Ontario Helmet Law being pushed through



B

Bill Z.

Guest
Benjamin Lewis <[email protected]> writes:

> Just zis Guy wrote:


> I'm still reasonable certain that if you plotted yearly risk against yearly
> mileage for the "average cyclist", the graph would be monotonically
> increasing, although with a slope of less than one. I agree that the
> hourly or per mile risk would go down.


If you ploted that for the *same cyclist*, assuming reasonably low
accident rates, the slope would be 1. Risk goes down with increased
skill. You can find some highly skilled, low mileage cyclists
(typically people who have ridden for years, but due to work/personal
constraints or some medical condition can't ride as much any more.)
Generally, though, skills improve the more you ride, but you can
increase your mileage far easier than you can increase your skill
level.

--
My real name backwards: nemuaZ lliB
 
J

Just zis Guy, you know?

Guest
On Sun, 30 Jan 2005 21:21:03 GMT, [email protected] (Bill Z.)
wrote in message <[email protected]>:

>> On which subject I recommend the 1989 Seattle study, a very good
>> example of these biases in action.


>You recommend that one? Good for you.


As a study of confounding and biases in a research paper? I can think
of no finer example.

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

85% of helmet statistics are made up, 69% of them at CHS, Puget Sound
 
J

Just zis Guy, you know?

Guest
On Sun, 30 Jan 2005 12:27:54 -0800, Benjamin Lewis <[email protected]>
wrote in message <[email protected]>:

>I'm still reasonable certain that if you plotted yearly risk against yearly
>mileage for the "average cyclist", the graph would be monotonically
>increasing, although with a slope of less than one. I agree that the
>hourly or per mile risk would go down.


So you say, but as Frank has pointed out the large bicycle clubs - CTC
and LAW for example - have produced statistics which show that their
members routinely go for many years without sustaining even relatively
minor injuries. It is perfectly plausible that an inexperienced
cyclist would fall off three or four times in a year of cycling, while
an experienced daily commuter cyclist would not fall off at all.

Like I say, both the premises of this argument - the higher crash rate
per year and the helmet wearing rate - are speculation, and not from a
source I would be inclined to trust without independent verification.

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

85% of helmet statistics are made up, 69% of them at CHS, Puget Sound
 
J

Just zis Guy, you know?

Guest
On Sun, 30 Jan 2005 21:56:06 GMT, [email protected] (Bill Z.)
wrote in message <[email protected]>:

>> So you say. I am still waiting for any kind of evidence to back up
>> your arm-waving, though.


>The text you snipped immediately after "Irrelevant" was, "Forester
>points out in _Effective Cycling_ that skill buys you a factor of 5
>safety margin, whereas high mileage cyclists ride a lot more than 5
>times further per year than low mileage cyclists."


Forrester's guess may or may not be right. But unless the average
high mileage cyclist rides five times the average distance of the
average low mileage cyclist, that does not prove your point. And it
remains even then an estimate, so where is your actual evidence?

>I'll skip the rest of your garbage today.


Translation: "Laa laa I'm not listening". I wonder who you think
you're fooling?

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

85% of helmet statistics are made up, 69% of them at CHS, Puget Sound
 
B

Bill Z.

Guest
"Just zis Guy, you know?" <[email protected]> writes:

> On Sun, 30 Jan 2005 21:21:03 GMT, [email protected] (Bill Z.)
> wrote in message <[email protected]>:
>
> >> On which subject I recommend the 1989 Seattle study, a very good
> >> example of these biases in action.

>
> >You recommend that one? Good for you.

>
> As a study of confounding and biases in a research paper? I can think
> of no finer example.


Funny that your side's only argument seems to be to rant about this
single paper, as you pretty much ignore anything else.

--
My real name backwards: nemuaZ lliB
 
B

Bill Z.

Guest
"Just zis Guy, you know?" <[email protected]> writes:

> On Sun, 30 Jan 2005 12:27:54 -0800, Benjamin Lewis <[email protected]>
> wrote in message <[email protected]>:
>
> >I'm still reasonable certain that if you plotted yearly risk against yearly
> >mileage for the "average cyclist", the graph would be monotonically
> >increasing, although with a slope of less than one. I agree that the
> >hourly or per mile risk would go down.

>
> So you say, but as Frank has pointed out the large bicycle clubs - CTC
> and LAW for example - have produced statistics which show that their
> members routinely go for many years without sustaining even relatively
> minor injuries.


We were talking about the slope, not a claim of a high accident rate.

>
> Like I say, both the premises of this argument - the higher crash rate
> per year and the helmet wearing rate - are speculation, and not from a
> source I would be inclined to trust without independent verification.


Absolute nonsense - we have Forester reporting that skill accounts
for about a factor of 5 reduction in the accident rate (varying
somewhat from person to person) and we all know people who ride at
most 10 miles per year versus ones who ride over 5000.

That tells you that you should control for mileage, and whether
high mileage cyclists are more likely to use helmets. Funny
how you want to obscure this point, isn't it, after just ragging
about T&R's study being "biased". :)

--
My real name backwards: nemuaZ lliB
 
B

Bill Z.

Guest
"Just zis Guy, you know?" <[email protected]> writes:

> On Sun, 30 Jan 2005 21:56:06 GMT, [email protected] (Bill Z.)
> wrote in message <[email protected]>:
>
> >> So you say. I am still waiting for any kind of evidence to back up
> >> your arm-waving, though.

>
> >The text you snipped immediately after "Irrelevant" was, "Forester
> >points out in _Effective Cycling_ that skill buys you a factor of 5
> >safety margin, whereas high mileage cyclists ride a lot more than 5
> >times further per year than low mileage cyclists."

>
> Forrester's guess may or may not be right.


He claimed it was a measurement based on accident rates of various
classes of users.
>
> >I'll skip the rest of your garbage today.

>
> Translation: "Laa laa I'm not listening". I wonder who you think
> you're fooling?


Translation - you were being rude and I ignored you. If this was
the first message I had seen today, your others would have been
ignored as well.

--
My real name backwards: nemuaZ lliB
 
R

R15757

Guest
Guy wrote:

>On Sun, 30 Jan 2005 21:56:06 GMT, [email protected] (Bill Z.)
>wrote in message <[email protected]>:
>
>>> So you say. I am still waiting for any kind of evidence to back up
>>> your arm-waving, though.

>
>>The text you snipped immediately after "Irrelevant" was, "Forester
>>points out in _Effective Cycling_ that skill buys you a factor of 5
>>safety margin, whereas high mileage cyclists ride a lot more than 5
>>times further per year than low mileage cyclists."

>
>Forrester's guess may or may not be right. But unless the average
>high mileage cyclist rides five times the average distance of the
>average low mileage cyclist, that does not prove your point. And it
>remains even then an estimate, so where is your >actual evidence?


To clarify again, this is not really Forester's guess.
What it is: an estimate derived from a number of
studies--including the old warhorses like Kaplan.
These studies have major problems so we are
wise to look askance at the 5 times estimate,
but something like it seems to be evident in casual observation.

Bill misstated it a little, the 5 times better number
refers to cyclists with just 10 years of experience.
Of course hours in the saddle would be a much
better number to use, because people who have
been riding for the same number of years often
have wildly varying degrees of experience.
Most of the very experienced couriers I know
ride about 12000 miles per year in traffic and
have accident rates 2 to 3 times better than
the 10-year cyclists. If they had accident rates
just 5 times better than beginners they would be
better off not showing up for work at all.

Robert
 
R15757 wrote:
> Guy wrote:
>
> >
> >Forrester's guess may or may not be right. But unless the average
> >high mileage cyclist rides five times the average distance of the
> >average low mileage cyclist, that does not prove your point. And it
> >remains even then an estimate, so where is your >actual evidence?

>
> To clarify again, this is not really Forester's guess.
> What it is: an estimate derived from a number of
> studies--including the old warhorses like Kaplan.


Interestingly, I don't recall Forester saying exactly how he arrived at
that estimate. But no matter.

> These studies have major problems so we are
> wise to look askance at the 5 times estimate,
> but something like it seems to be evident in casual observation.


I can buy the "something like it." That's suitably imprecise.

> Bill misstated it a little, the 5 times better number
> refers to cyclists with just 10 years of experience.
> Of course hours in the saddle would be a much
> better number to use, because people who have
> been riding for the same number of years often
> have wildly varying degrees of experience.
> Most of the very experienced couriers I know
> ride about 12000 miles per year in traffic and
> have accident rates 2 to 3 times better than
> the 10-year cyclists. If they had accident rates
> just 5 times better than beginners they would be
> better off not showing up for work at all.


This may be true - but it's hardly pertinent. From what I've seen,
there is much, much difference between a bike messenger's approach to
traffic and the approach of, say, an experienced bike commuter.

There's variety in both camps, of course. But most of the bike
commuters I know are the kind of people who almost always sit through
red lights, signal turns, obey lane markings, etc.

The bike messengers I've observed have quite a different philosophy.
They're more into traffic anarchy. A "no rules" rider will require
LOTS more skill than a staid and careful rule follower.

So while we learn something by comparing risks, we should realize that
bike messengers tend to be out on the tail of the bell curve. If our
interest is _typical_ biking - say, the kind done by 95% of those who
ride bikes - I think it's more valuable to compare their biking risk
with their risk in other common activities.

Like, for example, gardening and yard work - yet another activity that
has been shown to cause more injuries than cycling! If digging in the
garden causes more injuries than cycling, how bad can cycling be?
 
T

Tom Keats

Guest
In article <[email protected]>,
[email protected] writes:
>
> Like, for example, gardening and yard work - yet another activity that
> has been shown to cause more injuries than cycling! If digging in the
> garden causes more injuries than cycling, how bad can cycling be?


I don't think it's so much the digging that gets people,
as it is their trying to unclog running lawn mowers :)


cheers,
Tom

--
-- Nothing is safe from me.
Above address is just a spam midden.
I'm really at: tkeats [curlicue] vcn [point] bc [point] ca
 
J

Just zis Guy, you know?

Guest
On 02 Feb 2005 02:39:23 GMT, [email protected] (R15757) wrote in message
<[email protected]>:

>To clarify again, this is not really Forester's guess.
>What it is: an estimate derived from a number of
>studies--including the old warhorses like Kaplan.
>These studies have major problems so we are
>wise to look askance at the 5 times estimate,
>but something like it seems to be evident in casual observation.


It's an estimate - a rule of thumb or guess. It may or may not be
right. But, as stated, unless the average mileage of the high mileage
cyclists is five times the average mileage of low mileage cyclists, it
doesn't prove the point even at that limited level.

As also sated: it is perfectly plausible that an inexperienced cyclist
will fall off several times in a year, due to inexperience, while an
experienced cyclist will not fall off at all, due to experience.

So, I would like some actual evidence.

The second part of the assertion - that high mileage cyclists are more
likely to be wearing helmets - is also unproven. Some evidence would
be good.

Otherwise this looks a lot like arm-waving.

>Bill misstated it a little, the 5 times better number
>refers to cyclists with just 10 years of experience.
>Of course hours in the saddle would be a much
>better number to use, because people who have
>been riding for the same number of years often
>have wildly varying degrees of experience.


Indeed: a cyclist with fifty years of experience may or may not be
more experienced than a beginner riding ten thousand miles a year
after one year.

>Most of the very experienced couriers I know
>ride about 12000 miles per year in traffic and
>have accident rates 2 to 3 times better than
>the 10-year cyclists. If they had accident rates
>just 5 times better than beginners they would be
>better off not showing up for work at all.


And couriers are not in any case representative of cyclists in
general. Few general cyclists I know have the bike handling skills of
the average courier, and very few ride in traffic in anything like the
same way.

I think the answer here is: "It depends."

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

85% of helmet statistics are made up, 69% of them at CHS, Puget Sound
 
S

Steven M. Scharf

Guest
Tom Keats wrote:

> In article <[email protected]>,
> [email protected] writes:
>
>>Like, for example, gardening and yard work - yet another activity that
>>has been shown to cause more injuries than cycling! If digging in the
>>garden causes more injuries than cycling, how bad can cycling be?

>
>
> I don't think it's so much the digging that gets people,
> as it is their trying to unclog running lawn mowers :)


Oh no, just when we thought Frank could come up with no more irrelevant
comparisons of risk, he's now come up with gardening. Yep, I can
confidently say that I've bled more from yard work injuries (poked by a
thorn) than from cycling injuries. And this relates to bicycle helmets how?!

Can you imagine Frank getting up in front of the ministers in Ontario
and trying to stop the MHL from going through by explaining how more
people hurt themselves gardening in their yard than bicycling?! They'd
be rolling on the floor laughing, prior to voting for the helmet law.

The way to fight helmet laws is with facts and logic, and the personal
freedom aspect.
 
R

R15757

Guest
Frank K wrote:

>This may be true - but it's hardly pertinent. From what I've seen,
>there is much, much difference between a bike messenger's approach to
>traffic and the approach of, say, an experienced bike >commuter.


Much of the difference you see
comes from the vastly different
experience levels of the two types
of riders. As commuters slowly lose their
innocence over the years they incorporate
more and more courier-style cynicism
about other road users.

>There's variety in both camps, of course. But most of the bike
>commuters I know are the kind of people who almost always sit through
>red lights, signal turns, obey lane markings, etc.


I think you need to open your eyes, cuz most
commuters don't sit through lights.

>The bike messengers I've observed have quite a different philosophy.
>They're more into traffic anarchy. A "no rules" rider will require
>LOTS more skill than a staid and careful rule follower.


By that logic, obeying the law would be the
last thing a beginner should do, if they want to
gain skill that is.

The best messengers use a combination of
basic VHP, and a paranoid-invisible mode
that is completely divorced from consideration
of traffic law or the perceptions of others
as the city is reduced to an ever-changing
grid of vectors and angles.

Commuters learn to see things that way
too eventually if they ride long enough--
thinking in terms of physical potential rather
than cultural expectation. It's all about
gathering responsibility for your own safety
from those strangers around you and keeping
as much of it as possible for yourself.

Experience in traffic means a change in
attitude; the change in handling skill is not
nearly as important. The skill you need is
knowing where to look, where to be, and
why.

>... I think it's more valuable to compare their biking risk
>with their risk in other common activities.
>
>Like, for example, gardening and yard work - yet another activity that
>has been shown to cause more injuries than cycling! If digging in the
>garden causes more injuries than cycling, how bad >can cycling be?


And strolling through the park causes many
more injuries than aggravated assault!
How bad can getting beaten with a hammer be?

Robert
 
J

Just zis Guy, you know?

Guest
On Wed, 02 Feb 2005 16:22:17 GMT, "Steven M. Scharf"
<[email protected]> wrote in message
<[email protected]>:

>Can you imagine Frank getting up in front of the ministers in Ontario
>and trying to stop the MHL from going through by explaining how more
>people hurt themselves gardening in their yard than bicycling?! They'd
>be rolling on the floor laughing, prior to voting for the helmet law.


We don't need to imagine what Frank would say to the legislators,
because he's already been there and done that. For some reason I
can't entirely fathom you seem to think that sniping from the
sidelines gives you a greater insight into political lobbying than
actually doing it, as several of us have over a period of years.

What, precisely, are you doing to stop this law which you claim to
oppose? Other than knocking those who are publicising the failure of
helmet laws to yield even a fraction of the promised benefits, and
some of the reasons why this is so?

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

85% of helmet statistics are made up, 69% of them at CHS, Puget Sound
 
R

R15757

Guest
I wrote:

>...a combination of
>basic VHP...


Sorry that should read VCP.
 
J

Just zis Guy, you know?

Guest
On Wed, 02 Feb 2005 02:01:52 GMT, [email protected] (Bill Z.)
wrote in message <[email protected]>:

[of the 1989 Seattle study]

>> As a study of confounding and biases in a research paper? I can think
>> of no finer example.


>Funny that your side's only argument seems to be to rant about this
>single paper, as you pretty much ignore anything else.


Nice try, Bill, but seriously at odds with the facts.

http://www.cyclehelmets.org/
http://www.cycle-helmets.com/
http://www.chapmancentral.co.uk/
http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/msp/crossPartyGroups/groups/cycle-docs/helmet-legis-commentary.pdf

Loads of context, lots and lots of data from countries all around the
world. And of course, because the zealots keep using the 85% figure
even though everybody - including them - knows it's complete bollocks
- most helmet sceptic sites will have, somewhere, a rebuttal of that
paper. It is not a difficult task, to take it apart. The flaws vary
between glaring and simply obvious.

Of course, if you want to find someone obsessed with the 1989 Seattle
study then you have to follow a helmet zealot around. Someone like
Randy Swart, for example. After all, if the zealots didn't keep
quoting the known wrong 85% figure the Seattle study would have been
long since relegated to the obscurity it so richly deserves. It's
almost as if the real figures are not big enough...

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

85% of helmet statistics are made up, 69% of them at CHS, Puget Sound
 
J

Just zis Guy, you know?

Guest
On Wed, 02 Feb 2005 02:07:08 GMT, [email protected] (Bill Z.)
wrote in message <[email protected]>:

>> >I'm still reasonable certain that if you plotted yearly risk against yearly
>> >mileage for the "average cyclist", the graph would be monotonically
>> >increasing, although with a slope of less than one. I agree that the
>> >hourly or per mile risk would go down.


>> So you say, but as Frank has pointed out the large bicycle clubs - CTC
>> and LAW for example - have produced statistics which show that their
>> members routinely go for many years without sustaining even relatively
>> minor injuries.


>We were talking about the slope, not a claim of a high accident rate.


Were we? I thought you were piling one unproven assertion upon
another. So you have some evidence now do you? Let's hear it.

>> Like I say, both the premises of this argument - the higher crash rate
>> per year and the helmet wearing rate - are speculation, and not from a
>> source I would be inclined to trust without independent verification.


>Absolute nonsense - we have Forester reporting that skill accounts
>for about a factor of 5 reduction in the accident rate (varying
>somewhat from person to person) and we all know people who ride at
>most 10 miles per year versus ones who ride over 5000.


That is, as discussed elsewhere, an estimate. Now give me some hard
figures.

>That tells you that you should control for mileage, and whether
>high mileage cyclists are more likely to use helmets. Funny
>how you want to obscure this point, isn't it, after just ragging
>about T&R's study being "biased". :)


No, I'm perfectly prepared to take all factors into account where
there is evidence to support them. So, your evidence? For both
assertions, the Forrester figure cannot count as evidence because he
gives no basis for the estimate.

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

85% of helmet statistics are made up, 69% of them at CHS, Puget Sound
 
J

Just zis Guy, you know?

Guest
On Wed, 02 Feb 2005 02:08:30 GMT, [email protected] (Bill Z.)
wrote in message <[email protected]>:

>> Forrester's guess may or may not be right.


>He claimed it was a measurement based on accident rates of various
>classes of users.


Did he now. "Various" is not one of the words I find in research
papers very often. Citations?

>> Translation: "Laa laa I'm not listening". I wonder who you think
>> you're fooling?


>Translation - you were being rude and I ignored you. If this was
>the first message I had seen today, your others would have been
>ignored as well.


I notice that you always seem to think I'm being rude right about the
time I start asking for evidence. Funny, that. I notice also that
you still apparently do not have a mirror.

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

85% of helmet statistics are made up, 69% of them at CHS, Puget Sound
 
B

Bill Z.

Guest
"Just zis Guy, you know?" <[email protected]> writes:

> On Wed, 02 Feb 2005 02:01:52 GMT, [email protected] (Bill Z.)
> wrote in message <[email protected]>:
>
> [of the 1989 Seattle study]
>
> >> As a study of confounding and biases in a research paper? I can think
> >> of no finer example.

>
> >Funny that your side's only argument seems to be to rant about this
> >single paper, as you pretty much ignore anything else.

>
> Nice try, Bill, but seriously at odds with the facts.


Try again - your side's argument is *not* a series of URLs you post
now, but what the argument that is being posted by your side of the
discussion *on this newsgroup.* Furthermore, what you *rant* about
are the studies you are *complaining* about.


> http://www.cyclehelmets.org/
> http://www.cycle-helmets.com/
> http://www.chapmancentral.co.uk/
> http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/msp/crossPartyGroups/groups/cycle-docs/helmet-legis-commentary.pdf
>
> Loads of context, lots and lots of data from countries all around the
> world.


As I said, you people rant about T&R's paper as if that is the *only*
paper that ever reported a postive result regarding helmets.

> Of course, if you want to find someone obsessed with the 1989 Seattle
> study then you have to follow a helmet zealot around. Someone like
> Randy Swart, for example. After all, if the zealots didn't keep
> quoting the known wrong 85% figure the Seattle study would have been
> long since relegated to the obscurity it so richly deserves. It's
> almost as if the real figures are not big enough...


If you do a google search on this newsgroup, you'll find that the people
who consistently bring up this 85% figure are all charter members of
the anti-helmet crew.

--
My real name backwards: nemuaZ lliB
 
B

Bill Z.

Guest
"Just zis Guy, you know?" <[email protected]> writes:

> On Wed, 02 Feb 2005 02:07:08 GMT, [email protected] (Bill Z.)
> wrote in message <[email protected]>:
>
> >> >I'm still reasonable certain that if you plotted yearly risk against yearly
> >> >mileage for the "average cyclist", the graph would be monotonically
> >> >increasing, although with a slope of less than one. I agree that the
> >> >hourly or per mile risk would go down.

>
> >> So you say, but as Frank has pointed out the large bicycle clubs - CTC
> >> and LAW for example - have produced statistics which show that their
> >> members routinely go for many years without sustaining even relatively
> >> minor injuries.

>
> >We were talking about the slope, not a claim of a high accident rate.

>
> Were we? I thought you were piling one unproven assertion upon
> another. So you have some evidence now do you? Let's hear it.


What I claimed follows from the fact that accidents are Poisson
distributed, which they have to be. Look up the necessary and
sufficient conditions for that to see why.

<rest of post ignored ... Guy is just ranting and it is a waste
of time.>

--
My real name backwards: nemuaZ lliB
 

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