Helmet Issue Revisited

Discussion in 'Triathlon' started by Mike Tennent, Jun 9, 2003.

  1. Mike Tennent

    Mike Tennent Guest

    The following was posted on the Great Floridian forum site.

    "One USAT rule or new rule that has been brought to light this season also has to do with bike
    helmets, riding to and from the race, as in parking or staying nearby and riding with your gear to
    the transition area. Around North Carolina, Set-Up, Inc. competitors are being forewarned that
    riding without a helmet to the race site is also a DQ. "

    Remember the prolonged discussion here regarding an incident last year? I guess it got some official
    attention.

    I did a quick look at the Rule book. here's what it says. Note the very last sentence.

    "(b) Chin Strap Violations. The helmet must be fastened before the participant first mounts the
    bicycle, at all times when the participant is on the bicycle, and must not be unfastened until the
    participant has dismounted. Any violation of this Section 5.9(b) which occurs while the participant
    is in the transition area shall result in a variable time penalty. Any other violation of this
    Section shall result in disqualification. This Section 5.9(b) shall be enforced at all times while
    at the event site on race day. "

    Although I don't disagree with the rule, I can see where it opens a whole can of worms. What is the
    "event site?" How is that defined? How far can it reasonably extend?

    It seems an RD will need to post some kind of map showing what the area is or expect some protests.

    Other thoughts?

    Mike Tennent "IronPenguin"
     
    Tags:


  2. Topdog

    Topdog Guest

    > Although I don't disagree with the rule, I can see where it opens a whole can of worms. What is
    > the "event site?" How is that defined? How far can it reasonably extend?
    >
    > It seems an RD will need to post some kind of map showing what the area is or expect some
    > protests.
    >
    > Other thoughts?
    >
    > Mike Tennent "IronPenguin"

    I suspect that the "event site" is up to the discretion of the RD for each race. In the race I
    finished a few weeks ago, it was considered everything from the parking lot to the transition area.
    The moment you brought your bike into the parking area (out of your car), you were expected to have
    your helmet on when you moved it. This was made very explicit on several occasions by the race
    staff, both at sign in as well as in the packet material. This is not my favorite rule, and yes, it
    would seem that a number of innocent people will be DQ'ed. However, it does seem to have gotten the
    participants to think more about safety. No more unhelmeted riding in the parking area in this case.
    I guess if it can keep some accidents from happening, then I can tolerate the rule.

    BOTTOM LINE - if you are ever confused about what's expected, then simply make sure that you have
    your helmet on EVERY TIME you move your bike, PERIOD.
     
  3. Mike Tennent <[email protected]> wrote in news:[email protected]:

    > The following was posted on the Great Floridian forum site.
    >
    >
    > "One USAT rule or new rule that has been brought to light this season also has to do with bike
    > helmets, riding to and from the race, as in parking or staying nearby and riding with your gear to
    > the transition area. Around North Carolina, Set-Up, Inc. competitors are being forewarned that
    > riding without a helmet to the race site is also a DQ. "
    >
    >
    > Remember the prolonged discussion here regarding an incident last year? I guess it got some
    > official attention.
    >
    > I did a quick look at the Rule book. here's what it says. Note the very last sentence.
    >
    > "(b) Chin Strap Violations. The helmet must be fastened before the participant first mounts the
    > bicycle, at all times when the participant is on the bicycle, and must not be unfastened until the
    > participant has dismounted. Any violation of this Section 5.9(b) which occurs while the
    > participant is in the transition area shall result in a variable time penalty. Any other violation
    > of this Section shall result in disqualification. This Section 5.9(b) shall be enforced at all
    > times while at the event site on race day. "
    >
    >
    > Although I don't disagree with the rule, I can see where it opens a whole can of worms. What is
    > the "event site?" How is that defined? How far can it reasonably extend?
    >
    > It seems an RD will need to post some kind of map showing what the area is or expect some
    > protests.
    >
    > Other thoughts?
    >
    > Mike Tennent "IronPenguin"
    >
    >

    The rule I teach the new triathletes in our training group is that the helmet must be on with the
    strap clipped before a leg is extended over the top tube. Follow that simple rule and you'll
    never get DQed for a helmet violation. Now if Icanjust get them to wait until they cross the
    mount line....
     
  4. On Mon, 09 Jun 2003 12:49:50 -0400, Mike Tennent <[email protected]> wrote:

    >The following was posted on the Great Floridian forum site.
    >
    >
    >"One USAT rule or new rule that has been brought to light this season also has to do with bike
    >helmets, riding to and from the race, as in parking or staying nearby and riding with your gear to
    >the transition area. Around North Carolina, Set-Up, Inc. competitors are being forewarned that
    >riding without a helmet to the race site is also a DQ. "

    Unless the rider is a participant (not a friend, family member, etc simply moving the participant's
    bike) and is either wearing his/her race number at the time of the alleged violation or is
    recognized by the official, this rule is not enforceable. Bottom line: If the alleged violator is
    not a participant or not recognized, there is nothing the officials can do unless the state, city,
    etc. happens to have compulsory helmet laws for bicycle riders and a cop is nearby.

    Another less probable, but far worse scenario is that someone rides helmetless at the site before
    the race, but wears someone else's race number, thereby disqualifying the person who's number he
    stole or accidentally picked up.
     
  5. topdog wrote:

    > I suspect that the "event site" is up to the discretion of the RD for each race. In the race I
    > finished a few weeks ago, it was considered everything from the parking lot to the transition
    > area. The moment you brought your bike into the parking area (out of your car), you were expected
    > to have your helmet on when you moved it. This was made very explicit on several occasions by the
    > race staff, both at sign in as well as in the packet material.

    In my opinion, this is overkill. During the event, yes - helmet on when in possession of bike.
    Before/after race, in the 7-day period, helmet on while _riding_ bike.

    The rule should follow the intent. The reason you want to have helmets on before/after is to
    encourage safe riding habits. The reason you want helmet on while in posession during race is to
    make the decision-making clear-cut. Two different things.

    In this case, helmet on while moving bike to/from transition - rule very likely to piss people off
    and rule very unlikely to promote good habits. STF
     
  6. Harold Buck

    Harold Buck Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] (topdog) wrote:

    > I suspect that the "event site" is up to the discretion of the RD for each race. In the race I
    > finished a few weeks ago, it was considered everything from the parking lot to the transition
    > area. The moment you brought your bike into the parking area (out of your car), you were expected
    > to have your helmet on when you moved it. This was made very explicit on several occasions by the
    > race staff, both at sign in as well as in the packet material. This is not my favorite rule, and
    > yes, it would seem that a number of innocent people will be DQ'ed. However, it does seem to have
    > gotten the participants to think more about safety. No more unhelmeted riding in the parking area
    > in this case. I guess if it can keep some accidents from happening, then I can tolerate the rule.
    >
    > BOTTOM LINE - if you are ever confused about what's expected, then simply make sure that you have
    > your helmet on EVERY TIME you move your bike, PERIOD.

    Huh? You have to have it on when you move the bike, not just when you've mounted it? If so, that
    makes NO sense, at least not unless they think I'm going to lie down on the ground and let the bike
    fall on my head. Or maybe I'll drop it on my head when taking it off my roof rack.

    If they're going to be that anal, then are they even going to let you get off your bike during the
    race so you can take off your helmet and scratch your head or pour some water on it?

    --Harold Buck

    "I used to rock and roll all night, and party every day. Then it was every other day. . . ."

    - Homer J. Simpson
     
  7. Sherpa Bob

    Sherpa Bob Guest

    Harold Buck <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] (topdog) wrote:
    >
    > > I suspect that the "event site" is up to the discretion of the RD for each race. In the race I
    > > finished a few weeks ago, it was considered everything from the parking lot to the transition
    > > area. The moment you brought your bike into the parking area (out of your car), you were
    > > expected to have your helmet on when you moved it. This was made very explicit on several
    > > occasions by the race staff, both at sign in as well as in the packet material. This is not my
    > > favorite rule, and yes, it would seem that a number of innocent people will be DQ'ed. However,
    > > it does seem to have gotten the participants to think more about safety. No more unhelmeted
    > > riding in the parking area in this case. I guess if it can keep some accidents from happening,
    > > then I can tolerate the rule.
    > >
    > > BOTTOM LINE - if you are ever confused about what's expected, then simply make sure that you
    > > have your helmet on EVERY TIME you move your bike, PERIOD.
    >
    >
    > Huh? You have to have it on when you move the bike, not just when you've mounted it? If so, that
    > makes NO sense, at least not unless they think I'm going to lie down on the ground and let the
    > bike fall on my head. Or maybe I'll drop it on my head when taking it off my roof rack.
    >
    > If they're going to be that anal, then are they even going to let you get off your bike during the
    > race so you can take off your helmet and scratch your head or pour some water on it?
    >
    > --Harold Buck

    Recheck the rule -

    "(b) Chin Strap Violations. The helmet must be fastened before the participant first mounts the
    bicycle, at all times when the participant is on the bicycle, and must not be unfastened until the
    participant has dismounted. Any violation of this Section 5.9(b) which occurs while the participant
    is in the transition area shall result in a variable time penalty. Any other violation of this
    Section shall result in disqualification. This Section 5.9(b) shall be enforced at all times while
    at the event site on race day. "

    To me, it boils down to "On the day of the race, have your helmet on and buckled before you throw
    your leg over the top tube to get on", whethere it's pre-, during, or post-race. Walking a bike
    to/from transition with the helmet in a transition bag is fine, since you haven't mounted the bike.

    What's my personal interpretation of 'event site'? The bike course, the run course, and the areas
    around the start line, finish line, and transition (which may be 1 or more locations, depending on
    whether there are 2 transitions, whether start and finish are miles apart from each other, etc.) A
    different way to look at it - if I'm in an area that I would expect to be seen by the Race Director
    or other officials, as part of their normal movements around the race venue, then I'm fair game.
     
  8. Topdog

    Topdog Guest

    > Huh? You have to have it on when you move the bike, not just when you've mounted it? If so, that
    > makes NO sense, at least not unless they think I'm going to lie down on the ground and let the
    > bike fall on my head. Or maybe I'll drop it on my head when taking it off my roof rack.
    >
    > If they're going to be that anal, then are they even going to let you get off your bike during the
    > race so you can take off your helmet and scratch your head or pour some water on it?

    I'm NOT saying that this is the new rule. Remember, I'm only making a strong guess that the RD
    decides how to interpret it for that race, and in this case, he made a pretty strong ruling. It may
    have been influenced by the fact that there was also a kid's triathlon before the adult one, and
    they wanted to keep a consistancy in rules between them (if the kids see the adults doing something,
    they may be more likely to do so as well) Again, interpretation is very likely up to the RD. As long
    as they communicate it clearly (as they did in this case), I may not like it, but I can live with
    it. For experienced participants, it may be overkill, but for others, maybe not. In that sense it
    could be like some of the rules we had in elementary school for field trips - we all had to follow
    them, though they were in place more for the 1st graders than the 6th graders...
     
  9. Sherpa Bob wrote:
    > Harold Buck <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:<[email protected]>...
    >
    >>In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] (topdog) wrote:
    >>
    >>
    >>>I suspect that the "event site" is up to the discretion of the RD for each race. In the race I
    >>>finished a few weeks ago, it was considered everything from the parking lot to the transition
    >>>area. The moment you brought your bike into the parking area (out of your car), you were expected
    >>>to have your helmet on when you moved it. This was made very explicit on several occasions by the
    >>>race staff, both at sign in as well as in the packet material. This is not my favorite rule, and
    >>>yes, it would seem that a number of innocent people will be DQ'ed. However, it does seem to have
    >>>gotten the participants to think more about safety. No more unhelmeted riding in the parking area
    >>>in this case. I guess if it can keep some accidents from happening, then I can tolerate the rule.
    >>>
    >>>BOTTOM LINE - if you are ever confused about what's expected, then simply make sure that you have
    >>>your helmet on EVERY TIME you move your bike, PERIOD.
    >>
    >>
    >>Huh? You have to have it on when you move the bike, not just when you've mounted it? If so, that
    >>makes NO sense, at least not unless they think I'm going to lie down on the ground and let the
    >>bike fall on my head. Or maybe I'll drop it on my head when taking it off my roof rack.
    >>
    >>If they're going to be that anal, then are they even going to let you get off your bike during the
    >>race so you can take off your helmet and scratch your head or pour some water on it?
    >>
    >>--Harold Buck
    >
    >
    > Recheck the rule -
    >
    > "(b) Chin Strap Violations. The helmet must be fastened before the participant first mounts the
    > bicycle, at all times when the participant is on the bicycle, and must not be unfastened until the
    > participant has dismounted. Any violation of this Section 5.9(b) which occurs while the
    > participant is in the transition area shall result in a variable time penalty. Any other violation
    > of this Section shall result in disqualification. This Section 5.9(b) shall be enforced at all
    > times while at the event site on race day. "
    >
    > To me, it boils down to "On the day of the race, have your helmet on and buckled before you
    > throw your leg over the top tube to get on", whethere it's pre-, during, or post-race. Walking a
    > bike to/from transition with the helmet in a transition bag is fine, since you haven't mounted
    > the bike.
    >
    > What's my personal interpretation of 'event site'? The bike course, the run course, and the areas
    > around the start line, finish line, and transition (which may be 1 or more locations, depending on
    > whether there are 2 transitions, whether start and finish are miles apart from each other, etc.) A
    > different way to look at it - if I'm in an area that I would expect to be seen by the Race
    > Director or other officials, as part of their normal movements around the race venue, then I'm
    > fair game.

    To me, this is such a common sense rule, I don't see how there can be any complaints about it.
    Riding a bike without a fastened helmet *AT ANY TIME* is plain and simple stupidity. And yes, I
    know, a lot of professional cyclists ride without helmets. And yes, it's stupid when they do it to.
    Is it hot? Does it look 'funny'? A lot less hot and 'funny' than an unnecessary brain injury.

    --

    Cheers,

    Walter R. Strapps, Ph.D

    "The sheer closeness of our two countries and the intensity of our mutual interaction combined with
    the disparity between us in terms of wealth and power--all these things guarantee there will be
    problems in U.S.-Canadian relations without anybody having to do anything to deliberately worsen the
    situation."

    Robert L. Stanfield, Oct. 28, 1971
     
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