Invisible Cyclists in Solstice Dark

Discussion in 'UK and Europe' started by Elisa Francesca Roselli, Dec 23, 2005.

  1. On 9 Jan 2006 09:13:42 -0800, "gds" <[email protected]> said in
    <[email protected]>:

    >OK here we go back to implied character smear rather than arguing the
    >issue. That is usually the tactic of folks who have no proof so need to
    >displace the argument.


    Bollocks. Scharf is well-known: his number one technique is to
    attribute to others those disparagements which best fit himself.

    If you want to see junk science, read the pro-helmet studies. See how
    researchers compare completely different groups of cyclists and
    attribute more than 100% of the difference in injury rates to headgear
    choice. Scharf has been told time and again that the correlation vs.
    causation argument fallacy is most evident in the small-scale
    observational studies which underpin helmet promotion. Whole issues
    of the relevant journals have been given over to this kind of problem!
    These small-scale studies are all vulnerable to that problem.

    But Scharf chooses to accept them uncritically (fault 1), assume that
    all time-series studies do the same (fault 2), reverses the burden of
    proof (fault 3) and then accuses the sceptics of being zealots (fault
    4). In every case his criticisms are *far* more relevant to the
    obsessive-compulsives than to those of us who read and try to
    understand the mass of conflicting evidence.

    The worst possible fault is the Scharf's starting point: to assume
    that *anything* in this area is sufficiently black-and-white as to
    permit any sentence containing words like "always".

    Guy
    --
    http://www.chapmancentral.co.uk

    "To every complex problem there is a solution which is
    simple, neat and wrong" - HL Mencken
     


  2. On 9 Jan 2006 09:13:42 -0800, "gds" <[email protected]> said in
    <[email protected]>:

    >The helmet sceptics keeping quoting the flaws of studies that show
    >helmets to be efective and counter with citations, which when I review
    >them all have serous methodological flaws. To everyone's credit no one
    >disputs the existance of the flaws but some do seem to ignore the
    >implication of the flaws and continue to quote the results.


    And? All that is necessary is to show that those proposing the
    intervention, do so on the basis of badly flawed methodology (which is
    unquestionably true, as anyone who has read these papers in detail
    will know).

    Compulsion and scepticism are not opposites. Scepticism is the
    default position. I co9uld just as easily say that you must wear a
    St. Christopher medal, and then pick holes in any study you produce to
    show the converse.

    It's really incredibly simple: if you predict a value of efficacy for
    helmets, you should be able to prove it from reductions in %HI in real
    populations which have experienced large changes in helmet usage rates
    over a short time. Observational studies are all vulnerable to
    confounding, so should be treated with scepticism until supported by
    other evidence. In the case of helmets there is *no* other evidence
    supporting helmet use. Every other study methodology, good or bad,has
    come up with a zero rate of efficacy. The largest (Rodgers) covered
    eight million cyclist injuries and found a small but not significant
    rise in head injury rates and a small but significant rise in fatality
    rates for helmeted cyclists. But all this is an aside, because in the
    end all we, the sceptics, have to do is stand here and say "Prove it!"

    They can't.

    All they do is produce another observational study, vulnerable to
    exactly the same confounding.

    Don't you think it's right that those who propose the intervention
    should have to prove their case to the sceptical public, rather than
    the other way around?

    Guy
    --
    http://www.chapmancentral.co.uk

    "To every complex problem there is a solution which is
    simple, neat and wrong" - HL Mencken
     
  3. On 9 Jan 2006 11:45:25 -0800, "gds" <[email protected]> said in
    <[email protected]>:

    > "Results revealed that the increased helmet wearing percentages has
    >had little association with serious head injuries to cyclists as a
    >percentage of all serious injuries to cyclists for all three
    >groups,..."


    >The study was not population based and therefor has no data to indicate
    >what was going on in the general population. It was a look at accidents
    >it was not a look at what was happening overall.


    So? You introduce something claimed to prevent 85% of head injuries,
    you track %HI for cyclists and pedestrians, you force a large
    proportion of the cyclists to start using the device claimed to
    prevent 85% of head injuries, it is reasonable to expect a change in
    %HI in cyclists. But there was none.

    So, the ball passes back to those proposing the intervention: "Prove
    it!" You wouldn't want to reverse the burden of proof, would you?

    Guy
    --
    http://www.chapmancentral.co.uk

    "To every complex problem there is a solution which is
    simple, neat and wrong" - HL Mencken
     
  4. On 7 Jan 2006 23:02:42 -0800, [email protected] said in
    <[email protected]>:

    >Actually any survey ever done that compares
    >driving and cycling in terms of injuries shows
    >cycling to be much more dangerous than driving,
    >in terms of injuries, in the US, AFAIK.


    Apart from the ones that don't, such as those Frank has posted. But
    of course they run counter to your macho bike messenger "living on the
    edge" world-view, so are dismissed out of hand.

    All of which fails to explain why cyclists insist on living longer
    than average, when cycling is so self-evidently dangerous...

    Guy
    --
    http://www.chapmancentral.co.uk

    "To every complex problem there is a solution which is
    simple, neat and wrong" - HL Mencken
     
  5. Tony Raven

    Tony Raven Guest

    gds wrote:
    >
    > You are clutching at straws. Why can't you just admit that if you
    > really want to know the answer you need to do a proper study. All
    > this work to justify using bad data makes little sense to me.
    > Remember I'm not arguing for or agianst the question of helmet
    > efficacy. I'm just wishing that someone studies it properly and
    > shares the results.
    >


    The longitudinal studies you want are very unlikely to be carried out
    but the time series measurements are mostly quite competent and
    perfectly valid whereas the case control/observational studies have been
    widely criticised not only in helmets but in many other areas of health
    where they have produced a number of seriously wrong and misleading
    results.

    Try reading:
    Classics in epidemiology; should they get it right? Smith GD.
    International Journal of Epidemiology 2004;33:441-2.
    Hormone replacement therapy and coronary heart disease: four lessons.
    Pettiti D. Int Jour Epid 2004;33:461-3.

    The first says:
    "It is, at the very least, clear that observational epidemiology may be
    more fallible than some have suggested".

    "An important clue as to whether the findings of individual-level
    associations in observational epidemiological studies are likely to
    be causal can come from time-trend or ecological data."


    The second says

    Do not turn a blind eye to contradictory evidence (such as from
    whole population time-series data) and especially do not repudiate
    it, but try instead to understand the reasons behind the
    contradictions.

    --
    Tony

    "The best way I know of to win an argument is to start by being in the
    right."
    - Lord Hailsham
     
  6. David Hansen

    David Hansen Guest

    On Mon, 09 Jan 2006 10:07:23 -0800 someone who may be SMS
    <[email protected]> wrote this:-

    >The key is to not try to use junk science to fight helmet laws.


    Those that fight helmet laws don't use junk science, unlike the
    helmet lobby

    >Some people may be taken in by cute anecdotes,


    Correct.

    >but those aren't the people making the laws.


    Incorrect. Party politicians are often taken in by anecdotes.


    --
    David Hansen, Edinburgh
    I will *always* explain revoked encryption keys, unless RIP prevents me
    http://www.opsi.gov.uk/acts/acts2000/00023--e.htm#54
     
  7. Tony Raven

    Tony Raven Guest

    SMS wrote:
    >
    > This has been going on for as long as I can remember. As an engineer,
    > it's annoying to see the junk science on population studies, especially
    > since there are more than a few people that are taken in by it. These
    > junk science "studies" attempt to create "debaters' points" by looking
    > at two variables, without understanding (or understanding but ignoring)
    > the fact that there really is no correlation due to other variables that
    > they don't look at, or don't have data for.
    >


    Its funny, the medical community elsewhere is turning away from
    observational studies to population studies after having been seriously
    misled a number of times by the former. But anyway, if they are such
    rubbish you would have taken my challenge by now but each time I post it
    you go amazingly quiet and change topic. Do you have something to hide?
    Could it be you've found it impossible to tell from whole population
    head injury graphs exactly when helmet use doubles from one year to the
    next. Surely you are not ducking at test which your convictions say
    should be a piece of cake. I'm still waiting. Your move.


    --
    Tony

    "The best way I know of to win an argument is to start by being in the
    right."
    - Lord Hailsham
     
  8. Tony Raven

    Tony Raven Guest

    [email protected] wrote:
    >
    > The counts were done not "a few years" apart. They were much closer in
    > time. They were not done at "a specific intersection" but at _many_
    > stations throughout the cities involved. They were done at times of
    > the day, times of the year, and weather conditions selected to be as
    > identical as possible. They were also done by automatic counting
    > devices on bridges spanning rivers that cyclists had to cross. And the
    > results were confirmed by telephone surveys, which also confirmed that
    > the helmet laws were the reasons for the tremendous drops.
    >
    > Read the paper.
    >


    You're confusing him with facts. He will go quiet now and pop up
    elsewhere with a completely different angle.

    --
    Tony

    "The best way I know of to win an argument is to start by being in the
    right."
    - Lord Hailsham
     
  9. The Wogster

    The Wogster Guest

    SMS wrote:
    > [email protected] wrote:
    >
    >> If you're basing your whole anti-helmet-compulsion
    >> argument on an assumption that cycling is not dangerous,
    >> you're always going to have trouble getting over that
    >> hurdle. I would ditch it and move on, as it is not essential
    >> to the rest of the argument.

    >
    >
    > There are two valid anti-compulsion arguments. First is the personal
    > freedom issue. Second is the fact that statistically, the number of
    > injuries and fatalities that would be prevented by increasing helmet use
    > by compulsion, would be very small.


    Your correct in that, and there may be other ways of reducing the
    injuries and fatalities, even more, such as reducing automotive speeds,
    better driver training (that includes bicycles in the curriculum), and
    better cyclist training WRT traffic. The fact that you need to be
    taking motor vehicle operator training, before needing to know the rules
    of the road, is part of the problem.

    > Countering the medical establishment's position on helmets is difficult
    > because they have much more respect by the public and the politicians
    > than people that rant about murder rates, walking helmets, gardening
    > accidents, etc. The key is to not try to use junk science to fight
    > helmet laws. Some people may be taken in by cute anecdotes, but those
    > aren't the people making the laws.


    How many doctors really know, even trauma doctors? Doctors often go by
    logic, rather then actual medical facts. They see the result of the
    accident, but not the mechanics of the accident, even the investigating
    police officer, only sees the result. To determine the mechanics, you
    would need a reconstruction team, to determine exactly what happened.
    Even if provided with this information, it would be hard for an ER
    doctor to provide anything better then an educated guess.

    However the real question, is not whether helmets are effective or not,
    and in some situations they are, in other situations they are not. If
    you pop a wheelie and over compensate, and fall off the back of the
    bike, and hit your head, the helmet probably helps, although it might
    make a neck fracture worse. Another example if a 1500 tonne steam
    roller runs over you, it's unlikely anything short of a full set of 5cm
    thick cast iron body armour would really be effective.

    The real question is, should we legislate against stupidity? Let me
    explain, manditory seatbelt use, for motor vehicle operators is a good
    idea, it keeps the operator at the controls as long as possible,
    allowing them to possibly take evasive action to prevent further injury
    and property damage. Laws against drunk or stoned driving, also a good
    idea, as those people often injure innocent bystanders, and damage the
    property of others.

    Both of these laws are designed to protect others, the fact that the
    operator often gains some benefit is a side issue. However legislating
    seatbelt use for others in a vehicle, other then the operator, is simply
    legislating against stupidity. I consider bicycle helmets in the same
    category, mandatory helmet laws, are only legislating against someone's
    own foolish behaviour.

    W
     
  10. SMS

    SMS Guest

    The Wogster wrote:

    > Your correct in that, and there may be other ways of reducing the
    > injuries and fatalities, even more, such as reducing automotive speeds,
    > better driver training (that includes bicycles in the curriculum), and
    > better cyclist training WRT traffic. The fact that you need to be
    > taking motor vehicle operator training, before needing to know the rules
    > of the road, is part of the problem.


    Not sure about the U.K., but in the U.S., none of what you suggest is
    ever likely to happen. And if it did, it would be in addition to the
    encouragement or compulsion of helmets, not instead of it.

    > How many doctors really know, even trauma doctors?


    The trauma doctors do know.

    > The real question is, should we legislate against stupidity?


    That sounds cute, but yes, in some cases we should because it does have
    a big effect in many instances. In the case of helmets, I would not
    characterize the people that choose to not always wear a helmet as stupid.
     
  11. David Martin

    David Martin Guest

    SMS wrote:
    > > How many doctors really know, even trauma doctors?

    >
    > The trauma doctors do know.


    Absolute rubbish and I know quite a few. Of those who have actually
    seriously looked into this, all of them think helmets are irrelevant to
    cyclist safety.

    ...d
     
  12. The Wogster

    The Wogster Guest

    SMS wrote:
    > The Wogster wrote:
    >
    >> Your correct in that, and there may be other ways of reducing the
    >> injuries and fatalities, even more, such as reducing automotive
    >> speeds, better driver training (that includes bicycles in the
    >> curriculum), and better cyclist training WRT traffic. The fact that
    >> you need to be taking motor vehicle operator training, before needing
    >> to know the rules of the road, is part of the problem.

    >
    >
    > Not sure about the U.K., but in the U.S., none of what you suggest is
    > ever likely to happen. And if it did, it would be in addition to the
    > encouragement or compulsion of helmets, not instead of it.


    However, this is what the anti-compulsion forces, should be fighting
    for, and the pro-compulsion forces, should be fighting with them.


    >
    >> How many doctors really know, even trauma doctors?

    >
    >
    > The trauma doctors do know.


    But how, a trauma doctors expertise is dealing with trauma, and all
    kinds of trauma, they may have basic knowledge of what causes a
    concussion, and how to deal with the aftermath, but they are not bicycle
    crash experts. An ER doctor knows nothing about the forces involved
    when a rider is unintentionally dismounted from a bicycle, especially
    since the doctor would know nothing about how fast the rider was
    travelling, what caused the dismount, and what forces would have been in
    play when the rider landed. The only exception, would be if the doctor
    was a track doctor at bicycle races, or other bicycle events where there
    were a large number of crashes.

    >> The real question is, should we legislate against stupidity?

    >
    >
    > That sounds cute, but yes, in some cases we should because it does have
    > a big effect in many instances. In the case of helmets, I would not
    > characterize the people that choose to not always wear a helmet as stupid.


    Which means that bicycle helmet use should not be compulsory by law,
    case closed.

    W
     
  13. Just zis Guy, you know? wrote:
    > On 7 Jan 2006 23:02:42 -0800, [email protected] said in
    > <[email protected]>:
    >
    > >Actually any survey ever done that compares
    > >driving and cycling in terms of injuries shows
    > >cycling to be much more dangerous than driving,
    > >in terms of injuries, in the US, AFAIK.

    >
    > Apart from the ones that don't, such as those Frank has posted.


    Which ones are those?

    > But
    > of course they run counter to your macho bike messenger "living on the
    > edge" world-view, so are dismissed out of hand.


    As much as I would like to feed your bizarre
    fantasy, the reason I have dismissed the
    numbers Frank has offered is because they
    are not accompanied by any disclosure of
    methodology used. The studies and numbers
    he cites with good references generally do
    not mean what he insists they mean. I am
    refering to his side-argument on the relative
    danger of cycling, not the helmet studies.
    You are right, insisting on minimum standards
    for the use of so-called 'data' is definitely
    part of the macho bike messenger living on
    the edge worldview.

    Tell me Guy, the female messengers, are
    they macho too?

    > All of which fails to explain why cyclists insist on living longer
    > than average, when cycling is so self-evidently dangerous...


    Cycling is not particularly deadly in my opinion.
    In any case, the deadliness of traffic seems pretty
    well equalized across the population, cyclists
    and non-cyclists.

    Robert
     
  14. David Martin wrote:
    > SMS wrote:
    > > > How many doctors really know, even trauma doctors?

    > >
    > > The trauma doctors do know.

    >
    > Absolute rubbish and I know quite a few. Of those who have actually
    > seriously looked into this, all of them think helmets are irrelevant to
    > cyclist safety.


    Interesting point. A member of my family is an ER doctor in an
    American state which instituted a MHL for kids. He hasn't collected
    official data, true (he's far too busy patching up non-bike injuries);
    but he claims it's produced no obvious benefit.

    - Frank Krygowski
     
  15. [email protected] wrote:
    >
    > Tell me Guy, the female messengers, are
    > they macho too?


    :) Well, the couple I've seen certianly were.

    Not that I'd tell them that to their faces. They looked like they
    could hurt me. ;-)

    - Frank Krygowski
     
  16. Richard

    Richard Guest

    gds wrote:

    > Of course, there are millions of questions. No single study will
    > address even a samll percentage of these. The discussion has clearly
    > been on the efficacy of helmets in preventing or mitigating injury.


    Very good. Now answer my question - what type of injury should we be
    concerned with? Do you want to lump all injuries, however trivial or
    however serious, together? Or do you want to separate them? Do you
    want to class all riders of all riding styles together, or do you want
    to separate them? You've been very good so far at evading these
    questions. Now put up or shut up.

    > Throwing in red herrings like the impact of helmets on pollution or the
    > effect of helmets on non cyclists is simply absurd.


    Why? They are both reasonable questions to ask, since a first estimate
    suggests that both effects are non-zero.

    R.
     
  17. In article <[email protected]>, SMS
    ([email protected]) wrote:

    > Some people may be taken in by cute anecdotes, but those
    > aren't the people making the laws.


    Help, nurse, quick, my sides!

    Politicians will believe /anything/ if it supports their prejudices (see
    also: 9/11, Iraqi involvement in; WMD, 45 minutes; terrorism, how
    compulsory ID cards will prevent it, etc. etc.)

    --
    Dave Larrington - <http://www.legslarry.beerdrinkers.co.uk/>
    Although the hippopotamus hath no sting in its tail, the wise man would
    rather be seated upon the back of a bee.
     
  18. In uk.rec.cycling [email protected] wrote:

    > [email protected] wrote:
    >> [email protected] wrote:
    >>
    >> >> Hmm. What's the ratio of injuries to fatalities for joggers? How
    >> > about for walkers? My bet is that ratio is even greater for those
    >> > activities.

    >>
    >> I don't have those numbers. My bet is that the rate
    >> of injury for joggers/walkers per hour does not begin
    >> to approach that of cyclists. If you have any data on
    >> walker/jogger injury and a number for total hours of
    >> walking and jogging, then you could make a counterclaim.
    >> Please show your work.
    >>
    >> Robert


    > AFAIK, I don't have data per hour - and frankly, I'm surprised you
    > asked for that! You've harangued so many times about the fact that you
    > refuse to believe any "per hour" data for cycling, since the number of
    > hours can't be proven!


    > However, I've got a paper here that has some relevance. Powell, K. et.
    > al., "Injury Rates from Walking, Gardening, Weightlifting, Outdoor
    > Bicycling and Aerobics", Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, V.
    > 30, pp. 1246-9, 1998.


    > The methodology was simple: Phone people at random in all 50 states in
    > the USA. Ask "Did you walk (or garden, or ride a bike, etc) for
    > exercise in the past 30 days?" If they say "Yes," then ask "Were you
    > injured doing that?" No estimate of hours of exposure was made.


    > Results? 2.4% of the weightlifters were injured.
    > 1.6% of the gardeners.
    > 1.4% of the aerobic dancers.
    > 1.4% of the walkers.
    > And 0.9% of the cyclists.


    > So by this measure, cycling is not only safer than walking, it's safer
    > than working in the garden. (Hmm: Gardening helmets, anyone?)


    I moved house twelve years ago, and since then have pretty settled
    patterns of cycling and gardening. I've had no injuries or even a
    non-injurious accident while cycling in those twelve years. I've
    spent much less than 10% of the time gardening compared to cycling. I
    don't know how many injuries I've suffered gardening, but I've
    suffered several bruises, and several cuts, scrapes, etc. bad enough
    to need bandaging, and countless small cuts and grazes that I only
    notice later when I wonder where the blood has been coming from. I've
    also suffered a badly strained muscle (or something) which took three
    months to recover.

    So in my case it's clear that gardening is well over 100 times more
    injurious per hour than cycling.

    I haven't got hourly data for my lifetime of cycling or staircase
    using, but reasonable estimates of how much cycling I've done compared
    to stair using, and the accidents I've suffered, does also suggest
    that stair use per hour, for me, is a lot more injurious than
    cycling.

    --
    Chris Malcolm [email protected] +44 (0)131 651 3445 DoD #205
    IPAB, Informatics, JCMB, King's Buildings, Edinburgh, EH9 3JZ, UK
    [http://www.dai.ed.ac.uk/homes/cam/]
     
  19. SMS

    SMS Guest

    Dave Larrington wrote:
    > In article <[email protected]>, SMS
    > ([email protected]) wrote:
    >
    >> Some people may be taken in by cute anecdotes, but those
    >> aren't the people making the laws.

    >
    > Help, nurse, quick, my sides!
    >
    > Politicians will believe /anything/ if it supports their prejudices (see
    > also: 9/11, Iraqi involvement in; WMD, 45 minutes; terrorism, how
    > compulsory ID cards will prevent it, etc. etc.)


    Except that in the cases you state above, the politicians did not
    actually believe any of it. For everything you listed, the actions they
    took were purely for political reasons, not because they actually
    believed that any of it was true.
     
  20. In uk.rec.cycling gds twisted the electrons to say:
    > You are just answering with gibberish.


    So you regard the statement "It makes absolute sense to examine
    previous studies, their methodologies, their flaws, their results, to
    see how to improve future studies" as gibberish???

    I guess either :-

    [a] you're a troll
    you have serious english comprehension problems ...

    Either way ...
    <PLONK!>
    --
    These opinions might not even be mine ...
    Let alone connected with my employer ...
     
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