Helmetless

Discussion in 'UK and Europe' started by Tony Raven, May 24, 2004.

  1. Tony Raven

    Tony Raven Guest

    Since all the hullabaloo over helmets and coming to the realisation that what
    I had always assumed to be self evident wasn't, I have taken to riding on road
    sans helmet (still wear one off-road). Today was my first big helmetless
    excursion in London on the Brommie and I have to say it felt most insecure. I
    spent much more time checking traffic and being cautious. Maybe years of
    conditioning are hard to get rid of or maybe that feeling of insecurity is
    what makes it safer.

    Tony
     
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  2. Simonb

    Simonb Guest

    Tony Raven wrote:

    > maybe that feeling of insecurity is what makes it safer.


    That's it! Someone here called it a 're-calibration' of your risk awareness.
     
  3. Simon Mason

    Simon Mason Guest

    "Tony Raven" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    ..
    > I spent much more time checking traffic and being cautious.


    That's what us helmetless people do all the time.

    --
    Simon M.
     
  4. Tony Raven wrote:

    > Since all the hullabaloo over helmets and coming to the realisation that what
    > I had always assumed to be self evident wasn't, I have taken to riding on road
    > sans helmet (still wear one off-road). Today was my first big helmetless
    > excursion in London on the Brommie and I have to say it felt most insecure. I
    > spent much more time checking traffic and being cautious. Maybe years of
    > conditioning are hard to get rid of or maybe that feeling of insecurity is
    > what makes it safer.


    That feeling of insecurity is good. If only motorists had the same thing.
     
  5. MSeries

    MSeries Guest

    Tony Raven wrote:

    >..... I spent much more time checking
    > traffic and being cautious.


    rather than, I'll be OK if I get hit, I'm wearing my helmet.
     
  6. On Mon, 24 May 2004 18:10:10 +0100, "Tony Raven"
    <[email protected]> wrote in message
    <[email protected]>:

    >Today was my first big helmetless
    >excursion in London on the Brommie and I have to say it felt most insecure. I
    >spent much more time checking traffic and being cautious.


    And thus your nothelmet Saved Your Life[tm] ;-)

    Guy
    --
    May contain traces of irony. Contents liable to settle after posting.
    http://www.chapmancentral.co.uk

    88% of helmet statistics are made up, 65% of them at Washington University
     
  7. "Zog The Undeniable" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > Tony Raven wrote:
    >
    > > Since all the hullabaloo over helmets and coming to the realisation that

    what
    > > I had always assumed to be self evident wasn't, I have taken to riding

    on road
    > > sans helmet (still wear one off-road). Today was my first big

    helmetless
    > > excursion in London on the Brommie and I have to say it felt most

    insecure. I
    > > spent much more time checking traffic and being cautious. Maybe years

    of
    > > conditioning are hard to get rid of or maybe that feeling of insecurity

    is
    > > what makes it safer.

    >
    > That feeling of insecurity is good. If only motorists had the same thing.


    A very good point.

    Too add to this, I work at a kart track, and I find it most amusing (and
    slightly worrying) when the driver of the car which happily did 50mph + on
    the road to the circuit (not necessarily dangerously) is absolutely
    terrified of doing 25mph in the low-end karts we use at the circuit -
    presumably partly because of the lower seating position (which gives more of
    an impression of speed), and partly because of the lack of car-style safety
    devices (seat belts, crumple zones and so on).
     
  8. Pete Biggs

    Pete Biggs Guest

    Tony Raven wrote:
    > I spent much more time checking
    > traffic and being cautious. Maybe years of conditioning are hard to
    > get rid of or maybe that feeling of insecurity is what makes it safer.


    But will it last? Or will you gradually feel more secure as you forget
    all about the helmet?

    ~PB
     
  9. Simonb <[email protected]> wrote:
    > Tony Raven wrote:
    >
    >> maybe that feeling of insecurity is what makes it safer.

    >
    > That's it! Someone here called it a 're-calibration' of your risk awareness.


    And I'll bet that in time when you are used to the feeling that something
    is missing, you'll no longer feel insecure. What'll happen to that
    recalibration then?

    I feel insecure driving my car in the driveway without a seatbelt. Not, I
    suppose, because I am more likely to be injured without one, but simply
    because there's always a feeling that something is missing, and wrong.
    I'm sure that if I drove my car in the driveway lots, I'd lose that
    feeling of insecurity entirely.

    --
    Trevor Barton
     
  10. chris French

    chris French Guest

    In message <[email protected]>, Simon Mason
    <[email protected]> writes
    >
    >"Tony Raven" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    >news:[email protected]
    >.
    >> I spent much more time checking traffic and being cautious.

    >
    > That's what us helmetless people do all the time.
    >

    Hmm, I sometimes ride with a helmet and sometimes, don't (approx 50/50
    ish) I can't say I've noticed any difference, but then, maybe I'm just
    used to both.
    --
    Chris French, Leeds
     
  11. Nathaniel Porter <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    > "Zog The Undeniable" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]
    >> Tony Raven wrote:
    >>
    >> > Since all the hullabaloo over helmets and coming to the realisation that

    > what
    >> > I had always assumed to be self evident wasn't, I have taken to riding

    > on road
    >> > sans helmet (still wear one off-road). Today was my first big

    > helmetless
    >> > excursion in London on the Brommie and I have to say it felt most

    > insecure. I
    >> > spent much more time checking traffic and being cautious. Maybe years

    > of
    >> > conditioning are hard to get rid of or maybe that feeling of insecurity

    > is
    >> > what makes it safer.

    >>
    >> That feeling of insecurity is good. If only motorists had the same thing.

    >
    > A very good point.
    >
    > Too add to this, I work at a kart track, and I find it most amusing (and
    > slightly worrying) when the driver of the car which happily did 50mph + on
    > the road to the circuit (not necessarily dangerously) is absolutely
    > terrified of doing 25mph in the low-end karts we use at the circuit -
    > presumably partly because of the lower seating position (which gives more of
    > an impression of speed), and partly because of the lack of car-style safety
    > devices (seat belts, crumple zones and so on).
    >

    Oh, I dunno. I've been karting a couple of times (and I'd greatly
    reccommend it as great fun) and the lack of belts etc didn't worry
    me at all - I reasoned that it must be pretty safe without them otherwise
    they'd be fitted either by legislation of by the owner's fear of being
    sued. That, and the "Ah well, it's not my kart if I break it" led to me
    winning on one occasion!

    --
    Trev
     
  12. "Trevor Barton" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > Nathaniel Porter <[email protected]> wrote:
    > >
    > > "Zog The Undeniable" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > > news:[email protected]
    > >> Tony Raven wrote:
    > >>
    > >> > Since all the hullabaloo over helmets and coming to the realisation

    that
    > > what
    > >> > I had always assumed to be self evident wasn't, I have taken to

    riding
    > > on road
    > >> > sans helmet (still wear one off-road). Today was my first big

    > > helmetless
    > >> > excursion in London on the Brommie and I have to say it felt most

    > > insecure. I
    > >> > spent much more time checking traffic and being cautious. Maybe

    years
    > > of
    > >> > conditioning are hard to get rid of or maybe that feeling of

    insecurity
    > > is
    > >> > what makes it safer.
    > >>
    > >> That feeling of insecurity is good. If only motorists had the same

    thing.
    > >
    > > A very good point.
    > >
    > > Too add to this, I work at a kart track, and I find it most amusing (and
    > > slightly worrying) when the driver of the car which happily did 50mph +

    on
    > > the road to the circuit (not necessarily dangerously) is absolutely
    > > terrified of doing 25mph in the low-end karts we use at the circuit -
    > > presumably partly because of the lower seating position (which gives

    more of
    > > an impression of speed), and partly because of the lack of car-style

    safety
    > > devices (seat belts, crumple zones and so on).
    > >

    > Oh, I dunno. I've been karting a couple of times (and I'd greatly
    > reccommend it as great fun) and the lack of belts etc didn't worry
    > me at all - I reasoned that it must be pretty safe without them otherwise
    > they'd be fitted either by legislation of by the owner's fear of being
    > sued. That, and the "Ah well, it's not my kart if I break it" led to me
    > winning on one occasion!
    >


    Absolutely.

    But some a surprising amount of people do seem genuinly terrified when doing
    a speed in a kart in controlled circumstances which they would consider a
    crawl if they were doing it in their car on the public highway
     
  13. "Nathaniel Porter" <[email protected]> writes:

    > But some a surprising amount of people do seem genuinly terrified when doing
    > a speed in a kart in controlled circumstances which they would consider a
    > crawl if they were doing it in their car on the public highway


    Well, fair enough. I get scared at speeds on my inline skates which
    wouldn't even get me off the ground if I were in a commercial
    airliner.

    Not that I (often) get off the ground on skates either, admittedly.


    -dan

    --
    "please make sure that the person is your friend before you confirm"
     
  14. Just zis Guy, you know? wrote:

    > On Mon, 24 May 2004 18:10:10 +0100, "Tony Raven"
    > <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > <[email protected]>:
    >
    >>Today was my first big helmetless
    >>excursion in London on the Brommie and I have to say it felt most insecure. I
    >>spent much more time checking traffic and being cautious.

    >
    >
    > And thus your nothelmet Saved Your Life[tm] ;-)


    Just like this lady's notseatbelt saved hers:

    http://www.topgear.com/content/my_topgear/prangs/05/03/

    Natural selection must have been looking the other way.

    Not that I am in any way advocating the non-wearing of seatbelts - you
    won't catch me without mine!

    --
    Mark.
     
  15. Peter Clinch

    Peter Clinch Guest

    Pete Biggs wrote:

    > But will it last? Or will you gradually feel more secure as you forget
    > all about the helmet?


    That's what's happened with me as I've been wearing mine less and less.
    Of late I'll only wear it on the Muni, though it would be on if I was
    MTBing too.
    My first big helmet free excursion in years was the shakedown cruise of
    the Streetmachine. Turned up at Ardrossan for the Arran ferry with the
    bike in the back of the car, took out the bike, luggage, and... damn!
    forgot my lid! Should I carry on? Didn't come all this way to turn
    around, rode for years without one, let's just get on with it... Quite
    odd at first, as Tony reported, but going up 1000' of continuous climb
    on a May day I ended up rather glad I'd forgotten it.

    Pete.
    --
    Peter Clinch University of Dundee
    Tel 44 1382 660111 ext. 33637 Medical Physics, Ninewells Hospital
    Fax 44 1382 640177 Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK
    net [email protected] http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/
     
  16. "Tony Raven" <[email protected]> wrote:

    | Since all the hullabaloo over helmets and coming to the realisation that what
    | I had always assumed to be self evident wasn't, I have taken to riding on road
    | sans helmet (still wear one off-road). Today was my first big helmetless
    | excursion in London on the Brommie and I have to say it felt most insecure. I
    | spent much more time checking traffic and being cautious. Maybe years of
    | conditioning are hard to get rid of or maybe that feeling of insecurity is
    | what makes it safer.

    That's why I 'em FUD-caps.

    BTW, the caution about other traffic doesn't wear off with
    familiarity. It stays at exactly the right level since there's nothing
    now in the way to skew the reasoning process.

    --
    Patrick Herring, Sheffield, UK
    http://www.anweald.co.uk
     
  17. Pete Biggs

    Pete Biggs Guest

    Patrick Herring wrote:

    > BTW, the caution about other traffic doesn't wear off with
    > familiarity. It stays at exactly the right level since there's nothing
    > now in the way to skew the reasoning process.


    Neat theory but it's too simple, IMO.

    There is *over*-caution immediately after giving up the helmet because
    your head feels very different so you can't stop thinking about how
    "vulnerable" you are. But, IME, that does evaporate after you get used to
    the way your head feels and behaviour then normalises.

    But going back to how it is when wearing a helmet...........

    I've always had some trouble with the risk compensation theory with
    bicycle helmets (on-road at least) because, at least with well-experienced
    or informed cyclists*, there are plenty of fears to keep you in check
    *before* worrying about hitting your head. I don't want to fall or crash
    because I'm quite likely to badly graze my arms and legs, sprain a wrist
    and wreck my bike. I don't want any of those things happening at all! So
    I don't want to crash at all. Head protection is very much a secondary
    consideration, in fact so much so that I don't bother wearing one any more
    for normal cycling**.

    Actually I did once hit my head in a cycling accident whilst not wearing a
    helmet, but the experience only reinforces my view as the head injury
    didn't actually cause me any problems (apart from forgetting the
    circumstances of the crash). It was the damage to my back and bike that
    put me out of action for a long time. Of course the head injury could
    have been worse if the impact was worse, but as we know, bicycle helmets
    can't actually provide much protection anyway. The experience also made
    me modify my behaviour, considerably, but I fear that I'm slowly returning
    to my old ways.

    Still, knowing my head is better protected wouldn't make me want to risk
    busting my arms and legs and bike any more. But perhaps this does not
    apply to people who regard those sort of injuries as trivial, so Helmet
    Risk Compensation Theory probably apply to them.

    * people who know that other injuries are more common than head injuries.

    ** I did for a year or so: got fed up with getting overheated (vents only
    work when moving, and moving at a good speed). I don't believe I took any
    more risks when I wore one for regular cycling. However, I would wear one
    again if I deliberately wanted to take more risks for more special kinds
    of cycling, eg. for racing or chain gang type riding or hard-core
    off-roading.

    ~PB
     
  18. Roger Hughes

    Roger Hughes Guest

    Pete Biggs wrote:

    > Tony Raven wrote:
    >
    >>I spent much more time checking
    >>traffic and being cautious. Maybe years of conditioning are hard to
    >>get rid of or maybe that feeling of insecurity is what makes it safer.

    >
    >
    > But will it last? Or will you gradually feel more secure as you forget
    > all about the helmet?


    Well, maybe he'll stop worrying about the helmet and start feeling
    insecure if he doesn't check the traffic instead...

    Roger
     
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