Make sure your friends have helmets!!- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Make sure your friends have helmets!!

    I was out riding at Santos in Central Florida this morning and came back to my truck to watch a guy with three friends (1 guy, 2 girls) getting ready for a ride. The guy had a nice set-up and was dressed to the nines, the friends were not decked out but they looked like they were ready for a fun day. The guy had a helmet but his friends did not. My friend and I were a little perturbed by this. We won't let our own friends ride without helmets. I didn't say anything because I didn't want to piss anybody off but I was just wondering what I should do if I encounter the situation again? I don't want anybody getting hurt out there.

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    Well, it's their decision ultimately - the dood may have told them already that they're stupid for not wearing one.
    Honestly... ahh I give up

  3. #3
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    Anyone over 12 years old doesn't need to be told to wear a helmet. You probably won't get a good response if you tell strangers what to do. Smoking, not wearing seat belts, taunting badgers. You gotta let people make their own mistakes.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trail Ninja
    Anyone over 12 years old doesn't need to be told to wear a helmet.
    Actually, they might need to be told. They could be used to cruising around their neighborhood without one and not even consider the risks inherent with mountain biking.

    I grew up riding bikes without a helmet (either we couldn't afford one or my parents did not even consider it, the latter being most likely.) I didn't even think about wearing a helmet the first time I rode a mountain bike (1988,) but fortunately when i started to ride one frequently (1992) my brother educated me on the subject.

    Quote Originally Posted by Trail Ninja
    You gotta let people make their own mistakes.
    Certainly people will learn from their mistakes.

    D

  5. #5
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    If they are adults, it's none of your business. They are responsible for themselves, you are responsible for yourself.

  6. #6
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    taunting badgers

    lol

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trail Ninja
    Anyone over 12 years old doesn't need to be told to wear a helmet. You probably won't get a good response if you tell strangers what to do. Smoking, not wearing seat belts, taunting badgers. You gotta let people make their own mistakes.
    Sure they, do. They may listen or not, but you have a right to voice your opinion. After enough people let them know, the idea will usually take hold. I have seen it happen.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by woodway
    If they are adults, it's none of your business. They are responsible for themselves, you are responsible for yourself.
    If they suffer an injury or a disability, then someone will be responsible for them. The closer you are to them, the more you will be impacted. I am not a proponent of making them do anything, but I have a right to say something and it is in my own best interest to do so.

  9. #9
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    For all the d-bags who are saying it is none of your business. It is your business when it's a trail that REQUIRES helmets, i.e. Santos. For people who do not know what that means, it means a helmet is not optional. I, and I am sure the vast majority of riders, will be incredibly pissed if we lose trails to idiots who do not follow posted rules, get hurt, and sue. It would be one thing if America wasn't so sue happy; however, we all know that is not the case.

  10. #10
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    Feel free to tell grown people to wear helmets if you want. Just don't expect them to thank you. When you get universal health care in the US you can even use the argument that "I have to pay for your hospital bills with my taxes". When you do, keep in mind that even with a helmet, the risk of injury and therefore hospital bills is high when you are mountain biking.

    Telling total strangers to wear a helmet is like telling total strangers to quit smoking or to cross at the lights or to stop texting while walking down the street. All of these can cause injuries or death and all of them are likely to get you a resounding " F*** O** "

    Where I live, helmets are required by law on all public roads. There is about 30% compliance. It would never occur to me to stop everyone and tell them to put a helmet on.

    The O.P. asked what to do in a situation where you see strangers not wearing helmets even though the thread was titled "make sure your friends...."

    Not only do I tell people I'm riding with to wear helmets (I teach MTB to middle school kids) but I also carry extra helmets in case someone forgot theirs.

    Aspot13: I don't know the trail but if helmets are mandatory, then the group or government that made them mandatory is responsible for policing the wearing of helmets. If someone sues for injuries caused by not wearing a helmet, I think they'd have a tough time winning if signs are posted. "d-bags"? Did someone piss in your Cheerios this morning?

  11. #11
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    Just make it clear as well that if they land on their head, you will NOT stop to help them. If they want the risk of head trauma, let them provide their own first aid. I will help anyone I see hurt, unless they prove they just don't care if they do get hurt.

    Helmet-less= Organ Donors

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trail Ninja
    .............................. If someone sues for injuries caused by not wearing a helmet, I think they'd have a tough time winning if signs are posted. "d-bags"? Did someone piss in your Cheerios this morning?
    Caution: Hot Coffee. Don't spill in your lap.

    Note: I know the coffee was TOO hot, but still......

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by the-one1
    Caution: Hot Coffee. Don't spill in your lap.

    Note: I know the coffee was TOO hot, but still......
    We studied the McDonald's case in business school. That McDonald's had been cited three times previously by the health inspector for their coffee being too hot. The woman was an idiot to putting hot coffee between her legs, but coffee served at the correct temperature would not have done the damage the cup they gave her did.

    Liability is not always easily seen when one does not have all the facts.

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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trail Ninja
    Aspot13: I don't know the trail but if helmets are mandatory, then the group or government that made them mandatory is responsible for policing the wearing of helmets.
    Regardless of who is legally responsible for policing a helmet policy, if someone shows up at a one of my favorite trails where wearing a helmet is mandatory and he does not have a helmet on, I'll say something. Like the OP stated, I wouldn't want to lose access b/c of this.

    Note: None of the trails I ride that I know of require a helmet except for the private trails on ranches, and they DO enforce their rules.

    D

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by ASpot13
    For all the d-bags who are saying it is none of your business. It is your business when it's a trail that REQUIRES helmets, i.e. Santos. For people who do not know what that means, it means a helmet is not optional. I, and I am sure the vast majority of riders, will be incredibly pissed if we lose trails to idiots who do not follow posted rules, get hurt, and sue. It would be one thing if America wasn't so sue happy; however, we all know that is not the case.
    So if the trail requires helmets, just call the ranger or whoever and maybe they'll get a fine when they return from the ride. Hit them in the wallet and they will either get helmets or ride somewhere else.

    No place around me requires helmets, but I feel much better riding with one. My usual comment (mostly to teenagers at on particular spot) is simply, "you ought to have a helmet for this kind of riding, ya know..." These are the same kids I tell to get their front brakes fixed and stop skidding....

    Just on a side note... Pennsylvania changed the helmet laws for motorcycles a few years ago and it never ceases to amaze me watching these guys cruising on the highway with their cheeks flapping all over the place.... once in a while I hear the comment that helmets on motorcycles are so dumb and they detract from the riding experience... well I have taken peices of gravel on my knuckles at 50-55 mph and I guarantee that if one of those guys takes a stone or even a large bug in the face at highway speeds they will immediately become a danger to everyone around them.

    Sorry, end of rant...
    You better just go ahead and drop that seatpost down to the reflector... the trail gets pretty rough down there.

  16. #16
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    I typically just say,"Riding without a helmet, very bold," to which the response is something along the lines of,"I'm not doing anything crazy." To which the response is,"you know what we call riders with out a helmet, natural selection at work, you know why?" Give it a brief pause,"you don't want to be that guy/gal." Nuff said.

    On the access point, a we had a rider crash into a big yellow gate that was on a road for years, rider hurt themselves, sued the land owner, and now access is at risk b/c they don't want to deal with riders doing stupid things (google west hartford mountian bike lawsuit). Injured riders are a risk for land owners, land owners want to mitigate risks, easy to do if you ban a user group. Lots of helmet less injured riders provides fuel to getting us banned. Don't be selfish.

  17. #17
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    If I thought I was going to lose access to a trail I liked because someone else wasn't wearing a helmet, I'd probably tell strangers on that trail to put helmets on. I may even consider physically forcing them to wear helmets or not ride.

    The only place around here that requires helmets off-road is Mt. Washington Alpine Resort. They have patrols, security and lawyers. They can take care of themselves... and they do.

    So, I get to go riding and not worry about what other people do. No risk of confrontation from telling someone with an attitude how to live their lives. No nagging feeling that all is not right with the world because someone I've never met before is lidless.

    I do all my politics and advocacy here (online) and at meetings with governments and landowners. When I'm on my bike, it's all about me.

    I should mention that in British Columbia where I live, access to the back country is practically unlimited for mountain bikers and in the area where I live there is only one tiny little park that is officially recognized as a mountain bike park. Dirt bikes and ATV's have destroyed the trails in that park so very few people try to ride MTB there.

  18. #18
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    Just to clarify, the girls and the guy were riding NEXT bikes from Wal-Mart. I didn't want to include that because I'm no bike biggot, XC tricycling would be awesome if someone wanted to do it. BUT these people didn't look like too experienced and the guy they were with had a bike worth more than my truck. I guess the real issue here is the guy not looking out for his riding buddies. I just don't want someone getting hurt when a simple and helpful warning could prevent it.

    By the way...if someone was injured on the trail I would help them out whether they cared in the beginning or not...I guarantee they will be more prepared the next time, not to mention grateful for the help.

  19. #19
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    In that specific incident I would consider taking the "experienced" rider aside and quietly informing him first, about the requirement for helmets on that trail and second, as nicely as possible something along the lines of:

    "You obviously know what you're doing but it looks like your friends could use your help and or advice. They could benefit from your experience."

    Then at the first creek, I'd stop and wash that taste out of my mouth.

    XC Tricycling? Hmm... When I get this DH wheelchair course done.....

  20. #20
    DPL
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    Quote Originally Posted by jake2185
    We won't let our own friends ride without helmets.
    Good! I wish more people did this. Me and a group of friends have made a helmet rule whereby we won't let one of us ride without a helmet. If I tried to ride without wearing one the other guys would physically stop me from riding until I put one on. Helmet use isn't something that's easy to force on strangers in a country where it isn't law to wear one, but it's good when you make a group rule to wear one and enforce it amongst yourselves. Either you wear a helmet or you're physically prevented from riding. Works well with friends, perhaps not so well with strangers!

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by DPL
    Good! I wish more people did this. Me and a group of friends have made a helmet rule whereby we won't let one of us ride without a helmet. If I tried to ride without wearing one the other guys would physically stop me from riding until I put one on. Helmet use isn't something that's easy to force on strangers in a country where it isn't law to wear one, but it's good when you make a group rule to wear one and enforce it amongst yourselves. Either you wear a helmet or you're physically prevented from riding. Works well with friends, perhaps not so well with strangers!
    I can not, and will not, try to physically make them do anything. What they do alone is their business. I have a helmet rule. I will not ride with someone who is not wearing a helmet.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by [email protected]
    I can not, and will not, try to physically make them do anything. What they do alone is their business.
    Generally I agree although this was a rule we made amongst ourselves. We don't let each other ride at all without wearing a helmet, we made the rule so we stick to it. I'm not suggesting you headlock the next guy you see riding a bike without wearing a helmet, just that it's nice to make such rules between friends and stick to them.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by DPL
    Good! I wish more people did this. Me and a group of friends have made a helmet rule whereby we won't let one of us ride without a helmet. If I tried to ride without wearing one the other guys would physically stop me from riding until I put one on. ...
    What if they didn't own one?
    If I had a buddy that wanted to try MTB, I would love it! Most of my friends are non-riders and anyone I could get to go would be awesome
    Just because, he/she doesn't have a helmet, shouldn't preclude them from riding and possibly getting stoked.
    Honestly... ahh I give up

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by highdelll
    What if they didn't own one?
    If I had a buddy that wanted to try MTB, I would love it! Most of my friends are non-riders and anyone I could get to go would be awesome
    Just because, he/she doesn't have a helmet, shouldn't preclude them from riding and possibly getting stoked.
    No, I don't mean that! We all wear helmets and we all agreed to do this. If someone really doesn't want to wear one then it's their choice, but we all agreed to wear them as a rule and all agreed to enforce it amongst ourselves. All I'm saying is it's good to have such a rule with friends, again, I'm not suggesting it be applied to random strangers or people who really don't want to wear a helmet (although we'll still try encourage it if they don't but ultiately it's their choice).

  25. #25
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    A couple guys showed up at the local trails here this morning and headed out for a quick lap on Halfpipe, a freeride-ish trail, arguably the most difficult trail we have. No helmets. But they did have their flat-brim caps on backwards, so everything was cool.

    They were back in 20 minutes, heads intact.

    Our trails are on city land, and there is a mandatory helmet rule. If we see kids without helmets we let them know what the rule is. Adults, we assume they can read the signs, and hopefully have the common sense to comply.
    It's not about speed, it's about lack of control.

  26. #26
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    Lotta busybodies around here.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by rebel1916
    Lotta busybodies around here.
    Or lots of people who care about others.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by rebel1916
    Lotta busybodies around here.
    Quote Originally Posted by DPL
    Or lots of people who care about others.
    I'd just as well not see people get hurt. But what I care about is not seeing our awesome trail network closed because some fool hurts themselves and sues the city.

    Check this out. Pathetic. This could shut down multiple riding areas in CT.
    It's not about speed, it's about lack of control.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Z in VT
    Check this out. Pathetic. This could shut down multiple riding areas in CT.
    Not helmet related but it gets the point across. People are spending a lot of time and money to figure out the best way to get a big lawsuit settlement.

    I wonder if people are ever going to take responsibility for their own actions?

  30. #30
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    If they are stupid enough to go without helmets in the first place and they get hurt as a result of not having one, don't ya think they kinda deserve it?
    Quote Originally Posted by anthonys
    Its still just the push of a button away...
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  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by hardtailkid
    If they are stupid enough to go without helmets in the first place and they get hurt as a result of not having one, don't ya think they kinda deserve it?

    I'm not sure deserving is the right word but I understand. If you're stupid, you'll get what is coming to you...so then yes, I guess they deserve whatever they get because they neglected their own safety. HOWEVER, whether they deserve it or not I won't let a rider...stranger or friend lay on a trail after being injured. Just because they are stupid doesn't mean they should suffer.

    Burn me once shame on you, burn me twice...blah blah. They will eventually learn.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by jake2185

    Burn me once shame on you, burn me twice...blah blah. They will eventually learn.

    The problem with this is that the Reservoir is not going to get burned again. The ill-prepared rider is still going to be 2.9 million dollars richer and the Reservoir is not going to let that happen again.

    So yes, Burn me once, shame on you, burn me twice, shame on me.
    Some days you eat the bar, some days the bar eats you.

  33. #33
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    [QUOTE=DParks]The problem with this is that the Reservoir is not going to get burned again. .../QUOTE]
    oh yeah!??

    where is this at?
    Honestly... ahh I give up

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trail Ninja
    ................
    I wonder if people are ever going to take responsibility for their own actions?
    Most likely not. That is NOT the American way. It's always someone elses fault.
    Are you fat? Blame the food companies.
    Are you lazy? Blame TV.
    Lung cancer from smoking? Blame the tobacco companies.
    Broke your collar bone from falling down a cliff while mtb biking? Blame the land manager.
    Not getting enough sex? Blame the opposite sex.

  35. #35
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    It all goes back to badger taunting in my opinion.

  36. #36
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    I don't have to show you no stinkin' badgers.

  37. #37
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    lol at the badger comments.

    There is a slight chance they just don't know it's that dangerous, so a polite reminder might help.
    Then there is the chance they tell you to F-off.....
    These are the people that are too thick-headed to give a **** about their own safety.
    They will proceed to hurt themselves (most likely), & probably try to sue since they already proved to be idiots about the entire situation.
    Then they threaten the trails for everyone else because land managers don't want to be sued.

    Idiots with no helmets....
    stop poking the badgers! It's gonna bite you.
    *poke*poke*...aaaaahhhhhhh!

  38. #38
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    I couple were at the trailhead on Gooseberry and she had forgotten her helmet I was just finishing up. She was going to be extra careful and ride without one. I carry an extra helmet with me (lower line Bell) and I loaned it to her and just told them to drop it off at the LBS after they were done. Helmet and $5 with Thanks, have a beer on us" was tucked into the helmet when I picked it up.
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  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by STT GUY
    I couple were at the trailhead on Gooseberry and she had forgotten her helmet I was just finishing up. She was going to be extra careful and ride without one. I carry an extra helmet with me (lower line Bell) and I loaned it to her and just told them to drop it off at the LBS after they were done. Helmet and $5 with Thanks, have a beer on us" was tucked into the helmet when I picked it up.
    I wish more people would be like them and accept it. Most would just tell me to "f*ck off" if I offered. Thankfully there are people like you that would loan someone the helmet.
    Quote Originally Posted by anthonys
    Its still just the push of a button away...
    I am no longer a hardtailkid. 2012 Trek Remedy 9!

  40. #40
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    Usually the only people I see on trails without helmets are either college kids out in the woods to get high or people walking their wal-mart bikes down the trail because they got in way over their heads. I haven't seen a mature rider on a decent bike without a helmet in a long time.

    When I was a kid we never wore helmets when riding the bmx jumping trails. I saw a few guys get nice gashes on their heads after crashing - didn't matter - I only wore a helmet when i raced, because you had to. Now, I feel naked without a helmet. Must have something to do with not making my wife have to take care of a vegetable for the rest of her life.

  41. #41
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    I ALWAYS see riders without helmets and I let them know 1) that they are required (if applicable) and 2) if not required, then they should be wearing one. Period. Ultimately it IS our business if we want to keep riding most trails. As soon as one of those fools falls and cracks their head open, they're going to sue the land manager (or their family will if the fall is fatal) and WE WILL LOSE the privilege of riding those trails.

    Don't believe me? In SORBA-land we're dealing with it on more than (1) trail system. One of the systems happens to be the only suitable trail for one of our chapters so if it gets shut down to biking, it takes a huge impact on our sport as a whole.

    A few weeks ago I saw a rider on Brush Creek sans skid lid. Full team kit, $3k bike. No helmet. I said something to him about it. He promptly stopped, thanked me for telling him, and said he totally flaked out and forgot it. He turned around and made the 100yd trek to his car for his lid and thanked me again.

    For the record, I'm also not thin skinned. Go ahead and flip me off or cuss me. I don't care what you think. I care about being allowed to ride those trails 10 years from now.
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  42. #42
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    Helmet wearing though very prudent is largly optional. I can see the OP's ire as it is mandatory at Santos, and I believe that is a FR venue with stunts. I believe that the helmet rule would be clearly and prominately posted. He might have asked politely if they were aware of the rules or suggest that they check out the rules.

    I almost always wear one, but ocassionally, as I live trail side, I'll ride to say a friends house without a helmet, or go out in the summer months to brush the trail sans helmet. I am amazed at how people just verbaly lambaste me based on their un-informed perceptions. I just shrug it off and wish them a good day, as I generaly think they have my best interest in their mind and that they are re-inforcing their own logic.

    I usually carry a spare lid when I drive to a trail as a loaner, just incase my buds forget.


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  43. #43
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    in motorsports (what i relate everything to, because that's my primary hobby), we get people that want the cheapest helmet possible...no matter how little it actually protects you. i usually tell them "have a 10-dollar head? get a 10-dollar helmet." says a lot for people who want to ride without the benefit of a helmet (which tend to be very affordable compared to SA-2005 rated motorsports helmets). is it a zero-dollar head? zero dollars and no sense

  44. #44
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    When I see those 20 somethings on their crotch rockets with a perfectly good helmet strapped on the back of the bike, it really isn't a helmet. I think of it as a brain bucket, because that is what it'll be used for when he wrecks.
    Quote Originally Posted by anthonys
    Its still just the push of a button away...
    I am no longer a hardtailkid. 2012 Trek Remedy 9!

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by zxtwou2
    in motorsports (what i relate everything to, because that's my primary hobby), we get people that want the cheapest helmet possible...no matter how little it actually protects you. i usually tell them "have a 10-dollar head? get a 10-dollar helmet." says a lot for people who want to ride without the benefit of a helmet (which tend to be very affordable compared to SA-2005 rated motorsports helmets). is it a zero-dollar head? zero dollars and no sense
    The old $10 head us a $10 helmet thing is not valid but makes guys feel better about investing $600+ in a helmet.

    The price of a helmet is not directly related to its abilty to afford protection.... My $199 Scorpion proctects my head as well as my $299 AGV which protects my head as well as my $400 Shark which protects my head as well as my $700 Arai which protects my head as well as my $1000+ Vemar.
    Monte
    Lodging & Guiding for SW Utah Trails
    http://www.vrbo.com/298759
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  46. #46
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    What the hell does any of this have to do with trailbuilding? Helmet Advocacy? please...

  47. #47
    Terrain Sculptor
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    Quote Originally Posted by icecreamjay
    What the hell does any of this have to do with trailbuilding? Helmet Advocacy? please...
    No really Jay. If you read the posts you can see where it actually does have to do with advocacy. As I understand it, there are trails that may be shut down because of people not wearing helmets.

    Trail advocacy isn't always about the physical trails themselves. Sometimes it's about what happens on the trails.

    This thread went in that direction for a bit.

  48. #48
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    Never have gotten a bad response when mentioning the need for a helmet. Of course I don't bother saying anything to college kids riding the local easy trails. I was once young, stupid , and had a head made of steel too.
    Responses have ranged from blank looks; (obvious newbies on rocky MN trails) to Yea I've got a full face in the truck, they told me these were buffed trails. (Hall Ranch)
    The first time I road a Mountain bike on a MTB trail It was without a helmet, When I was told I should be wearing a helmet, my response was yes I realized that, and it was the first thing I was going to get.
    As some of you know me I had better edit this.
    No I am not yet old, although last week when it took me a mile to catch up with the 75 year old who flew by me, I was begining to wonder. And as I just slid me and my stumpie across the concrete at the local skate park while showing the kids I was not as old as they thought. It's great to know I still have a little stupid left in me.
    Last edited by ROAD WARRIOR; 07-29-2010 at 05:19 PM.

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