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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
    More: Stupid, prices, no pressure, docking station, potatoes, National Highway  
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8979 clicks; posted to Main » on 04 Oct 2012 at 8:36 AM (5 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

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2012-10-04 04:11:54 PM  

politech: I shared my bike once in NYC. I guess I was an early adotper...

/still waiting for it to be returned
//its been a long wait

Did you at least wipe the seat off?
2012-10-04 04:32:25 PM  
I can't wait until they implement this NYC bike share thingee, today they announced the launch date got bumped to next spring.
2012-10-04 04:39:27 PM  
I agree with the point they are making. Leisurely riding at a low rate of speed is safe without a helmet. I never wore a helmet as a kid, wrecked more times than I can count and was neve seriously hurt. Rider should use their own judgement on whether a helmet is called for. Rolling around a park at 5-10 miles an hour, then no....rolling down a winding mountain road at 35+, then yeah, better wear a helmet.
2012-10-04 04:47:54 PM  

fireclown: trippdogg: They also make you look like a dork.

So does scar tissue.

Chicks did scars.
Neo told me that.
2012-10-04 04:58:29 PM  
I saw a parent pulling their toddler in a wagon and the (non-retarded) child had a helmet on.
2012-10-04 06:19:03 PM  

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.

Here's the thing though. For your head to hit the ground (first) from just "falling over" the bike would pretty much have to be lifted off the ground and rotate sideways on an axis running nose to tail down the middle of the bike. If you fall over sideways (whether you just tip or if you take a corner too fast and lose traction) while riding at even moderate speeds, your legs, torso and at least one arm are all going to touch pavement before your head gets anywhere near it. If you're doing 5-10 MPH and you lose your balance you're going to skin the hell out of the leg you fall on and that's it. So why would helmets be designed for that case?
2012-10-04 08:17:47 PM  
just be careful out there
2012-10-04 10:28:12 PM  
I just wanna know if I'm on anybody's lawn right now. So many sprouted outta nowhere.

/the thread-killer was the reference to moving "faster than the speed of walking". Consarnit.
2012-10-04 10:40:09 PM  

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.

And in Pittsburgh James Pierce was wearing a helmet and had front and rear lights on when some jackass plowed him over and sped away.

/then they said it was his fault for hogging the road...
//yeah, in front of the East End Food co-op it's 2 lanes which are wide enough for a bike and a small car at the same time in each, though that's really not a good idea
///and there's not much traffic at 5:45AM in the summer

//// it's really just the case that motorists are entitled assholes who don't givce a fark about anyone but themselves
2012-10-04 10:44:39 PM  

ModernLuddite: I will not rest until it is legal to drive over a Critical Mass group ride.

As a cyclist, THANK YOU!

I farking HATE those guys!
2012-10-04 10:53:10 PM  

thespindrifter: I don't ride with a helmet, and haven't for well over 30 years, but then again I don't put myself in harms way; if I were one of these morons who ride for speed and who want to be complete cocksuckers on two wheels at @ 30 MPH, then yeah, I'd wear a brain bucket too... hit one tiny rock with those pencil tires and it's pretty much all over.

I would also be amused if someone actually tried to encourage helmetless biking in my city: the current kill numbers for the year so far sits at roughly one a week. Needless to say, I don't ride at night here anymore, because that would basically be a death wish. As if that weren't bad enough, some other cocksuckers keep stealing the ghost bike memorials put up in the honor of the scores that have been killed here.

You really need a few good locks, and a cheap - possible broken - frame.

Of course, they're probably just scrapping them...
2012-10-04 11:02:32 PM  

Rapmaster2000: When I ride my bike without a helmet I get weird looks, but the looks were weirder 15 years ago when I would also be smoking.

That's standard practice now. Seriously, I see it all of the time. Especially when I go to the "hip youth" areas.
2012-10-05 01:07:26 AM  

hiker9999: acad1228: I have never worn and will never wear a helmet while riding a bicycle. Motorcycle; yeah, but not on a bike.When I was a kid, wearing a helmet on a bike would have been dangerous because my friends would have whooped my ass for being a wussy. /We gave Dennis a pass
//He was special
///But he was still our friend.

On one of my rides a few weeks ago, I hit 38 mph coming down off a hill on my bike. Is falling off a bicycle at nearly 40 mph any less dangerous than crashing a motorcyclye at 40 mph?

Heh, I hit over fifty in the Rocky Mountains with a full touring rig. Yeah, I wear helmets when I ride, moto or pedal-powered. I've broken over half a dozen helmets in MTB and road crashes. Only one of those was I hit by a motor vehicle. Still, I think mandating helmets for either endeavors is asinine.
2012-10-05 03:35:22 AM  

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.

They don't enforce crap here. And you must not have spent much time in Paris, or you would know that bikes running the red lights is a huge problem.
/16 going on 17 years in and around Paris
2012-10-05 08:28:02 AM  

dumbobruni: the Paris Tourism website has a lot of unhappy travelers regarding Velib. In my own experience with the velib stations, many don't have working keypads, and several stations don't have keypads at all.

I'd go as far as to say the key pads never work. I've tried about 7 or 8 times and have never been able to use them.
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