Cycle helmets

As much as feel Bradley Wiggins has done exceedingly well with the Tour de France and winning a gold I cannot agree with him regarding cycle helmets.

He states all safety experts agree with him, they do not. The Institute for advanced Motorists cycle division state that there is no proven benefit to wearing a helmet when cycling, and that they could even be a hindrance.

I cycle now and do not wear a helmet as I feel they make the head extra heavy and if I am going through the country make me 3 inches taller so I bang my head.

When I was a kid I came off my bike numerous times, including being hit by a lorry. The damage was always knees, elbows and wrists/hands. the only bang on the head occurred when I got home with torn trousers and my mum clouted me. “so what you’ve broken your leg, you’ve torn your trousers”

Author: ricksrant

I am perfect, well I think so and I am never wrong so it must be true.

33 thoughts on “Cycle helmets”

  1. http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/public/cyclesafety/article3495439.ece

    snippets from the above link:

    Top neurosurgeon and regular cyclist Mark Wilson said: “I personally don’t think there are any situations where a helmet could make you less safe. Anyone saying that a helmet can make head or neck injuries worse has never treated a head or neck injury. It is very difficult to definitively prove definitively one way or the other, but I am quite sure head injuries would be worse without helmets.”

    A comment from the Bicycle Helmet Research Foundation remarks: “In cases of high impact, such as most crashes that involve a motor vehicle, the initial forces absorbed by a cycle helmet before breaking are only a small part of the total force and the protection provided by a helmet is likely to be minimal in this context.

    “Cycle helmets provide best protection in situations involving simple, low-speed falls with no other party involved. They are unlikely to offer adequate protection in life-threatening situations.”

    A statement from British Cycling, which looks after Team GB cyclists and Bradley Wiggins, called for cycling to be “brought into the heart of transport policy” and told The Times today: “Helmets can help save lives in many incidents and we recommend they are worn, but what would contribute much, much more to making cycling safer is better road infrastructure.”

    *
    I remember debates about neck injuries, and the type of covering material used on helmets… if not smooth and the helmet grips the tarmac when you hit the ground a neck injury may be worsened, etc, but overall I feel a helmet is safer than no helmet, but am in two minds about making them compulsory.

  2. I must confess, I do not follow this obsession with ‘saving lives’. We seem perfectly happy to abort those children who have no say in the matter, but somehow feel that people who want to risk their own lives or even choose to take their lives should be prevented from doing so. By all means recommend the wearing of helmets and use of seat belts etc, but let people decide for themselves whether they choose to use them or not. Same applies to smoking, alcohol and drugs. Let Darwin decide the future of the human race, not politicians.

  3. Pseu the Bicycle Helmet Research Foundation, they don’t make the helmets do they? 🙂
    For each plus there is a minus, as I stated the IAM and ROSPA do not feel they make a lot of difference, mainly because the padding within is no where near the standard of a motorcycle helmet, which would be too heavy for a cyclist.
    On the same site look at http://www.cyclehelmets.org/1261.html

    I’m of the opinion that it is a personal choice as to whether you wear one or not. I will agree a lot more needs to be done for safety including the loons that cycle at night without lights or leap across red lights or crossroads without slowing, or those that do not have a bell to warn others of their approach.

    Besides should helmets become law Boris bikes would vanish as no one carries a helmet

  4. We’ve (that would be my family and I) always worn them, don’t particularly have an opinion on those that choose not to, I do however think that they are compulsory down here.

    They are also compulsory in Le Tour, perhaps that’s simply the manufacturers ‘selling’ their product, I do remember Pantani (The Pirate) winning some incredible mountain stages back in the ’90’s wearing a bandana! Helmetless!

  5. I think cyclist should wear helmets, for their own safety and so that, in an accident, they cannot claim compensation unless they are wearing them. I also think all cyclists should be licensed and insured.

  6. Rick, you said: “I’m of the opinion that it is a personal choice as to whether you wear one or not. “-
    I said – “but overall I feel a helmet is safer than no helmet, but am in two minds about making them compulsory.”

    I don’t think we are disagreeing on that aspect!

    But the head is the most important part of a person… without a functioning brain one does not have a functioning person, and a cycle helmet is obviously a compromise, as a motorcyclists helmet is too big and bulky – I still think some protection is better than no protection at all.

  7. From my previous comment: “…..but what would contribute much, much more to making cycling safer is better road infrastructure.”

    In Holland the roads are safer than they are in UK, for example, for cyclists, because of an established acceptance of cycling as a mode of transport, whereas in the UK there is very little concession to the cyclist on the road..

  8. RR, good evening.

    This one is personal and I just don’t know.

    One of Mrs M’s Norfolk cousins died in a tragic cycle accident three years ago. Sparing you the details, the verdict was that she might well have survived had she not been wearing a helmet.

    Nobody was to blame and it just happened as things do. And I still believe that helmets are probably not a bad idea if you choose to venture onto Britain’s roads on two wheels.

    I have to say, however, that I thought that the future Sir (possibly Lord) Brad was saying that cyclists should only expect consideration from other road users as and when they abide by the rules themselves.

    No mp3s, no cycling on pavements, no weaving through traffic, no sailing the wrong way up one way streets, no scattering pedestrians by powering through red lights and green men, no failing to have any lights after sunset and no claim to moral superiority.

    I could, of course, be overstating his position. But, in my opinion, if all cyclists did all of that then I, for one would be totally supportive of the book being thrown at any motorist who injured any one of them.

    I offer Denmark and the Netherlands from my own experience, All of the time that I was lucky enough to be in those two countries, I never once saw any cyclist going through a red light. They seemed to play by the rules. Would that we all did as well.

  9. Feeg not sure how you can licence a cyclist any more than you can licence a horse rider, skate boarder, roller skater or these kids with rollers in their shoes.

    Insurance is another thing and I would agree all cyclist must be insured, I am for personal and third party injury.

    John I agree with you on the rules of the road and that cyclist must abide by them in the same way as any other road user, I am also against cyclist that ride on the pavement, though at times I have done so when cars force me of the road.

    As for pavement riding and insurance it is strange that people bring this up yet they ignore the loons allowed to drive powered mobility scooters on crowded pavements without any tuition or regard for pedestrians. There is a guy I see regularly going along Orpington High street on the pavement going faster than the cars that are limited to 20mph, not sure of his speed but I walk at around 5 mph and he shoots past me. Also a couple of oaps who insist on going along side by side forcing people into the road. Some of these mobility scooters are the size of the old Fiat 500 or original mini, yet they are on a pavement.

    A lady I know (oap) got knocked down by a child with those roller shoes on and suffered a head injury which left her with a serious problem yet she could do nothing as the child was around 6 or 7 years old.

    I wont mention loony old ladies and their damn shopping trolleys, worse than a chariot with scythes sticking out of the wheels.

  10. As a resident of one of the cycle-mad countries, I offer the view that encouraging children to wear helmets teaches them the vital truth that cycling on public roads can be dangerous and calls for due caution.

    I don’t subscribe to the view that all sensible choices should be optional. Seat-belts undoubtedly save lives and helmets probably do too. Macho people like to prove their invulnerability but it can make an awful mess which the rest of us have to clean up.

  11. I’m strictly with Sipu and no 2! I thoroughly approve of most being left to the Darwin principle.
    I detest cyclists, most of them ride in a most dangerous manner and then have the gall to complain if they are run over. They might improve their survival rate by reading the highway code and abiding by it!

  12. Thank you CO. It is very rare that I get an endorsement of my opinions. I cannot think why. But I am glad you and I are on the same wavelength.

  13. It was macho people who learned how to hunt for food, discovered how to use fire, learned to ride horses, domesticate dogs and other animals, who sailed out to sea, climbed mountains, explored unknown continents, flew the first aeroplanes, went over the trenches to save a continent, went into space. And then there were the wimps who accepted the benefits provided by these people and did nothing in return except complain about burned fingers and the mess. I know which ones I respect.

  14. It’s all about what you believe, Sipu. It’s what makes our world the wonderful diverse place it is.

    As I’m here I would like to take this opportunity to say that I endorse the majority of your opinions. I find them very informative and I’m not joking when i say this.

    I don’t know if you ever watched the TV programme The Wire. There was a scene in it where two detectives were blind drunk at a bar. A beautiful woman walked past them. A woman as beautiful as Princess Charlene. One of the cops said in slurred speech. “God made that. Ain’t no way that was an accident.”

  15. Hi TR, sorry, I did not mean to show disrespect for your beliefs. I thought you were extracting the Michael. I get a lot of flack for defending faith even though I do not possess much myself. Its a tough one. I was raised in a devout household and have a lot of respect and dare I say even love for the Christian/Catholic Church, despite all its/their shortcomings. Emotionally I would like to believe, intellectually I cannot. I know a lot of people who wander in and out of faith. Eventually they settle on a modus that suits them. I have been to Catholic Mass twice since I have been in the UK with members of my family. I never go in South Africa. I like the sense of community. I like the fact that people take the time to contemplate aspects of life beyond their immediate careers and that the do so in communion with others. Down in Devon, I met some jolly nice people for coffee after the service. Nobody challenges me on what I believe and what I do not. We just accept that we have something in common. If I am asked, I tend to describe myself as a Catholic Atheist. Go figure!

    Thank you for your kind words. I have watched one series of The Wire, on DVD, and thoroughly enjoyed it. I do not recall the incident, but I understand the sentiment.

    I am driving up to Scotland on Sunday and will be staying in the Haddon Gifford area with my cousin, that evening. Next day up to Beauly, whence my mother’s family originate. I will be there for about 12 days before driving south again.

    Good luck with your BM speech. I really think you should change the joke to:
    What is the difference between Mick Jagger and a Scottish shepherd?
    Jagger says, ‘Hey you, get off of my cloud’.
    The shepherd says, ‘Hey Mcloud, get off of my ewe.’

  16. Thank you for your usual erudite response, Sipu. I knew when I brought the faith subject up I could count on you to be civilised. Christians are an easy target for detractors.

    I was brought up in a predominantly catholic housing scheme although all my family were protestants. My father could hold his own so we didn’t have any bother. Unlike the catholics who had faith thrown down their mouths daily at school we received one one-hour service a week. The majority if not all of all the pupils were disinterested. It wasn’t until I was in my thirties that I started thinking about faith and Christianity. It wasn’t overnight and it wasn’t a sudden revelation, it just happened that I thought, yes, there is a God.

    You’re certainly a bit of a jetsetter, Sipu. You’re giving Bravo a run for his money with all this globetrotting.

    I am working feverishly with this speech (wedding is Tomorrow) and it’s all original material by me. This will in all probability make it bomb. I have a new joke concerning Basil Brush and Jimmy Carr. If it goes down well I will let you know.

    Sorry about the massive digression on your blog, Rick. I have no opinion one way or the other on cycle helmets though I do approve of cricket batsmen wearing helmets. And, of course, fielders at Silly Point.

  17. theroyalist :

    I am working feverishly with this speech (wedding is Tomorrow) and it’s all original material by me. This will in all probability make it bomb. I have a new joke concerning Basil Brush and Jimmy Carr. If it goes down well I will let you know.

    JW, good luck tomorrow. I hope that it all goes well and I look forward to your sharing the Carr/Brush joke with us in due course.

    Coincidentally, I think that Jimmy Carr might have been my first Festival Fringe spot of the year. I am almost sure that I saw him strolling down the Royal Mile this morning. On googling, I see that his show does not start until 16th inst. so I could, of course, be wrong.

  18. ricksrant :

    Feeg not sure how you can licence a cyclist any more than you can licence a horse rider, skate boarder, roller skater or these kids with rollers in their shoes.

    Insurance is another thing and I would agree all cyclist must be insured, I am for personal and third party injury.

    I was thinking of the bike. Some sort of ID plate or maybe a bar code on the frame Quite agree about insurance.

  19. The wearing of cycle helmets is compulsory in Australia. When it became compulsory in the Northern Territory, many people stopped riding bicycles – it was too hot!

    I’m inclined to think it should be a matter of choice – but then I’m told that, since the taxpayer pays for any injuries suffered, Governments have to right to demand that people take measures to limit such injuries. I’m not convinced.

    I’d like to add to your #10, Rick, self-righteous parents with their oversized push-chairs who push me into the road – or, worse, try to flatten me against a wall!

  20. Boadicea :

    I’d like to add to your #10, Rick, self-righteous parents with their oversized push-chairs who push me into the road – or, worse, try to flatten me against a wall!

    Funny you should say that. Just 30 minutes ago I was nearly steam rolled on Earls Court Road by a woman jogging with a ‘twin pram’; sleeping child in one seat and rucksack in the other.

  21. Sipu – don’t go to Richmond (Surrey). The pavements there are so narrow that those wretched twin prams use the whole pavement!

  22. Just been out with 2 local councillors, turns out there has been a spate of complaints about wheeled vehicles on pavement, including large push chairs and mothers on the mobile so not looking where they are going.
    Trouble is there is no law in the UK against them, though Segways are banned as was the Sinclair C5 from the pavement as they were motorised, as are mobility scooters which are not banned, yet you don’t have to be disabled to buy or ride one on the pavement.

  23. It never fails to amaze me how uncivil England has become.
    Here if any need to pass they will stop and say excuse me. It is a total no no to pass in front of anyone scrutinising shelves in a supermarket. If there is no access behind they just come to a grinding halt until you oblige them by moving and waving them through.
    Crossing any car park to enter a shop all cars will stop to allow pedestrians first access.
    Maybe people are more careful of each other here to prevent putative lawsuits, but whatever reason it certainly makes life a lot less stressful.
    Another thing I note, anyone in a chair with mobility issues always seems to receive offers of help to reach things from the top shelf for them, but then they don’t try to mow down the populace!
    Not so bad in Wales either, but then Wales is like here, a lot less crowded.
    Shops here never allow anyone to wait to be checked out, all employees will step in including managers to clear the backlog immediately, more than two people queueing and someone will open another till. Never like that in Brum in Sainsburys until I used to have a go the front of house manager and ask him what was wrong with his fingers.
    I do blame the population putting up with it. They really should assert themselves and demand service and apologies as necessary. It wouldn’t hurt either if they tried to be more polite themselves.

  24. I don’t know where you visit when you come to England, Christina, but everyone’s pretty civil in this neck of the woods 🙂

  25. Pseu :

    I don’t know where you visit when you come to England, Christina, but everyone’s pretty civil in this neck of the woods :)

    Hear, hear. And the better parts of Brum are the same.

  26. Cob re mobility scooters there are a lot of people here riding around on them because they can’t be bothered to walk, I agree it is the minority now but more and more people are using them when they are not disabled in any way. In the same way the Blue Badge is being abused by the selfish few.

    As they are on the pavement or a road then they should be insured as I feel all wheeled vehicles should be, including cycles and roller skates if used on a public highway.

  27. Do they have to buy them privately? I note that fat people here use them too, no wonder they don’t lose weight! But most have to buy them, getting them on the disability is very difficult indeed, so less of them.
    Plus people are much more careful using them, mow someone down and you will get a law suit round here.
    And quite right too!

  28. CoB yes they buy them privately or nick Grannies when she falls of her perch.
    Last year a couple of kids were riding one up and down the road, belonged to their dead grandfather so I was told.

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