How do you ride when you forget your helmet?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    How do you ride when you forget your helmet?

    Forgot mine this evening. Forgot gloves, too. Wasn't about to go home, so I rode up the canyon with my grips slick and sweat streaming down my temples.

    Rode the log-ride with the drop into the creek, helmet be damned. Rode the two foot drop, the three foot drop, and the three and a half foot drop. Skipped the four foot drop, just like I always do. Pretty much rode the same as always, but boy was I paying attention.

    How about you? Do you ride more conservatively when you forget your helmet?
    "Check out dude."
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  2. #2
    Double-metric mtb man
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    Definitely...I need to get up in the morning to pay the bills. For me: No helmet = minimize the risk wherever possible.
    As if four times wasn't enough-> Psycho Mike's 2013 Ride to Conquer Cancer Page

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  3. #3
    Mashers Only!!
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    I don't ride... This happened to me last week. It's just not worth it. I think i'm getting old and I sound like my parrents!

    HUGH

  4. #4
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    I don't ride without a helmet. If I did forget it, I probably wouldn't ride or would stick to tame fire roads... In my experience, if I'm trying to take it easy and am preoccupied with falling -- I ride like **** and am more likely to fall...

  5. #5

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    no helmet - no ride for me too. i've there was a thread here a while back with some graphic pics of what happens just riding around your neighborhood without a lid. sorry but no way i'm risking that. each to their own and all that though.

  6. #6
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    one time i forgot my helmet

    but i was with a girl i was trying to get into.....biking. rode very very carefully and felt very naked. near the end when crossing a bridge with no railing over a 15 foot drop this other girl in front of me aaaalmost stopped in front of me to get a better view. i was clipped in and didnt have enough foot space to unclip without falling. I knew if i screamed at her to keep moving she would have freaked out and stayed put. so i bit my lip until she ambled along. i screamed right after.

    aside from that, no helmet no ride. husband of an officemate was on a scooter running an errand. no helmet + accident = coma for a year followed by death after complications. left behind 2 kids, one was born a few weeks before the accident. blah blah blah it was on a scooter blah blah blah it was on a road. but still....
    Let it flow, let yourself go, slow and low, that is the tempo.

  7. #7
    local trails rider
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    My rides start at my front door so I do not forget my helmet.

    The longest I have ridden without a helmet, since I bought one, is around the house. Feels as weird as sitting in a car without a seat belt or walking into a supermarket without a shirt.

  8. #8
    squish is good
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    I ride most of my commuting w/o a helmet, but its getting to feel weird. I learned to drive a car with a seatbelt from day one. Now, at age 22, It just doesn't feel right to drive without a seatbelt on. The helmet is beginning to feel the same way. When I'm riding on trails (which has become alot more common this summer) as opposed to just riding to class, I always have my helmet on. I may have to change my habits for comforts sake...

  9. #9

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    I never forget the lid. Whether on my MTB, roadie or dirt bike I always have my helmet on. Right now I work in the Neurosciences dept. of the local hospital and have seen too many closed head traumas to forget. I do need to learn to snowboard with a helmet. For whatever reason it's different. I'll use when I compete but leisure runs with my wife or buddies, I forgot it.

  10. #10

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    No HELMET = NO RIDE

    The guys I ride with, enforce this rule strictly, no exceptions! After I just started riding with them last year, I actually left my helmet at home one morning. I said I would take it easy, but no way they were going to let me ride along. One of the guys waited the 20 min it took me to go home and get it. We also do a monthly 'mountainbike hash' http://www.pbase.com/perhoem/kl_mountain_bike_hash and we get 100 to 160 riders every time. Always someone that has forgot a helmet, so if there are no spares, that means NO RIDE, even if the terrain is modest.

  11. #11
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    I just ride normally. I didn't even think about riding with a helmet until I got sick of getting **** from all the whiners, so on the few times I've forgotten, I don't worry and just enjoy the ride. Yes, I know most of you disagree with this, you don't need to tell how dumb you think I am, blah blah blah all over again. Just answering the original posters question, move along.
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  12. #12
    Nat
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    Last time I forgot my helmet I tooted around like Mary Poppins. ding-ding! It's such a naked feeling.

    I've rather been enjoying riding helmetless on the commuter though.

  13. #13
    beer thief
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    I think it's only happened once, but I rode conservatively. It was winter and I was riding on snow, so my hat made me feel like I was skiing.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tarekith
    I just ride normally. I didn't even think about riding with a helmet until I got sick of getting **** from all the whiners, so on the few times I've forgotten, I don't worry and just enjoy the ride. Yes, I know most of you disagree with this, you don't need to tell how dumb you think I am, blah blah blah all over again. Just answering the original posters question, move along.


    Word!

    (Personally I would not ride, that would be stupid, but as you stated, no need to tell you that.. )

    Seriously, to each their own, but not for me.
    I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand. -- Confucius

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrMountainHop
    Forgot mine this evening. Forgot gloves, too. Wasn't about to go home, so I rode up the canyon with my grips slick and sweat streaming down my temples.

    Rode the log-ride with the drop into the creek, helmet be damned. Rode the two foot drop, the three foot drop, and the three and a half foot drop. Skipped the four foot drop, just like I always do. Pretty much rode the same as always, but boy was I paying attention.

    How about you? Do you ride more conservatively when you forget your helmet?
    never forgotten my helmet - i've forgotten pretty much everything else: gloves, sun glasses, spare tube/CO2, front wheel, keys to my roof rack (with the bike locked on top)... so i don't know what i'd do. guess it would depend on how far i'd driven to get there. 30 min - 1 hr drive, i'd probably just turn around and go home. 4 hr drive, might see if there's a shop in the area and buy a new helmet, if not, maybe i'd ride. don't know.


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  16. #16
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    I keep my helmet, gloves, shoes, and seat/ seat post (has to come off to fit in back of truck) in one bag. If I forget the bag, it's not worth trying to ride. Many years ago I had a different system and did one ride with out the brain bucket. I'll be careful I thought. I hopped and tiny log (6" maybe) and somehow landed on my head. I had a major headache for a week.
    I've seen and had too many broken helmets to risk it now.

  17. #17
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    All rides are from home for me, no driving. No helmet, no ride. It is easy though since bikes are right inside front door; gloves and helmet are hanging from H-Bars of bike closest to door. Also a U-Lock and cable for quick trips to work and store.

    When I start to drive to trails to ride (no time working 7 days/week to pay medical bills), the items hanging on the bikes will go to the truck first.
    "The physician heals, Nature makes well" - real fortune cookie

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  18. #18

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    I don't...

    forget my helmet. Gloves? Yes. Glasses? Yes. Helmet? No. If I did I probably wouldn't ride as I've fallen and hit the helmet before. It wasn't pretty and I was unscathed. No helmet=no ride.

  19. #19
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    Just once...

    I forgot my helmet one time when riding as Wissahicken (sp?) in Philly. My wife dropped me and a buddy off and drove off with the van, after which I realized my helmet was in there after I got a few minutes down the trail. ARGH. I decided to take it easy and go on with the ride. I felt totally naked throughout the ride.

    At just about the end of the ride we were crusing along and a wooden bridge came along. I just hit it without thinking about my lack of helmet or considering it might be slippery. It was, and I went down hard and fast, falling 4 feet from the top of the bridge into the dry, rocky stream bed. The look on my buddy's face was classic, luckily I fell well and I didn't get hurt at all, but that's the kind of fall that helmets are made for.

    John

  20. #20
    The Weatherman
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    I have only forgot my helmet one time (now, my rear wheel... that's another story altogether...).

    When I lived in Korea we were doing shuttle runs on a phenomenal trail system at Namhansanseong Regional Park. Load up bikes, drive to the top. Bomb back down. Rinse, repeat.

    On our second or third bombing run, I left my helmet back at the bottom of the mountain in one of the shuttle vehicles. Got to the top. Cracked a beer before the next run, drank it, and then realized that I had left my helmet at the bottom of the mountain. Damn!

    I debated it for a while, and finally just decided to throw caution to the wind and ride.

    That bombing run was my cleanest ever. Usually I had a couple of dabs, a few dismounts, and a few close calls... not on this run. It was the perfect run.

    Granted I did shave alot of speed off my normal pace, but still, it was pretty impressive. And I must say, riding without a helmet on did feel good.

    Unwad your panties helmet militia. That was the only time I mountain biked without a helmet, and in no way do I advocate others do the same. I took the chance and gambled, coming out clean. Eventually however, you will lose.

    But man, what a feeling.... totally exposed head...

  21. #21
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    I don't........

    Nice time to try a hike. Really, I don't give a rats a$$ if someone else rides without a helmet but I choose not to. Worse case as in I am far from home, I hope I can find a bike shop and buy a new one to use.

  22. #22

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    I have never forgotten the helmet, but if I did I would think twice about riding. One endo onto a flat rock last year rang my bell bad enough with a helmet on. I don't think I would have liked the results without the helmet.

    Now forgetting gloves, misc articles of clothing, etc. - been there done that.

  23. #23
    Your bike is incorrigible
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    a long story with a good point

    Back in the day ('89 to be exact), we didn't ride with helmets. One afternoon after school, I was out in this field that dirtbikers had built some jumps on. I was messing around, playing, enjoying myself on this 1/4 pipe. You had to get up a lot of speed to make it to the top and catch some air. Anyway, my dad came along (also sans helmet) and joined me. I showed him the 1/4 pipe and told him how he had to get up some speed to clear it. Then I took off, went up, caught some air, landed on the other side. He was coming right behind me, so I waited and waited and waited.

    Finally, I looked over the edge and saw what was perhaps the single most frightening thing I have every seen: my father was laying on the ground in a fetal position, eyes wide open but obviously unconcious, panting. His bike was twenty feet away. I went down to and tried to talk to him, but there was no response. What was I going to do? This field was about a half mile from home, but it was down some singletrack, and there was no way to get him back by myself. Plus, there was a fence that needed to be climbed over.

    Well, I decided I would ride home as quickly as possible and call 911. I have never been as out of breath as I was that day. I called 911 and tried to explain where my dad was located, but I had no idea how to get to him from anything resembling a passable road. I went out in my parent's Landcruiser to try and find a back entrance to the field while my mother stayed at home and waited for the ambulance. After some wrong turns, I did manage to find another way into the field, and I flew down to where I had left my dad lying in the dirt.

    Guess who had regained conciousness? My dad was standing in the middle of the road, bike in hand, looking confused. He had a grapefruit sized lump on his head. When he saw me, he asked, "Where am I; why do I have this bump on my head?" I put him and his bike in the car and took off for the emergency room.

    He was given CAT scans, looked over by a number of doctors and kept for a few hours. In the end, he was released and told to wear his helmet.

    Ok, happy ending, sure. However, it could have gone a lot worse. It was not pleasant to see my dad lying on the ground, seemingly dying and there being nothing I could do but leave him there so I could get a car. Now we both wear helmets, no matter how short the ride.

  24. #24

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    I strap my helmet and padding to my camelbak going up, which is pretty much the start of all my rides, a few thousand feet of climbing before heading down. Going up helmetless yes, but going down without a brain lid, NEVER. A helmet had saved my life at least twice that I can count, and concussions, split open head etc, too many times to count.

  25. #25
    And if not, why not?
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    If I 'm on the roadie, I turn around and ride home to get it. If I'm on the trail, I don't ride. I've learned that leason already.

  26. #26

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    The past couple of years I have never forgotten my MTB helmet. Other things sure....sunblock, gloves, hydration tube , etc. I have forgotten my road helmet once last year and took it REALLY EASY on my ride.

  27. #27
    Something's tingling
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    Very carefully, but mostly never

    Quote Originally Posted by guava
    If I 'm on the roadie, I turn around and ride home to get it. If I'm on the trail, I don't ride. I've learned that leason already.
    I rode sans helmet last week, but that's after I took it off going slow up a wide, smooth fireroad on a VERY hot day. But exception aside, I would never ride off-road without a lid. I've fallen too many times (and saw stars) on seemingly easy sections to forget.
    "Make me proud, son. Or at least less ashamed." -- Abe Simpson

  28. #28
    beer thief
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    This reminded me of the incentive for getting my first helmet. A couple of my friends had just bought helmets, but most of us didn't have them. It was 1987 or '88 and I was on a solo ride in late fall. I was about 7 miles from the nearest road in what is now a Wilderness area. I was going down a short hill through a sketchy rock garden and went OTB. Somehow I rolled and only gouged my elbow. I went out and bought a helmet the next day.

  29. #29

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    My car trunk is where I store my helmet and shoes, so I never forget them.

  30. #30
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    I actually bought a second helmet to keep in the car so I always have it... I am getting a second one for my daughter too... In life you don't always get two chances.

    I even wear my hemet riding with my 3 yr old.. Gotta set the best example, right?

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guyechka
    Back in the day ('89 to be exact), we didn't ride with helmets. One afternoon after school, I was out in this field that dirtbikers had built some jumps on. I was messing around, playing, enjoying myself on this 1/4 pipe. You had to get up a lot of speed to make it to the top and catch some air. Anyway, my dad came along (also sans helmet) and joined me. I showed him the 1/4 pipe and told him how he had to get up some speed to clear it. Then I took off, went up, caught some air, landed on the other side. He was coming right behind me, so I waited and waited and waited.

    Finally, I looked over the edge and saw what was perhaps the single most frightening thing I have every seen: my father was laying on the ground in a fetal position, eyes wide open but obviously unconcious, panting. His bike was twenty feet away. I went down to and tried to talk to him, but there was no response. What was I going to do? This field was about a half mile from home, but it was down some singletrack, and there was no way to get him back by myself. Plus, there was a fence that needed to be climbed over.

    Well, I decided I would ride home as quickly as possible and call 911. I have never been as out of breath as I was that day. I called 911 and tried to explain where my dad was located, but I had no idea how to get to him from anything resembling a passable road. I went out in my parent's Landcruiser to try and find a back entrance to the field while my mother stayed at home and waited for the ambulance. After some wrong turns, I did manage to find another way into the field, and I flew down to where I had left my dad lying in the dirt.

    Guess who had regained conciousness? My dad was standing in the middle of the road, bike in hand, looking confused. He had a grapefruit sized lump on his head. When he saw me, he asked, "Where am I; why do I have this bump on my head?" I put him and his bike in the car and took off for the emergency room.

    He was given CAT scans, looked over by a number of doctors and kept for a few hours. In the end, he was released and told to wear his helmet.

    Ok, happy ending, sure. However, it could have gone a lot worse. It was not pleasant to see my dad lying on the ground, seemingly dying and there being nothing I could do but leave him there so I could get a car. Now we both wear helmets, no matter how short the ride.
    I love my Dad and couldn't imagine being in that situation. I will not ride without a helmet. I have taken some nasty spills doing some of the slowest stuff (mounting a bike, crossing a log, hopping up on a curb). I would feel like my head is a target without a helmet. I have a 9 month old little girl and she will always wear a helmet when she rides.

  32. #32
    Because I am !
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    No helmet ? Same as No Bike !

    That has never happened to me but if it did I would not ride.
    Caffeine ! "Do stupid things faster and with more energy" ! !

  33. #33
    Nat
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    [entering the Confessional room...starting the camcorder]

    Earlier this year I hopped on the bike and was going to just cruise up to the end of my cul-de-sac and back, and therefore didn't have a helmet, gloves, tools, spares, food or even a drop of water. I didn't feel like stopping so I kept going. The next thing I knew I was on dirt. I was completely unprotected and exposed. It felt so good I just kept at it. So vulnerable, so risky. Before long I had logged over 20 miles on singletrack and was nervous the entire time. I liked it. I did it again two more times.

    Hopefully no one I knew saw me...

  34. #34
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    I've never forgotten mine for a MTB ride, but where I normally ride is very tame (smooth, fast single track with almost no hills), so I'd probably just ride it slowly.

    One time on my commute to work this past winter, I had my skull cap on while I was getting ready in the garage. I realized I had forgotten my water bottle, so I took off my shoes and helmet, went inside and got my bottle. When I came back out, and put my shoes back on, I forgot to put my helmet on because the skull cap was on my head, so I didn't notice I didn't have it on. I didn't realize I had forgotten it until over 10-15 minutes into my 1 hour ride, when the sun came over the trees and I realized my visor wasn't there. Since my commute was mostly bike path, except for the last 1.5 miles, I decided to continue on. But that last 1.5 miles was scary. I stayed on the sidewalk as long as possible, but I had to get on the road for a bit. It's a 4 lane, divided road with a 40 mph speed limit and no shoulder. I rode that last mile faster than any other time I'd ever ridden it. On the ride home, I was pretty paranoid too, especially since the last bit near my house is on the road and it was dark.

  35. #35
    ballbuster
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    Same here

    Quote Originally Posted by SPDu4ea
    I don't ride without a helmet. If I did forget it, I probably wouldn't ride or would stick to tame fire roads... In my experience, if I'm trying to take it easy and am preoccupied with falling -- I ride like **** and am more likely to fall...
    I can do a ride bike-path easy style, but its just not really that fun for me, so I would bag. Fortunately (knock on woody) this has not happened to me yet.

  36. #36
    Which way? Uphill.
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    Also a No-Helmet-No-Ride mantra follower.
    I don't make comments to others that aren't wearing it either, they see others wearing them and know the risks already.
    I will give pointers to people wearing the helmet incorrectly though. I hardly see this on the trails, but on the roads and bike paths you see a lot of the tilted back helmets.
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  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by nepbug
    I will give pointers to people wearing the helmet incorrectly though. I hardly see this on the trails, but on the roads and bike paths you see a lot of the tilted back helmets.
    I was on my way home from work a couple of weeks ago and passed a couple of cute ladies, and one of them had her helmet on backwards. Made a great conversation starter! But, alas, I had to be on my way home to the wife and kids so after a some quick ribbing, I was on my way.

  38. #38
    tlg
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    Maybe you want to THINK again. Notice the GIANT incision where his helmet should have been.



    I "guess" I drifted to the right. Next thing I know I am being slammed face first into the ground and my riding glasses were ripped off my face and my feet were touching the ground in front of my head. My body snapped back like a sausage and I concentrated on not passing out. I wiggled my fingers: good, not a quadrapeligic, I wiggled my toes. Whew no broken back.

    I crawled across some poor fellow's lawn and banged on his door and yelled for help. I had to convince him to open the door by telling him I was laying on the ground as he could not see me through his peep hole. When he opened the door he screamed and wanted to call 911. I asked him to call my wife instead. He threw me a towel and dialed my wife who had me in the Emergency Room about 8 minutes later.


    Full story and more pics:
    https://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.p...ghlight=helmet

  39. #39
    drev-il, not Dr. Evil!
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    Wink

    Ack, that's easy:



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  40. #40
    emteebee
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    I never used to wear a helmet. Lately I've been riding faster, and pushing harder. After wrapping my bike around a tree two weeks ago I have changed my opinion. I now ride with a motocross helmet. I figure if I am going to look stupid in a helmet I might as well put one on that protects my whole head. If I forgot it now I would not ride with out it.

  42. #42
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    So glad you posted this thread and pics (I was about to when I came across your post). A perfect example of what can happen with even a brief ride with no helmet.

    If you still want to consider riding w/o a helmet after this story then good, it will just help clean up the gene pool.



    Quote Originally Posted by tlg
    Maybe you want to THINK again. Notice the GIANT incision where his helmet should have been.



    Full story and more pics:
    https://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.p...ghlight=helmet

  43. #43
    Don't Stop Spinnin'!
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    simply dont ride...

  44. #44
    life is a barrel o'fun
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    Recently did about 33mi. of trail riding w/o the helmet. First time I can recall forgetting it. But the trail is one I'm very familiar with and rarely have I fallen on it.

    It's not like I have any dependents, and I told my buddies that day not to feel responsible for dragging my body out should the need arise.

    I felt it was worth the risk, so my biggest fear was the comments from others!! I felt naked the whole time.
    "We sat outside the dentist, tooting a horn on the guy's bike."-overheard in the Underground

  45. #45

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    don't! unless you're willing to take the chances of being an organ donor.
    nothing cool about riding without safety

  46. #46
    Nat
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    Quote Originally Posted by Because
    don't! unless you're willing to take the chances of being an organ donor.
    nothing cool about riding without safety
    We kind of take that chance any time we get on the bike at all, hey? But yes, I prefer to use a helmet.

  47. #47

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    You know who's a fake ass cyclist when they dont have helmets.

  48. #48
    I already rode that
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    I actually ride slower with it on then off but it would depend if I know the trail or not. I think I only ridden at my local trail without a helmet on in the past 10 or so years since I started wearing one.
    Riding F/S since oct 94'

  49. #49
    Nat
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    Quote Originally Posted by dogzilla
    You know who's a fake ass cyclist when they dont have helmets.
    Don't make me do it...don't make me do it...

    Damn, you made me do it:
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    last night i was crossing a large log and was paying more attention to the log than where I was going...and ran head first into a tree that had been cut and thrown on top of some brush beside the trail. It would have required stiches for sure..It dented my helmet and surely would have dented my head..no helmet...I don't ride...

  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nat
    Don't make me do it...don't make me do it...

    Damn, you made me do it:

    LOL, and what are they required to do once at the top?

  52. #52
    local trails rider
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nat
    We kind of take that chance any time we get on the bike at all, hey? But yes, I prefer to use a helmet.
    Actually, life is dangerous whether we bike or not. Biking is just something where we are acutely aware of the risks.

    Lots of people die in accidents at home but that will not convince me to wear a helmet while doing the wallpapers... On a bike, I want a helmet.

  53. #53
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    Idea!

    Just for illustration for the naysayers, youve seen the after crash pic:


    now for the after recovery pic:


    I don't know about anybody else, but thats kind of drastic, and this dude was lucky! It could have been worse. I only recently read this story, but its making me think twice about my helmetless commuting, in fact, I'm buying a new, non sweaty stinky nasty hemet to commute to class with tomorrow.

  54. #54
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    Funny!

    Quote Originally Posted by dogzilla
    You know who's a fake ass cyclist when they dont have helmets.
    I felt like such a Barney! I wanted to tell the people I passed, "Hey, man, just forgot the helmet. Really, I'm real rider. No, really."

    Totally surprised by the resposes here - to see so many of y'all'd really give up a lovely evening ride just because you were missing a helmet. Yeah, I felt naked, but still. Your trails must be gnarlier than mine.
    "Check out dude."
    "Dude, crazy."

  55. #55
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    Buy a new one. The times people in my group have forgotten helmets it has always been over an hour from home, so it is much easier to just buy a cheap helmet from the local bike shop. Ya, you have to spend money, but it is much cheaper then the alternative.

  56. #56
    Nat
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clutchman83
    now for the after recovery pic:
    I bet that scar now looks like a giant bird tried to pick him up by the head!

  57. #57
    Nat
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    Quote Originally Posted by 006_007
    LOL, and what are they required to do once at the top?
    Go 60mph on pavement?

    They should probably put on leathers and a moto helmet.

  58. #58
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    I do not ride without a helmet, no matter what, even around town (and I use my bike for almost all the daily activities that put people in their cars).

    One week ago I washed out while bombing down the normal climb up Porcupine. My helmet smashed against a rock and cracked through-and-through right over my temporal bone (weakest bone in the skull). I feel very lucky. That was at the very least a depressed skull fracture, at the worst a quick head injury death. That little incident (by far the hardest I have ever hit my head) has made me even more devout about my helmet, even around town.

    hfly

  59. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nat
    Don't make me do it...don't make me do it...

    Damn, you made me do it:
    Falling hard going up a Category whatever climb at 5mph is difficult. If you go OTB climbing you've got serious issues.

    You'll notice all but a select few morons do that only on all-climb stages.
    Professional Amateur

  60. #60
    Nat
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soupboy
    Falling hard going up a Category whatever climb at 5mph is difficult. If you go OTB climbing you've got serious issues.

    You'll notice all but a select few morons do that only on all-climb stages.
    I think they're going much faster than 5mph. Lance ate it a couple of years ago on a climb thanks to that kid with the musette. Snapping a chain while grunting up a hill would do it too. I wouldn't call any pro a "fake ass cyclist" though. Shet, if I fall at walking speed these days I'm sore for awhile.

  61. #61
    trail rat
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nat
    Don't make me do it...don't make me do it...

    Damn, you made me do it:
    It is a little different when you have medical help in every car seconds behind and helicopters overhead that can get you to a hospital quickly. If you have that following you, you have my blessings for riding without a helmet.
    "The physician heals, Nature makes well" - real fortune cookie

    CCCMB trail work for trail access - SLO, CA

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