How I cracked my helmet

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Scott Lindstrom, Jul 1, 2003.

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  1. The subject could also be Idiot Pedestrian Tricks.

    The last intersection I get to before work is a tricky one. The eastbound road leading into it is
    closed to regular vehicles, but bikes, mopeds, and Service vehicles use it. In other words, people
    don't expect you to emerge from
    it. I'm pretty cautious when I come out of it. (For you Madisonians, this is the Camp Randall arch
    leading to West Dayton). It's even worse now, because the road a block north of work, which is
    THE east-west artery into the Isthmus, is closed a detoured south a block through this
    intersection -- they approach from the north and all turn east. It's very traffic-heavy.

    Today as I approached the intersection, I noticed a car waiting at the red light, so I sped up
    (passed a moped!) 'cause the sensor works pretty quickly when someone is waiting under the arch to
    get onto Dayton St. As I got to the intersection, I saw the last of 2 cars right-turn-on-red onto
    the street onto which I was heading. I was happy to see that, as cars invariably do not see you as
    you come into this intersection.

    There were 3 pedestrians waiting to cross. I was halfway into the intersection, still with the
    green, when they started to cross. Well, after a little skid (I probably had a second to react), I
    plowed into one, knocked her down and went head over heels and landed on my back (Yes, I know I
    don't know how to fall although in my defense I was trying to not seriously injure her) and my head
    plunked down on the pavement. She was profuse with apologies as I disentangled myself, and other
    than a headache, a quarter-sized road rash on my ebow, and what will be a sore back tomorrow, I'm
    okay. My bike looks no worse than it ever does. She wanted to cross the street before all the detour
    traffic took over the intersection.

    Clueless pedestrians. The bane of your existence.

    I'm annoyed equally by clueless bicyclist, btw. This morning on my walk there were 5 in a row on the
    sidewalk. Hello, do you see the street you're riding next to? :)

    I guess I should get a new helmet now that the old one's cracked.

    Scott
     
    Tags:


  2. Niteynite1

    Niteynite1 Guest

    Scott wrote:
    >I guess I should get a new helmet now that the old one's cracked.
    >
    >
    Before you get the new helmet, Scott, you'll get:

    1. Responses from the anti-helmet forces, who will then dissolve into mandatory helmet law
    arguments, none of which have anything to do with you; and

    2. Recommendations from helmet-wearers on which updated model to buy, which might be more helpful to
    you, especially if it has been a few years since your last helmet purchase.

    Will I drive a Kia. My cell phone is a NOkia. I am so confused.
     
  3. Niteynite1 wrote:
    > Scott wrote:
    >
    >>I guess I should get a new helmet now that the old one's cracked.
    >>
    >>
    >
    > Before you get the new helmet, Scott, you'll get:
    >
    > 1. Responses from the anti-helmet forces, who will then dissolve into mandatory helmet law
    > arguments, none of which have anything to do with you; and
    >
    > 2. Recommendations from helmet-wearers on which updated model to buy, which might be more helpful
    > to you, especially if it has been a few years since your last helmet purchase.

    Oh, this helmet was a vintage 1991. The outside liner was gone, so it was just a big bowl o' white
    styrofoam on my fat head. :)

    My back is aching now. I'll have to stretch out in the pool later on.

    scott
     
  4. Mike Kruger

    Mike Kruger Guest

    "Niteynite1" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...

    > 2. Recommendations from helmet-wearers on which updated model to buy,
    which
    > might be more helpful to you, especially if it has been a few years since
    your
    > last helmet purchase.

    In line with this prediction: If you are using a 1991 model, you will find that fitting has improved
    substantially. When I replaced my helmet after an accident, I got a Specialized helmet that "dials"
    the size, so you twist a nob to make the fit bigger or smaller. This is a real plus across seasons,
    because my head plus winter gear is substantially larger than my head by itself, and in spring and
    fall I am likely to change during a ride. I think it was $29, but it might have been $39. The type
    that adjusts fit using velcro don't work well (my previously owned Giro). After getting wet, the
    velcro loses its adhesion. Plus, you can't do micro-adjustments while the helmet is on your head,
    but have to remove the helmet to adjust.

    I'm sure there are other fitting systems out there; I'm just not familiar with them.
     
  5. Mike Kruger wrote:
    > "Niteynite1" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]...
    >
    >
    >>2. Recommendations from helmet-wearers on which updated model to buy,
    >
    > which
    >
    >>might be more helpful to you, especially if it has been a few years since
    >
    > your
    >
    >>last helmet purchase.
    >
    >
    > In line with this prediction: If you are using a 1991 model, you will find that fitting has
    > improved substantially. When I replaced my helmet after an accident, I got a Specialized helmet
    > that "dials" the size, so you twist a nob to make the fit bigger or smaller. This is a real plus
    > across seasons, because my head plus winter gear is substantially larger than my head by itself,
    > and in spring and fall I am likely to change during a ride. I think it was $29, but it might have
    > been $39. The type that adjusts fit using velcro don't work well (my previously owned Giro). After
    > getting wet, the velcro loses its adhesion. Plus, you can't do micro-adjustments while the helmet
    > is on your head, but have to remove the helmet to adjust.
    >
    > I'm sure there are other fitting systems out there; I'm just not familiar with them.

    My previous helmet had no padding, because I have a big head (some might say fat) and that was the
    only way it would fit.

    I just got back from the LBS with a giro ($45 -- please don't tell me I was ripped off, I don't want
    to hear it :) ) and it is adjustable, and it fits mostly if I adjust it to the largest possible
    size. And this is me with a crewcut, once my head of curls comes back, it'll be snug. I don't think
    I'll be able to put my balaclava under this helmet, but my headband will work, and I'll just have to
    wrap scarves or something around it. I note that there is some padding in the helmet too, so maybe I
    can yank that.

    It'll be interesting (to me) to see how well this helmet holds up. All the plastic fit gizmos look
    like they could easily break, and my son's helmet has broken (not an issue at the moment, he's
    strangely anti-bike at the moment).

    Today the day after falling my back and shoulders are pretty sore. Walking is fine if I don't try to
    swivel my head to look at something off to the side.

    I wish I had had the presence of mind yesterday to ask, sternly, the pedestrian to fork over some
    dough for the helmet she caused to break. Next time ;) She seemed very apologetic, maybe it
    would've worked.

    Scott
     
  6. Scott Lindstrom <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]c.edu>...

    > I just got back from the LBS with a giro ($45 -- please don't tell me I was ripped off, I don't
    > want to hear it :) ) and it is adjustable, and it fits mostly if I adjust it to the largest
    > possible size. And this is me with a crewcut, once my head of curls comes back, it'll be snug. I
    > don't think I'll be able to put my balaclava under this helmet, but my headband will work, and
    > I'll just have to wrap scarves or something around it. I note that there is some padding in the
    > helmet too, so maybe I can yank that.

    I also have a giro, about in this price range; maybe we have the same one? Mine's a Torrent, I
    think. I really like its easy adjustability. The only cheap plastic component that has busted yet is
    the thing that holds the visor in place.

    Warm Regards,

    Claire Petersky ([email protected]) Home of the meditative cyclist:
    http://home.earthlink.net/~cpetersky/Welcome.htm

    Singing with you at: http://www.tiferet.net/

    Books just wanna be FREE! See what I mean at: http://bookcrossing.com/friend/Cpetersky
     
  7. Review Boy

    Review Boy Guest

    Scott -

    The silence from the anti-helmet folks indicates that they have not yet figured out how to explain
    to you how you could have avoided the accident by not wearing a helmet.

    I also trashed a helmet. It was the best $30 I've ever spent.

    "Scott Lindstrom" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    >
    > The last intersection I get to before work is a tricky one. <snip> I guess I should get a new
    > helmet now that the old one's cracked.
    >
    >
    > Scott
     
  8. Dimpled Chad

    Dimpled Chad Guest

    On 02 Jul 2003, Review Boy opined:

    > The silence from the anti-helmet folks indicates that they have not yet figured out how to explain
    > to you how you could have avoided the accident by not wearing a helmet.

    Or, better, not ended up in the hospital had you not been wearing one.

    Chad

    --
    Looking for a pet? Adopt one! ** http://www.petfinder.com Info for a healthy, happy dog? *
    http://www.dog-play.com

    'A goal is a dream taken seriously.' - Henry David Thoreau
     
  9. "Review Boy" <review [email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > Scott -
    >
    > The silence from the anti-helmet folks indicates that they have not yet figured out how to explain
    > to you how you could have avoided the accident by not wearing a helmet.
    >
    > I also trashed a helmet. It was the best $30 I've ever spent.
    >
    > "Scott Lindstrom" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]...
    > >
    > > The last intersection I get to before work is a tricky one. <snip> I guess I should get a new
    > > helmet now that the old one's cracked.
    > >
    > >

    As a helmet agnostic, I'll have to chime in. People always say there helmet "cracked" and so must
    have saved them. This really annoys me.

    Helmets do not protect your head by "cracking". They crack because the foam used is brittle, but the
    foam absorbs almost no energy when it cracks. The foam absorbs energy by compressing. If all that
    happened is that the helmet "cracked" with little or no compression, then it did not, in this case,
    help protect your head. If, on closer examination, you see that the foam is partially flattened out
    somewhere, then the helmet did its job and absorbed significant energy.

    -Pete
     
  10. Peter Rosenfed wrote:

    >
    >
    > As a helmet agnostic, I'll have to chime in. People always say there helmet "cracked" and so must
    > have saved them. This really annoys me.
    >
    > Helmets do not protect your head by "cracking". They crack because the foam used is brittle, but
    > the foam absorbs almost no energy when it cracks. The foam absorbs energy by compressing. If all
    > that happened is that the helmet "cracked" with little or no compression, then it did not, in this
    > case, help protect your head. If, on closer examination, you see that the foam is partially
    > flattened out somewhere, then the helmet did its job and absorbed significant energy.

    Well, the foam may have been brittle, as I did not (obviously) replace the helmet every 3 (5?) years
    like the manufacturers tell ya to :) However, the crack *is* where my head hit the pavement. I don't
    believe I said this saved me from anything, although now that you mention it, it probably prevented
    a nasty bump and a headache that was worse than the one I got.

    It is amazing how sore my body is now, 2 days later. Although I can turn my head more today than
    yesterday, my jaw and collarbone both ache and my back hurts. Sitting up in bed is an agonizing
    exercise. Okay, end of whine :) I'm sure the pedestrian must be sore as well, as she absorbed a
    whole lot of momentum, which is why the only skin break is the little quarter-sized abrasion on my
    elbow. I didn't even tear any of the clothes I was wearing!

    Scott
     
  11. Mark Hickey

    Mark Hickey Guest

    [email protected] (Peter Rosenfed) wrote:

    >As a helmet agnostic, I'll have to chime in. People always say there helmet "cracked" and so must
    >have saved them. This really annoys me.
    >
    >Helmets do not protect your head by "cracking". They crack because the foam used is brittle, but
    >the foam absorbs almost no energy when it cracks. The foam absorbs energy by compressing. If all
    >that happened is that the helmet "cracked" with little or no compression, then it did not, in this
    >case, help protect your head. If, on closer examination, you see that the foam is partially
    >flattened out somewhere, then the helmet did its job and absorbed significant energy.

    For an example of a "cracked" helmet that absorbed a LOT of energy, check out:
    http://www.habcycles.com/bikecrash.html The photos don't actually do justice to the amount of damage
    to the foam (which was crushed, torn, split, cracked and displaced).

    I agree that many overstate the amount of injury their helmet may have saved - but I'd suspect not
    even the most ardent anti-helmet types would claim that I would have come away from my "interaction"
    without significantly more injury had I not been wearing a helmet. As it is, after almost two months
    I'm still experiencing some post-concussion syndrome, and getting chiropractic and massage sessions
    to get my back in better working order - but am thrilled to be walking.

    Mark Hickey Habanero Cycles http://www.habcycles.com Home of the $695 ti frame
     
  12. In article <[email protected]>, "Review Boy" <review [email protected]> says...
    > Scott -
    >
    > The silence from the anti-helmet folks indicates that they have not yet figured out how to explain
    > to you how you could have avoided the accident by not wearing a helmet.
    >
    > I also trashed a helmet. It was the best $30 I've ever spent.
    >
    > "Scott Lindstrom" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]...
    > >
    > > The last intersection I get to before work is a tricky one. <snip> I guess I should get a new
    > > helmet now that the old one's cracked.
    > >
    > >
    > > Scott
    > >

    Umm, the helmet caused him to have a 340 degree blind spot and he was virtualy blind as a result.
    Sorry, that's the best I could come up with.
    --
    _________________________
    Chris Phillipo - Cape Breton, Nova Scotia http://www.ramsays-online.com
     
  13. On 3 Jul 2003 08:01:37 -0700, [email protected] (Peter Rosenfed) wrote:

    >
    >As a helmet agnostic, I'll have to chime in.

    Someone with your encyclopedic knowledge of how helmets are supposed to work cannot properly be
    called an agnostic.
     
  14. "Scott Lindstrom" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    >

    > There were 3 pedestrians waiting to cross. I was halfway into the intersection, still with the
    > green, when they started to cross. Well, after a little skid (I probably had a second to react), I
    > plowed into one, knocked her down and went head over heels and landed on my back (Yes, I know I
    > don't know how to fall although in my defense I was trying to not seriously injure her) and my
    > head plunked down on the pavement. She was profuse with apologies as I disentangled myself, and
    > other than a headache, a quarter-sized road rash on my ebow, and what will be a sore back
    > tomorrow, I'm okay. My bike looks no worse than it ever does. She wanted to cross the street
    > before all the detour traffic took over the intersection.
    >
    > Clueless pedestrians. The bane of your existence.

    As I recall, in *any* incident involving a motor vehicle and a pedestrian, the motor vehicle is
    always assumed to be at fault unless it can be proven that the pedestrian did something
    egregiously stupid.

    I also recall that, notwithstanding any green lights or signals, we're *always* supposed to yield to
    pedestrians in the intersection. (a world that positively encourages running over peds at
    intersections is too horrible to contemplate)

    I'm turning this into a thought experiment for any lawyers that might be lurking out there: in this
    crash situation, could the ped turn around and sue the cyclist for being negligent? worse, could
    there be a criminal charge against the cyclist in a bike/ped crash ?

    If I understand the situation correctly, the OP was riding through the intersection and the peds
    were supposed to be stopped and waiting for a change of signal...which does file this in 'killer
    pavement lemmings'. But I'd be interested to see how the imperatives balance, particularly the one
    about always yielding to the pedestrian....

    to the OP: hope your'e feeling better. Hope the ped's feeling better, too. As to helmet
    efficacy, well...

    -Luigi curious
     
  15. Tom Sherman

    Tom Sherman Guest

    Scott Lindstrom wrote:
    >
    > The subject could also be Idiot Pedestrian Tricks. ... Clueless pedestrians. The bane of your
    > existence.
    >
    > I'm annoyed equally by clueless bicyclist, btw. This morning on my walk there were 5 in a row on
    > the sidewalk. Hello, do you see the street you're riding next to? :)...

    Madison has more clueless pedestrians and cyclists than anywhere else I have been - I believe this
    is the result of putting 35 thousand undergraduates in a small geographic area. Of course, many of
    the motor vehicle operators are not much better.

    It is not just bicycles on the sidewalks anymore, recently there are quite a few people riding
    mopeds on the sidewalks.

    Tom Sherman - Former downtown Madison resident
     
  16. (trafic situation snipped)

    >I also recall that, notwithstanding any green lights or signals, we're *always* supposed to yield
    >to pedestrians in the intersection. (a world that positively encourages running over peds at
    >intersections is too horrible to contemplate)

    >I'm turning this into a thought experiment for any lawyers that might be lurking out there: in this
    >crash situation, could the ped turn around and sue the cyclist for being negligent? worse, could
    >there be a criminal charge against the cyclist in a bike/ped crash ?

    Let me answer with another anecdote. I'm on my regular route going towards fifteenth street north in
    the height of the rush hour.

    I'm going about the speed limit, and the lights are green.

    A family of tourists decides to dash across in the crosswalk ahead of me.

    I've got two kids directly in front of me and Dad directly behind them.

    I'm not sure I can pull 1 G but I'm trying. I make the decision to hit Dad rather than the kids,
    assuming I can't stop in time.

    In the event I missed everybody and didn't crash.

    He said, "You got me."

    Legally I would have won this hands down. My lawyer, even if I had run over the kid who froze in the
    crosswalk, would have argued that I was exercising due care and diligence in that I was operating a
    well maintained bicycle in accordance with the traffic laws.

    That I took evasive action and chose the lesser of the potential evils would have indicated that I
    was in my right mind and therefore responsible for choosing the correct action.

    But the fact is that none of this is perfectly true. Yes, I chose not to hit the kid. Yes, I was
    going the speed limit and the lights were green. Yes, they darted out in front of me.

    But the fact is I've ridden that road easily a thousand times. I know that road like I know my
    driveway. And I know that there's a good chance that pedestrians will cross it at that point
    regardless of the lights.

    So I'm a little more aware, there. If I had hit the guy would I have been at fault? Yes, IMHO, for
    being less aware than I would have been the other 999 times I've crossed that intersection.

    I'm a great lawyer as long as I'm both the defendant and the prosecutor.

    --

    _______________________ALL AMIGA IN MY MIND_______________________ ------------------"Buddy Holly,
    the Texas Elvis"------------------
    __________306.350.357.38>>[email protected]__________
     
  17. R15757

    R15757 Guest

    Tom Sherman wrote:

    "Madison has more clueless pedestrians and cyclists than anywhere else I have been - I believe this
    is the result of putting 35 thousand undergraduates in a small geographic area. Of course, many of
    the motor vehicle operators are not much better.

    It is not just bicycles on the sidewalks anymore, recently there are quite a few people riding
    mopeds on the sidewalks."

    I'm not from Madison but I believe riding a bicycle on the sidewalk is legal there, unless a
    building abuts the sidewalk.

    Robert
     
  18. "R15757" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    >
    > Tom Sherman wrote:
    >
    > "Madison has more clueless pedestrians and cyclists than anywhere else I
    have
    > been - I believe this is the result of putting 35 thousand undergraduates in a small geographic
    > area. Of course, many of the motor
    vehicle
    > operators are not much better.
    >
    > It is not just bicycles on the sidewalks anymore, recently there are quite a few people riding
    > mopeds on the sidewalks."
    >
    >
    > I'm not from Madison but I believe riding a bicycle on the sidewalk is
    legal
    > there, unless a building abuts the sidewalk.
    >
    > Robert

    errrr...but don't most sidewalked roads have buildings on them?\

    -Luigi

    oeufs sur le plat sans le plat
     
  19. David Kerber

    David Kerber Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] says...
    >
    > "R15757" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > >
    > > Tom Sherman wrote:
    > >
    > > "Madison has more clueless pedestrians and cyclists than anywhere else I
    > have
    > > been - I believe this is the result of putting 35 thousand undergraduates in a small geographic
    > > area. Of course, many of the motor
    > vehicle
    > > operators are not much better.
    > >
    > > It is not just bicycles on the sidewalks anymore, recently there are quite a few people riding
    > > mopeds on the sidewalks."
    > >
    > >
    > > I'm not from Madison but I believe riding a bicycle on the sidewalk is
    > legal
    > > there, unless a building abuts the sidewalk.
    > >
    > > Robert
    >
    > errrr...but don't most sidewalked roads have buildings on them?\

    He's talking about buildings which directly abut the sidewalk, with no buffer space between the
    sidewalk and the building. This is rather common in older and densely-built sections of cities, and
    causes people to be on the sidewalk as soon as they step out of the building. I can see how this
    might be more risky for cyclists, since there is not much room to dodge a person who might not be
    able to see the bike coming as they come out of the door.

    --
    Dave Kerber Fight spam: remove the ns_ from the return address before replying!

    REAL programmers write self-modifying code.
     
  20. Rick Warner

    Rick Warner Guest

    [email protected] (Peter Rosenfed) wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...

    >
    > As a helmet agnostic, I'll have to chime in. People always say there helmet "cracked" and so must
    > have saved them. This really annoys me.
    >
    > Helmets do not protect your head by "cracking". They crack because the foam used is brittle, but
    > the foam absorbs almost no energy when it cracks. The foam absorbs energy by compressing. If all
    > that happened is that the helmet "cracked" with little or no compression, then it did not, in this
    > case, help protect your head. If, on closer examination, you see that the foam is partially
    > flattened out somewhere, then the helmet did its job and absorbed significant energy.

    Modern shells hide most or all of the compression in the foam under them, so most folks look at a
    helmet after an accident, see a crack, and figure that is the extent of the damage. If they peeled
    off the plastic shell they will usually find a lot more underneath. It will be unusual for one to
    see the flattened or dented foam without doing a bit of dismantling, which is not as easy with the
    newer fusion styles as it was with the older non-fusion styles.

    I have had 4 accidents in the last 20 years where I landed partially or fully on the head. All 4
    helmets involved in those accidents suffered significant compression of the foam. The worst that
    happened to me, as far as head injury, was getting knocked unconscious for an hour or so; they
    listed a concussion on that due to the loss of consciousness, but there was other symptoms of the
    concussion or head injury (even ran a CT scan). In the first of the 4 accidents I was vaulted up and
    over traffic, and landed head first. Again, no head injury but the foam was compressed
    significantly. In only one of the 4 cases did the helmet crack, and that was following a line
    between two air vents.

    In the end, the best course of action after hitting one's helmeted head is to replace the helmet
    even if there is no sign of damage. Bell/Giro has a good replacement policy. Or one can buy a new
    one. But personally I would not use one that has hit the ground.

    - rick warner
     
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