
  19. Per Tom Kunich:
    >I wonder - why do you believe that you don't need a helmet anywhere but on a
    >bicycle


    One thing that seems to be missing in this thread is point loading.

    Hit your head on something sharp - like the corner of a rock or the edge of a
    curb and it seems to me like it's not so much a matter of
    acceleration/deceleration as spreading the force over a larger enough area so
    the object doesn't cave in your skull.
    --
    PeteCresswell
     
  20. Peter Clinch

    Peter Clinch Guest

    (PeteCresswell) wrote:

    > One thing that seems to be missing in this thread is point loading.
    >
    > Hit your head on something sharp - like the corner of a rock or the edge of a
    > curb and it seems to me like it's not so much a matter of
    > acceleration/deceleration as spreading the force over a larger enough area so
    > the object doesn't cave in your skull.


    The same kerbs are available to pedestrians to hit their heads on,
    as are the edges of steps. In the UK around 350 people under the
    gae of 75 are killed each year in trips and falls, so it's
    certainly possible to kill yourself on them, and without a bike
    too. So why are you so afraid of it on a bike, but not on foot?

    Pete.
    --
    Peter Clinch Medical Physics IT Officer
    Tel 44 1382 660111 ext. 33637 Univ. of Dundee, Ninewells Hospital
    Fax 44 1382 640177 Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK
    net [email protected] http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/
     
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