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(The New York Times)   Some cities are now encouraging people to ride bikes without wearing a helmet, because brain damage makes everything more fun and potato   (nytimes.com) divider line 215
    More: Stupid, prices, no pressure, docking station, potatoes, National Highway  
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8949 clicks; posted to Main » on 04 Oct 2012 at 8:36 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-10-04 10:14:59 AM

mochunk:

They are absolutely right, people will just not ride if you require it. They don't want to mess up their hair.


Ironic, isn't it, that one of the arguments in favour of helmets is that you can have an open-lid casket.

Extruded grey matter and skull chunks...it's Dippity Don't.

To be honest with all you Live Free And Die types, it's of little consequence to me if you want to get rid of helmets and seatbelts because your tinfoil headbands buzz with paranoia over the nanny state. Physics offers the same Darwin Award to everyone. It's all meat moving at speed. What holds together better when flung from a moving car: ground hamburger on a styrofoam tray or a sausage in a casing.

Take your time here.
 
2012-10-04 10:15:19 AM
I've been down on bicycles with and without helmets. Wear a helmet.
 
2012-10-04 10:15:24 AM

The Wizard of Frobozz: [i.imgur.com image 267x400]

You see?! No helmet! You've all been convinced you don't need a helmet on a ladder. And sure, 99% of the time you won't fall, but that 1 time you do and hit your head on the hard floor, you'll be sorry!

MANDATE LADDER HELMETS NOW!


It's both funnier and sadder when you are familiar with government safety regulations, which that guy is in violation of.
 
2012-10-04 10:16:21 AM
Having grown up once upon a time, I think anyone over age of 8 6 wearing a helmet looks silly. Except for racers or the previously brain damaged.
 
2012-10-04 10:17:14 AM

SniperJoe: Basically, the premise here is that helmets make people not want to bike and the city leaders are saying that the whole point of helmets is to prevent head injuries due to high speed collisions, which they state are rare in urban environments. As someone who HAS had a high-speed bicycle accident, I kindly tell those leaders to go pound sand. My helmet was cracked completely through and I didn't even get a concussion. Without it, I probably would at best, have serious brain injuries.


What? No one forces ANYONE to not wear a helmet.
 
2012-10-04 10:18:14 AM
I rode bikes a lot as a kid, never had a helmet, never saw or heard mention of a helmet.

I walked to school, too, a mile or so each way, in inner-city Detroit.

What has changed? Kids have to be wrapped in bubble-pack now, and delivered and picked up everywhere.
 
2012-10-04 10:18:49 AM

The Wizard of Frobozz: [i.imgur.com image 267x400]

You see?! No helmet! You've all been convinced you don't need a helmet on a ladder. And sure, 99% of the time you won't fall, but that 1 time you do and hit your head on the hard floor, you'll be sorry!

MANDATE LADDER HELMETS NOW!



Well, you've convinced me. I'm going to retro-fit all my ladders when I get home tonight.
i1060.photobucket.com
 
2012-10-04 10:19:36 AM

dumbobruni: thornhill: Sybarite: Bike sharing program in New York? Yeah, good luck with that.

What a typical knee jerk American response.

Parisian streets and traffic are far worse than NYC, and yet bike share works quite well there (you haven't experienced gridlock during rush hour until you've witnessed some jackass getting stuck in the middle of a 6 way intersection).

There's a really simple reason why urban biking is so much more prevalent in European cities and why the bikes can function tandem with cars: enforcement of traffic laws for both cars and bikers.

A lot of European cities have street lights for bikes (Manhattan has several of these along Broadway). This helps to condition bikers to comply with the law, specifically not running reds. The only bikers who run reds and stop lights in Europe are American tourists. On the car side, in many places they must always yield to bikers, and its enforced.

bullshiat.

I take it that you've never stopped for a red light in Paris and been cursed at by French people for stopping. or have had to jump out of bike paths due to Parisian mothers using bike lanes for their strollers.

also, it is generally not possible for Velib to be used by American tourists. you need a card chip on your credit card for it to work, and most Americans don't have that. they take bike tours instead, and if their guide is having them go through red lights, is it the tourists' fault?


1. The whole chip card issue was solved like two or three years ago by allowing people to pay online. Just go to the Velib website and you can purchase 1 and 7 day rentals. They e-mail you pin that you enter in at the kiosk. You can also pay with a Navigo pass that tourists can buy.

2. The French and most, if not all Europeans chide any non-biker in a bike lane.
 
2012-10-04 10:19:40 AM

SmellsLikePoo: G.I.R.B.: /You will note I do not differentiate between bicycle and motorcycle riders. Why? Not surrounded by metal or restrained inside said metal box.

How is this different than being a pedestrian?

[threeblindwives.files.wordpress.com image 485x362]
G.I.R.B. heads out for an afternoon of fun


Exactly my point, with a picture, so everyone can understand it, or at least relate to it.
 
2012-10-04 10:20:12 AM

Public Savant: CruJones: Wast there a study on Fark saying that helmets can cause more head injuries? Yes, they can save you from nasty injuries, but they can cause some as well. I think it was because a helmet makes your head 25% bigger, thus more prone to hitting things your bare head would have missed.

I think you mean neck injuries.
But yeah, I don't want to put on a helmet either. Why protect the brain, if your neck can break break as a result?

It seems as if there are three types of cyclists who wear helmets:

1) The insecure ones who should probably have their own lane - they wobble and scare easily.

2) The 'I'm invincible now - look at my helmet!'-crowd. They are assholes and their actions reflect it, whether it be texting or going the wrong way.

3) The sensible herd animal, who follows the rules and aren't being a menace in some way. Unfortunately, these have a very short halflife and will quickly turn into either 1) or 2) depending on their level of confidence.


I think you forgot

4) Those of us who mostly wear a helmet because our girlfriend will give us hell if we don't, but follow all the same laws cars do, are perfectly confident on your bikes, and still get run off the road by assholes who think that risking our life is worth them getting where they're going twenty second faster.

I did have a scare last night biking home, why do you ask?
 
2012-10-04 10:20:36 AM

Inflatable Rhetoric: SmellsLikePoo: G.I.R.B.: /You will note I do not differentiate between bicycle and motorcycle riders. Why? Not surrounded by metal or restrained inside said metal box.

How is this different than being a pedestrian?

[threeblindwives.files.wordpress.com image 485x362]
G.I.R.B. heads out for an afternoon of fun

Exactly my point, with a picture, so everyone can understand it, or at least relate to it.


PS I rollerblade with knee pads and wrist guards. No helmet.
 
2012-10-04 10:22:48 AM

dumbobruni: the system cannot tell if the bike returns damaged. you only get charged if you fail to return the bicycle.

also, the charge does not offset the cost of a bike replacement. the bike itself costs 400 euros, but the charge for not returning it is just 150.



Hmm... yeah, I guess I was thinking the next customers would balk at using the damaged bike, and eventually it would be noticed by vélib employees, but then the chain-of-custody is broken ("who's to say the bike wasn't damaged in situ by less adventurous vandals", the vélibe-extreme-er might say in his defense).

The no-return charge is odd, though. I doubt any customers would raise a fuss over a punitive no-return charge (say, 500 euros), since only outlaws would steal a vélib bike, so I'm surprised they set it so low. Who would want to steal an absurdly heavy, low-top-speed, somewhat ugly bicycle is a different matter...
 
2012-10-04 10:24:32 AM

Litig8r: I've always worn a helmet (full face) when riding a motorcycle, and I've always worn a helmet when riding a bicycle.

Speed or environment don't really factor into the decision. Helmets are, for the most part, designed to protect the head from the impact that would occur if the cyclist were to fall over sideways -- approximately a 13 mph impact of the head on the ground. The speed at which your head hits pavement doesn't vary with the speed at which you're biking. At 30 mph your head is still going to hit the ground at about the same 13 mph if you crash (and don't hit something else along the way -- a car, tree, etc) -- as it would if you were cruising along at 5 mph. Given as much, if you're into the whole helmet thing, you really ought to be wearing one anytime there's a reasonable possibility of a crash.


this.

unless you can break your fall (not impossible but not easy on a bike), your head is vulnerable regardless of speed.
 
2012-10-04 10:24:33 AM

dumbobruni: NYC's shared bicycle system is too expensive.

if you want to do a 2 hour bike ride, you need a $10 24-hour pass, plus $13 in overtime fees.

if you have an annual membership, the $10 fee is waived, but overtime charges are not, just reduced somewhat ($9 for a 2 hour ride)


The NYC system is meant to be an alternative to taxi, subway or really long walk.

The fee structure is to discourage people from taking the bikes out for two hours for a joy ride and hogging them. If you want to use a bike for several hours, go to one of the many rental places near any of the large parks.
 
2012-10-04 10:24:38 AM
I don't think helmets should be required by law. for the most part, they're probably a great safety idea. but, I don't care.

first off, I am not a bike rider for exercise. I bike slowly, just to get around for fun, usually during a time when traveling by car is complicated and I plan on drinking too much. when I bike during carnivale or other festivals, a lot of automobile traffic is banned or seriously impeded.

finally, new orleans is very bike friendly. there are dedicated bike lanes downtown (not to mention, the traffic is uniformly slow). in other areas, there are side streets no one uses (and when they do, they can't go fast, because the poor quality of the streets is a natural speed deterrent), there are extremely large lanes, perpetually slow traffic, bike friendly medians, bike paths off the street, and other bike friendly coincidences and contrivances. if you know the city you can plot out a path to get wherever you want to go that offers little exposure to automobile traffic.
 
2012-10-04 10:24:59 AM
piss off nanny state
 
2012-10-04 10:25:28 AM

Loomy: give me doughnuts: The only cycling accident I had as an adult (nobody wore helmets on bikes when I was a kid) resulted in ligament damage and broken bones in my wrists. At no point did my head impact on the ground. The only reason my helmet got scraped up was because it was hanging from my handlebars, and the bike landed on it.


I've never quite understood the 'helmet hanging from handlebars' behaviour. Is it because the cycling one is currently engaged in isn't quite dangerous enough to warrant a helmet, but may warrant it later? Do they think they'll be able to slip it on sneakily enough after they spot the cops that they won't be caught anyway (in a place with helmet laws, obviously)? I just don't get it.


dangerous cycling? If cycling is so dangerous, it should be banned.

Of course you don't get it. Forget the helmet, you have nothing for it to protect.
 
2012-10-04 10:25:40 AM
I had someone open a car door into me on my bike. Luckily didn't crash into it, but it reinforced why I wear the helmet. It's not always about what I do, but what others do that I can't predict.
 
2012-10-04 10:25:54 AM

pravetz8c: sheep are told to wear a helmet and sheep wear it. i saw a grown up man on roller skates wearing a helmet the other day. Not sure what the danger was.


By all means don't wear one. Just don't have the same insurance company as me nor use some sort of public insurance, and it's all good. Also, don't brain out near me or my family. No one wants to see that shiat.
 
2012-10-04 10:27:46 AM

wingding: piss off nanny state


Exactly.
 
2012-10-04 10:29:43 AM
Okay, everyone who doesn't want to wear a helmet, tell me why not. Not something about "The GOVERNMENT CAN'T TELL ME WHAT TO DO!" but what's wrong with it.
 
2012-10-04 10:34:22 AM

I May Be Crazy But...: I think you forgot

4) Those of us who mostly wear a helmet because our girlfriend will give us hell if we don't, but follow all the same laws cars do, are perfectly confident on your bikes, and still get run off the road by assholes who think that risking our life is worth them getting where they're going twenty second faster.

I did have a scare last night biking home, why do you ask?


Also, THIS.

/Had a scare this morning myself. had to dive off the road to avoid a front collision with an idiot on the wrong side of the road.
 
2012-10-04 10:36:03 AM
I don't wear a helmet, not because it makes you look like you can count to potato, but just because.
 
2012-10-04 10:37:27 AM

thornhill: Sybarite: Bike sharing program in New York? Yeah, good luck with that.

What a typical knee jerk American response.



So typical that Boston and DC already have bike sharing programs?
 
2012-10-04 10:38:28 AM
Just scanned an article that said that wearing helmets helps in such few cases as to be useless/a roll of the dice.

I surprised we don't see runners wearing them, after all you can stumble and bang your head running, too.
 
2012-10-04 10:38:42 AM

Sybarite: fireclown: Sybarite: Bike sharing program in New York? Yeah, good luck with that.

Not so sure. The one in London seems to work OK.

Paris Bike-Sharing System Succumbing to Vandals

"Of the 15,000 bicycles originally disbursed for the program, more than half have disappeared, reports the BBC, presumed to be stolen. Some Velib customers have even taking to filming their Velib (mis)adventures and posting the destruction of the bikes on video-sharing sites like YouTube (here's one). The practice apparently even has its own catchy nickname: "Velib extreme."

Nearly all of the original bikes have been replaced. At an estimated cost of roughly $500 each, the cost for replacing the entire fleet of 20,000 bikes would run about $10 million."


For New York I'm going to ballpark it and say multiply by a factor of about ten.


Why? London has a lot more theft than NYC.
 
2012-10-04 10:40:14 AM

dumbobruni: Loomy: Sybarite: fireclown: Sybarite: Bike sharing program in New York? Yeah, good luck with that.

Not so sure. The one in London seems to work OK.

Paris Bike-Sharing System Succumbing to Vandals

"Of the 15,000 bicycles originally disbursed for the program, more than half have disappeared, reports the BBC, presumed to be stolen. Some Velib customers have even taking to filming their Velib (mis)adventures and posting the destruction of the bikes on video-sharing sites like YouTube (here's one). The practice apparently even has its own catchy nickname: "Velib extreme."

Nearly all of the original bikes have been replaced. At an estimated cost of roughly $500 each, the cost for replacing the entire fleet of 20,000 bikes would run about $10 million."

For New York I'm going to ballpark it and say multiply by a factor of about ten.


I guess I don't understand how 'vandals' can get away with that. Is the rental system not tied to a credit card? I would assume that if a bike is returned severely damaged, or just not returned at all, the repair/replacement cost is billed to the card.

On a different note, I wonder if the $1-2M per year it takes to repair the bikes is offset by the reduced need to increase capacity in the Metro. Maybe the vélib customers are so few it doesn't matter, but it's a thought...

the system cannot tell if the bike returns damaged. you only get charged if you fail to return the bicycle.

also, the charge does not offset the cost of a bike replacement. the bike itself costs 400 euros, but the charge for not returning it is just 150.


In the NY system it will be $1000 for not returning a bicycle.
 
2012-10-04 10:41:02 AM

Edward Rooney Dean of Students: /Had a scare this morning myself. had to dive off the road to avoid a front collision with an idiot on the wrong side of the road.


Ooh, that's good.

Best I've had is some guy coming out of a gas station who wasn't looking. It looked more impressive than it was because I decided that a flying leap over my own handlebars was preferable to being run over like he did to my bike. I don't think he's normally a bad or vicious driver, but that he'd had a really long day - he was just staring at me and stammering while I dragged my bike out from under his car. I ended up making sure he was okay instead of he other way around.
 
2012-10-04 10:44:25 AM

douchebag/hater: Just scanned an article that said that wearing helmets helps in such few cases as to be useless/a roll of the dice.

I surprised we don't see runners wearing them, after all you can stumble and bang your head running, too.


And something could fall on you while you're watching TV, too. Or sleeping.
 
2012-10-04 10:44:38 AM

douchebag/hater: Just scanned an article that said that wearing helmets helps in such few cases as to be useless/a roll of the dice.

I surprised we don't see runners wearing them, after all you can stumble and bang your head running, too.


SHHHHHHHHHH!
 
2012-10-04 10:47:22 AM

douchebag/hater: I surprised we don't see runners wearing them,


Here's how you sell it to 'em if you want to. Don't tell them it's to protect their head, tell them it helps their aerodynamics.
 
2012-10-04 10:47:38 AM

Moopy Mac: thornhill: Sybarite: Bike sharing program in New York? Yeah, good luck with that.

What a typical knee jerk American response.



So typical that Boston and DC already have bike sharing programs?


Typical in the sense that is so special that no outside idea could ever work here.
 
2012-10-04 10:53:25 AM

Inflatable Rhetoric: douchebag/hater: Just scanned an article that said that wearing helmets helps in such few cases as to be useless/a roll of the dice.

I surprised we don't see runners wearing them, after all you can stumble and bang your head running, too.

And something could fall on you while you're watching TV, too. Or sleeping.


Or on a ladder.
 
2012-10-04 10:54:03 AM

sodomizer: orclover: Would you rather people exercise? or would you rather a smaller number of people not risk brain injury?

Death to the nanny state. There are too many rules and regulations that make everything unfun. So we'll have a few extra potatoes; someone has to watch daytime TV.


Those rules and regulations also give the dumber people the idea that nothing can hurt them because the government takes care of all that. Then they do get hurt and they sue.
 
2012-10-04 10:57:01 AM
I don't really understand. When I put my helmet on, it takes about a second and I don't really notice it being on my head after that. Do you people have some sort of fancy Steampunk helmet that weighs fifty pounds and takes half an hour and a team of three to get on and off? If not, how is a helmet possibly enough of an inconvenience to spend your time whining about?
 
2012-10-04 10:58:23 AM

dumbobruni: also, the charge does not offset the cost of a bike replacement. the bike itself costs 400 euros, but the charge for not returning it is just 150.


400E? That's what, $450 US? Snazzy. The ones in the UK can't be worth near that. They're lousy bikes, built like tanks. The idea is that nobody would want to steal them.
 
2012-10-04 10:58:36 AM
I wear a helmet when riding singletrack and during road rides, but almost never when riding with my kids around the block or a quick trip to 7-11. I know how to fall with some grace while going 5-10mph, not so much when going 20 on a singletrack or 30 on the road, or after being hit by a car. Just be sensible fer farks sake.

/ok, FINE! 12-15mph on singletrack, 20-25mph on the road.
//...nitpickers
 
2012-10-04 10:59:03 AM

Chameleon: I don't really understand. When I put my helmet on, it takes about a second and I don't really notice it being on my head after that. Do you people have some sort of fancy Steampunk helmet that weighs fifty pounds and takes half an hour and a team of three to get on and off? If not, how is a helmet possibly enough of an inconvenience to spend your time whining about?


I don't whine about it.
 
2012-10-04 11:00:24 AM

Chameleon: If not, how is a helmet possibly enough of an inconvenience to spend your time whining about?


Good question.
 
2012-10-04 11:02:26 AM

SniperJoe: Basically, the premise here is that helmets make people not want to bike and the city leaders are saying that the whole point of helmets is to prevent head injuries due to high speed collisions, which they state are rare in urban environments. As someone who HAS had a high-speed bicycle accident, I kindly tell those leaders to go pound sand. My helmet was cracked completely through and I didn't even get a concussion. Without it, I probably would at best, have serious brain injuries.


Having been in two bike wrecks, one with and one without a helmet, and having my dad, who was wearing a helmet, sit in the hospital for 3 days recuperating from a major hit to the head after wrecking on his bike I can honestly say that anyone who rides a bike (motorized or not) without a helmet is foolish.

I have not ever talked to anyone who has survived a wreck while wearing a helmet that actually said "without this helmet I would have been the same as before" but I have heard from, and seen, plenty of people that regret not wearing a helmet.

Head injuries are serious business and a simple measure to help prevent them is to wear a helmet. Honestly, I don't see a problem with helmet laws whether on bicycles or motorcycles. Unless you like to count to potato.w
 
2012-10-04 11:03:30 AM

Chameleon: I don't really understand. When I put my helmet on, it takes about a second and I don't really notice it being on my head after that. Do you people have some sort of fancy Steampunk helmet that weighs fifty pounds and takes half an hour and a team of three to get on and off? If not, how is a helmet possibly enough of an inconvenience to spend your time whining about?


If I skated in traffic, I'd be more concerned.
Actually, I would just quit.
 
2012-10-04 11:04:46 AM
 
2012-10-04 11:22:14 AM
I don't care how I look, I've hit my head a little just falling while getting used to a new set of clip in pedals. Also, I'm an idiot and like to ride my mtb wherever, and usually about 20ish mph. Usually uneventful, but sometimes beavers wandering around or a good sized confused few point buck standing on the path, or those damn unseen obstacles when off of the path. Hell it feels weird sans helmet just wheeling around the yard after working on the bike.
 
2012-10-04 11:25:52 AM
But if everyone starts wearing Safety Helmets, where will we get the "donated organs" for transplants? Won't somebody thnik of the Kidneys?
 
2012-10-04 11:26:03 AM
okey ill put it the way an OT said it to me...

She didn't support kids wearing a helmet while riding. She has said that accidents that would have killed on impact now become vegetable for life/ pain for life accidents.

Just sayin...

never wore one and neither do my kids. learn how to do it right and dont go high speed
 
2012-10-04 11:29:51 AM
Valiente Smartest
Funniest
2012-10-04 10:14:59 AM


mochunk:

They are absolutely right, people will just not ride if you require it. They don't want to mess up their hair.

Ironic, isn't it, that one of the arguments in favour of helmets is that you can have an open-lid casket.

Extruded grey matter and skull chunks...it's Dippity Don't.

To be honest with all you Live Free And Die types, it's of little consequence to me if you want to get rid of helmets and seatbelts because your tinfoil headbands buzz with paranoia over the nanny state. Physics offers the same Darwin Award to everyone. It's all meat moving at speed. What holds together better when flung from a moving car: ground hamburger on a styrofoam tray or a sausage in a casing.


despite being a major dickhead, I agree and am happy you also realize how stupid helmet laws are.
 
2012-10-04 11:32:11 AM

I_Am_Weasel: I wear a bike helmet because I know there people like me driving cars.


If you think that a bike helmet will do you any good at all when a car hits you, you may be right to worry.
 
2012-10-04 11:36:15 AM

SniperJoe: The problem is that while bike traffic may not be moving at high-speed, automobile traffic often does. It's simple physics at that point.


Indeed. At high relative speeds there is far more energy around than a bike helmet can deal with. Their only use is in soaking up small amounts of energy from low speed accidents ... and even then the physics is not wholly on your side, because the increased moment arm hugely increases the torque on our cervical vertebrae. So fewer scraped scalps, which is good, but more quadriplegias, which is bad.
 
2012-10-04 11:37:09 AM

attention span of a retarded fruit fly: okey ill put it the way an OT said it to me...

She didn't support kids wearing a helmet while riding. She has said that accidents that would have killed on impact now become vegetable for life/ pain for life accidents.

Just sayin...

never wore one and neither do my kids. learn how to do it right and dont go high speed


And the accidents that would have been vegetable for life now are getting up and walking it off.

You and your OT have some specious goddamn reasoning.
 
2012-10-04 11:38:43 AM

orbister: I_Am_Weasel: I wear a bike helmet because I know there people like me driving cars.

If you think that a bike helmet will do you any good at all when a car hits you, you may be right to worry.


I was quite literally hit by a pickup (pushed off the road into a ditch), and yes, really do think my helmet did me good. Lucky it wasn't worse, yes, but possible.
 
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