WHY IT MAKES SENSE TO BIKE WITHOUT A HELMET

It is an interesting article and worth the time and thought.  I have read a lot of the linked material over time first and I like how he put this together.  You can click on Helmets in my tags and get a sense of these.  Today, the fact that we make decisions on public policy and relationships based on intuition to be so far beyond a day when we have a discussion.

As I was cycling home the other night I came across a few of my fellow students from … Several of them asked me: Where is your bike helmet?

I get this question a lot. I have made a careful and conscientious choice to not wear a helmet when I’m cycling in urban areas because I strongly believe that it will help improve the overall safety of cycling in the long run.

It’s an unintuitive position to take. People have tried to reason with me that because I’ve spent so much money and time developing my brain, and the cost of an injury would be so devastating, it’s clearly more important to wear a helmet. But if we start looking into the research, there’s a strong argument to be made that wearing a bike helmet may actually increase your risk of injury, and increase the risk of injury of all the cyclists around you.

Senseless – Bicycling Magazine

Take time to read the article at Bicycling Magazine http://www.bicycling.com/senseless/ It was worth the time and the length. Nothing is more important.

helmet-eggBicycle helmets do an outstanding job of keeping our skulls intact in a major crash. But they do almost nothing to prevent concussions and other significant brain injuries—and the very government agency created to protect us is part of the problem. The time has come to demand something safer.

Cycling Is the Top Sport for Head Injuries

In a post today on the NYTimes there was an interesting piece on the nature of cycling and head injuries.  I still object to laws requiring a helmet to be worn at all times and wear my helmet constantly for touring and commuting.  Assumption of risk, and cost, is an issue and not one to be lightly avoided.  And neither are the responsibility to utilize appropriate safety gear.

Cycling Is the Top Sport for Head Injuries

By ANAHAD O’CONNOR

Anahad O’Connor tackles health myths in this NY Times Post.

THE FACTS

Last week, New York City began its long-awaited bicycle sharing program, the largest in the nation. As in many other cities, helmet use was made optional, in part to encourage greater participation.

But a look at the statistics suggests that riding without a helmet is not a decision to make lightly. While football tends to dominate the discussion of sports-related head injuries, research shows that bike accidents account for far more traumatic brain injuries each year.

According to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, cycling accidents played a role in about 86,000 of the 447,000 sports-related head injuries treated in emergency rooms in 2009. Football accounted for 47,000 of those head injuries, and baseball played a role in 38,394.

Cycling was also the leading cause of sports-related head injuries in children under 14, causing 40,272 injuries, roughly double the number related to football (21,878).

Part of the reason is that bicycling is so ubiquitous. But people are also more cavalier about taking precautions, said Dr. Gonzalo Vazquez-Casals, a neuropsychologist at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center in New York.

Bicyclists are also at high risk of colliding with motor vehicles, and when riders are not wearing helmets, such collisions frequently result in serious head injuries. For example, about 90 percent of bicyclists killed in the United States in 2009 were not wearing helmets. A majority were middle-aged men.

In New York City, 75 percent of all fatal bike accidents involve a head injury. In addition to wearing a helmet, another helpful precaution is using a marked bike lane: Streets that have them have 40 percent fewer crashes ending in death or serious injury.

THE BOTTOM LINE

Bike accidents contribute to more sports-related head injuries than any other activity.

Lose The Helmets

From Slashdot this morning.  One imagines that one does understand the comments even before they are posted.  Trot on out there and look at the billion comments if you dare.

This much I see in Portland: whenever folks gather and try to stop any sport or activity they turn to an attempt to require helmets.

Hugh Pickens writes in about the detrimental effects of mandatory helmet laws (at least as applied to adults):

"Elisabeth Rosenthal writes that in the United States the notion that bike helmets promote health and safety by preventing head injuries is taken as pretty near God’s truth but many European health experts have taken a very different view. ‘Yes, there are studies that show that if you fall off a bicycle at a certain speed and hit your head, a helmet can reduce your risk of serious head injury,’ writes Rosenthal. ‘But such falls off bikes are rare — exceedingly so in mature urban cycling systems.’ On the other hand, many researchers say, if you force people to wear helmets, you discourage them from riding bicycles causing more health problems like obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. Bicycling advocates say that the problem with pushing helmets isn’t practicality but that helmets make a basically safe activity seem really dangerous, which makes it harder to develop a safe bicycling network like the one in New York City, where a bike-sharing program is to open next year. The safest biking cities are places like Amsterdam and Copenhagen, where middle-aged commuters are mainstay riders and the fraction of adults in helmets is minuscule. ‘Pushing helmets really kills cycling and bike-sharing in particular because it promotes a sense of danger that just isn’t justified — in fact, cycling has many health benefits,’ says Piet de Jong. ‘Statistically, if we wear helmets for cycling, maybe we should wear helmets when we climb ladders or get into a bath, because there are lots more injuries during those activities.’"

Casqu’en ville: Hats and Helmets


Casqu’en ville gives you the opportunity to wear a small and light helmet made in accordance with international safety standards, coated with carbon, a material known for its sturdiness, resistance and light weight.

The helmets and hats are fitted with snaps. Pick the hat you like, snap it on the helmet and you are good to go.

You can have one helmet and as many hats as you wish to snap on.

According to your mood, or the weather, you can snap a hat, a cotton cap, a vinyl rain hat, chose plain or with a design…

You will be able to match all your outfits.

Bell Helmets Rock Replacing Your Lid

I fell riding the TransAm this summer.  I fell on this curve on Hwy 12 near Lowell, ID.  I was pondering external things.  Essentially after a long day of riding not focusing on the narrow pavement outside the white line quite as thoroughly as I should have.

One of the many things impacted in my minor excursion to the pavement was my helmet.  I have always heard that given an impact of this nature it is best to replace one’s lid and indeed the folks at Bell Bike Helmets have a 30% discount after one has damaged a helmet during a crash.  I await my new XLV replacing my ever so wonderful Triton that gave its life to protect my noggin.

Thanks Bell Bike Helmets, nice job making the first which kept me safe, and for helping me replace a lid and keep safe!