why we wear our helmets

Allamuchy Joe

Not White House Approved
JORBA.ORG

Wow! I once rode with this idiot who refused to wear a helmet on the trails -- we told him either he had to wear one or not ride with our group. "Helmets impair my vision, if I ride correctly and am in control, I don't need one", blah, blah, blah. Needless to say he still refused, so we asked him not to ride with us anymore.

I can understand not wearing one if you are just out for a slow cruise on the railtrail, but on the singletrack or on the road, it can definitely help save you from a serious head injury. As John from Cycleworks says, wearing one while riding beats drooling in a cup for the rest of your life.
 

Thanks for this post! I am in favor of allowing adults to make their own decisions regarding most things in life, including the right to not wear a brain case if they feel cavalier enough to go without…(though I would take Allamuchy Joe's stance - do not ride with me if you do not have a helmet!). I advocate for the use of helmets whenever I see people not wearing them. They can make a huge difference (as this story and doubtless countless others illustrate).

A friend of mine who is admittedly accident prone decided to ride Mercer one day sans helmet, hit his head on low hanging branch, got knocked out for a while and woke up confused, bruised, and without his bike. He was out long enough for his bike to get stolen. Imagine if he had been riding somewhere with rocks and hills.
 

Norm

Mayor McCheese
Team MTBNJ Halter's
LOFL! That's really priceless. Though it sounds totally urban legend to me.

So what's all this then about statistics showing people who don't wear helmets have fewer injuries? I'm all for helmets but I can't reconcile that little detail.
 
HOld the phone.

So your friend got knocked out cold. Laying in the middle of the woods and someone comes along and steals his bike??????????????

Dont think Mercer sounds like a very friendly place if you ask me

You would have to meet my friend to believe it - he has stepped on bee's nests and had them fly up his shorts. Of the 26 or so people at a picnic, he is the only who has acorns land on his head out of the blue.

He is a pretty amazing person, actually. He has survived the same type of cancers that Lance had - lung and testicular - numerous car accidents and a fall from a roof. We bring him camping to be our lightening rod - if something bad is going to happen, it will happen to him, sparing the rest of us :)
 

Allamuchy Joe

Not White House Approved
JORBA.ORG
So what's all this then about statistics showing people who don't wear helmets have fewer injuries? I'm all for helmets but I can't reconcile that little detail.

I have personally be saved from that guy's fate at least twice -- two low hanging branches got me -- one of those was just before a technical section in Mahlon. I was concentrating on the technical section coming up and WHAM! -- it was a rude stop on my bike, but I have no doubt I would have been seriously injured in at least one of those incidents.

Also, a buddy of mine would have been dead because he slide head first into a tree in Mahlon. He cracked his helmet, but he was okay.

I'm convinced they work!

I also agree that it shouldn't be mandated by the state -- motorcycle helmets nor seatbelts either -- however, your insurance company should have the right to be able to refuse any payment to you if you don't wear these devices unless you pay for a "non helmet" or "non seatbelt" option on your policy. The choice is still yours and so are the consequences.
 
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J-Dro

Well-Known Member
A friend of mine who is admittedly accident prone decided to ride Mercer one day sans helmet, hit his head on low hanging branch, got knocked out for a while and woke up confused, bruised, and without his bike. He was out long enough for his bike to get stolen. Imagine if he had been riding somewhere with rocks and hills.

So lemme get this straight... Somebody at Mercer came across your friend laying unconscious on the trail, and instead of calling for help, they stole his bike and left him for dead? :hmmm: It's not like Mercer County Park is in a bad neighborhood or anything. Bizarre.
 

Norm

Mayor McCheese
Team MTBNJ Halter's
I have personally be saved from that guy's fate at least twice -- two low hanging branches got me -- one of those was just before a technical section in Mahlon. I was concentrating on the technical section coming up and WHAM! -- it was a rude stop on my bike, but I have no doubt I would have been seriously injured in at least one of those incidents.

Also, a buddy of mine would have been dead because he slide head first into a tree in Mahlon. He cracked his helmet, but he was okay.

I'm convinced they work!

I also agree that it shouldn't be mandated by the state -- motorcycle helmets nor seatbelts either -- however, your insurance company should have the right to be able to refuse any payment to you if you don't wear these devices unless you pay for a "non helmet" or "non seatbelt" option on your policy. The choice is still yours and so are the consequences.

We all have anecdotal evidence of why helmets are useful. I probably hit a branch - at least an annoying twig - every few weeks. Usually nothing big but the helmet saves me the inconvenience (at least) of having a scratch on my head, possible more. But that's still anecdotal.

Some would probably argue that if we didn't have a helmet we might pay more attention and not hit those branches and twigs in the first place. I don't know, I'm not going to throw the helmet away but it's still a curious statistic.
 
So lemme get this straight... Somebody at Mercer came across your friend laying unconscious on the trail, and instead of calling for help, they stole his bike and left him for dead? :hmmm: It's not like Mercer County Park is in a bad neighborhood or anything. Bizarre.

there are no boundaries for the unscrupulous...
 

J-Dro

Well-Known Member
One of my best riding buddies did an endo at Sourlands last week, came down hard and cracked his helmet on a rock. The styrofoam split and cracked just like its designed to. I would hate to see what that would have looked like unprotected.
 
One of my best riding buddies did an endo at Sourlands last week, came down hard and cracked his helmet on a rock. The styrofoam split and cracked just like its designed to. I would hate to see what that would have looked like unprotected.

#1 reason why I will not ride Sourlands alone.

I saw some teenagers there last week while I was running - they were descending the steep hill with the bannister bar, and one was not wearing a helmet. I felt compelled to advise him to get a helmet for that exact reason. A non-stop rock garden is no place to be testing the limits of the concussive force your skull can withstand.
 

Norm

Mayor McCheese
Team MTBNJ Halter's
One of my best riding buddies did an endo at Sourlands last week, came down hard and cracked his helmet on a rock. The styrofoam split and cracked just like its designed to. I would hate to see what that would have looked like unprotected.

Well it looks like I'm wearing the Devil's Advocate Hat today.

DA says: Would he have ridden as aggressively without the helmet?
 

Shaggz

A strong 7
A friend of mine who is admittedly accident prone decided to ride Mercer one day sans helmet, hit his head on low hanging branch, got knocked out for a while and woke up confused, bruised, and without his bike. He was out long enough for his bike to get stolen. Imagine if he had been riding somewhere with rocks and hills.
Too funny, you can't make this stuff up...

I also agree that it shouldn't be mandated by the state -- motorcycle helmets nor seatbelts either -- however, your insurance company should have the right to be able to refuse any payment to you if you don't wear these devices unless you pay for a "non helmet" or "non seatbelt" option on your policy. The choice is still yours and so are the consequences.
I agree, as consumers, we shouldn't pay the price for people who can't prtect themselves from themselves..

Some would probably argue that if we didn't have a helmet we might pay more attention and not hit those branches and twigs in the first place.
Reminds me of tone of the cases in, The Armchair Economist, where a case is made to put a large spike on everyone's steering wheel, as motivation to drive safer.
 

Norm

Mayor McCheese
Team MTBNJ Halter's
Reminds me of tone of the cases in, The Armchair Economist, where a case is made to put a large spike on everyone's steering wheel, as motivation to drive safer.

LOL, good stuff! Looks like I have a new cause in life.
 

bruce.b

Dickwad
I almost always wear a helmet. One of the rare times I didn't it probably saved my life. I was JRA when a stick jammed my front wheel and the timing was just so that I didn't get to react and landed on my face. My head bent back sharply and I heard/felt a sickening crunch in my neck. Next thing I knew I was on the ground thinking I might have a broken neck. I remember moving my legs and arms to see if they worked. After a minute or so I was able to sit up and knew I came very close to serious injury. I was OK, but the doc also thought I was amazingly lucky I hadn't broken my neck. I was even riding again in a week. IF I had been wearing a helmet I'm convinced I would have bent my head back further and snapped my neck. In this situation a helmet is a really bad thing to have on your head. It's funny, but that was the only time in months I rode without a helmet. I was just doing an easy loop at the Tourne for 30 minutes so I didn't bother. Lucky me.
It's also true that I ride more carefully when helmetless. While helmet use might not reduce injuries if some studies can be believed, I still wear one almost all the time.
I've also read that helmets increase neck injuries, and I believe it. There's my situation and the fact they can catch on something in a crash and increase the twisting forces on the neck.
I do get sick of people making it sound like it's a 100% win when wearing a helmet. Nothing is ever that simple.
bruce boysen
 

Norm

Mayor McCheese
Team MTBNJ Halter's
I almost always wear a helmet. One of the rare times I didn't it probably saved my life. I was JRA when a stick jammed my front wheel and the timing was just so that I didn't get to react and landed on my face. My head bent back sharply and I heard/felt a sickening crunch in my neck. Next thing I knew I was on the ground thinking I might have a broken neck. I remember moving my legs and arms to see if they worked. After a minute or so I was able to sit up and knew I came very close to serious injury. I was OK, but the doc also thought I was amazingly lucky I hadn't broken my neck. I was even riding again in a week. IF I had been wearing a helmet I'm convinced I would have bent my head back further and snapped my neck. In this situation a helmet is a really bad thing to have on your head. It's funny, but that was the only time in months I rode without a helmet. I was just doing an easy loop at the Tourne for 30 minutes so I didn't bother. Lucky me.
It's also true that I ride more carefully when helmetless. While helmet use might not reduce injuries if some studies can be believed, I still wear one almost all the time.
I've also read that helmets increase neck injuries, and I believe it. There's my situation and the fact they can catch on something in a crash and increase the twisting forces on the neck.
I do get sick of people making it sound like it's a 100% win when wearing a helmet. Nothing is ever that simple.
bruce boysen

Interesting story Bruce. But to be fair that's just guessing on your part. A friend of mine was in a car accident in high school...side impact...no seatbelt...walked away fine. I'll leave out the details other than to say that the medic claimed the non-seatbelt saved his legs. We've probably all heard stories like that but I still wear my seatbelt. Likewise statistics say that you don't need a helmet but I always wear one and you almost always do.

I don't know what that all means but it's an interesting discussion nonetheless.

My brother says that about football. As the protection gets better & better, the guys hit harder & harder.

Yeah football is sick. The guys that are "produced" for the NFL these days are like pain machines. The speed of the game is insane at this point. It's a wonder that more guys don't have career ending injuries more often. It's also crazy to me to hear them talk about their knee surgeries like most people talk about golf. Some guys end up with 30+ in a career. Nuts.
 

Allamuchy Joe

Not White House Approved
JORBA.ORG
I do get sick of people making it sound like it's a 100% win when wearing a helmet. Nothing is ever that simple.

I know they saved me and my buddy from serious injury so I continue to wear it wihtout question.

And I agree there is no 100% win. I would say the light road bike/mountain bike helmet is at least the 90% solution, which is probably all you could ever reasonably design. A 100% solution would be not to ride the bike at all.
 
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