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Thread: Helmet use

  1. #1
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    Helmet use

    Damn, that other thread was closed faster than.....
    So, I was doing a hike in PMP a few weeks back and was going up the back side of VOAZ and some 13-14 boy on a bike without a helmet was coming down from the VOAZ saddle(following some adultish looking peeps w helmets). I asked him, "hey bud, where's your helmet?"...he laughed at me.
    My wife, who works in the pediatric medical world calls those idiots, "Organ donors"... and unfortunately, it's often true.

  2. #2
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    I was out at the Mesa bike park and there was a kid hitting the jumps on the beginner line, but clearing them. No helmet.

    I mentioned it to him and he told me to mind my own business... Oh well.

    I'm a ATGATT guy.

  3. #3
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    The other thread was closed per the OP request.

  4. #4
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    The problem I have with this is that riding without a helmet is no guarantee that my tax dollars will not be spent rescuing the idiot and putting them in the ICU, most of these idiots are not riding with DNR cards and even then, there's no guarantee that a loved one/family member won't try to sue the land manager/owner on their behalf after they are dead/vegetable. If they were really "taking responsibility" for it, they'd have agreements and letters in place explaining all of this, ride with DNR cards, etc. I'm not even discussing how they may be a critical part of a family/counted on for other reasons. It's just ridiculous. Taking responsibility is riding with a helmet. Being responsible without a helmet would mean riding on your own property somewhere where no one will ever find out if you slip and crack your head on a rock.
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    So even at places like Brown's Ranch you guys think a helmet is a must wear?

    Asking for a friend...

    Seems like more equestrian riders would wear them...

  6. #6
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    I don't think most mtb helmets are going to prevent a serious head injury when head meets rock at 25 -35 mph. I regularly see speeds in the 42-43 mph's. I think a lot of us put way to much faith or are ignorant to just how much protection a foam helmet provides. With the attitude in these threads we should all be wearing Arai racing helmets.
    It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by WHALENARD View Post
    I don't think most mtb helmets are going to prevent a serious head injury when head meets rock at 25 -35 mph. I regularly see speeds in the 42-43 mph's. I think a lot of us put way to much faith or are ignorant to just how much protection a foam helmet provides. With the attitude in these threads we should all be wearing Arai racing helmets.
    I have meet a rock at 25mph and so has a friend in a 6d helmet. Rang my bell good and broke several ribs in that fall. We both were able to ride away and get new helmets.

    Bike, ski, motorcycle, horse, rock climbing, skateboard....... the list goes on and on. helmets are comfortable, relatively cheap and can save your life.

    I feel weird without my arm and knee pads on too.

    Shit happens, dress for how you want to hit the ground.
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  8. #8
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    If I get kitted up for any sort of real ride I would never consider leaving without a helmet and yet I take my dogs for little runs a couple times a day (me on bike) and never think twice about not wearing one. I've never been to Brown's ranch but my rutted out dirt roads might be as technical as those trails are.

    Anyway, if I were just toodling along on buff singletrack I wouldn't feel the least bit endangered by going bareheaded. I don't advocate it and as mentioned I wouldn't do it on any "real" ride. Just an observation that I hadn't thought much about before.
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  9. #9
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    I've had 2 good crashes out at Brown's trying to push limits on turns and slammed my head into the hardpan. Doesn't take a rock to damage your skull...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Raybum View Post
    I've had 2 good crashes out at Brown's trying to push limits on turns and slammed my head into the hardpan. Doesn't take a rock to damage your skull...


    I've crashed super hard on easy singletrack while trying to push my limits, always a helmet for me. Just wondering if I'd feel different if I were more of a shuffler.

    Even then I'd wear one bit would it be only to avoid public shaming? Don't know, as mentioned I've no problem going bare headed when there's no public around.
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  11. #11
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    This friend of mine is no toodling shuffler! Well maybe every once in a while...

  12. #12
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    Last weekend I saw three without helmets. Today on pass mountain trail, I saw two not wearing. It seem like I'm seeing more of it. I won't tell strangers what to do, I don't care, but I won't ride with someone not wearing cuz I don't want to deal with telling there loved ones how they died! I've had to throw away two or three maybe more, helmets that I dented up from crashes. Helmets work bottom line.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by WHALENARD View Post
    I don't think most mtb helmets are going to prevent a serious head injury when head meets rock at 25 -35 mph. I regularly see speeds in the 42-43 mph's. I think a lot of us put way to much faith or are ignorant to just how much protection a foam helmet provides. With the attitude in these threads we should all be wearing Arai racing helmets.
    While I agree that a bike helmet isnít going to reduce your probability of injury to zero percent, you sure as heck are better off with than without. I have been riding with three individuals (2 mtb, 1 road) that crashed so badly that they cracked their helmet. Yep, their helmets didnít prevent them all from being concussed. But I canít imagine how badly their brains would have been injured had they not had on their helmets. I just donít see any down side to wearing a helmet. YMMV...

    Bob
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bituman View Post
    While I agree that a bike helmet isnít going to reduce your probability of injury to zero percent, you sure as heck are better off with than without. I have been riding with three individuals (2 mtb, 1 road) that crashed so badly that they cracked their helmet. Yep, their helmets didnít prevent them all from being concussed. But I canít imagine how badly their brains would have been injured had they not had on their helmets. I just donít see any down side to wearing a helmet. YMMV...

    Bob
    Wasn't trying to imply not wearing a helmet, and obviously a good bike helmet offers a level of protection. I've cracked bike helmets by merely dropping them. I also cracked a helmet in an awkward slow speed crash in which I'm confident my head would've been fine without the helmet. I have a friend that slammed his head helmet first after getting bucked on a jump. The helmet was fine but he was severely concussed...he still hasn't fully recovered to this day.

    I was basing my response off the other thread and a bit here. Just hold a bike helmet up next to a high end moto helmet, it's pretty obvious one offers orders of magnitude more protection than the other. Yet plenty of people are hitting huge features and speeds wearing a bike helmet hence my post.
    It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.

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    I'm a firm believer you have the right to do anything you want unless it adversely effects other people.

    Smoking is a classic example. A person's right to smoke stops at my lungs. A smoker has to right to expect me to breath his secondhand smoke.

    Not wearing a helmet is another example. My taxes, which could be used much more wisely in other ways, pays for rescues. I believe medical insurance premiums may even go up for all of us, and as was mentioned above, if nothing else you ruin someone else's ride when they have to stop and offer even minimal assistance.

    No one has a right to burden other people is this way.

    And as was also mentioned above, accidents often happen on very easy terrain when you are either over confident, or you let your guard down for a nano second.

    Just as an aside, in Michigan, medical insurance companies were actually in favor of a no helmet law, because they knew people who didn't wear helmets died and didn't run up huge medical bills. I thought this was fascinating.

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    Quote Originally Posted by myt1 View Post
    I'm a firm believer you have the right to do anything you want unless it adversely effects other people.

    Smoking is a classic example. A person's right to smoke stops at my lungs. A smoker has to right to expect me to breath his secondhand smoke.

    Not wearing a helmet is another example. My taxes, which could be used much more wisely in other ways, pays for rescues. I believe medical insurance premiums may even go up for all of us, and as was mentioned above, if nothing else you ruin someone else's ride when they have to stop and offer even minimal assistance.

    No one has a right to burden other people is this way.

    And as was also mentioned above, accidents often happen on very easy terrain when you are either over confident, or you let your guard down for a nano second.

    Just as an aside, in Michigan, medical insurance companies were actually in favor of a no helmet law, because they knew people who didn't wear helmets died and didn't run up huge medical bills. I thought this was fascinating.



    Your taxes and insurance premiums pay for a lot of stupid things other people do. Smoking, driving too fast, drinking too much soda, etc, etc. Just guessing but I bet not wearing a bicycle helmet is pretty low on the list overall.
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    A helmet and full-fingered mechanix (tm) gloves are my uniform when riding. Back in the day when I had an MSR helmet I would take it off on long climbs because that thing was hot.

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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by WHALENARD View Post
    I've cracked bike helmets by merely dropping them.
    Iíve heard of this happening although itís never happened to me. The occasional time Iíve dropped a helmet and it hit the garage floor it appeared undamaged. Yet some say such an incident warrants replacement. Iíve even heard that UV from sunlight warrants replacement after a certain period of time, for example 3 years, even though the helmet appears fine. Iím currently using an Spesh Prevail thatís 9 or so years old.

    Whatís the current thinking on helmet replacement?

    Bob
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  20. #20
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    Iíve had a few low speed falls (think tech climb) where my head hits a pointy rock and I donít even think about it. That same fall without a helmet would not have been pretty. No itís not going to protect you well at 30mph strait into a rock bit that is not most peopleís average riding. My helmet is one of those things I will turn around if I forgot. And I think nothing of riding on the greenbelt with my kids without a helmet. Trails are just too unpredictable. But Iím old (44) and my main goal is to stay on my mountain bike for as many decades as possible. The problem with the people not wearing helmets is itís usually young (invincible) and inexperienced (likely fall). Agree there are levels of stupidity. PMP is filled with loose unpredictable terrain with the sides of the trails filled with sharp rocks. Browns not as much.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bituman View Post
    Iíve heard of this happening although itís never happened to me. The occasional time Iíve dropped a helmet and it hit the garage floor it appeared undamaged. Yet some say such an incident warrants replacement. Iíve even heard that UV from sunlight warrants replacement after a certain period of time, for example 3 years, even though the helmet appears fine. Iím currently using an Spesh Prevail thatís 9 or so years old.

    Whatís the current thinking on helmet replacement?

    Bob
    Personally I'd replace it. I subscribe to both dropping and uv exposure degrading the integrity of foam helmets. Between sweat, sun, and getting knocked around I replace my helmet about every 3 years regardless of how they appear.
    It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bituman View Post
    Iíve heard of this happening although itís never happened to me. The occasional time Iíve dropped a helmet and it hit the garage floor it appeared undamaged. Yet some say such an incident warrants replacement. Iíve even heard that UV from sunlight warrants replacement after a certain period of time, for example 3 years, even though the helmet appears fine. Iím currently using an Spesh Prevail thatís 9 or so years old.

    Whatís the current thinking on helmet replacement?

    Bob
    Foam goes bad over time. Dropping it for the most part will not ruin a helmet. Quality helmets with an outside layer are quite tough.

    I would replace your helmet as 9 years is way past it's useful lifespan. 3 to 5 years depending on use seems like a good run for a helmet. The Specialized ambush is my favorite helmet. It's lite, comfortable, has good protection and air flow.
    Making shit harder than it needs to be isn't awesome, it's just...harder.

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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    Your taxes and insurance premiums pay for a lot of stupid things other people do. Smoking, driving too fast, drinking too much soda, etc, etc. Just guessing but I bet not wearing a bicycle helmet is pretty low on the list overall.
    Yes, you are right. In the grand scheme of things not wearing a helmet is pretty far down the list, but it is on the list nonetheless.

    I just thought of something else. Not wearing a helmet sets a bad example for kids who definitely should be wearing them all the time, and they are just the ones who might see an adult not wearing one and think they don't need to wear one either.

    Back to the motorcycle thing. I've heard stories of people who were at the scene of a fatal motorcycle accidents where the rider wasn't wearing a helmet.

    They say often times the motorcycle is hardly damaged. Implying if the riders had been wearing a helmet they might have just picked up their bike, pissed they scratched some chrome, and ridden off. Instead, their dead.

  24. #24
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    I have "used" my helmet 2-3 times in 20+ years of riding. Now when I mean "used" I mean actual impact to the ground with my head. Never cracked one however. That said I was all ready for a group ride at T100 and realized I forgot my helmet at home. Sadly I chose to drive home and not ride. Changes were high that I would have been just fine without, but why risk it. Not having and riding might have been that 1 time in 1000 where I needed it. Simply not worth the risk.
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  25. #25
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    I've gone OTB before in a rock garden. I saw what it did to my helmet and can only imagine what my scalp would've looked like without it. That alone keeps a brain bucket on my melon every ride.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kmj831 View Post
    I was out at the Mesa bike park and there was a kid hitting the jumps on the beginner line, but clearing them. No helmet.

    I mentioned it to him and he told me to mind my own business... Oh well.

    I'm a ATGATT guy.
    I think helmets are generally a good idea for mountain biking and I almost always wear one on the singletrack (maybe not so much on the road), but I'm inclined to agree that wearing one or not wearing one is my business.

  27. #27
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    Browns has a lot of smooth buff trails, but look along the edges at all those rockpertunities just waiting for someone to eat it. Also if you roll tubless, one "burp" can have you dirt sampling! A few years back a rider died near the "step" on the long loop at McDowell mmp. I believe he was wearing, but the trail was non tech, and a burp took him down. So anything can happen on any trail
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  28. #28
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    I've had two crashes (one MTB, one skiing) where the helmet saved me from what most likely would have been a head gash and/or concussion. The MTB accident was rolling down Schultz of all easy places and a sudden washout of the front tire followed by a flip in mid-air, landing me on my upper back, slamming the back of my head into the ground. I was super dazed, got nausious for a few moments and could not believe how fast it all happened. Back of the helmet was crunched in.

    The second time was in skiing where I caught an edge in the trees in the backcountry and was ejected forward into a tree, hitting my helmet above and to the right of my eye...again, helmet was dented in but all I had out of it was a few minutes of being dazed.

    Helmets work, period. They don't solve everything, but the reduce the severity of what you are bound to get. And in both of these cases, they occurred in fairly mellow conditions but the accident occurred VERY fast - so fast I did not realize what was happening until it was all over. The Schultz crash I would probably have been ok as I was alone and someone would have found me fairly soon given the popularity of the trail, in-spite of my solo ride. For the BD ski crash, although I was with partners - it probably saved the group a self-rescue situation with me just feeling a bit dazed for a bit. My partners that day were also the beneficiaries of me wearing a helmet.

    Last story - I was the first to come across a guy on Pemberton on New Years Day over a decade ago who crashed....on Pemberton...the mellowest of the mellow. He was unconscious with his wife performing CPR and several of us who showed up after assisted for over an hour until the medivac chopper could arrive. Although he survived after hitting his head (and his helmet) , he was taken off of life support after a week and died. I am certain he would have died on the spot if it were not for the helmet and had the stars aligned in a different way, perhaps he could have lived.

    Bottom line - it does not matter how mellow a ride, you never know what will happen....wear a helmet.




  29. #29
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    All it takes is the wrong combination of things to happen to really mess you up. On a group ride a couple of years ago, we came up on a guy and his girlfriend riding the buff, super easy and trail and she had fallen somehow and must have hit one of the small rocks on the side. She never regained consciousness.

    I'm with the folks here that say that you're entitled to ride with or without a helmet. However, I'm not riding anyone without one. Regardless of how stupid it is, I would feel obligated to deal with the fallout when they got hurt. Broken bones mostly heal. TBI is not nearly as likely to heal without lasting issues.

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    Provided you carry health insurance (and life insurance if you have dependents) what you do with your life is your choice, so long as I don't have to pay for your mistakes. In the 90s when I was in my 20s I rarely wore a helmet for either mt biking or snowboarding. Then in 2000 a good friend hit her head skiing at Mammoth and didn't make it off the hill. That was it for me and I will not ride without being dressed to go down.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maadjurguer View Post

    Bottom line - it does not matter how mellow a ride, you never know what will happen....wear a helmet.

    I agree with most of your post but I personally think that statement is a little too extreme. I've mentioned this before but I often take my dogs for a run down my rutted dirt road and never think twice about not wearing one. I guess I could regret it one day but I'm only riding at about 20% of my abilities when screwing around on little rides like these and I feel very safe. At any rate I'm not going to worry too much about every little thing, I could easily fall while walking too but I'm not strapping on a helmet for that.

    So I'm pro-helmet for 98% of situations but I'm not militant about it. I've dented several of them so I know their virtues, but always when on an actual ride and either pushing the pace or riding technical terrain, or both
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    OK, most agree riding with a helmet is a good thing.......now what helmets would someone recommend,was thinking about getting a Kask helmet.How about more coverage for the back of the noggin.

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    Ahh the joys of people not content to live their own lives... no. They must also live everyone elses lives.

    I wouldnt ride without a helmet, or drive without a seatbelt. Doesn't give me any altruistic power over others to demand they do or don't.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrallen View Post
    I'm with the folks here that say that you're entitled to ride with or without a helmet. However, I'm not riding anyone without one. Regardless of how stupid it is, I would feel obligated to deal with the fallout when they got hurt. Broken bones mostly heal. TBI is not nearly as likely to heal without lasting issues.
    I don't care whether or not the people I ride with wear helmets and I'm not into helmet-shaming of those who choose not to. Their choice, their consequences, their lasting issues. As for any injury while I'm riding with them... I'm comfortable dealing with other people bad choices.

  35. #35
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    There's a large cross section of America that thinks mountain biking is dangerous and stupid.
    It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.

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    Everyone knows it's dangerous. Stupid is relative.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cuyuna View Post
    I don't care whether or not the people I ride with wear helmets and I'm not into helmet-shaming of those who choose not to. Their choice, their consequences, their lasting issues. As for any injury while I'm riding with them... I'm comfortable dealing with other people bad choices.
    I hope you didnít take my post as saying I helmet shame anyone. Other than not riding with someone without a helmet, I donít say anything. Itís up to them. Itís their choice.

    My not riding with someone without a helmet is my choice.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrallen View Post
    I hope you didnít take my post as saying I helmet shame anyone. Other than not riding with someone without a helmet, I donít say anything. Itís up to them. Itís their choice.

    My not riding with someone without a helmet is my choice.
    I don't know if you helmet-shame people or not, but I didn't mean to imply that you did. Helmet-shaming is very common, however.

    As to not riding with certain people...again, it's a personal choice and therefore valid. We can all ride or not ride with whomever we choose.

  39. #39
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    After going head first into the ground like a lawn dart back in college while riding with my buddies, I decided to not ride with out a helmet again. I cringe when I see people riding with out one, but don't think it is my place to tell them what to do.

    I showed up to a group MTB night ride a year or two ago and realized I did not pack my helmet when I loaded my car. I did not even consider doing the ride, but that is just me.
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  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cuyuna View Post
    I don't know if you helmet-shame people or not, but I didn't mean to imply that you did. Helmet-shaming is very common, however.

    As to not riding with certain people...again, it's a personal choice and therefore valid. We can all ride or not ride with whomever we choose.
    Glad to hear. Sorry if I misunderstood. I'm kind of a live and let live person, so didn't want to come off as dictating.

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrallen View Post
    Glad to hear. Sorry if I misunderstood. I'm kind of a live and let live person, so didn't want to come off as dictating.
    Nope. Didnít take it that way. I wish more people had that live-and-let-live attitude. Too much gettiní up in everyone elseís bidness in the world these days. Too many of us strive too hard to be our brotherís keeper. Itís hard to keep our self-righteousness to ourselves.

  42. #42
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    I just smile and say good day... while thinking 'enjoy your head wound'.

  43. #43
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    The only trace I leave behind is tire marks.

  44. #44
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    Always liked the Bell helmet ad from back in the 70ís when this topic comes up. ďIf you have a $5 head, buy a $5 helmet.Ē Bottom line the down side is very high and the inconvenience / expense is very low.

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