Interesting observation



bigmark99

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May 2, 2007
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Most of the time I always ride with my helmet. (esp as its required by law).
Occassionaly when I am running late - I just ride 3 minutes down the road to my ferry terminal - I dont stick on my helmet for this...
I have definately noticed that when I am riding without my helment - cars passing me give me a wider berth, or even ride slowly behind me until its very safe to pass,
when I have my helmet on - car's seem to give me less space???
what gives?
 

Scotty_Dog

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Jul 30, 2004
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bigmark99 said:
what gives?
What gives? Your unhelmeted skull when it smacks against the road. Put your helmet back on.

There's a report that details the exact phenomenon you are describing. Google it.
 

huboon

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Dec 30, 2006
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If you zigzag drunkenly they will give you even more space. The drawback is that it will take slightly longer to reach your destination.
 

garage sale GT

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Jun 6, 2006
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I think the report claimed that of those who notice, in each case there was an excess of space albeit less with helmet.

It's the knucklehead who doesn't notice that you have to worry about.
 

bigpedaler

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Feb 10, 2007
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most drivers (those who NOTICE, yes) see the helmet, and assume that a helmeted cyclist is more skilled/experienced, and therefore feel less need for caution. a noob w/o a helmet tends to be more erratic, making drivers uneasy.
 

threefingerjoe

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Dec 29, 2007
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I once had a crash in which my head struck the concrete pavement, and flattened the side of my helmet. It had nothing to do with traffic. A black labrador retriever ran into the street from between bushes (he was chasing a ball that a kid threw from a yard) and I broadsided him and did an endover. You don't know WHEN stuff like this will happen. I'm sure plenty of other people can tell this kind of story about the goofy things that can happen out there.
 

MMSR

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Dec 30, 2004
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threefingerjoe said:
I once had a crash in which my head struck the concrete pavement, and flattened the side of my helmet. It had nothing to do with traffic. A black labrador retriever ran into the street from between bushes (he was chasing a ball that a kid threw from a yard) and I broadsided him and did an endover. You don't know WHEN stuff like this will happen. I'm sure plenty of other people can tell this kind of story about the goofy things that can happen out there.
Precisely. It's quite well known that motorists often pass helmeted riders closer those not wearing helmets but as threefingerjoe says, anything can happen and the impact your head takes isn't necessarily going to be with a car. This is why I really do thinks it's so important that you ALWAYS wear a helmet when on a bike. They literally can be lifesavers and I thnk it's absolutely essential to wear a helmet at all times when riding.
 

bigpedaler

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Feb 10, 2007
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At the risk of not being noticed after this thread not being posted in 5+ weeks....

I have a telling anecdote about helmet use.

Riding to the library (2 mi. from home) with my laptop in a backpack, I was crossing an intersection when a late-model Chevy/GMC turned quickly in front of me (turned left from the opposite direction of traffic). I grabbed brakes to keep from being a hood ornament, went over the bar, and landed headfirst just above the right temple. Glasses broke and flew (laptop/pack -- not a scratch!), bell rung, bike scratched, helmet cracked. I shook off the cobwebs, saw the truck a short block away at a stop sign, but because my glasses were AWOL at the time, I coldn't see the license plate. It took off as soon as the traffic allowed, so I was beneath concern for that sphincter.

Always...ALways...ALWAYS -- WEAR THAT HELMET!!

I wouldn't be functional without it.
 

Bigbananabike

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Dec 29, 2004
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I got knocked off out training the other week. The woman in the car and I were going up a hill and she had the sun in her eyes and drove to far to the left and we think her mirror collected my handlebar and knocked me off.

I had bruises and grazes etc and some bike/helmet stuff had to be replaced(and my helmet mirror I would never ride without).
She stopped, helped me, apologised etc and has reimbursed me for the gear - good on her:)

Anyway, my helmet, hit the asphelt pretty hard. My eye socket was bruised and bleeding. I was fine but I wouldn't have been if not for my helmet. When I looked at it closely - the outer shell was fine but the inner had a good sized crack in it.

As others have said - always wear your helmet:eek:
 

RedRider2009

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Nov 24, 2007
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Within the past month, 3 cyclists have been killed within about 10 miles of my house. All of these occurred on roads which I commonly ride, even though I always have and will continue wearing a helmet, I added a helmet mirror. I am hoping that those will at least give me a fighting chance against any schmucks in cars who are not paying attention. All 3 cyclists who passed away were the victims of hit and run accidents.
 

Bigbananabike

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Dec 29, 2004
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Wow, that is very sad re the riders killed :eek:

I find having a helmet mirror really does help - there have been a few times in the last 3/4 years when I have got completely off the road as the vehicle(usually a truck) wasn't about to move over - getting out of their way proved to be a good choice as they weren't about to move for me:mad:

Safe and happy riding to you:)


RedRider2009 said:
Within the past month, 3 cyclists have been killed within about 10 miles of my house. All of these occurred on roads which I commonly ride, even though I always have and will continue wearing a helmet, I added a helmet mirror. I am hoping that those will at least give me a fighting chance against any schmucks in cars who are not paying attention. All 3 cyclists who passed away were the victims of hit and run accidents.
 

kk4df

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Jul 30, 2006
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There was also a study that showed motorists give more room to women cyclists. Maybe just put back on your helmet, and get you a wig.
:D

Motorists also give me more room when I claim the lane, and when I'm well lit if riding at night. However, some just still won't give you much space at all on the road; they just seem to be in too much of a hurry to pass at what I would consider a safe distance.