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  1. #1
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    Neurologist says bike helmets are useless

    I apologize if this has already made the round (I took a quick look and didn't see it pop up...). A UK neurologist claims that helmets are too flimsy to provide any real protection (think he is talking road riding) and the article even claims there is research that shows cars drive closer to helmeted riders.

    Cycle helmets are useless, says brain surgeon - Telegraph

  2. #2
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    I stopped using one on the road. I just mine on the trails or for bike demos(where they demand you have one).

  3. #3
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    Hmmm, I'll have to see the data.
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  5. #5
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    Awesome. I think you should stop wearing one.

  6. #6
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    I just logged on to post this article but you beat me to it. I'm not sure about the scientific data but it won't change my wearing a helmet.

  7. #7
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    What an IDIOT!
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  8. #8
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    I want that three inch gap back. I am ditching my helmet.......

    Love the photo where the brain surgeon is putting on the helmet in an incorrect position.

    I hope the kids are not listening to what this guy is saying.......

  9. #9
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    That article proves that even a neurosurgeon can be a total idiot.

  10. #10
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    I've smacked my head on the ground and cracked my helmet. I ended up with some facial scrapes and a minor headache. I think I'll keep wearing my helmet.

  11. #11
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    This neurosurgeon obviously has not pushed the envelope when it comes to cycling.

  12. #12
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    Our entire sport is a calculated risk. God forbid you're not wearing a helmet and every mountain biker you come across has to comment upon it. Keep your opinions to yourself. If you won't go up to another total stranger and give them life tips then don't do it to other mountain bikers either. Most rational people think that riding a mountain bike is really dangerous and stupid, yet you continue to do it. Someone who isn't wearing a helmet is doing the same thing as you, it's just that their acceptable risk level is higher than yours. Feel free to think it's stupid, which it is, but keep it to yourself.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Overhillthruthewoods View Post
    Our entire sport is a calculated risk. God forbid you're not wearing a helmet and every mountain biker you come across has to comment upon it. Keep your opinions to yourself. If you won't go up to another total stranger and give them life tips then don't do it to other mountain bikers either. Most rational people think that riding a mountain bike is really dangerous and stupid, yet you continue to do it. Someone who isn't wearing a helmet is doing the same thing as you, it's just that their acceptable risk level is higher than yours. Feel free to think it's stupid, which it is, but keep it to yourself.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by youngstrom View Post
    I apologize if this has already made the round (I took a quick look and didn't see it pop up...). A UK neurologist claims that helmets are too flimsy to provide any real protection (think he is talking road riding) and the article even claims there is research that shows cars drive closer to helmeted riders.

    Cycle helmets are useless, says brain surgeon - Telegraph
    Do you wear a helmet?

    If you do, will that article change your views on wearing a helmet?

    This research into how close a car drives to a cyclist has too many variables.

    Width of the road, cyclists position on the road, traffic coming the other way, who is riding the bike, who is driving the car, etc.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mookie View Post
    Hmmm, I'll have to see the data.
    Well you'll have a hard time finding it because the doctor mentioned didn't do any research of his own. He was speaking at an arts festival and mentioned his opinion that his patients' helmets are too flimsy. He then cited a study that investigated correlation between passing distance and whether the cyclist being passed has a helmet, and backed that up with his own personal story of riding to work every day. This story was so poorly written that it would have been better not written at all.
    Sometimes, I question the value of my content.

  16. #16
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    No brain, no pain.

  17. #17
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    I've needed my helmet only a few times...that I can remember.

  18. #18
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    Well, if you wear it like the dill-hole on the page -

    Neurologist says bike helmets are useless-helmet_2927069b.jpg

    Then yes, the helmet is worthless.



    This headline and article show me again, that degrees, and education do NOT ALWAYS MEAN SOMEONE IS SMART.

    A degree is training. That is it. OUTSIDE of that training, you are pretty much dumb. People think just because someone is a lawyer, doctor, neurosurgeon, or whatever - that they suddenly are to be admired and believed in EVERYTHING they say.

    I do heating and air conditioning. I LOVE the lawyers and doctors who flat out say "I have no idea how these things work" and don't even attempt to impress me with their wiki-degree on a thermodynamic system. They have their specialized training, and are (hopefully) good at it. Outside of that, their degree means nothing to me. That point is proven by this article.


    If he wanted to actually be intelligent - he would try to find out if "all of those injuries from someone wearing a helmet" had a helmet on properly.
    That's like putting a seat belt on, but removing the shoulder strap, and disengaging the locking mechanism. "Seat belts don't do anything!" NO kidding. It is not being used properly. Again, if the idiot pictured on the web page is any indication of how people are wearing helmets, I have no doubt that wearing the helmet (as shown) does absolutely nothing!!

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by DethWshBkr View Post
    Well, if you wear it like the dill-hole on the page -

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Then yes, the helmet is worthless.



    This headline and article show me again, that degrees, and education do NOT ALWAYS MEAN SOMEONE IS SMART.

    A degree is training. That is it. OUTSIDE of that training, you are pretty much dumb. People think just because someone is a lawyer, doctor, neurosurgeon, or whatever - that they suddenly are to be admired and believed in EVERYTHING they say.

    I do heating and air conditioning. I LOVE the lawyers and doctors who flat out say "I have no idea how these things work" and don't even attempt to impress me with their wiki-degree on a thermodynamic system. They have their specialized training, and are (hopefully) good at it. Outside of that, their degree means nothing to me. That point is proven by this article.


    If he wanted to actually be intelligent - he would try to find out if "all of those injuries from someone wearing a helmet" had a helmet on properly.
    That's like putting a seat belt on, but removing the shoulder strap, and disengaging the locking mechanism. "Seat belts don't do anything!" NO kidding. It is not being used properly. Again, if the idiot pictured on the web page is any indication of how people are wearing helmets, I have no doubt that wearing the helmet (as shown) does absolutely nothing!!
    WTF, that looks like a kids helmet that guy is putting on. No sh!t that helmet doesn't work. Anyway, the doc is a douche for even implying that helmets are not beneficial.
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bro View Post
    Well you'll have a hard time finding it because the doctor mentioned didn't do any research of his own. He was speaking at an arts festival and mentioned his opinion that his patients' helmets are too flimsy. He then cited a study that investigated correlation between passing distance and whether the cyclist being passed has a helmet, and backed that up with his own personal story of riding to work every day. This story was so poorly written that it would have been better not written at all.
    I noticed that, just very limited anecdotal evidence.
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  21. #21
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    1 neurologist?
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  22. #22
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    Doc needs a new car

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by DethWshBkr View Post

    Click image for larger version. 

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    That's a solid haircut... looks amazing in that helmet.
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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclelicious View Post
    That's a solid haircut... looks amazing in that helmet.
    I can't believe it's not butteh.

  25. #25
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    When I grow up I want to be a neurologizer, too!
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  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    1 neurologist?
    His brother is the 1 dentist out of 5 that doesn't recommend Orbit gum.
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  27. #27
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    I hit my head on a tree today. My head is fine. So is my helmet for that matter

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  28. #28
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    A helmet or safety thread is a worthwhile use of space here IMO.

    The motorcycle forums are full of pretty legit stats both national and sorted by individual States, yet the debate about To Wear or Not to Wear rages to surprising levels.
    That it involves bikes up to 200 hp potentially taking anyone from zero to dead in 3.3 seconds make this discussion seem respectably civil and friendly.

    Before getting back to motorcycling, I decided to investigate the world of travel on pavement and thankfully had a hint of knowledge or call it suspicion that my many, many years of riding dirt and trail bikes meant zero as a contrast to modern traffic systems, bigger cities and well, just Traffic in general.
    There's more trucks, bigger trucks and more road rage than ever not to mention the electronic tethers everyone has or 7" video screen dash boards that demand attn at all times and replace the 4 knobs or buttons we used to have.

    My motorcycle sat in the garage for almost two years before I schooled myself on things and started looking for riding opportunities with some verve. Prior to that, it was just a short errand to run or a short work commute with limited exposure.

    When I consider the helmets I have for the m/c versus the foam hairpiece many bicyclists wear including myself, I just figure it's what is accepted and may reduce injury if or when it's called to duty.
    I'm okay with that and in fact, will likely ride my mtn bike at a leisurely pace more so that I did 8 or 10 years ago. I know there is more protective equip and padded outfits, full face helmets etc... so when I see riders utilizing it and riding more aggressive and faster, I consider them smart people who knowingly enter a world of risk and mitigate it in and responsible way. Things happen, other riders, drivers make mistakes, tires lose air ,,, whatever.

    I've had two occasions to bounce back. The first was in 1981 and it would have been a good night to wear football shoulder pads a helmet and.... oh yeah, a seatbelt. Got ejected out of my Jeep by a car that ran a red light in August around 11:30 pm.

    In 1995 (April 30 at 1:30 pm) it was a DUI uninsured driver that nailed my car at the driver door, estimated 55- 60 mph and I did have the seatbelt on.

    As long as you know the day or time of day you'll need that helmet or other protective gear,, it's all good.

  29. #29
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    These helmet threads are long on opinion and short on data.
    I know everyone has been taught, "wear a helmet, it is safer".
    It may be true, it may not.
    I would like to see the data rather than conjecture and guesses.
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  30. #30
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    If there is a possibility that wearing a helmet doesn't help but can't hurt....Then why not wear one anyway?

    I wear one to protect against low hanging branches more so than a fall. I've ducked on a couple and they bounce right off the helmet. I've bled from doing this without. Lots of low branches around my neck of the woods.
    Also, a helmet will protect the back of your head more so than not which is most crucial and harder to defend yourself against.
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  31. #31
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    Neurologist says bike helmets are useless

    It defies logic that this is debatable.

  32. #32
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    Re: Neurologist says bike helmets are useless

    Quote Originally Posted by DethWshBkr View Post
    Validate me!
    Yes. There is no difference between you, an a/c repair person, and Einstein, Sagan, Hawking, NDT, etc...except a bit of training.


  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by DethWshBkr View Post

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Not a helmet, a Yamakelmet. I dunno, my kid came off his bike last mother's day doing 25, hit pavement and tore the crap out of his elbows and legs. His helmet was abraded clear through the outter shell and there were several cracks. His head (other than being distorted from his "my everything hurts" face) was fine. +1 vote on the wear a helmet side.
    The most expensive bike in the world is still cheaper than the cheapest open heart surgery.

  34. #34
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    Yeah, we need a massive cost government study to tell us what to do about saving our own a$$.

    I think some of us can figure out what stats might lean toward if it's a question of wearing some protective gear as it relates to safety, reduced injury or reduced medical needs / costs. A helmet can be had for $40 but co-pays, cosmetic fixes or X-Rays might end up being the wake up call that substitutes for logic, experience or common sense.

    Reminds me of the seat-belt debate where a car fire or a drowning took lives supposedly due to not getting out because of the seat-belt versus hundred of lives saved every day.

    The angst involved in the debate is logical. Common sense, logic and experience tell us what happens if we don't wear sunscreen, safety glasses when wood-working, gloves when handling wood that slivers etc.... I can't imagine being on the wrong side of that debate.
    I don't ask others why or why not because it's their decision but they'd do a lot better IMO if asked or compelled to comment just to Man Up and say; "it won't happen to me"or "I choose not to mess up my hair and get sweaty" or "I don't mind taking a bit extra risk b/c I don't want to wear that ---- thing."

    Data and stats probably won't show that Yes, skiers and snowboarders still whack trees at crazy speed and the helmet didn't help their thorax or save their life.

    One of the safety strategies I see used every day is the bright colored helmeted motorcyclist. Just by getting a lighter color or a bright day-glo shade, they are more easily spotted on the roads and in traffic. Visual conspicuity is a goal for many riders as a side benefit of wearing a helmet. Their riding position puts that helmet up high where many can see it a few cars ahead and might otherwise just blend in.

    If nothing else, maybe we can agree to not blend in !

  35. #35
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    Neuro Surgeon. I work with surgeons. If there's another group of people who are as arrogant and think they know more, I hope I never meet them.

    He's a neuro surgeon. He's not a physicist. He's not a safety engineer. The only thing he know about head injury is how to fix the damage after it happens.

    Personally I have whacked my head pretty good on tree branches and was glad I was wearing my helmet.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by girlonbike View Post
    It defies logic that this is debatable.

    I know, to crush your skull or not to crush? Hmmmm, let me think that over........ It is true that helmets have limited abilities as far as preventing concussions but tests have shown that slowing the brains deceleration rate even milliseconds can make a significant difference in their severity.


    Quote Originally Posted by debaucherous View Post
    These helmet threads are long on opinion and short on data.
    I know everyone has been taught, "wear a helmet, it is safer".
    It may be true, it may not.
    I would like to see the data rather than conjecture and guesses.


    Here's some data, I've thumped my head pretty hard both with and without a helmet and although in both cases it pretty much sucked I can say wholeheartedly that I preferred the helmeted version.

    I'm in the market for a new lid and the MIPS (Multi-directional impact protection system) technology looks interesting.

  37. #37
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    Most of us who wear helmets have been glad on occasion that we did. Myself included.

  38. #38
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    So if that neurosurgeon suggests that not wearing a helmet is just as safe as wearing one, he then if fact is a un-informed and a complete idiot. When riding down mountain passes at seemly warp speeds as we do a lot in my neck of the woods, you do question the safety of your riding gear, team kit and a Giro Atmos helmet, hitting the pavement at 50+, probably not going to do much but I'll take that risk anyway and will always use a helmet.
    One of my worst injuries was a day that " I don't need my helmet, I'm just going to cruise along the beach path", were I took this double jump, a jump that I've done 100 times before, all went wrong right after I launched and landing on my left side of my head, causing severe damage, which I was lucky was not permanent, but did require plastic surgery to my ear, nose and eye. From that day forward ( December 28, 1988) I always wear a helmet and suggest everyone else does too, but it's comes down to everyone's own choice.
    Last edited by Hurricane Jeff; 05-31-2014 at 10:31 PM.

  39. #39
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    Hard data aside, I think there is sufficient anecdotal evidence that wearing a helmet is desirable if you want to mitigate the severity of certain injuries. Personally, after riding motorbikes at speed on the roads for over 40 years, NOT wearing a helmet is just plain idiotic. I have good reason(s) to believe this.
    I do not have a road bicycle, and go out of my way to not have to ride on the road, so wearing a helmet on the road is not an issue for me. If I am riding a trail that has few rocks and is pretty flat, I will often not wear my helmet, and consider that an acceptable risk. In over 50 years of riding bicycles, that has worked for me just fine. However, as soon as I get into any chunk, and things start to get more gravitational, I always put it on. I carry it strapped to my pack. Personally, I find bicycle helmets uncomfortable, and before anyone says I don't have the right one, I have tried many over the years.
    I find it annoying when busybodies decide they need to educate me as to my stupidity if they meet me when I am not wearing my helmet out there. Acceptable risk... for me.
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    During the Middle Ages, probably one of the biggest mistakes was not putting on your armor because you were 'just going down to the corner.'

    jack handy

  41. #41
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    I've crashed hard enough to crack helmets. Threw them away and bought a new ones. Try doing that with your skull. All the anecdotal I need.
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  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glide the Clyde View Post
    I've crashed hard enough to crack helmets. Threw them away and bought a new ones. Try doing that with your skull. All the anecdotal I need.
    Yeah, I've smacked my head a few times, no doubt the helmet helped me out.
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  43. #43
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    So all those dings and dents on my helmets means they're "useless?" I think not. I'll keep wearing my brain bucket.
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  44. #44
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    I can't say that a helmet has ever prevented brain damage or a concussion for myself, but it sure as **** let me keep the skin on my head and face quite a few times. I wouldn't call that useles.

  45. #45
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    I assume that if you hit hard enough, your brain will bounce off the inside of your skull and damage itself. However, there is STRONG evidence proving that wearing a helmet SAVES LIVES and minimizes head trauma.
    Screw you guys, I'm going out for a ride now...

  46. #46
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    ALLWAYS get a 2nd or 3rd or 4th opinion with neurologist's, you can trust me on this
    ...

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deerhill View Post
    ALLWAYS get a 2nd or 3rd or 4th opinion with neurologist's, you can trust me on this
    I don't know if I can with that inappropriate use of an apostrophe.
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  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by debaucherous View Post
    These helmet threads are long on opinion and short on data.
    I know everyone has been taught, "wear a helmet, it is safer".
    It may be true, it may not.
    I would like to see the data rather than conjecture and guesses.
    +1

    The article is all "he said, she said". It would be more interesting if the journalist had actually taken the time to support what was said rather than throw some anecdotes into the mix.

    I think most of us wear helmets because we think they help protect us, but I'll admit I've never really seen any data that supports helmets do much, if anything, when needed. (Because I haven't looked, not for any other reason.) It is clearly an interesting observation that drivers think that helmeted riders are more "sensible, predictable and experienced" and drive closer when passing.

    I can see how helmets perhaps give a false sense of security and if a truck bashes into you at 20mph, the helmet could be a considered "too flimsy".

    I'm going to keep wearing my helmet because it makes me feel better (and I look cool too!) but I'm certainly not going to be dogmatic about it and yell "YOU SHOULD WEAR A HELMET YOU IDIOT!!" when I brush cyclist back to the side of the road zooming by in my car anymore.

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Semitone View Post
    I'm going to keep wearing my helmet because it makes me feel better (and I look cool too!) but I'm certainly not going to be dogmatic about it and yell "YOU SHOULD WEAR A HELMET YOU IDIOT!!" when I brush cyclist back to the side of the road zooming by in my car anymore.
    So are you admitting that you purposefully fail to give cyclists enough room when driving?
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  50. #50
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    I've done 2 backward rolls in past few years and was very thankful for my helmet as it rolled across the jagged rocks. Camel back was excellent padding as well on that last wreck.

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