Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner
1 - 20 of 25 Posts

·
Recovering couch patato
Joined
·
14,019 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Watching a Discovery program on Big Big Bikes. Shots of all these dudes and chicks on HUGE motorbikes, jet powered even, horsepower for a bus station worth of peoplemovers, the real deal.
No helmet. Just a cool goatee. From the accent and setting, I'm guessing USA.
What gives? In Australia I think a helmet is mandatory even on a cyclepath ride through the park?

I'm affraid also motorbikes procreate too fast to have the Darwin effect settle this...

(confession : I only use helmets for rides where I would also consider lycra. Sometimes even leav the helmet off for 20miles A to- B's over roads I know well.)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,049 Posts
Cloxxki said:
Watching a Discovery program on Big Big Bikes. Shots of all these dudes and chicks on HUGE motorbikes, jet powered even, horsepower for a bus station worth of peoplemovers, the real deal.
No helmet. Just a cool goatee. From the accent and setting, I'm guessing USA.
What gives? In Australia I think a helmet is mandatory even on a cyclepath ride through the park?

I'm affraid also motorbikes procreate too fast to have the Darwin effect settle this...

(confession : I only use helmets for rides where I would also consider lycra. Sometimes even leav the helmet off for 20miles A to- B's over roads I know well.)
I think it is state law which controls here. There is a helmet requirement in California for motorcyclists.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Quasi nailed it - in the US, each state determines whether or not helmet use is mandatory with motorcycles.

I've been riding motorcycles almost as long as I've been riding bicycles, and in 23+ years I've had exactly one bad motorcycle crash. A full face helmet and Aerostitch suit limited my injuries to a broken thumb and a lot of bruises. Would have lost most of the skin on my face had I not been wearing a helmet...

Ironically, I've only gotten religious about wearing bicycle helmets in the past year. Methinks I've burned through too many of my nine lives.
 

·
Reviewer/Tester
Joined
·
6,176 Posts
Grrr..

Firstly, let me state that I hate helmets.

I rode motorcycles for years without wearing a helmet. The only time I wore one was when racing on the track.

Then the helmet law was brought in and made mandatory to wear one everywhere. I got an exemption at first, but even that was eventually revoked and I had to wear one like everyone else. I hated it, and still do.

I rode bicycles for years without a helmet too. Then they made those compulsory for bicycles as well.

I hate helmets. They are hot and make your head sweat. Unfortunately, here in AU they are compulsory.

I ride without a helmet whenever I can in the bush. I wear one on the way to the trailhead, but stash it in the bush as soon as I get onto the trail.

I have been asked why I don't wear a helmet by other bike riders at times, and I do admit to wearing one sometimes on good downhill runs, but my answer is usually that I personally choose not to wear one if I have a choice.

Does this make me stupid? Irresponsible? I don't know, other people may think so.

All I can say is, it's my personal decision if I choose not to wear one on the trails. Yes...I have bumped my head a few times when not wearing a helmet, but I have whacked it a LOT harder when wearing one, too.

Personally, I will ride without one if I can, I prefer it. Until I am forced to wear one ALL the time in the bush, I will continue to ride without it.

I am NOT saying that it is right for everyone else to do what I do, it has to be a personal decision that you make for yourself.. [until forced to do so by the law].

R.
 

·
Recovering couch patato
Joined
·
14,019 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I think you owe wearing a helmet that enters the trail behind you, being first to the scene when you've cracked your skull on something solid rather than a helmet. Won't be a pretty sight anyway, but finding your corpse won't be much fun for the guy, and it won't improve his cycling experience one bit.
On the motorbike, I think you owe it to the paramedics. In BikeGuy's accident he would have made a mess of the ambulance for sure. I do think it's in a way irresponsible to confront others with the result of not wearing a helmet when most needed.

I had one traffic crash that was bad. A semi-normal commute trip from school, though I was detouring in a bad mood and timetrialing to at least accomplish something that evening. I ran a red light (as usual, bad, I know, and I got fined for that), and from the dead angle behind a small van comes a small car full throtle in fourth. I tried to get out of the way, but he hit my left chainstay with well over 50mph (32mph limit on the intersection), folding up my bike around the nearing traffic sign pole. I had minor scratches, and in this particular crash a helmet was the least I needed. Full DH gear would have been nice for my impact with the pavement. I'm more careful now on commutes.
 

·
Belltown Brazer
Joined
·
693 Posts
Here in the state of Connecticut, USA the law is wacky. It is compulsory to wear a helmet while riding a bike for everyone under 16. As soon as you turn 16 and get your motorcycle license, you can drive the motorcycle helmet-less.

That's political lobbying for you I guess.

B
 

·
Powered by ice cream.
Joined
·
6,359 Posts
I like your reply. It is not the path I have chosen. I had to laugh I am so opposite.

I have actually just converted to a full face helmet for commuting...extreme I know, but I see much higher speeds on the road than I ever do on the trail. If I go down at 40 mph, I want all the protection I can get. Most trail speeds, especially on a rigid bike will be much lower. I still wear a full face on the trail also, ever since an aquaintance became a patient and was missing a bunch of front teeth after a cross country ride in the rocks.

It is indeed hot, but I got used to it. I still need to function bodily to work and support the family. If I were at a different stage of life....single....without small children....empty nest, I might view things differently, but 5 other folks depend on my ability to work daily, and I would be a fool to risk that ability for what is essentially a hobby. I also wear leg and arm armor for cross country rides for the same reason (talk about hot).

I don't own or ride a motorcycle (even though I would like to) for the same reasons.

Helmet laws in general are to protect society from the increased cost on society's resources from injuries sustained by unhelmeted riders. If they die, it cost's relatively little. If a rider lives with a severe brain injury, however, the costs are lifelong and extremely significant. Don't think that the person's personal wealth, or insurance will come close to covering the costs. Almost always, they end up on the government's bankroll. As such, it is the government's perogative to require reasonable precautions (helmets) to avoid such costs if possible....not to mention personal suffering, family suffering, etc.

I think helmets won't usually make a difference in an accident that will be fatal, but can make a significant difference in the disability sustained in an otherwise survivable accident.
 

·
dirty hippy mountainbiker
Joined
·
1,146 Posts
make a deal:

If Rainman and anyone else in the USA or anywhere wants to ride a bicycle or motorcycle w/o a helmet or even drive a car w/o seatbelts, then we don't have to render 1st aide w/o first verifying that they have insurance and/or can pay their own bill.

But it's not just cost. There's a lot of risk involved in rescue. Not to mention liability (in the USA).

It may be a personal choice to wear a helmet, but it's not optional that society deems your life worth saving should your unprotected skull be cracked.

-M
 

·
Reviewer/Tester
Joined
·
6,176 Posts
Correct..I am from AU.

Wearing a helmet : I DO NOT advise anyone to ride or drive without a helmet or seatbelt.

Read that carefully.

All I am saying is: I prefer to ride [sometimes] off road [in the bush] without my helmet.

Thats my decision. Just for me. No one else.

R.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
410 Posts
The cost to society argument is a red herring that can be used to justify most any restriction of liberty. If you want to save money on medicine, make tobacco, alcohol and potato chips illegal and make people wear helmets in cars. Helmets are fine, but bare headed cyclists are the norm in most of the world, and they're not a big social problem.
 

·
Recovering couch patato
Joined
·
14,019 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Enel, muchos respect to you. My commutes are absolutely dead flat. If I cruise 20mph consistently, I had either tailwind or I was going for it. In both cases I mostly wear the helmet. Top speed for most road rides (I don't do the roadie group ride thing) is around 22mph typically. Sometimes 25 when I draft a scooter. My country is very bike-friendly. Most road miles I make lately (I get lazy) is the 21mi to my girlfriend's dorm. Probably 90-95% of that is on 19mph limit roads and cycle paths. No SUV's to evade.

My carbon fullface helmet is very hot, but in the winter I could learn to use it all the time. rainy rides it could even rock.
 

·
Dr Gadget is IN
Joined
·
2,393 Posts
The issue is....

Freedom to do as you wish. Back when I was a kid my stepdad was instrumental in repealing the m/c helmet law here in New Mexico - but he always wears a helmet. He just didn't want the government telling him what to do. It turned out that most of the pro-law types were doctors that only saw the carnage of non wearers whose luck ran out.

I can agree with rainman that m/c helmets are bulky, hot, inconvenient - and I don't wear one around town. Which is where they actually do the most good. Get me out on the highway and I want my wind armor!

Bike helmets, on the other hand are actually comfy and convenient IMHO. But as Cloxxi (sp?) stated, for non-lycra riding I seldom go dig it out. Back when I did some commuting, the bike hat was the mirror mount and got a lot more use.

YMMV, your risks are your own - or should be. My mamma made sure I knew the score, but let me make my own decisions. Sure wish the govt would do the same.
 

·
Squalor
Joined
·
1,573 Posts
slim_pickens said:
The cost to society argument is a red herring that can be used to justify most any restriction of liberty. If you want to save money on medicine, make tobacco, alcohol and potato chips illegal and make people wear helmets in cars. Helmets are fine, but bare headed cyclists are the norm in most of the world, and they're not a big social problem.
WORD!

Nothing else really needs to be said...

And BTW - the argument that one's personal insurance will not cover a major injury and therefore society is left with the burden is crazy. Same argument could be made with cancer or diabetes or any other disease that requires long term, pricey treatment. That is why insurance companies insure a broad range of people...to spread the risk.

LP
 

·
dirty hippy mountainbiker
Joined
·
1,146 Posts
It's not a red herring, becaue you can't just leave someone to sort himself out with a concussion. At most it's a slippery slope.

I go back and fourth on it too. Cause you're partially right. But i have a problem with being obligated to assist someone who is hurt because he/she chose not to wear a cheep, effective and widely availabe safety device. [you can't be adicted to not wearing a helmet, and you aren't compulsively induced to take it off, and it's not a naturally occurring spontanious disease.]

It's sort of similar to the non use of condoms and the contraction of STDs. There are people who say, "that's not for me" in regard to that too.

Sort of similar to free-solo rock climbing. Only that more explicitly puts others at greater risk.

-M
 

·
what a joke
Joined
·
2,279 Posts
Not sure if you have seen this thread but it makes a good argument for wearing a helmet.

Beware....Nasty pics! http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=111566&highlight=helmet

I would like to get a XC full face helmet like the Met Parachute or Casco Viper MX or the Giro that is no longer made.

At gnomefest this year we did a night ride and Cronometro went down hard, he did some serious damage to his body, his helmet was cracked in several places, I hate to think what would have happend to him if he was on his own or without a helmet.
 

·
Powered by ice cream.
Joined
·
6,359 Posts
I use the Giro Switchblade and like it a lot. Not too heavy or hot.

Recently purchased the Pryme AL. Heavier, sturdier, better fitting, but will be hotter for sure. Luckily it's 30's-40's right now. The Pryme will probably be the winter helmet and the Giro for summer as long as it lasts.

Cloxxi: I go down (and up) a few steep hills. Max speeds hit 44 mph for a few seconds, and a sustained 35 mph for a couple minutes. Of course on the way up, I average between 5-7 mph. You have to pay for the speed some how.
 

·
Squalor
Joined
·
1,573 Posts
wolfy said:
It's not a red herring, becaue you can't just leave someone to sort himself out with a concussion. At most it's a slippery slope.

I go back and fourth on it too. Cause you're partially right. But i have a problem with being obligated to assist someone who is hurt because he/she chose not to wear a cheep, effective and widely availabe safety device. [you can't be adicted to not wearing a helmet, and you aren't compulsively induced to take it off, and it's not a naturally occurring spontanious disease.]

It's sort of similar to the non use of condoms and the contraction of STDs. There are people who say, "that's not for me" in regard to that too.

Sort of similar to free-solo rock climbing. Only that more explicitly puts others at greater risk.

-M
Good points M. I especially like your condom analogy. I have never thought of that.

One more thing to think about though. Are we totally disconnecting the responsibility for the accident from the responsibility to wear a helmet?

Let's keep this limited to the trail. I know when I do not weat a helmet on the trail, I do not take any new lines or try hard stuff or ride new trails, usually just out for a cruise on known singletrack. I strongly feel that I can keep my risk of having a major head injury very low. Sometimes I choose to take that risk. This is different in my view from some rider that chooses to bomb around all the time pushing the limits without a helmet. I am not shocked when that rider takes a bad fall, and without a helmet, I would not be shocked at a head injury. Maybe I am fooling myself here and playing with semantics...

Good discussion!

And for the record, I think the bike helmet vs. motorcycle helmet are completely different arguments.

LP
 
1 - 20 of 25 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top