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  1. #1
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    Do you always wear a helmet no matter where you go on your bike?

    Whether it's just a quick spin in the neighborhood or some other place, so you always wear a helmet?

  2. #2
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    Stupid not to. All it takes is a low speed spill and whacking your head and it's all over.
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  3. #3
    Token Hillbilly
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    Riding road or trail, yes. Dinking around the yard, or slow bike paths, nope.
    Trying to win hearts and minds, but willing to stomp them if necessary.

  4. #4
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    Nope, I'm the not smart crowed errr old n dumb. I only wear my helmet when riding real MTB trails..around the hood, quicky to the beer mart or a bike/walking path exercise quicky 5 miles around the hood I never put on my helmet, ball cap and sunglasses. I have flipflops on or velcro type sandels too. My bike won't leave the ground when I dress like this so I ride accordingly.
    Heck, my first bike helmet EVER was just last year when I got back into this sport.
    When I was a BMXer the only time I "HAD" to wear a helmet was when I entered the local BMX race...I wore a Moto helmet then LOL (late 70s early 80s)
    Ride MORE = Live Longer
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  5. #5
    Token Hillbilly
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    Quote Originally Posted by Burt4x4 View Post
    My bike won't leave the ground when I dress like this so I ride accordingly.
    That's the key for me. Common sense goes a long way.
    Trying to win hearts and minds, but willing to stomp them if necessary.

  6. #6
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    Re: Do you always wear a helmet no matter where you go on your bike?

    On the trails? Yes every time without exception. I once turned around and went home when I got to the trailhead and realized I didn't have my helmet.

    Around the hood or to the park near my house? Honestly, I don't wear helmet unless I'm riding with my kids. And I do that to set an example of course. By nature they are far, far clumsier than I am on a bike but it's hard to impress on them they have to wear helmet if I'm not wearing one.

  7. #7
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    Wear my helmet on the trails and roads. The only time that I don't wear a helmet is when I'm riding to my fishing spot. Its a remote, wide, flat fire road and there's too much gear on me and the bike to go fast.

  8. #8
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    Do you always wear a helmet no matter where you go on your bike?

    I do, I got kids not only does it increase my likelihood of being around to see them, but it sets a good Example


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  9. #9
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    Nope, I don't wear it all the time. But nearly every mountain biker I see tells me about it when I don't. Is it more dangerous? Yes, but we all have the capability to calculate our individual levels of risk acceptance. Even those that wear helmets on every ride do that same calculation but don't like to admit it, i.e. wear a helmet, but not a full face, pads, or neck brace even though you can use the same danger arguments they use to wear a helmet all the time.

  10. #10
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    I do, with two exceptions. If I hop on my bike to roll the 200 yards to the brewery, I usually don't. And if I'm riding a trail I think merits a full-face, it usually means I'm climbing with it strapped to my pack. Most of those rides are straight up and then straight down. If there's some descending or level, I'll put the helmet back on.
    "Back off, man. I'm a scientist." - Dr. Peter Venkman

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  11. #11
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    I wear a helmet all day every day.
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  12. #12
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    When I was young (long before helmets were created for Bicycles), I was in a bad bicycle accident. All I did was ride around the corner to my friend's house. To this day I do not know what happened, but when I was found I had a large lump on my head and green automotive paint pigment in my hair and on my scalp. I was lucky to awaken nearly 24 hours after being found. I was 8 years old, I'm 52 now and lucky to be alive. I wear my helmet.

  13. #13
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    Like Evasive ^ I wear mine when I am in rocks and with some downhill pointing. If I am climbing a long climb, it's on my pack, and if I am on flat trails with just dirt, I rarely wear one. Precious few trees to hit here! I would count myself lucky to miss a cactus and hit a tree. This personal risk awareness has worked for me for over 50 years, and I hope it will continue to do so.
    It's all Here. Now.

  14. #14
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    The "guilt" I've been lead to feel based on the industry and all the Dudley Do-Rights forces me to use a helmet even when I'm just pulling my bike up from the basement.

    Which is worse: Jewish guilt, Catholic guilt, or helmet guilt?

  15. #15
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    Not for quick spins with kids etc. in the 'hood.
    Geologist by trade...bicycle mechanic (former) by the grace of God!

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  16. #16
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    Yes.

  17. #17
    What could go wrong ...
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    I always wear a helmet and gloves and sunglasses when I'm on my bike but I'm ok with it if others choose not to because it thins the herd
    I used to ride to Win ... Now I ride to Grin

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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zoke2 View Post
    I always wear a helmet and gloves and sunglasses when I'm on my bike but I'm ok with it if others choose not to because it thins the herd
    Yes, the trails are littered with unhelmeted corpses. I swear that my local trail is looking more and more like the trail from camp 4 to the top of Everest with each passing day. Thank god most of them are easily huckable.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Overhillthruthewoods View Post
    Yes, the trails are littered with unhelmeted corpses. I swear that my local trail is looking more and more like the trail from camp 4 to the top of Everest with each passing day. Thank god most of them are easily huckable.
    Well, the obvious conclusion is that if climbing Everest, you should always wear a helmet...
    It's all Here. Now.

  20. #20
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    did not take the time to read the thread, but yes always!
    2014 Nail Trail 29...

  21. #21
    Afric Pepperbird
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    Just like Phillip!


  22. #22
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    Used to only wear it when on the trails or road rides off campus and commuting in the winter. Now my wife requests that I wear it all the time, so I comply.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by mjduct View Post
    I do, I got kids not only does it increase my likelihood of being around to see them, but it sets a good Example


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    exactly this. I hopped on my bike to coast it 10 yards to the car, my oldest (10) yelled out the door, "DAD! HELMET!"
    My bike MCA kinda climbs like a billy-goat. WOO WOO!

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by falconpunch79 View Post
    Used to only wear it when on the trails or road rides off campus and commuting in the winter. Now my wife demands that I wear it all the time, so I comply.
    Fixed it for you.
    Front Range, Colorado.

  25. #25
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    Trails hell yes. Riding solo to the store or something, was till my helmet broke (straps broke away from shell). If I have my kids I still do, just looks odd wearing a bell stoker to ride the bike paths
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  26. #26
    James.Hamilton
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    Helmet on every time I am on my bike. First off I like the feel of my helmet so it is not a detriment to my enjoyment. Secondly for me the casual rides are when you get dumped. The relaxed enjoying the slow ride with the kids can equal hitting that rock that jerks you to the side.

    As a parent trying to teach proper safety I feel that I always need to have one to show what is expected and safe. My kids want to wear their helmets and are excited to put them one and I have never had an issue with them not wanting to.

  27. #27
    Terrain Sculptor
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    Yup, all the time. I have yet to go for a ride that was "just around the hood". There's always going to be a set of stairs or a bench or a car nearby.
    Pavement will crack your skull way better than dirt. So will a gravel fire road. A curb, a car door, a light pole... If you think you'll never have a crash on a road or sidewalk, you just aren't riding enough. Put on enough miles and you'll go down, sooner or later.

    I wish all you folks that think you're safe on the streets and roads the best of luck. That's where your chances of having an accident are most out of your control.

    I should mention that when I was a kid I don't remember ever seeing anyone wear a bike helmet or seeing one for sale in a store.
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  28. #28
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    Do you always wear a helmet no matter where you go on your bike?

    No. But I can qualify that to a few times a year, maybe 10 miles on the odo. I went on a ride with my wife w/i the last week and specifically stated we probably wouldn't need our helmets. If she would have insisted that would have been fine and I'd have complied.
    It's a 7 house trip (city lots) to the end of our street and a 3 mile loop of gravel path in a park.

    I've also been known to ride my bike a few hundred feet in front of our house when testing or checking shifting, brakes or seat height etc....

    These two examples of no helmet rarely happen over the course of any given year but I'm definitely taking a gamble. Riding like that at even 8 mph isn't the issue as much as any day a car along the way could careen out of control and knock me off at a better rate of speed.
    ** I do recall one time I forgot my padded bike gloves (only time I recall not wearing them) and that day, I did a nice slo-mo OTB tearing my palms up pretty good. That kinda creeps into my mind about not knowing when I will want or need that extra measure of protection some of the gear affords. Forgetting the gloves was a memory lapse but had I decided to not wear them for some reason, I'd have felt pretty stupid.

    Like another poster stated, we all decide what level of risk is acceptable. I'm on the Almost always wear side of the equation and NO, it is not a full-face, doesn't have built in pepper spray for bears, no camera, ammo or a fire extinguisher.
    In the Middle Ages, the biggest mistake was not putting on your armor because you were 'just going down to the corner.'

  29. #29
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    My kids wear their helmets without fuss and nearly 100% of the time on their scooters, bikes, go-karts, etc. I on the other hand, am not putting my helmet on to ride 3 doors down and see my neighbor. Sure, they have said things in the past, but hey..I am their father, the boss, and I get to make the rules which at times means "do as I say, not as I do".
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  30. #30
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    Except for dinking around out front of the house, just checking brakes etc etc

  31. #31
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    I do because I have kids and I try to set a good example for them.

  32. #32
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    I do, and it is a good habit to get into. Last time I made an adjustment to my bike, went to take it out the door to do a quick test ride up and down the street. Halfway out the door, crap, forgot my helmet. It wouldn't be the same to feel the bike without the helmet, since that is how I ride. If I am trying to figure out if the saddle is at the right height, I need to not keep thinking this is strange without a helmet on....
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  33. #33
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    I used not to but with 2 boys 7 and 9. I am trying to set an example.
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  34. #34
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    I do. Also the helmet isn't just for me, I would hate to be the guy who comes upon my bloody corpse and is scarred for life because I didn't wear one.

  35. #35
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    Re: Do you always wear a helmet no matter where you go on your bike?

    Only in races or single track. Bicycling is not inherently dangerous. Also, I have two daughters and girls often stop riding as teens because of helmet use--vanity. So, I want them to see that for most types of riding helmets are not required.

    --Lars
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  36. #36
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    All these helmet threads consistently amaze me. The depth of feeling from both sides of this debate seems overblown to me. As a motorcyclist on the road, I can see the argument for wearing a helmet there as a matter of course, always. The speeds are usually much greater, and risks from other users are unacceptable for me. I have had several motorcycle accidents over the years, and in at least 2 of them my helmet has saved me from greater injury, certainly from death in one instance. Those accidents have invariably been caused by other road users. I would, however, never consider telling anyone they are stupid for not wearing a helmet on the road, even tho I may think that to myself. It is THEIR choice if the law permits them to not wear one. They are responsible for their own actions, despite whether I think they are right or wrong.
    I have been riding bicycles both on and off the road for over 50 years. I have fallen off bicycles too many times to even begin to count how many. I carry many scars on my body from these earth/flesh interactions, but never once hit my head so severely that I have had cause to feel the need to always wear a helmet. Despite all my experience and evidence, I do wear my helmet when I am upping the pace on rocky terrain. I do see that there may be a time when I might hit my head at speed on a sharp rock, and the fact that I am going downhill at speed causes me to take it off my pack and put it on. I have had many crashes at speed in rocky terrain, and I have been riding bicycles off road at speed regularly for over 40 years. Never once have I yet bashed my head that hard, and I even used to race in a national MTB series there in the 80s when helmets were mandatory and entirely unfit for purpose.
    I used to play club rugby in the UK many years ago. There was never any question of wearing helmets, even tho heads bashed constantly. Sheesh, I have sat down hard on couches and banged my head hard on the wall behind on occasion, but I do not wear a helmet for day to day couch sitting, neither would I urge you to do so, even tho the evidence I have tells me this is more dangerous than cycling.

    In short, there are many things we do on a regular basis that are much more dangerous statistically than riding a bicycle, for which we do not wear protective gear, but that is our choice. Personally, my choice is to wear a bicycle helmet on occasions when I feel it is prudent, and I don't need any busybodies telling me what I should or should not be doing. It is none of your business. And if you bring up the argument "it's unfair that I should have to take care of your corpse/injured body" etc, then shame on you. I would happily and without judgement take care of anyone injured on their bike, helmet or not.
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  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockerc View Post
    Those accidents have invariably been caused by other road users. I would, however, never consider telling anyone they are stupid for not wearing a helmet on the road, even tho I may think that to myself. It is THEIR choice if the law permits them to not wear one. They are responsible for their own actions, despite whether I think they are right or wrong.
    But that's not the way our civilization is. The paragraph above would only make sense if they live in isolation on their own island with their own roads, their own medical services, their own laws, etc. What happens when said person gets severe brain injury, insurance won't go that far, and they are told the only way to possibly cover the medical expenses is to sue someone? If you have to decide between suing someone and having your love one live, you are probably going to choose "life". So you can't really be responsible for your actions when others will act on your behalf. Then there's all the services and protections built into our society. If someone smashes in their head, someone is going to call 911, paramedics will come, maybe a helicopter, you'll be taken to a hospital, etc. No one is going to say "well, he wasn't wearing a helmet, screw him". We have to give the benefit of the doubt, or our society will devolve into lawlessness and chaos. If you choose to be a part of our society, you DO have some responsibility to do the right thing, for the people around you, because you don't live on your own island that is funded and run by you.
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  38. #38
    High Desert MTBer
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    But that's not the way our civilization is. The paragraph above would only make sense if they live in isolation on their own island with their own roads, their own medical services, their own laws, etc. What happens when said person gets severe brain injury, insurance won't go that far, and they are told the only way to possibly cover the medical expenses is to sue someone? If you have to decide between suing someone and having your love one live, you are probably going to choose "life". So you can't really be responsible for your actions when others will act on your behalf. Then there's all the services and protections built into our society. If someone smashes in their head, someone is going to call 911, paramedics will come, maybe a helicopter, you'll be taken to a hospital, etc. No one is going to say "well, he wasn't wearing a helmet, screw him". We have to give the benefit of the doubt, or our society will devolve into lawlessness and chaos. If you choose to be a part of our society, you DO have some responsibility to do the right thing, for the people around you, because you don't live on your own island that is funded and run by you.
    This is something of a specious argument Jayem, and has no relevance to what I have been saying. Please read what I said once again, you will see that I am not advocating riding motorcycles without a helmet, but IF THE LAW PERMITS, then it is up to the individual to decide. Nothing to do with being on our own islands.
    It's all Here. Now.

  39. #39
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    There is a long slow forest road climb to the top of a mountain near my house. Takes me between 50 - 55 minutes to get to the top. Once at the top, the singletrack fun begins. I don't wear my helmet riding up this road, as I never go more than 5mph, and it is a road with no cars, etc. I wear the helmet for the descent. Other than this one long slow utterly non-technical climb, I wear the helmet 100% of the time. I'd be willing to bet that for the tens of thousands of mountain bikers that have done this same climb, not a single one of them actually managed to crash their bike (at least on the way up. I know lots of them crashed on the way down). I'm willing to chance it.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by freakybro View Post
    There is a long slow forest road climb to the top of a mountain near my house. Takes me between 50 - 55 minutes to get to the top. Once at the top, the singletrack fun begins. I don't wear my helmet riding up this road, as I never go more than 5mph, and it is a road with no cars, etc. I wear the helmet for the descent. Other than this one long slow utterly non-technical climb, I wear the helmet 100% of the time. I'd be willing to bet that for the tens of thousands of mountain bikers that have done this same climb, not a single one of them actually managed to crash their bike (at least on the way up. I know lots of them crashed on the way down). I'm willing to chance it.
    Freakybro, the sky could fall on your head... squirrel could dash out and cause you to swerve over the edge onto a rock... actually, more likely you swerve, fall, and land on an upturned handlebar and it pierces your chest... (that was one of my worst injuries), maybe a chest protector is also necessary for those occasions?
    It's all Here. Now.

  41. #41
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    I even wear it on the couch…but then again…I've got narcolepsy* so my situation might not be typical.

    *no…I don't actually have narcolepsy. I do wear it whenever I ride though.

  42. #42
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    Life insurance is cheap, but doctors and hospitals are not. The worst thing that could happen to my wife is me ending up hospitalized and out of work for an extended period due to an easily preventable injury.

    In short: On trails definitely, at home likely.
    Try not to take life too seriously, few people have made it out alive.

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  43. #43
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    I certainly respect the rights of others to NOT wear helmets. I do have to address the issue of speed though. Several people have mentioned that they aren't going very fast so they don't need a helmet. Speed is not a factor when you go OTB and land on your head on something hard. At 6' tall from a dead stop if you topple over, or go over the bars, or wash out on loose gravel, or hit a sewer grate, or get doored, or just get slightly bumped into a power pole by a semi-blind ass in a cube van (yeah, this one happened to me) and you hit your head on wood, pavement, hard packed gravel or metal, you're likely to sustain a serious head injury.

    Banging your head on the wall sitting down is a sideways inpact from a few inches or maybe a foot away, not a freefall from 6' with you full body weight.

    Here is some light reading from The Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute:
    Bicycle Helmet Statistics

    ... and from Snell:
    Snell Foundation - Circumstances and Severity of Bicycle Injuries

    Once again I say, if you don't want to wear a helmet, have at 'er. Be informed though.
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  44. #44
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    TN, while there is little doubt that helmets can help in certain cases of collision or crash, statistics can be 'manipulated' any way I want. In the first set of statistics for instance, it states that over 75% of cyclist deaths are in a collision with motor vehicles, 62% of which involve head injuries, and 30% attributable to alcoholic intake. I could state that as I rarely ride on the road with any other motor vehicles, and never drink alcohol, my risk awareness level seems to be right on track!

    Seriously though, my PERSONAL opinion, well-founded from my own experience, and backed up by much statistical evidence (!), tells me that wearing a helmet when I do is a good way for me to continue. If we are talking likelihood for bad things to happen, upon which I base most of any preventative measures I choose to take, I should either be wearing chain mail with kevlar underwear when I walk down the street, or carry on as I am... I'm OK thanks... I still don't need holier-than-thou types trying to force their agenda upon me. I have sometimes been admonished by complete strangers on easy trails for not wearing a helmet, I have been turned down when I offered to ride with someone who didn't look too chipper out in the heat because I wasn't wearing a helmet, and I even had someone who came out on one of the rides I was leading decide to not join in because I did not wear a helmet from the parking lot up to the TH! His loss. It was a great ride, and, surprise surprise! No one died from head injury...
    It's all Here. Now.

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nubster View Post
    Stupid not to. All it takes is a low speed spill and whacking your head and it's all over.
    It is amazing how kids ever survived past the early 90's since up to that point, nobody wore a helmet.

    If I ride the trails, I always wear it except on some long gravel climbs on a hot day.
    Road biking I also wear it. There are a few occasions where I don't though.
    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockerc View Post
    TN, while there is little doubt that helmets can help in certain cases of collision or crash, statistics can be 'manipulated' any way I want. In the first set of statistics for instance, it states that over 75% of cyclist deaths are in a collision with motor vehicles, 62% of which involve head injuries, and 30% attributable to alcoholic intake. I could state that as I rarely ride on the road with any other motor vehicles, and never drink alcohol, my risk awareness level seems to be right on track!

    Seriously though, my PERSONAL opinion, well-founded from my own experience, and backed up by much statistical evidence (!), tells me that wearing a helmet when I do is a good way for me to continue. If we are talking likelihood for bad things to happen, upon which I base most of any preventative measures I choose to take, I should either be wearing chain mail with kevlar underwear when I walk down the street, or carry on as I am... I'm OK thanks... I still don't need holier-than-thou types trying to force their agenda upon me. I have sometimes been admonished by complete strangers on easy trails for not wearing a helmet, I have been turned down when I offered to ride with someone who didn't look too chipper out in the heat because I wasn't wearing a helmet, and I even had someone who came out on one of the rides I was leading decide to not join in because I did not wear a helmet from the parking lot up to the TH! His loss. It was a great ride, and, surprise surprise! No one died from head injury...
    I agree completely. There are hikers, equestrians and even motorcyclists who will tell you that cycling AT ALL is a death sentence. Personally I think skydivers are nuts but I'll defend their right to jump out of a perfectly good airplane if that's what they want to do. Telling me to wear a helmet, not ride a mountain bike or to quit smoking gets a resounding "Mind your own business". I wouldn't presume to tell a full grown adult what to do in any situation (unless I was asked) and I wouldn't accept that advice from anybody (unless I asked).

    In this thread we were asked. I'm happy to give my opinion and supply any facts I can find (opinions are like...) to help the OP make an informed decision. I put those two links in there (and didn't try to interpret them) so anyone who wants to can find the stats and draw their own conclusions.
    Quote Originally Posted by Trail Ninja's Son
    You may be happy to hear that my dad has kicked cancer's ass. Now he's looking for whoever sent it.

  47. #47
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    Of course, how else you gonna carry two beers at once?
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    edit: NOT ME ^, btw
    Keep trying to do the awesomest thing you've ever done.

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirt farmer View Post
    Just like Phillip!

    ^^^Holy F, you read my mind!

    Coming from a guy who broke his helmet on a MUP due to a tire coming off the rim...
    Our house rule is that if you are going to ride faster than you can run, you need a helmet. The exception - meaning a helmet is required - is when you get a new bike or you are going to try something you never did on a bicycle before (regardless of speed).

    -F
    It's never easier - you just go faster.

  49. #49
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    For long grinding climbs in the summer I will remove my helmet rather than bake my brain. This is very slow riding, and yes I know you can bang your head going slow, but heat exhaustion is a serious concern as well, and a much more likely one.

    I know a guy with great bike handling skills who was screwing around right outside his house and banged his head. Ended up in the ER and permanently lost his sense of taste and smell.

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by bamwa View Post
    Of course, how else you gonna carry two beers at once?
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    edit: NOT ME ^, btw

    Yes, always helmeted.

    Not only for the beverage holders, but where else would I attach my helmet mirror?

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