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  1. #1
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    Having helmets but not wearing them

    While on my ride Sunday I saw at least ten people who had helmets on their pack and not wearing them, almost all of them were climbing. I don't understand why people do this. Maybe it was because it was warm, but I think my helmet keeps me cooler by keeping the sun off my head and face. Do they think they look like dorks wearing helmets? Truth is they look stupid carrying around a helmet and not wearing it. Does anyone here do this and can give me a reasonable explanation for it?

  2. #2
    Probably drunk right now
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    Well....

    Quote Originally Posted by SoCalAl
    While on my ride Sunday I saw at least ten people who had helmets on their pack and not wearing them, almost all of them were climbing. I don't understand why people do this. Maybe it was because it was warm, but I think my helmet keeps me cooler by keeping the sun off my head and face. Do they think they look like dorks wearing helmets? Truth is they look stupid carrying around a helmet and not wearing it. Does anyone here do this and can give me a reasonable explanation for it?
    I don't agree with riding without helmets but the reasoning behind it is that since your head vents most of the body's heat, removing the helmet does keep a rider cooler than wearing it. On long climbs, riders take off their helmets to help keep themselves cooler.

    Ken

  3. #3
    gravity curmudgeon
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    I occassionally ride with people who ride with helmets off for climbs and then put them on for descents. The problem is that most climbs have some descents. The other day this guy went off the trail a couple of times while riding very aggressively on the "uphill" descents. He finally put on his helmet for the "downhill" descents.

    Can't say I understand it, but that was his choice.

  4. #4
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    Here on the Shore...

    Most of the climbs up here on the North Shore are fire roads at a slow pace. Full face helmets are the norm and get uncomfortably hot on the climb up. Most if not all riders have them strapped on their backs or handlebars. Is this the wisest thing to do? Perhaps not.....but then again....nor is riding the North Shore

    Buzz
    MCM#45

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buzz
    Most of the climbs up here on the North Shore are fire roads at a slow pace. Full face helmets are the norm and get uncomfortably hot on the climb up.
    Same here although full face helmets aren't the norm. I usually keep mine on just 'cause I don't like it flopping around but they can and do get hot.

    I think the danger of getting a head injury on a slow, traffic-free, relatively smooth, uphill fire road is about the same as the chance of a head injury sustained while tripping off the front porch in the morning. So I don't see it as much of a problem.

  6. #6
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    It's all about picking an appropriate level of protection for the activity. On a long climb, my helmet stays on the pack because I do not need it. And it keeps me cooler on the climb, and takes less energy, so I can ride longer. And my helmet and jersey are not soaked in sweat for the descent.

    When the speed and risk of injury go up, the helmet goes on.

  7. #7
    Log off and go ride!
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    What are the odds of a crash and burn during an ascent? 1%? 2%? I know it is not zero. They have their acceptable level of risk and I have mine. Besides, it is just more convenient to carry on my head than strapped elsewhere.


    They are the best judges of whether they have anything worth protecting.

  8. #8
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    I used to always strap my helmet on the handlebars when climbing. But my last two helmets have been remarkably cooler than the previous "mushroom head" jobbers that I now just wear it the whole time.

  9. #9
    Nat
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    Quote Originally Posted by SoCalAl
    While on my ride Sunday I saw at least ten people who had helmets on their pack and not wearing them, almost all of them were climbing. I don't understand why people do this. Maybe it was because it was warm, but I think my helmet keeps me cooler by keeping the sun off my head and face. Do they think they look like dorks wearing helmets? Truth is they look stupid carrying around a helmet and not wearing it. Does anyone here do this and can give me a reasonable explanation for it?
    I've only removed my helmet for a climb once or twice. It was really hot, the sustained climb was up steep pavement, and we...errrr, I was going no more than walking speed. I figured that if I wouldn't wear my helmet walking up that hill, then I could be pretty safe riding up it at that pace.

  10. #10
    pedalphile
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    Here in NYC (I'm talking about roads and bike paths here) I *constantly* see people riding with their helmet hanging off their handlebar. Why, WHY would anyone do this!? If you're not going to wear it, leave it at home! Do they think that when they crash they are going to quickly reach for the helmet? "Oh, I should put on my helmet now, while I'm airborne, before my head hits the deck."

    I don't care if someone doesn't wear a helmet. It's their brain, etc. But hanging it on your handlebar presents a danger to others.

    This has been a public service announcement (rant) from BontyRider.
    now the world is gone i'm just o n e

  11. #11
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    heh

    I prolly top out at 1.004 mph climbing Fromme, imagine the brain damage if I fall

    I worry more about blowing a gasket from blood pressure climbing.

    Jim MCM #11

  12. #12
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    "Helmet Boy"

    video link here, worth a look and a laugh. but so true. Jim

  13. #13
    Wizard of the Trail
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimC.
    video link here, worth a look and a laugh. but so true. Jim
    Priceless!
    There is no charge for awesomeness......or attractiveness.

    Good rep does not wash out the bad, nor the bad the good.

  14. #14
    pedalphile
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimC.
    video link here, worth a look and a laugh. but so true. Jim
    OW! Very well done.
    now the world is gone i'm just o n e

  15. #15
    29 inches and Pissed Off!
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimC.
    video link here, worth a look and a laugh. but so true. Jim
    That was hilarious, but, I'm still not going to wear a helmet when I'm climbing. I will wear it downhill or riding unfamiliar areas. I find them uncomfortable. My choice, you have your choice.

    I have been asked a couple of times about not wearing a helmet when on climbs. I usually ask the questioner if they wore a helmet when driving to the trail in their car. There are more head injuries in cars when in an accident and certainly more car accidents than bike.

    Dan C.
    CaptainKana.com
    Mountain Biking.....Cheaper than a mistress.

  16. #16
    ballbuster
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    What cracks me up...

    Quote Originally Posted by SoCalAl
    While on my ride Sunday I saw at least ten people who had helmets on their pack and not wearing them, almost all of them were climbing. I don't understand why people do this. Maybe it was because it was warm, but I think my helmet keeps me cooler by keeping the sun off my head and face. Do they think they look like dorks wearing helmets? Truth is they look stupid carrying around a helmet and not wearing it. Does anyone here do this and can give me a reasonable explanation for it?
    ... are the folks who wear helmets, but don't attach the chin strap. Either that, or leave the buckle so loose on the chin strap that it does no good anyway.

    I regularly ride with a guy who leaves his strap so loose that if he stacked, his lid would fly off into the bushes leaving his head bare.

    There are a bunch of 8-12 yo kids in my hood who ride without the chin strap attached at all. Maybe they feel that they have at least some cool left as long as they aren't wearing the helmet 'for real' or something.

    I just shake my head. I already had to peel one dead body off the hillside when I was a youngin from a kid who rode lidless.

    Really, I don't get it. I hardly know it's there, really. What's the big deal? Okay, I can see the hot day arguement, but I've nearly been creamed on a couple of occasions by some knucklehead DHer who refused to yield the trail to us uphillers, yelling 'Get outa the way' kinda stuff at me. Heck, I nearly took him out for being such a selfish jerk!

  17. #17
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    Big John

    Quote Originally Posted by pimpbot
    ... are the folks who wear helmets, but don't attach the chin strap. Either that, or leave the buckle so loose on the chin strap that it does no good anyway.

    I regularly ride with a guy who leaves his strap so loose that if he stacked, his lid would fly off into the bushes leaving his head bare.

    In the Army, we called this guy "The Duke!" As only John Wayne could be so cool as to have a strap and not need it. Start calling him that and see if anything happens. Just point at him or something and start your best John Wayne imitation. Gets kinda fun sometimes.
    Rampage

    ~ Beware the good assumptions in life; the light at the end of the tunnel is probably an oncoming train.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by pimpbot

    I hardly know it's there, really.
    Which is a sign of a correctly fitted helmet!

    Any half-decent bike shop should be able to help you find a correctly fitting helmet and help you correctly fit it to your head, if this is taken care of then it really shouldn't be uncomfortable.

    Heck, I wanted a Giro Atmos but they didn't fit me comfortably so I went with a Pneumo, and I don't mind wearing the Pneumo because it vents well and fits like it isn't there. Same with my Giro E2, another helmet I can put on and forget!

  19. #19
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    I may not wear my helmet in my car, but I do wear my seatbelt. They're also uncomfortable and can get very warm. I doubt much could happen in my nine mile stop and go commute which takes at least half hour, but I still wear it, it's right there. If you're helmet is that uncomfortable, it's not fitted right and/or not vented very well; unless it's a full face.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimC.
    video link here, worth a look and a laugh. but so true. Jim
    Ouch! I know that wasn't real, but it sure looked like it hurt.

    Last weekend on my ride I saw 7 people not wearing a helmet. I couldn't believe the number of people out riding and not wearing a helmet. I wanted to say something to them, but I held back. The funny thing is that 2 of them were on their way down a 2.5 mile long downhill and 3 others were climbing up and getting ready to come back down. I always wear my helmet on the trail and do not have a problem with it being uncomfortable.

  21. #21
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    I passed 5 without helmets Sunday at Paris Mountain, granted it is an easy trail, but these people were descending,

    Two of them especially, had no business riding without a helmet, you could tell they were not very comfortable on a bike. My girlfriend was a few hundred yards behind me, she saw one of them hit what I would call an 1 maybe a 2 rating techincal section and did an endo. He got banged up, but was alright. I think his ego was hurt more than anything after he watched my girl clean the section without hesitation.

  22. #22
    mtbr member
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    Quote Originally Posted by SoCalAl
    I may not wear my helmet in my car, but I do wear my seatbelt. They're also uncomfortable and can get very warm. I doubt much could happen in my nine mile stop and go commute which takes at least half hour, but I still wear it, it's right there. If you're helmet is that uncomfortable, it's not fitted right and/or not vented very well; unless it's a full face.
    But do you wear a helmet when you're walking or running or jumping? I think that's a better benchmark for evaluating the need to wear a helmet on a slow and traffic free climb.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by SoCalAl
    While on my ride Sunday I saw at least ten people who had helmets on their pack and not wearing them, almost all of them were climbing. I don't understand why people do this. Maybe it was because it was warm, but I think my helmet keeps me cooler by keeping the sun off my head and face. Do they think they look like dorks wearing helmets? Truth is they look stupid carrying around a helmet and not wearing it. Does anyone here do this and can give me a reasonable explanation for it?

    I see way more people doign this in SoCal than I ever did in NoCal. I personally thought it was a more a vanity thing here.

  24. #24
    master of "the robot"
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rampage
    In the Army, we called this guy "The Duke!" As only John Wayne could be so cool as to have a strap and not need it. Start calling him that and see if anything happens. Just point at him or something and start your best John Wayne imitation. Gets kinda fun sometimes.
    john wayne didn't need to adhere to the 3-5 second rush rule either. he was a badass.

    we used to catch it, if we did a 10 second rush. it went something like this, "goddamn private, do you think you're john wayne or something?" lots of funny stuff said in the army.

    and to stay on topic. on mountain bike rides, i wear my helmet the entire time. i don't really notice a huge heat difference, even when i was out in vegas or sedona. but that may just be me. i actually prefer having the visor to keep some of the sun off my face.

    i will also admit that i don't wear a helmet all the time, especially in the neighborhood, just riding around. if my daughter is just riding on the sidewalk, i don't make her helmet up. if we get out on the street, she has to helmet up.

    i saw a kid strapped into a burley trailer, with a helmet on, also. overkill, to me. it's like making your kid wear a helmet in his car child seat.

    i kind of look at it this way .... i am not going to worry excessively about the many different ways i can die, and then try and wear some type of protective gear or gadget to ward off the death. i'll determine risk, and protect accordingly.
    .....chicks dig fenders.....

  25. #25
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    Im guilty of not wearing a helmet as well.

    I also admit to part of it being vanity. I look like a dork!

    However Ive always freaking hated wearing hats of any kind. Dont know why, just always hated it. Ive taken tons of spills on a bike and have never really hurt myself.

    Im not trying to make an argument for not wearing a helmet, just that I hate wearing them.

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