Several cyclists injured in another black ice incident



R

R. Murphy

Guest
Wasn't the Welsh tragedy due to a car skidding into a group of cyclists? -

I think I may make myself unpopular on this one, but this other incident
sounds a little different, - the head injuries suggest a lack of helmet
(although I guess someone would confirm/deny this) - if so, shouldn't some
thought have been given to this under such conditions?

I was out myself on Sunday morning - at this time of year,
driving/walking/or riding I expect that any road that does not look
bone-dry, and which is not out in clear sunshine, will be icy at least in
patches - as some were. Gritted or not there is always a risk of a patch of
ice here and there.


"Matt B" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]
> Unfortunately several cyclists were injured, one seriously, in Chorley on
> Saturday[1] in another ice incident. Also reported on the BBC[2].
>
> There are certain similarities with that dreadful recent incident in
> Wales.
>
> [1] http://www.thisislancashire.co.uk/lancashire/bolton/news/NEWS13.html
> [2] http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/manchester/4661116.stm
>
> --
> Matt B
 
V

vernon

Guest

> Wasn't the Welsh tragedy due to a car skidding into a group of cyclists? -


Yes, the similarities alluded to might include the presence of ice and
cyclists and being covered on the BBC web site ...

> I think I may make myself unpopular on this one, but this other incident
> sounds a little different, - the head injuries suggest a lack of helmet
> (although I guess someone would confirm/deny this) - if so, shouldn't some
> thought have been given to this under such conditions?


I think you are reading too much into the incident. It's possible to get
serious head injuries whilst wearing a helmet.
>
> I was out myself on Sunday morning - at this time of year,
> driving/walking/or riding I expect that any road that does not look
> bone-dry, and which is not out in clear sunshine, will be icy at least in
> patches - as some were. Gritted or not there is always a risk of a patch

of
> ice here and there.


As always, this time of year is dangerous for the unwary road user, cyclist
and motorist alike. It took 200000+ miles of motor cycling and around 20
winters [1] before I finally succumbed to black ice on my motor bike.

[1] I can't believe that I rode through so many winters before deciding
that a car offered superior comfort in wintery conditions.....
 
M

Mark Thompson

Guest
> There are certain similarities with that dreadful recent incident in
> Wales.


Yep. **** happens/people make mistakes. Fortunately 90kg of cyclist+bike
does not have as much potential to cause deaths.
 
D

davek

Guest
R. Murphy wrote:
> the head injuries suggest a lack of helmet
> (although I guess someone would confirm/deny this) - if so, shouldn't some
> thought have been given to this under such conditions?


I came off on a patch of ice on Sunday. Fortunately, I was wearing a
woolly hat. Jolly good hat it is too - North Face thermal insulated
jobby, keeps the head plenty warm in current conditions.

And it saved my life!

Well, I mean, I didn't even hit the top part of my head that it was
covering - only the front part (ie my face) - but obviously it stands to
reason that it saved my life. Or at least prevented serious brain damage.

Allegedly.

d.
 
N

Nick Murphy

Guest
"davek" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]
> R. Murphy wrote:
>> the head injuries suggest a lack of helmet (although I guess someone
>> would confirm/deny this) - if so, shouldn't some thought have been given
>> to this under such conditions?

>
> I came off on a patch of ice on Sunday. Fortunately, I was wearing a
> woolly hat. Jolly good hat it is too - North Face thermal insulated jobby,
> keeps the head plenty warm in current conditions.
>
> And it saved my life!
>
> Well, I mean, I didn't even hit the top part of my head that it was
> covering - only the front part (ie my face) - but obviously it stands to
> reason that it saved my life. Or at least prevented serious brain damage.
>
> Allegedly.
>
> d.


What is it with some of you lot and your antipathy to helmets?

Isn't it logical that if you have something on your head it will cushion the
impact of your skull if it hits a a hard surface, however, miniimal that
effect might be if you're going at speed.

A couple of years ago I came off my bike and my head hit the road. I know
that if I hadn't been wearing a helmet it would have been my skull which
took the impact.

Wearing a helmet doesn't make me feel invincible or less wary of stupid
drivers - it's just a sensible precaution which stacks the odds slightly in
your favour if the wrost happens.

Nick M
 
M

Mark McNeill

Guest
Response to Nick Murphy:
> What is it with some of you lot and your antipathy to helmets?
>
> Isn't it logical that if you have something on your head it will cushion the
> impact of your skull if it hits a a hard surface, however, miniimal that
> effect might be if you're going at speed.


For me, it's a combination of cycling not being a particularly dangerous
occupation - after all, although helmets may as you say provide some
low-level protection, I don't wear one when I'm walking in London - and
the equally logical point that helmets may do more harm than good. I've
come off the bike three times in my adult life, without hitting my head
once: twice, my head came close to hitting the road, such that if I'd
been wearing a helmet I might have been injured (conceivably seriously
injured, if I'd suffered a rotational injury). So should I have been
wearing a helmet or not?

It seems to me that the best way - although not perfect, by any means -
of seeing if helmets do more good than harm is to look at what
statistics are available. As far as we can see, helmet-wearing has no
strong effect on casualty rates: end of story, as far as I'm concerned,
unless better evidence appears.

Auto sig generator is on the ball, I see. ;-)

--
Mark, UK
"For every complex problem, there is a solution that is simple, neat,
and wrong."
 
T

Tony Raven

Guest
Nick Murphy wrote:
>
> Wearing a helmet doesn't make me feel invincible or less wary of stupid
> drivers - it's just a sensible precaution which stacks the odds slightly in
> your favour if the wrost happens.
>


Except the most recent and thorough study of the UK data concluded

“The conclusion cannot be avoided that there is no evidence from the
benchmark dataset in the UK that helmets have had a marked safety
benefit at the population level for road using pedal cyclists”
Traffic Injury Prevention. 2005; 6: 127-134

Plus my conclusion since stopping wearing a helmet is that regardless of
any change in my own behaviour, there is a noticeable change in the
behaviour of motorists who treat me with more care and caution when I
don't wear a helmet. YMMV


--
Tony

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

Tony Raven

Guest
davek wrote:
>
> I came off on a patch of ice on Sunday. Fortunately, I was wearing a
> woolly hat. Jolly good hat it is too - North Face thermal insulated
> jobby, keeps the head plenty warm in current conditions.
>
> And it saved my life!
>
> Well, I mean, I didn't even hit the top part of my head that it was
> covering - only the front part (ie my face) - but obviously it stands to
> reason that it saved my life. Or at least prevented serious brain damage.
>


If you had worn a full face balaclava it would have saved you from face
injuries too ;-)


--
Tony

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

Mark Tranchant

Guest
R. Murphy wrote:

> I think I may make myself unpopular on this one, but this other incident
> sounds a little different, - the head injuries suggest a lack of helmet
> (although I guess someone would confirm/deny this) - if so, shouldn't some
> thought have been given to this under such conditions?


I'm very surprised the press didn't say either way. If he had not been
wearing a helmet, I would have expected the reports to highlight the
shocking fact that someone could partake in the clearly suicidal pastime
of cycling without one.

--
Mark.
http://tranchant.plus.com/
 
J

John B

Guest
Nick Murphy wrote:

>
> What is it with some of you lot and your antipathy to helmets?
>
> Isn't it logical that if you have something on your head it will cushion the
> impact of your skull if it hits a a hard surface, however, miniimal that
> effect might be if you're going at speed.
>
> A couple of years ago I came off my bike and my head hit the road. I know
> that if I hadn't been wearing a helmet it would have been my skull which
> took the impact.


> Wearing a helmet doesn't make me feel invincible or less wary of stupid
> drivers - it's just a sensible precaution which stacks the odds slightly in
> your favour if the wrost happens.


A couple of weeks ago I locked up the bike, then walked towards my local
grocers - and slipped. I hadn't seen the patch of ice. I fell, grazed my
knuckles then cracked the back of my head on a steel bollard. I wasn't killed
but a bit of a bump came up.

The same could quite easily happen to anyone - includiing your good self.
I suggest you wear a helmet when out walking.

John B
 
R

Richard

Guest
Nick Murphy wrote:

> What is it with some of you lot and your antipathy to helmets?


The scientific evidence that shows that helmet wearing may prevent some
minor injuries (eg scrapes, bruises) but does not prevent, and may even
cause, major injuries (eg those that cause serious brain damage)

> Isn't it logical that if you have something on your head it will cushion the
> impact of your skull if it hits a a hard surface, however, miniimal that
> effect might be if you're going at speed.


Yes; it's therefore logical to wear a thick sheet of cardboard under
your shirt if you think you may be shot at, since the cardboard will
cushion the impact of the bullet, however minimal that effect might be.
Right?

Isn't it also logical that wearing a device that increases the mass and
size of your head, and the chance of it being twisted sideway, will
increase the chance of your head+helmet hitting something and increase
the chance of your head being rotated sharply, a mechanism that is known
to cause brain damage?

> A couple of years ago I came off my bike and my head hit the road. I know
> that if I hadn't been wearing a helmet it would have been my skull which
> took the impact.


A couple of years ago I came off my bike and my unhelmeted head hit the
road. I was fine, barring a few grazes on my forehead.

> Wearing a helmet doesn't make me feel invincible or less wary of stupid
> drivers - it's just a sensible precaution which stacks the odds slightly in
> your favour if the wrost happens.


Not according to the evidence. Don't take my word for it - go to
www.cyclehelmets.org, a rather good meta-collection of papers on the
subject, and read them. Then make up your mind based on the evidence.

R.
 
R

Richard

Guest
John B wrote:

> I suggest you wear a helmet when out walking.


And driving - pedestrians and car occupants are at more risk of head
injuries than cyclists.

R.
 
LSMike wrote:
> Nick Murphy wrote:
>
> <Snip>
> If you'd like to learn more, take a read of this excellent site:
>
> http://www.cyclehelmets.org/
>
> And this Scottish Parliament cross-party cycling group report,
> particularly the commentary, which IMO is very well balanced:
>
> http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/msp/crossPartyGroups/groups/cpg-cycle.htm
>
> <snip>


LSMike: Thanks for posting that scottish parliament link. I ride to
work daily in Edinburgh, and lurk here more or less daily; but had not
come across that link before...

A good synopsis for those we know who won't read reams... recommended.

M.
 
L

LSMike

Guest
Tony Raven wrote:

> Plus my conclusion since stopping wearing a helmet is that regardless of
> any change in my own behaviour, there is a noticeable change in the
> behaviour of motorists who treat me with more care and caution when I
> don't wear a helmet. YMMV
>


I'll second that, I've also noticed this. In fact that's reminded me
that the last incident I had with a stupid and careless overtaking
manouver by a cager was when I wore a helmet. Only to save me carrying
it, mind, since I have to use it for skating lessons and I was riding
back from one.
 
S

Simon Brooke

Guest
in message <[email protected]>, Nick
Murphy ('[email protected]') wrote:

> What is it with some of you lot and your antipathy to helmets?
>
> Isn't it logical that if you have something on your head it will
> cushion the impact of your skull if it hits a a hard surface, however,
> miniimal that effect might be if you're going at speed.


You'd think so, wouldn't you? Unfortunately, the evidence (which
admittedly is complex and hard to interpret) doesn't seem to show this.
Cyclists who wear helmets are very slightly /more/ (not /less/) likely
to be killed or seriously injured, world wide. It's much, much safer to
ride a bike in Holland, for example, where very few cyclists wear
helmets, than in the US where many more cyclists do. Of course this is
not cause and effect - probably just the opposite.

But because of the way impacts and injuries scale, the protection offered
by a helmet at normal road speeds is very, very small indeed. Many of us
who have studied the evidence still wear helmets when riding off road.
Some of us still wear helmets when riding on road. But in reality they
will save you from nothing more than minor cuts and bruises.

The antipathy, though, is not to helmets as such - it's to people who
have exaggerated belief in their utility. If you put your computer in a
box, surrounded it with 1.5cm of polystyrene foam, and put it out in the
middle of the road for a car to hit at 30mph, would you expect it to
work afterwards?

--
[email protected] (Simon Brooke) http://www.jasmine.org.uk/~simon/

;; 99% of browsers can't run ActiveX controls. Unfortunately
;; 99% of users are using the 1% of browsers that can...
[seen on /. 08:04:02]
 
M

MartinM

Guest
LSMike wrote:

To be honest
> I'm also guilty of this - I don't play inline hockey without a helmet
> and other padding.


but is that because you have to?

to answer the (near) OP there is antipathy to helmets becuase they are
used (like cycling lanes) by non-cyclists as a means to try to erode
our right to ride on the road by making it appear dangerous not to do
so, when the danger is usually from other road users. They are also
used as a misinformed cure -all for a variety of perceived cycling
dangers (viz the Lords debate last week). Having said that, I wear one.
 
B

Bronzie

Guest
Purely speaking from my own experience, I have come off my bike on ice
at around 20mph (that'll teach me for touching my front brake) whilst
riding in a group. My injuries were minor, and fortunately everyone
else not only managed to stay upright, but also managed to avoid me
sliding / lying in the middle of the road.

I did hit my head on the road with sufficient force to split the
polystyrene of the helmet I had on, although the helmet remained in
once piece. I still had a good size bump come up on my temple, and
quite a headache for the rest of the day. I can't say what state I
would have been in if I wasn't wearing a helmet, but I'm very glad I
was. It seems reasonable enough to me that if the impact was
sufficient to split my helmet, my head would have been far more likely
to have been injured if the helmet hadn't already absorbed some of the
impact.

True, a helmet is very unlikely to offer any protection when in
collision with a vehicle, but this is not the situation we are
discussing here. When riding an upright bike on icy roads (as I was
again on Saturday morning) *especially* when riding in a group, it
seems common sense to me to wear a helmet. But that's my choice and I
wouldn't dream of criticising someone who wasn't wearing one - that's
their choice and I'll respect it.

Ta
Bronzie
 
M

Mark Thompson

Guest
> was. It seems reasonable enough to me that if the impact was
> sufficient to split my helmet, my head would have been far more likely
> to have been injured if the helmet hadn't already absorbed some of the
> impact.


The split shows that it didn't absorb a lot of energy. They absorb it by
compressing. When they fail they crack, absorbing almost no energy. Check
to see if any of the polystyrene is squashed. If it is the hat did a
partial job. If not, it didn't.
 

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