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Discussion Starter #1
I was out riding at Santos in Central Florida this morning and came back to my truck to watch a guy with three friends (1 guy, 2 girls) getting ready for a ride. The guy had a nice set-up and was dressed to the nines, the friends were not decked out but they looked like they were ready for a fun day. The guy had a helmet but his friends did not. My friend and I were a little perturbed by this. We won't let our own friends ride without helmets. I didn't say anything because I didn't want to piss anybody off but I was just wondering what I should do if I encounter the situation again? I don't want anybody getting hurt out there.

Thanks
 

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~Disc~Golf~
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Well, it's their decision ultimately - the dood may have told them already that they're stupid for not wearing one.
 

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Terrain Sculptor
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Anyone over 12 years old doesn't need to be told to wear a helmet. You probably won't get a good response if you tell strangers what to do. Smoking, not wearing seat belts, taunting badgers. You gotta let people make their own mistakes.
 

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Builder of Trails
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Trail Ninja said:
Anyone over 12 years old doesn't need to be told to wear a helmet.
Actually, they might need to be told. They could be used to cruising around their neighborhood without one and not even consider the risks inherent with mountain biking.

I grew up riding bikes without a helmet (either we couldn't afford one or my parents did not even consider it, the latter being most likely.) I didn't even think about wearing a helmet the first time I rode a mountain bike (1988,) but fortunately when i started to ride one frequently (1992) my brother educated me on the subject. :)

Trail Ninja said:
You gotta let people make their own mistakes.
Certainly people will learn from their mistakes.

D
 

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Wierdo
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If they are adults, it's none of your business. They are responsible for themselves, you are responsible for yourself.
 

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Trail Ninja said:
Anyone over 12 years old doesn't need to be told to wear a helmet. You probably won't get a good response if you tell strangers what to do. Smoking, not wearing seat belts, taunting badgers. You gotta let people make their own mistakes.
Sure they, do. They may listen or not, but you have a right to voice your opinion. After enough people let them know, the idea will usually take hold. I have seen it happen.
 

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woodway said:
If they are adults, it's none of your business. They are responsible for themselves, you are responsible for yourself.
If they suffer an injury or a disability, then someone will be responsible for them. The closer you are to them, the more you will be impacted. I am not a proponent of making them do anything, but I have a right to say something and it is in my own best interest to do so.
 

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For all the d-bags who are saying it is none of your business. It is your business when it's a trail that REQUIRES helmets, i.e. Santos. For people who do not know what that means, it means a helmet is not optional. I, and I am sure the vast majority of riders, will be incredibly pissed if we lose trails to idiots who do not follow posted rules, get hurt, and sue. It would be one thing if America wasn't so sue happy; however, we all know that is not the case.
 

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Terrain Sculptor
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Feel free to tell grown people to wear helmets if you want. Just don't expect them to thank you. When you get universal health care in the US you can even use the argument that "I have to pay for your hospital bills with my taxes". When you do, keep in mind that even with a helmet, the risk of injury and therefore hospital bills is high when you are mountain biking.

Telling total strangers to wear a helmet is like telling total strangers to quit smoking or to cross at the lights or to stop texting while walking down the street. All of these can cause injuries or death and all of them are likely to get you a resounding " F*** O** "

Where I live, helmets are required by law on all public roads. There is about 30% compliance. It would never occur to me to stop everyone and tell them to put a helmet on.

The O.P. asked what to do in a situation where you see strangers not wearing helmets even though the thread was titled "make sure your friends...."

Not only do I tell people I'm riding with to wear helmets (I teach MTB to middle school kids) but I also carry extra helmets in case someone forgot theirs.

Aspot13: I don't know the trail but if helmets are mandatory, then the group or government that made them mandatory is responsible for policing the wearing of helmets. If someone sues for injuries caused by not wearing a helmet, I think they'd have a tough time winning if signs are posted. "d-bags"? Did someone piss in your Cheerios this morning?
 

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Just make it clear as well that if they land on their head, you will NOT stop to help them. If they want the risk of head trauma, let them provide their own first aid. I will help anyone I see hurt, unless they prove they just don't care if they do get hurt.

Helmet-less= Organ Donors
 

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Trail Ninja said:
.............................. If someone sues for injuries caused by not wearing a helmet, I think they'd have a tough time winning if signs are posted. "d-bags"? Did someone piss in your Cheerios this morning?
Caution: Hot Coffee. Don't spill in your lap.

Note: I know the coffee was TOO hot, but still......
 

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Builder of Trails
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the-one1 said:
Caution: Hot Coffee. Don't spill in your lap.

Note: I know the coffee was TOO hot, but still......
We studied the McDonald's case in business school. That McDonald's had been cited three times previously by the health inspector for their coffee being too hot. The woman was an idiot to putting hot coffee between her legs, but coffee served at the correct temperature would not have done the damage the cup they gave her did.

Liability is not always easily seen when one does not have all the facts.

D
 

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Builder of Trails
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Trail Ninja said:
Aspot13: I don't know the trail but if helmets are mandatory, then the group or government that made them mandatory is responsible for policing the wearing of helmets.
Regardless of who is legally responsible for policing a helmet policy, if someone shows up at a one of my favorite trails where wearing a helmet is mandatory and he does not have a helmet on, I'll say something. Like the OP stated, I wouldn't want to lose access b/c of this.

Note: None of the trails I ride that I know of require a helmet except for the private trails on ranches, and they DO enforce their rules.

D
 

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trail addict
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ASpot13 said:
For all the d-bags who are saying it is none of your business. It is your business when it's a trail that REQUIRES helmets, i.e. Santos. For people who do not know what that means, it means a helmet is not optional. I, and I am sure the vast majority of riders, will be incredibly pissed if we lose trails to idiots who do not follow posted rules, get hurt, and sue. It would be one thing if America wasn't so sue happy; however, we all know that is not the case.
So if the trail requires helmets, just call the ranger or whoever and maybe they'll get a fine when they return from the ride. Hit them in the wallet and they will either get helmets or ride somewhere else.

No place around me requires helmets, but I feel much better riding with one. My usual comment (mostly to teenagers at on particular spot) is simply, "you ought to have a helmet for this kind of riding, ya know..." These are the same kids I tell to get their front brakes fixed and stop skidding....

Just on a side note... Pennsylvania changed the helmet laws for motorcycles a few years ago and it never ceases to amaze me watching these guys cruising on the highway with their cheeks flapping all over the place.... once in a while I hear the comment that helmets on motorcycles are so dumb and they detract from the riding experience... well I have taken peices of gravel on my knuckles at 50-55 mph and I guarantee that if one of those guys takes a stone or even a large bug in the face at highway speeds they will immediately become a danger to everyone around them.

Sorry, end of rant...
 

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Delirious Tuck
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I typically just say,"Riding without a helmet, very bold," to which the response is something along the lines of,"I'm not doing anything crazy." To which the response is,"you know what we call riders with out a helmet, natural selection at work, you know why?" Give it a brief pause,"you don't want to be that guy/gal." Nuff said.

On the access point, a we had a rider crash into a big yellow gate that was on a road for years, rider hurt themselves, sued the land owner, and now access is at risk b/c they don't want to deal with riders doing stupid things (google west hartford mountian bike lawsuit). Injured riders are a risk for land owners, land owners want to mitigate risks, easy to do if you ban a user group. Lots of helmet less injured riders provides fuel to getting us banned. Don't be selfish.
 

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Terrain Sculptor
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If I thought I was going to lose access to a trail I liked because someone else wasn't wearing a helmet, I'd probably tell strangers on that trail to put helmets on. I may even consider physically forcing them to wear helmets or not ride.

The only place around here that requires helmets off-road is Mt. Washington Alpine Resort. They have patrols, security and lawyers. They can take care of themselves... and they do.

So, I get to go riding and not worry about what other people do. No risk of confrontation from telling someone with an attitude how to live their lives. No nagging feeling that all is not right with the world because someone I've never met before is lidless.

I do all my politics and advocacy here (online) and at meetings with governments and landowners. When I'm on my bike, it's all about me.

I should mention that in British Columbia where I live, access to the back country is practically unlimited for mountain bikers and in the area where I live there is only one tiny little park that is officially recognized as a mountain bike park. Dirt bikes and ATV's have destroyed the trails in that park so very few people try to ride MTB there.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Just to clarify, the girls and the guy were riding NEXT bikes from Wal-Mart. I didn't want to include that because I'm no bike biggot, XC tricycling would be awesome if someone wanted to do it. BUT these people didn't look like too experienced and the guy they were with had a bike worth more than my truck. I guess the real issue here is the guy not looking out for his riding buddies. I just don't want someone getting hurt when a simple and helpful warning could prevent it.

By the way...if someone was injured on the trail I would help them out whether they cared in the beginning or not...I guarantee they will be more prepared the next time, not to mention grateful for the help.
 

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Terrain Sculptor
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In that specific incident I would consider taking the "experienced" rider aside and quietly informing him first, about the requirement for helmets on that trail and second, as nicely as possible something along the lines of:

"You obviously know what you're doing but it looks like your friends could use your help and or advice. They could benefit from your experience."

Then at the first creek, I'd stop and wash that taste out of my mouth.

XC Tricycling? Hmm... When I get this DH wheelchair course done.....
 

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Helmet Wearer
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jake2185 said:
We won't let our own friends ride without helmets.
Good! I wish more people did this. Me and a group of friends have made a helmet rule whereby we won't let one of us ride without a helmet. If I tried to ride without wearing one the other guys would physically stop me from riding until I put one on. Helmet use isn't something that's easy to force on strangers in a country where it isn't law to wear one, but it's good when you make a group rule to wear one and enforce it amongst yourselves. Either you wear a helmet or you're physically prevented from riding. Works well with friends, perhaps not so well with strangers!
 
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