The CycleChat Helmet Debate Thread

glasgowcyclist

Charming but somewhat feckless
Location
Scotland
We need to prove that cycling isn't as dangerous as it may seem
If someone's claiming that cycling is dangerous then it's for them to prove it not for me to disprove.

If the roads are that dangerous that we are asking(demanding) seperate facilities, how does that portray cycling?
Separated infra shows that cycling is safe but motor traffic is dangerous so has to be kept segregated. Just as we do by generally segregating pedestrians and cars by means of a kerb. Nobody uses that separation to insist that walking is dangerous.

Cycling should be available to anyone not reserved for the few "brave".
We should be building environments where an 8yr old girl can confidently cycle to school with her friends and the elderly can safely choose the bicycle to travel.

Dotting the road network with riders swathed in PPE does nothing for that and ensures cycling as transport is marginalised by local and national government.
 

glasgowcyclist

Charming but somewhat feckless
Location
Scotland
Or as I found out today, "they built that for you lot, use it".
I get that from time to time and my response never varies: "fark off".
 

Milzy

Veteran
These threads just go around in circles forever.
It may be left as free choice in this country but if they implemented it as law, would people still challenge it, posting on these threads and such?
Personally I love a good sportive and we have to wear lids to participate anyway. :/
 

mjr

Comfy armchair to one person & a plank to the next
Do they demand that their facilities, footpaths, be built. And do they demand extra ones alongside the ones already in place?
Yes. The parish council I used to sit on acted upon just such a campaign and leased the land and built a footpath to connect the walking network in a nicer way than the alternative of walking along a stretch of carriageway around a blind bend with T junction.

Bear in mind a bicycle is classified as a road vehicle.
Bear in mind that pedestrians are valid road users as of right - one of the few who don't need a licence to do so - and roads existed long before motor vehicles or bicycles, but like cycling, walking is also being driven off the roads by the sheer number of motorists.
 

MontyVeda

a short-tempered ill-controlled small-minded troll
These threads just go around in circles forever.
It may be left as free choice in this country but if they implemented it as law, would people still challenge it, posting on these threads and such?
Personally I love a good sportive and we have to wear lids to participate anyway. :/
I would. I tend to ignore the laws I don't agree with anyways...
 

classic33

Legendary Member
I belong to two seperate groups, with one common factor. That doing what I'm doing is liable to lead to injury.

We are all in one group, cyclists. The other is a smaller group. In the first I'm often given reminders that I should wear a helmet whilst cycling. Then it's pointed out that helmets can lead to further injuries. Simply by wearing it. Those injuries I'm told will be caused by wearing a helmet, come from one side only. Never has a neurologist told me that wearing one will cause further injury. What do they have to gain by me wearing one, day in day out. They might free up a space in A&E, but they admit they can't be certain of it. These are the same people you may end up seeing/seen by.

The other group, I'm told that wearing one could save me from injury, or lessen some of them. This from neurologists, who I assume they know what they are talking about. The second group, I've to wear one in normal everyday situations. What some are asking should we have to?

One common fact in both groups, at the moment the choice is mine. The odd thing is I'll wear one when cycling, if I want to, but not in day to day activity. I've never been able to say why, just it's my choice. For now in both groups.

With seperate/segragated cycle facilities, the fact that cyclists are asking for them gives the image that cycling is dangerous. With this belief in mind, you'll have folk trying to limit any damage/injury to themselves by buying what they are told will prevent injury. Often that'll be done at the same time they buy a bike for first time use on these on-road cycle facilities. On-road but seperate from them.

At some point even if you use only seperate/segregated cycle facilities, you are going to have get "involved" with other road traffic. Unless of course all your cycling is off-road, and nothing else.
 

mjr

Comfy armchair to one person & a plank to the next
With seperate/segragated cycle facilities, the fact that cyclists are asking for them gives the image that cycling is dangerous. With this belief in mind, you'll have folk trying to limit any damage/injury to themselves by buying what they are told will prevent injury. Often that'll be done at the same time they buy a bike for first time use on these on-road cycle facilities. On-road but seperate from them.
But the obvious contradiction to the seeking-infrastructure-means-danger argument is that countries where people have been pushing for such infrastructure improvements longer and far more dramatically ("stop murdering children!") are also among the countries with the lowest helmet usage rates. Why would seeking improvements here give that image when it hasn't elsewhere? Are the British now a more fearful and cowed people than those in neighbouring countries? Or perhaps the problem might be that hucksters have been incorrectly telling people that helmets will prevent injury (rather than mitigate some while possibly exacerbating others) and our governments have allowed them to get away with that fraud, even supporting it?
 

classic33

Legendary Member
But the obvious contradiction to the seeking-infrastructure-means-danger argument is that countries where people have been pushing for such infrastructure improvements longer and far more dramatically ("stop murdering children!") are also among the countries with the lowest helmet usage rates. Why would seeking improvements here give that image when it hasn't elsewhere? Are the British now a more fearful and cowed people than those in neighbouring countries? Or perhaps the problem might be that hucksters have been incorrectly telling people that helmets will prevent injury (rather than mitigate some while possibly exacerbating others) and our governments have allowed them to get away with that fraud, even supporting it?
The fact that we, as cyclists, are(some of us) demanding segregation on a public highway, helps with the impression that cycling is dangerous. This then has people looking to minimize any damage to themselves, from the outset. For some that's done by helmet usage.

We get to the point where each camp is correct. Which can't be right, can it?

Qualified neurologists have said that helmet usage on a daily basis, something that has been raised on here, may prevent, not stop any injury occurring. Primary and secondary. I can't recall ever having all the other injuries that could be caused by using one, mentioned on here, being passed on to me by them. Which given that it's not a case of "If" but "When" it happens,Wednesday evening being the last time. Why haven't they?
 

snorri

Legendary Member
It may be left as free choice in this country but if they implemented it as law, would people still challenge it, posting on these threads and such?
Personally I love a good sportive and we have to wear lids to participate anyway. :/
Many who consider participation in sportives to be too dangerous for them will wish to continue their own kind of cycling helmetless, and will challenge anyone who calls for changes in the status quo.
 

mjr

Comfy armchair to one person & a plank to the next
The fact that we, as cyclists, are(some of us) demanding segregation on a public highway, helps with the impression that cycling is dangerous.
You can write "the fact" all you like, but my question remains: why would this be a fact in the UK when it has not been in neighbouring countries when cyclists there have demanded actual segregation (cyclists are normally banned from carriageways where there is a cycleway) much more forcefully than UK cyclists ever have?

Qualified neurologists have said that helmet usage on a daily basis, something that has been raised on here, may prevent, not stop any injury occurring. Primary and secondary. I can't recall ever having all the other injuries that could be caused by using one, mentioned on here, being passed on to me by them. Which given that it's not a case of "If" but "When" it happens,Wednesday evening being the last time. Why haven't they?
Well, seeing as you ask, maybe they're bad neurologists only concerned with neurological injuries and not other injuries that they don't have to mop up. As you may remember, chunks of my past are blank gaps to me because of a misadventure with medications prescribed by doctors who I now suspect were more concerned with their speciality than my whole health, so I no longer have the same trust in doctors' opinions that I once used to. As I say often: trust no-one - not even me! Or maybe like the sign by my supervisor's door said: In God We Trust - All Others Bring Data.
 

mjr

Comfy armchair to one person & a plank to the next
Because the current low usage is one of the things that has discouraged UK governments from enacting a helmet law, so each user is effectively voting with their head to take away other cyclists' freedom and hinder cycling becoming mass transport.
Who the hell really cares whether people wear helmets or not? Use one if you want and don't bother about those of us who don't.
 

classic33

Legendary Member
You can write "the fact" all you like, but my question remains: why would this be a fact in the UK when it has not been in neighbouring countries when cyclists there have demanded actual segregation (cyclists are normally banned from carriageways where there is a cycleway) much more forcefully than UK cyclists ever have?


Well, seeing as you ask, maybe they're bad neurologists only concerned with neurological injuries and not other injuries that they don't have to mop up. As you may remember, chunks of my past are blank gaps to me because of a misadventure with medications prescribed by doctors who I now suspect were more concerned with their speciality than my whole health, so I no longer have the same trust in doctors' opinions that I once used to. As I say often: trust no-one - not even me! Or maybe like the sign by my supervisor's door said: In God We Trust - All Others Bring Data.
Why is any mention made of the possibilty of secondary injuries made by one set of people who say I should be wearing one on a daily basis. It'd be in their interests to see that I need to be seen by them as little as possible.

Seldom have I been seen by the same neurologist, as I see for regular treatment, in A&E's. I've had bad ones over the years, but that doesn't stop me trusting the opinions of the rest. Oddly it's the ones that I've trusted that have never questioned my decision on not wearing a helmet on a daily basis. They've respected my opinion, without insisting that they must be right and me wrong.

If we, cyclists, keep on demanding that seperate cycle facilities, segregated from other traffic, what impression are we giving to those who don't cycle? That it's that dangerous we require seperate & segregated facilities?

We wear "specialist" equipment to protect us.

Over 13% of Dutch cyclists, less than 0·1% wear helmets, are hospitalised due to head injury. That's a figure given for cyclists as a whole. Those who wear helmets, and those that don't. Which is correct, they can't all be.
 
Top Bottom