Helmet Poll: First Hand Experience

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Ozark Bicycle

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May 9, 2006, 2:36:15 PM5/9/06
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I'm looking for three data points here:

1) My head struck on object (pavement, vehicle, another cyclist, etc.)
whilst cycling; I was wearing a helmet and I feel the helmet lessened
the extent of my injuries.

or

2) My head struck on object whilst cycling; I was wearing a helmet and
I doubt it either lessened or worsened the extent of my injuries (i.e.,
the helmet made no difference).

or

3) My head struck an object whilst cycling; I was wearing a helmet and
I feel the helmet worsened the extent of my injuries.

Please limit responses to the three scenarios as outlined above. As
simple or as detailed as you like. And, *first hand* accounts only
(i.e., it happened to you). And no responses of "studies show",
"statistics prove", etc.
(And I'm counting on everyone's honesty.)

Peter Cole

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May 9, 2006, 3:01:17 PM5/9/06
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I had 2 experiences of type #1, both times my helmeted head hit a tree
branch. Time 1 was in the woods, going under a (unseen) low branch. Time
2 was riding on the sidewalk (road was closed, bike crit in an
industrial park), turned around to wave to a friend, nailed by a low
branch again. Both hits were hard (#1 cracked the helmet), I'm sure the
helmet helped. I suspect the visor prevented the branch from appearing
in my peripheral vision in at least episode 1, maybe both.

I have never crashed on the road (many years, 10's of Kmi), crashed many
times off-road, don't recall ever hitting my head.

Doug Taylor

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May 9, 2006, 3:06:39 PM5/9/06
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On 9 May 2006 11:36:15 -0700, "Ozark Bicycle"
<bicycle...@ozarkbicycleservice.com> wrote:

>I'm looking for three data points here:
>
>1) My head struck on object (pavement, vehicle, another cyclist, etc.)
>whilst cycling; I was wearing a helmet and I feel the helmet lessened
>the extent of my injuries.

1) My head struck the pavement while I was wearing a helmet; the
helmet broke; head didn't. This accident occurred while inline speed
skating, not cycling (unseen stick caught between wheels; wheels
seized; body pitch poled without warning; head and shoulder hit
pavement without time to brace fall with hands or arms.)

2) My head struck a misjudged low tree branch while I was wearing a
helmet off-road cycling; I was knocked off the bike; helmet broke,
head didn't.

catzz66

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May 9, 2006, 3:41:05 PM5/9/06
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1) Locked and jacknifed the front wheel on a mountain bike and went down
on damp pavement. Side of my head hit the pavement and skidded. Was
wearing a helmet. The impact was significant (other injuries: broken
collarbone on impact side, broken arm on other side) and I feel that the
helmet kept the possible head involvement from being any worse. As it
was, my hearing was affected for a couple of weeks, but it got all right
on its own.

Sorni

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May 9, 2006, 3:15:39 PM5/9/06
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Ozark Bicycle wrote:
> I'm looking for three data points here:

NOOooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Ozark Bicycle

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May 9, 2006, 3:19:20 PM5/9/06
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Sorry, Bill, but yes. There has been so much "studies show",
"statistics prove" stuff regarding helmet use, that I thought some
first hand experiences might help put things in perspective. Care to
add yours?

Sorni

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May 9, 2006, 3:21:10 PM5/9/06
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PS: For '41' -- I wrote a scintillating, /brilliant/ reply to your question
about "dead weight" falls versus ones with bodies and limbs, but my damned
reader crashed as I was 3-4 paragraphs in to it and for the life of me I
can't find your post to start over.

The world laments its loss... <eg>


carl...@comcast.net

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May 9, 2006, 3:28:11 PM5/9/06
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On 9 May 2006 11:36:15 -0700, "Ozark Bicycle"
<bicycle...@ozarkbicycleservice.com> wrote:

Dear Ozark,

1)

Touched front brake gently on rare rainy day, thinking to
dry rim off carefully and slow down in plenty of time from
usual 20 mph as I approached spot where straight bike path
crosses deserted road.

Front tire vanished instantly.

(Maybe brake stuck, maybe asphalt trail slicker than I
thought, but whatever it was, I might as well have grabbed
the brake as hard as I could on oiled glass.)

Wham on shoulder on rain-slick flat stretch of bicycle path
asphalt.

Side of helmet hit pavement instead of head.

Raised head and continued sliding quite a ways like that on
slick asphalt.

Felt that helmet kept ear and side of glasses from hitting
wet pavement, prevented nasty road rash, ripped ear, damaged
glasses.

Later became a helmet skeptic and began to wonder why I
failed to notice near-complete lack of road rash on
shoulder, hip, knee, and so forth--neither shirt nor pants
torn.

Still glad my ear didn't test slick pavement.

Still wonder whether helmet would have grabbed on dry
pavement and given me rotational injury. (But then I
wouldn't have fallen on dry pavement . . .)

Still wear yellow helmet, wondering if it's a net gain or
loss for crashes--hope big yellow hat makes me more visible.

Cheers,

Carl Fogel

Burke Gilman

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May 9, 2006, 3:47:23 PM5/9/06
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I was just riding along on this sidewalk, kinda fast one day, when the
great slab jumped up and sllapped me on the head with a force that
caved in the polystyrene with a dent big enough to store a patch kit.
Next thing I knew, my bike was standing about ten yards behind me, with
wheels wedged into cracks in the concrete, my clavicle was crunched,
and I was singing the usual, obliigatory assurances to passers-by. (I'm
OK!)

When it connected with the concrete, my helmet made a loud smacking
sound the likes of which I'd never heard in decades of riding. From the
experience, I conclude I could have spared myself a lot of trouble by
simply not wearing a helmet. There would have been none of those
expensive, bothersome X-Rays of my shoulder nor any of the follow-ups
with the orthopedic people and all that. Helmets are just a way of
asking for trouble.

-- BG in Seattle

Sorni

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May 9, 2006, 3:54:13 PM5/9/06
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NOOooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

:-P

(I already told about the time I endo'd in a rock gargen and totally rang my
lidded bell. Got up and finished the ride. Also hit a low-hanging
tree-branch so hard one time I saw stars; just kept pedaling. Pretty damn
sure I'd've gotten concussions at the very least both times, if not cracking
open my skull -- especially the one on the rocks.)

Bill "and he pulls me back in" S.

PS: Who knows? If I'd read certain STUDIES before these events, maybe
I'd've gotten pretty jacked up!


Skippy

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May 9, 2006, 4:19:36 PM5/9/06
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"Ozark Bicycle" <bicycle...@ozarkbicycleservice.com> wrote in message
news:1147199775.1...@e56g2000cwe.googlegroups.com...

I had a Type 1: Riding off-road, went straight over bars at towards 20mph
(gully lined with paving slabs, going to fast to avoid, not good enough to
jump over it). landed on head on rocks rolling forward onto back. Head
fine. Helmet dinged. Sternum broken by following bike. If only I'd have
been wearing body armour!

Skippy
E&OE


Helmut Springer

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May 9, 2006, 4:32:44 PM5/9/06
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Ozark Bicycle <bicycle...@ozarkbicycleservice.com> wrote:
> I'm looking for three data points here:

As your measure is always the subjective 'feel' of the reporting
person you are not collecting data, you are collecting impressions,
i.e. noise.

--
MfG/Best regards
helmut springer

Jeff

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May 9, 2006, 4:35:32 PM5/9/06
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Type 1:

hit an immovable object--tore my thumb ligament and fell backwards onto
pavement -- head hit first
helmet shattered, slight concussion but no fracture of skull
Reasonable sure I would have suffered brain damage if I hadn't been wearing
a helmet

Jeffrey R Fischman, MD

"Ozark Bicycle" <bicycle...@ozarkbicycleservice.com> wrote in message
news:1147199775.1...@e56g2000cwe.googlegroups.com...

Sorni

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May 9, 2006, 4:36:53 PM5/9/06
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Jeff wrote:
> Type 1:
>
> hit an immovable object--tore my thumb ligament and fell backwards
> onto pavement -- head hit first
> helmet shattered, slight concussion but no fracture of skull
> Reasonable sure I would have suffered brain damage if I hadn't been
> wearing a helmet
>
> Jeffrey R Fischman, MD

Well, how smart can a /doctor/ be compared to the likes of the AHZs? LOL


(PeteCresswell)

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May 9, 2006, 4:37:03 PM5/9/06
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Per Ozark Bicycle:

>1) My head struck on object (pavement, vehicle, another cyclist, etc.)
>whilst cycling; I was wearing a helmet and I feel the helmet lessened
>the extent of my injuries.

You didn't specify bicycles-only sooooo....

Drunk clipped me on my Yamaha YDS-6 when I was doing about 45-50 mph.

Did a swan dive over the bars and through the air onto the asphalt.

Cracked a perfectly good Bell cop-style fiberglass helmet, saw flashes of light
intermittently for about 2 days, probably paid my dentist's kid's way through
college.

GF's employers put me up for a couple days and fed me something from Canada
called "2-2-2's". Aspirin-like tablets with like 2 milligrams each of
caffeine, aspirin, and codeine IIRC. Great stuff for getting a night's sleep
with road rash.
--
PeteCresswell

Ozark Bicycle

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May 9, 2006, 4:44:29 PM5/9/06
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Right, I'm looking for peoples first hand experiences/feelings. That is
data, no?

(PeteCresswell)

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May 9, 2006, 4:46:39 PM5/9/06
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Per Ozark Bicycle:

>3) My head struck an object whilst cycling; I was wearing a helmet and
>I feel the helmet worsened the extent of my injuries.

Riding along a dedicated bike path. Took a mini-deadhead through the helmet
right above an eye.

Could go either way on that one.

On one hand, it could have been nasty if the branch had hit my eye socket and
not been stopped in the helmet. OTOH, maybe I would have seen the branch
without the helmet/visor on.
--
PeteCresswell

(PeteCresswell)

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May 9, 2006, 4:53:28 PM5/9/06
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>3) My head struck an object whilst cycling; I was wearing a helmet and
>I feel the helmet worsened the extent of my injuries.

Windsurfing. Going a good 25 mph. Got catapulted by a gust, over the bars,
into the water sort of on the area between my shoulders.

Wound up laying in the water unable to feel anything in my arms for several
minutes. Messed up my neck for a number of weeks. I could feel the water
catch on the helmet and yank my neck.
--
PeteCresswell

carl...@comcast.net

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May 9, 2006, 4:55:02 PM5/9/06
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On 9 May 2006 13:44:29 -0700, "Ozark Bicycle"
<bicycle...@ozarkbicycleservice.com> wrote:

Dear Ozark,

It's certainly data about feelings.

Unfortunately, there is no rec.bicycles.psychology.

Cheers,

Carl Fogel

Ozark Bicycle

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May 9, 2006, 5:12:39 PM5/9/06
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Automatons need not respond to this poll.

Diablo Scott

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May 9, 2006, 5:14:02 PM5/9/06
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I've had a bunch of crashes with assorted injuries but only once did my
helmet play any part whatsoever.

Type 1: I was out of the saddle accelerating out of a left turn (not
especially hard, just commuting) - left pedal spindle on the downstroke
snapped and I immediately went down and my helmet hit the pavement. I
heard the helmet scrape along the road until my body and bike (still
attached to my right foot) came to a stop. The helmet saved my ear and
scalp and probably prevented my glasses from getting smashed into my face.

It would probably have been my worst bike injury except for when the car
hit me (broken shoulder). Instead it was non-head road rash and bruised
rib.

I'm a believer, not a Nazi.

jtaylor

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May 9, 2006, 6:38:34 PM5/9/06
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"Ozark Bicycle" <bicycle...@ozarkbicycleservice.com> wrote in message
news:1147199775.1...@e56g2000cwe.googlegroups.com...

Beside the obvious and well-known flaw that self-selected responses are an
_extremely_ poor way to gather data, you have omitted a whole class of
instances in which had the cyclist been wearing a helmet, they would have
struck their head on an object - but because they were not, they did not.

You say you wish to exclude such instances - is this bias for helmets by
choice or accident?

And why do you wish to avoid real studies that have been done that already
show what is needed to determine the value of helmets and MHLs?


jtaylor

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May 9, 2006, 6:41:26 PM5/9/06
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"Ozark Bicycle" <bicycle...@ozarkbicycleservice.com> wrote in message
news:1147202360....@i39g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...

Studies and statistics _are_ what gives a view perspective. You are not
seeking that - you're seeking individual anecdotes, which of themselves have
no predictive validity.

Why are you giving the helmet lobby the opportunity to hide the facts with
scaremongering?


fred....@yahoo.com

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May 9, 2006, 6:56:26 PM5/9/06
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You must not understand ANYTHING about statistics if you think
collecting a bunch of anecdotal information is going to put things into
perspective.

Fred

Tim McNamara

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May 9, 2006, 7:01:00 PM5/9/06
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In article <1147199775.1...@e56g2000cwe.googlegroups.com>,
"Ozark Bicycle" <bicycle...@ozarkbicycleservice.com> wrote:

> I'm looking for three data points here:
>
> 1) My head struck on object (pavement, vehicle, another cyclist, etc.)
> whilst cycling; I was wearing a helmet and I feel the helmet lessened
> the extent of my injuries.

In May 2003, I was out for a ride and got jumped by four "youths." As I
rode past them, one grabbed one side of my handlebars and another one
shoved me from the side. Over the bars I went (into a nice little roll,
actually) but fared not too well in the events that followed when the
youths caught up with me. Whatever the deficiencies of a bike helmet in
terms of crashing, they seem to be effective when someone is punching
you in the head. The styrofoam was pretty well smashed up; my head
wasn't, except for the broken-off tooth and cracked nose.

As I recall, there were about four similar events along that stretch of
trail (the Cedar Lake Trail in Minneapolis, between the I-394 overpass
and the 12th Avenue bridge, sort of behind Minnesgasco). And in 2004 or
2005 there was a string of assaults along there as well. The miscreants
were never apprehended.

> 2) My head struck on object whilst cycling; I was wearing a helmet and
> I doubt it either lessened or worsened the extent of my injuries (i.e.,
> the helmet made no difference).

In May 1997, I think, I was in the Goodhue County Road race and crashed
out on gravel on the second turn, the corner marshals having
thoughtfully swept the gravel to the pavement at the apex of the corner.
I low-sided and glancingly bounced my head along the ground once. Other
than possibly preventing some road rash to my scalp, I don't think the
helmet helped at all. Without the helmet, it's possible my head might
not even have touched the ground.

Tim McNamara

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May 9, 2006, 7:04:20 PM5/9/06
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In article <c60262tlc97cunl61...@4ax.com>,
"(PeteCresswell)" <x...@y.Invalid> wrote:

> >3) My head struck an object whilst cycling; I was wearing a helmet
> >and I feel the helmet worsened the extent of my injuries.
>
> Windsurfing. Going a good 25 mph. Got catapulted by a gust, over
> the bars, into the water sort of on the area between my shoulders.
>
> Wound up laying in the water unable to feel anything in my arms for
> several minutes.

That had to be alarming.

Tim McNamara

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May 9, 2006, 7:05:24 PM5/9/06
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In article <1147207469....@u72g2000cwu.googlegroups.com>,
"Ozark Bicycle" <bicycle...@ozarkbicycleservice.com> wrote:

> Helmut Springer wrote:
> > Ozark Bicycle <bicycle...@ozarkbicycleservice.com> wrote:
> > > I'm looking for three data points here:
> >
> > As your measure is always the subjective 'feel' of the reporting
> > person you are not collecting data, you are collecting impressions,
> > i.e. noise.
>

> Right, I'm looking for peoples first hand experiences/feelings. That
> is data, no?

No, you are asking us all for an anecdote. The plural of "anecdote" is
not "data."

(PeteCresswell)

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May 9, 2006, 7:21:47 PM5/9/06
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Per Tim McNamara:

>That had to be alarming.

My personal pucker factor was off the scale.
--
PeteCresswell

(PeteCresswell)

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May 9, 2006, 7:25:21 PM5/9/06
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Per Tim McNamara:

>> Wound up laying in the water unable to feel anything in my arms for
>> several minutes.
>
>That had to be alarming.

... Which is part of the reason why I keep coming up with the notion that the
straps that keep the helmet in place shouldn't be *too* strong...

That and recently reviewing the photos in a motorcycle accident report in which
the rider had his head/helmet ripped off - leaving all the cervical vertebrae
neatly in place sticking out of his totally-intact leathers.
--
PeteCresswell

(PeteCresswell)

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May 9, 2006, 7:29:06 PM5/9/06
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Per Ozark Bicycle:

>2) My head struck on object whilst cycling; I was wearing a helmet and
>I doubt it either lessened or worsened the extent of my injuries (i.e.,
>the helmet made no difference).

How about "object struck head" instead?

Attacked by a goose that came at me full tilt on the wing from behind beating
with it's wings (ever hear of a "baton fracture"?), pecking, biting, and clawing
after the initial impact

Bruised the hell out of one scapula. I'm pretty sure the helmet saved my head
from some sort of damage, but I can't say what.
--
PeteCresswell

Sorni

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May 9, 2006, 7:45:28 PM5/9/06
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ALL believers are Nazis. Whaddya, new?!?

(Good story; glad you were lidded.)


Jeff Starr

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May 9, 2006, 7:58:46 PM5/9/06
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And why are you afraid of reading actual experiences?

Jeff

B Paton

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May 9, 2006, 8:30:13 PM5/9/06
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"Ozark Bicycle" <bicycle...@ozarkbicycleservice.com> wrote in message
news:1147199775.1...@e56g2000cwe.googlegroups.com...

> I'm looking for three data points here:
>
> 1) My head struck on object (pavement, vehicle, another cyclist, etc.)
> whilst cycling; I was wearing a helmet and I feel the helmet lessened

> the extent of my injuries.

I have whacked two helmets while road racing and getting caught in a crash.
I have never hit my head while training on the road or riding while the
usual group.

I whacked one helmet while training off-road. I wear one for off-road
riding.
Many small dings off-road over the years where the helmet probably didn't do
much.

[begin unsolicited portion]
I stopped wearing one last year for road training and friendly group rides
because i got tired of getting sweat dumped into my eyes on fast downhills
when the pads get squeezed by air pressure. I certainly feel safer as a
result, plus the cotton cycling cap is an awesome invention and way more
comfortable in almost all conditions.

Blake


Ozark Bicycle

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May 9, 2006, 8:48:20 PM5/9/06
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Save this for next week, Tim, that's when the RBT Pedantic Championship
Series will be held. ;-)

Ozark Bicycle

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May 9, 2006, 9:09:15 PM5/9/06
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Which part of "*first hand* accounts only" can't you wrap your mind
around?

Now, do you have a *first hand* experience to contribute, or are you
just taking up space?

Ozark Bicycle

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May 9, 2006, 9:13:55 PM5/9/06
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Are you too dense to see that you use *exactly* the same type of
scaremongering tactics the "helmet lobby" uses? Can you really be that
stupid and still remember to breathe?

Ozark Bicycle

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May 9, 2006, 9:20:28 PM5/9/06
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Save this for next week, Tim, that's when the RBT Pedantic Championship

Tim McNamara

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May 9, 2006, 10:00:15 PM5/9/06
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In article <hv8262dpaecoe2n1a...@4ax.com>,
"(PeteCresswell)" <x...@y.Invalid> wrote:

> Per Tim McNamara:
> >That had to be alarming.
>
> My personal pucker factor was off the scale.

I bet. Man, I've had a couple omigodi'vekilledmyself experiences but
they lasted for seconds not minutes minutes, and did not offer the
possibility of lifelong quadruplegia *if* I didn't drown first. Yikes!

Glad neither turned out to be the case!

cupra

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May 9, 2006, 10:59:22 PM5/9/06
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Ozark Bicycle wrote:
> jtaylor wrote:
>> "Ozark Bicycle" <bicycle...@ozarkbicycleservice.com> wrote in
>> message news:1147199775.1...@e56g2000cwe.googlegroups.com...
>>> I'm looking for three data points here:
>>>
>>> 1) My head struck on object (pavement, vehicle, another cyclist,
>>> etc.) whilst cycling; I was wearing a helmet and I feel the helmet
>>> lessened the extent of my injuries.
>>>
>>> or
>>>
>>> 2) My head struck on object whilst cycling; I was wearing a helmet
>>> and I doubt it either lessened or worsened the extent of my
>>> injuries (i.e., the helmet made no difference).
>>>
>>> or
>>>
>>> 3) My head struck an object whilst cycling; I was wearing a helmet
>>> and I feel the helmet worsened the extent of my injuries.
>>>
>>> Please limit responses to the three scenarios as outlined above. As
>>> simple or as detailed as you like. And, *first hand* accounts only
>>> (i.e., it happened to you). And no responses of "studies show",
>>> "statistics prove", etc.
<snip>

It's a (1) for me (hit a rock on a trail, at speed)....

I'm in Fort Smith at the moment - any good shops I can visit (need new
shocks)?


Ozark Bicycle

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May 9, 2006, 11:11:50 PM5/9/06
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Try Champion Cycling in Ft. Smith. 479-484-7500

(No connection whatsoever, etc., etc.)

Hope your head is okay. And enjoy the Ozarks!

Phil, Squid-in-Training

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May 9, 2006, 11:20:44 PM5/9/06
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> Ozark Bicycle wrote:
>> I'm looking for three data points here:
>>
>> 1) My head struck on object (pavement, vehicle, another cyclist,
>> etc.) whilst cycling; I was wearing a helmet and I feel the helmet
>> lessened the extent of my injuries.

One MTB crash during racing (dirt crit). I hit the ground at the bottom of
my skull and was unable to continue the race because my brake pad got jacked
up and external tools were not allowed. Not sure if the bottom of the
helmet was between the ground and my head... No observers were present.
I'm guessing I got a mild concussion because I became sleepy.

Numerous lightweight tree branch impacts on the MTB.

Have crashed many times commuting at ~15mph. All were at a ~45 degree lean
angle so there was little impact force and all road/flesh contact was on my
arms and knees.

Never wore a helmet during urban assault and trials riding. Never suffered
an impact anywhere above the knees.

Never crashed on a road ride.

--
Phil, Squid-in-Training


cupra

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May 9, 2006, 11:21:20 PM5/9/06
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Cool - thanks! Only here for work, keep thinking about extending my trips
here and taking in some of the Ozark trails!

(as long as it's nice and dry, without the tornado sirens going off!)


Andrew Lee

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May 9, 2006, 11:52:47 PM5/9/06
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Ozark Bicycle wrote:
> I'm looking for three data points here:
> 2) My head struck on object whilst cycling; I was wearing a helmet and
> I doubt it either lessened or worsened the extent of my injuries (i.e.,
> the helmet made no difference).

The only time my helmet touched the ground with my head in it would be in
this category. An on-coming car turning left, driven by someone old with
spouse in the passenger seat, turned too early, clipping my rear wheel and
taking me down. I felt no impact and at the time of the fall, didn't think
that my head touched the ground on the sliding(?) fall. Afterwards, I
noticed some minor new scratches on the hard shell of my Bell V-1 Pro, but
no noticeable compression of the foam. Without the helmet, my head might
not have touched the ground at all.


Michael Press

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May 9, 2006, 11:53:14 PM5/9/06
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In article
<1147202360....@i39g2000cwa.googlegroups.com>,
"Ozark Bicycle" <bicycle...@ozarkbicycleservice.com>
wrote:

> Sorni wrote:
> > Ozark Bicycle wrote:
> > > I'm looking for three data points here:
> >

> > NOOooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
>
> Sorry, Bill, but yes. There has been so much "studies show",
> "statistics prove" stuff regarding helmet use, that I thought some
> first hand experiences might help put things in perspective. Care to
> add yours?

Self selecting case studies are notorious.

--
Michael Press

Ozark Bicycle

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May 10, 2006, 12:00:43 AM5/10/06
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What part of "first hand accounts" do you not understand?

Do you have anything to contribute, or are you just taking up space?

Mark Hickey

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May 10, 2006, 12:25:37 AM5/10/06
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"Ozark Bicycle" <bicycle...@ozarkbicycleservice.com> wrote:

>I'm looking for three data points here:
>

>1) My head struck on object (pavement, vehicle, another cyclist, etc.)
>whilst cycling; I was wearing a helmet and I feel the helmet lessened
>the extent of my injuries.

That would describe my accident. Directly into the side of a
left-turning Ford Pickup (F350 4x4 no less) at approximately 20mph.
My head hit the right side mirror mount (essentially, a thick V-shaped
piece of steel). Helmet was literally crushed, and split like a melon
in over 10 places around the circumference. I suffered a whiplash
injury (still bothers me) and a nasty concussion. The paramedic was
amazed I could talk (and not surprised that I couldn't remember where
I lived).

Thing is, this accident was VERY close to being VERY bad. While I'm
sure I exceeded the limits of the helmet's specs, I credit the
cushioning it did provide (spreading the impact over a longer time
period, thereby reducing the g-forces of deceleration) made a
difference - probably a significant difference since the contact point
my bare head would have taken would have been a small fraction of a
square inch (and not even my hard head would be up to that kind of
impact).

I've had some other impacts in the first two categories, but nothing
compared to the above.

Mark Hickey
Habanero Cycles
http://www.habcycles.com
Home of the $795 ti frame

>or


>
>2) My head struck on object whilst cycling; I was wearing a helmet and
>I doubt it either lessened or worsened the extent of my injuries (i.e.,
>the helmet made no difference).
>

>or
>
>3) My head struck an object whilst cycling; I was wearing a helmet and


>I feel the helmet worsened the extent of my injuries.
>
>Please limit responses to the three scenarios as outlined above. As
>simple or as detailed as you like. And, *first hand* accounts only

>(i.e., it happened to you). And no responses of "studies show",
>"statistics prove", etc.
>(And I'm counting on everyone's honesty.)

Mark Hickey

unread,
May 10, 2006, 1:14:20 AM5/10/06
to
"Ozark Bicycle" <bicycle...@ozarkbicycleservice.com> wrote:

>Michael Press wrote:

>> Self selecting case studies are notorious.
>
>What part of "first hand accounts" do you not understand?
>
>Do you have anything to contribute, or are you just taking up space?

Thing is, all the anecdotal evidence is from the type of riders that
we're really concerned about (us). All the other data is polluted
beyond reason with children, DUI riders, and BMXers.

What concerns me is what happens to fit roadies and MTBers when they
crash when riding the way most of us really ride.

One could learn something from the information.

Or one could clap their hands over their eyes and sing at the top of
their lungs (only really necessary if they have text-to-voice enabled,
but it makes for a more effective word picture that way).

carl...@comcast.net

unread,
May 10, 2006, 1:21:21 AM5/10/06
to
On 9 May 2006 21:00:43 -0700, "Ozark Bicycle"
<bicycle...@ozarkbicycleservice.com> wrote:

Dear Ozark,

Always fascinating to see posters who believe that they can
to dictate what other posters can write.

Cheers,

Carl Fogel

Sorni

unread,
May 10, 2006, 1:46:41 AM5/10/06
to
Mark Hickey wrote:
> "Ozark Bicycle" <bicycle...@ozarkbicycleservice.com> wrote:
>
>> I'm looking for three data points here:
>>
>> 1) My head struck on object (pavement, vehicle, another cyclist,
>> etc.) whilst cycling; I was wearing a helmet and I feel the helmet
>> lessened the extent of my injuries.
>
> That would describe my accident. Directly into the side of a
> left-turning Ford Pickup (F350 4x4 no less) at approximately 20mph.
> My head hit the right side mirror mount (essentially, a thick V-shaped
> piece of steel). Helmet was literally crushed, and split like a melon
> in over 10 places around the circumference. I suffered a whiplash
> injury (still bothers me) and a nasty concussion. The paramedic was
> amazed I could talk (and not surprised that I couldn't remember where
> I lived).
>
> Thing is, this accident was VERY close to being VERY bad. While I'm
> sure I exceeded the limits of the helmet's specs, I credit the
> cushioning it did provide (spreading the impact over a longer time
> period, thereby reducing the g-forces of deceleration) made a
> difference - probably a significant difference since the contact point
> my bare head would have taken would have been a small fraction of a
> square inch (and not even my hard head would be up to that kind of
> impact).
>
> I've had some other impacts in the first two categories, but nothing
> compared to the above.

It just occurred to me: none of the AHZs, AFAIK, has had such an
experience. And when someone posts about an event like that (e.g., the
"Crashing into Religion" thread), and how it changed their thinking, their
new-found beliefs are discounted immediately. (Politely or rudely,
depending on -- just as much as anything, sadly -- the person's /politics/,
of all things.)

For their sake I hope they never DO experience a "transformative" event like
a bad crash with noggin noogies, but it /would/ be interesting to see what
followed such an occurrence.

B


Ian Smith

unread,
May 10, 2006, 2:43:14 AM5/10/06
to
On 9 May 2006, Ozark Bicycle <bicycle...@ozarkbicycleservice.com>
wrote:

And are you going to answer the main question? Why do you
particularly and explicitly want to exclude cases in which the helmet
made matters worse?

For what it's worth, I have one 2 and two of the case you're trying to
exclude (presumably to prove your point).

regards, Ian SMith
--
|\ /| no .sig
|o o|
|/ \|

Helmut Springer

unread,
May 10, 2006, 3:33:03 AM5/10/06
to
Ozark Bicycle <bicycle...@ozarkbicycleservice.com> wrote:
>> As your measure is always the subjective 'feel' of the reporting
>> person you are not collecting data, you are collecting impressions,
>> i.e. noise.
>
> Right, I'm looking for peoples first hand experiences/feelings.
> That is data, no?

From a technical perspective regarding impacts of helmets it is
random noise.

From a psychological perspective regarding people's perception of
the impact of helmets it is anecdotal data. If you work out the
right questions that can be answered based of an analysis of this it
might even be interesting.

--
MfG/Best regards
helmut springer

Peter Fox

unread,
May 10, 2006, 3:40:13 AM5/10/06
to
Following on from Ozark Bicycle's message. . .

>> Beside the obvious and well-known flaw that self-selected responses are an
>> _extremely_ poor way to gather data, you have omitted a whole class of
>> instances in which had the cyclist been wearing a helmet, they would have
>> struck their head on an object - but because they were not, they did not.
>>
>> You say you wish to exclude such instances - is this bias for helmets by
>> choice or accident?
>>
>> And why do you wish to avoid real studies that have been done that already
>> show what is needed to determine the value of helmets and MHLs?
>
>Which part of "*first hand* accounts only" can't you wrap your mind
>around?
>
>Now, do you have a *first hand* experience to contribute, or are you
>just taking up space?
>
Ironic isn't it that all the H****t anal retentives have nothing to
protect.


--
PETER FOX Not the same since the bottom fell out of the bucket business
pete...@eminent.demon.co.uk.not.this.bit.no.html
2 Tees Close, Witham, Essex.
Gravity beer in Essex <http://www.eminent.demon.co.uk>

Sorni

unread,
May 10, 2006, 3:47:40 AM5/10/06
to
Peter Fox wrote:

> Ironic isn't it that all the H****t anal retentives have nothing to
> protect.

Now THERE'S some tortured logic! LOL


Michael Press

unread,
May 10, 2006, 4:25:36 AM5/10/06
to
In article
<1147233643.7...@g10g2000cwb.googlegroups.com>,
"Ozark Bicycle" <bicycle...@ozarkbicycleservice.com>
wrote:

I'll think about it.

--
Michael Press

Michael Press

unread,
May 10, 2006, 4:25:18 AM5/10/06
to
In article <set2621f4nl8bju0d...@4ax.com>,
Mark Hickey <ma...@habcycles.com> wrote:

> "Ozark Bicycle" <bicycle...@ozarkbicycleservice.com> wrote:
>
> >Michael Press wrote:
>
> >> Self selecting case studies are notorious.
> >
> >What part of "first hand accounts" do you not understand?
> >
> >Do you have anything to contribute, or are you just taking up space?
>
> Thing is, all the anecdotal evidence is from the type of riders that
> we're really concerned about (us). All the other data is polluted
> beyond reason with children, DUI riders, and BMXers.
>
> What concerns me is what happens to fit roadies and MTBers when they
> crash when riding the way most of us really ride.
>
> One could learn something from the information.

Learn what? I reckon that I learn more from my tumbles
than you or Paul learn from yours. I reckon that I learn
more from your reported tumble and Paul's than you or
Paul.

> Or one could clap their hands over their eyes and sing at the top of
> their lungs (only really necessary if they have text-to-voice enabled,
> but it makes for a more effective word picture that way).

Focus on the tumble you took. Even though they themselves
are personally hateful, some folks have said things you
can use.

--
Michael Press

Stuart Lynne

unread,
May 10, 2006, 4:28:40 AM5/10/06
to
In article <1147199775.1...@e56g2000cwe.googlegroups.com>,

Ozark Bicycle <bicycle...@ozarkbicycleservice.com> wrote:
>I'm looking for three data points here:
>
>1) My head struck on object (pavement, vehicle, another cyclist, etc.)
>whilst cycling; I was wearing a helmet and I feel the helmet lessened
>the extent of my injuries.
>
>or
>
>2) My head struck on object whilst cycling; I was wearing a helmet and
>I doubt it either lessened or worsened the extent of my injuries (i.e.,
>the helmet made no difference).
>
>or
>
>3) My head struck an object whilst cycling; I was wearing a helmet and
>I feel the helmet worsened the extent of my injuries.

Type 1, a road race three weeks ago, wet slick pavement, hit something
(still not sure what) going around an easy corner, went over the bars at
about 20kph. Landing was on hip, shoulder and lastly a very good (loud)
thunk on the helmet...

I suspect that helmets, if nothing else, reduce the number of injuries and
concussions that need medical attention. I'm reasonably sure that I hit hard
enough that I would have been far less likely to get up and finish the race
(slowly). Certainly the marshal at the corner was starting to radio up a
ride for me based on what he saw.


Another type 1, Several years ago doing mountain biking, hit something
(probably a rock) hard enough to put a hole in the helmet. I'm sure that
would have been slightly unpleasant without the helmet.

I can also remember a few other falls where I heard a large thunk as the
helmet hit something on the way down.

spam.t...@btinternet.com

unread,
May 10, 2006, 4:42:05 AM5/10/06
to

Ozark Bicycle wrote:
> I'm looking for three data points here:
>
> 1) My head struck on object (pavement, vehicle, another cyclist, etc.)
> whilst cycling; I was wearing a helmet and I feel the helmet lessened
> the extent of my injuries.
>
> or
>
> 2) My head struck on object whilst cycling; I was wearing a helmet and
> I doubt it either lessened or worsened the extent of my injuries (i.e.,
> the helmet made no difference).

1. front wheel trapped by raised edge of gravel path hidden by fallen
leaves while doing circa 20mph at bottom of hill. I exited sideways and
front "corner" of helmet hit ground as my head & upper body whiplashed,
helmet fractured into two large pieces held together by outer shell. I
spent a night in hospital with concussion & mild (24hour gap) amnesia

2. Same hill. same gravel, same speed, new bike with vee brakes year or
so later - grabbed brake too hard with predictable result. Helmet
barely touched ground, unhelmeted head would not (probably) have hit
ground.

There is of course one self reporting group missed from any "survey"
such as this:
"I wasn't wearing a hemlet and am dead/seriously injured & gave up
cycling as a result/etc" - granted not many but that is the high
consequnce - low probability event at issue.

Pyromancer

unread,
May 10, 2006, 4:51:27 AM5/10/06
to
Upon the miasma of midnight, a darkling spirit identified as jtaylor
<jta...@deletethis.hfx.andara.com> gently breathed:

>"Ozark Bicycle" <bicycle...@ozarkbicycleservice.com> wrote in message
>news:1147199775.1...@e56g2000cwe.googlegroups.com...
>> I'm looking for three data points here:

>> 1) My head struck on object (pavement, vehicle, another cyclist, etc.)
>> whilst cycling; I was wearing a helmet and I feel the helmet lessened
>> the extent of my injuries.

This isn't going to produce any meaningful data. Most people who are
wearing something "protective" when an accident happens will
assume/believe that the item helped them in some way. This applies to
plastic bike helmets the same way it applies to magical talismans. See
the recent case of the guy hit by a truck where the police are trying to
claim that his helmet saved his live even though it was reduced to small
pieces - i.e. completely destroyed.

Many years ago I knew a member of a small group of teenage motorcyclists
who'd come to regard one particular set of panniers as a talisman,
simply because several of them had crashed while those particular
panniers were mounted on their motorcycle at the time (they swapped gear
about quite a lot), and in each case the rider had survived unharmed. In
reality of course they were all lucky in their crashes, the panniers
being there was just co-incidence. But this lot believed in them with
almost religious fervour. They also smoked rather a lot of pot, which
my have addled their thinking somewhat.

There is a possible case for wearing helmets off-road, but not
elsewhere.

I have a first hand experience where a helmet would have made things
worse had I been wearing one - a skid on loose gravel while taking a
bend, bike went out from under me, I fell sideways to the road while
still moving forward. Managed to avoid bumping my head, just, but had I
worn a helmet it would have hit the road and twisted my neck via the
forward motion.

--
- DJ Pyromancer, The Sunday Goth Social, Leeds. <http://www.sheepish.net>

Broadband, Dialup, Domains = <http://www.wytches.net> = The UK's Pagan ISP!
<http://www.inkubus-sukkubus.co.uk> <http://www.revival.stormshadow.com>

Tim

unread,
May 10, 2006, 5:10:24 AM5/10/06
to
On 2006-05-09, Ozark Bicycle <bicycle...@ozarkbicycleservice.com> wrote:
> I'm looking for three data points here:
>
> 1) My head struck on object (pavement, vehicle, another cyclist, etc.)
> whilst cycling; I was wearing a helmet and I feel the helmet lessened
> the extent of my injuries.
>
> or
>
> 2) My head struck on object whilst cycling; I was wearing a helmet and
> I doubt it either lessened or worsened the extent of my injuries (i.e.,
> the helmet made no difference).
>
> or
>

> 3) My head struck an object whilst cycling; I was wearing a helmet and
> I feel the helmet worsened the extent of my injuries.
>
> Please limit responses to the three scenarios as outlined above. As
> simple or as detailed as you like. And, *first hand* accounts only
> (i.e., it happened to you). And no responses of "studies show",
> "statistics prove", etc.
> (And I'm counting on everyone's honesty.)
>

Is there a reason why you're not asking for significant
crashes, whether helmeted or otherwise?

To share some crash experiences to show willing:

Car went through a set of red lights at the bottom of the hill
in front of me. Hit the brakes as hard as possible but no room to sverve
around and went into the side at around 15 miles an hour. Nasty bruises
to arm/ side/ shoulder from bouncing off the car, trashed front wheel
and forks, drivers side door bent enough in the crash to make it
unopenable. Didn't bang head & wasn't wearing helmet.

Car turns out of side road (driver having looked straight at me)
as I pass and takes out front wheel. Bounce and slide on road hurting
side, shoulder and back where I twisted in the air to try to land
better. Badly winded and shredded clothes but didn't bang head and
wasn't wearing a helmet.

The only time I've crashed & my head's made contact with
anything was on a badly taken corner, hitting a slippy patch I should
have seen/ anticipated and had both wheels slide out. The wooly beanie I
was wearing for the winter cold did a perfect job of protecting my head
from grazes while I slid to a rather gritty stop.

Tim.
--
Tim.

t...@spiny-norman.net

goo...@woodall.me.uk

unread,
May 10, 2006, 5:56:58 AM5/10/06
to
Didn't see the OP.

jtaylor wrote:
> "Ozark Bicycle" <bicycle...@ozarkbicycleservice.com> wrote in message
> news:1147199775.1...@e56g2000cwe.googlegroups.com...

> > I'm looking for three data points here:
> >
> >

> > 3) My head struck an object whilst cycling; I was wearing a helmet and
> > I feel the helmet worsened the extent of my injuries.
> >

I'm a 3. OK the injuries were completely trivial, grazed elbow
(permanent scarring) and speck of grit in my eye (that counts as a head
injury) but it only happened because I'd just left the pub on a gravel
road and hadn't remembered to fasten my helmet (because they are
uncomfortable so I took it off and only did it up when I was riding)
and was trying to ride no handed on gravel while doing up my helmet.

Needless to say, I fell off.

No helmet, I wouldn't have been riding no handed and so wouldn't have
been permanently scarred.

I've also been blinded by sweat running into my eyes while cycling.
Fortunately only once has this happened to both eyes at once and on no
occasion did I actually come off or hit anything. Don't know whether
this counts as a head injury too in which case I've got about 3 or 4
more 3s to add to your list.

No 1s or 2s at all.

Tim.

Peter Cole

unread,
May 10, 2006, 6:02:40 AM5/10/06
to
B Paton wrote:

> I stopped wearing one last year for road training and friendly group rides
> because i got tired of getting sweat dumped into my eyes on fast downhills
> when the pads get squeezed by air pressure. I certainly feel safer as a
> result, plus the cotton cycling cap is an awesome invention and way more
> comfortable in almost all conditions.

If you ever decide to go back, be aware that you can use non-absorbent
closed cell foam pads which don't have that problem.

B Paton

unread,
May 10, 2006, 6:42:36 AM5/10/06
to

"Peter Cole" <peter...@comcast.net> wrote in message
news:veudndMSyv_dJ_zZ...@comcast.com...

> B Paton wrote:
>
> > I stopped wearing one last year for road training and friendly group
rides
>
>
> If you ever decide to go back, be aware that you can use non-absorbent
> closed cell foam pads which don't have that problem.

Thanks, but I am happier now. My days of experimenting to overcome this
deadly hazard posed by the safety device are over.


Dave Larrington

unread,
May 10, 2006, 7:04:02 AM5/10/06
to
4) Have crashed more often than I can count. Have NEVER struck my head
- MartleHatted or otherwise - on anything.

--
Dave Larrington - <http://www.legslarry.beerdrinkers.co.uk/>
Stop it! You're scarin' the Hippo...

Barnard Frederick

unread,
May 10, 2006, 7:40:03 AM5/10/06
to
Ozark Bicycle says...

> Automatons need not respond to this poll.

Whoah, that was mean spirited. I've butted heads with Carl in the past,
and while he is pedantic (and he's darned proud of it), and I often
disagree with him, I would never say anything like that.

Still, your "poll" is obviously biased. For one thing, since I seldom
wear a helmet, and in some 35 years of biking and countless spills I
have never hit my head on an object, I can't participate.

Burt

unread,
May 10, 2006, 7:48:25 AM5/10/06
to

"Ozark Bicycle" bicycle...@ozarkbicycleservice.com> wrote in message
> news:1147199775.1...@e56g2000cwe.googlegroups.com...
I'm looking for three data points here:
1) My head struck on object (pavement, vehicle, another cyclist, etc.)
whilst cycling; I was wearing a helmet and I feel the helmet lessened

the extent of my injuries.
or

2) My head struck on object whilst cycling; I was wearing a helmet and
I doubt it either lessened or worsened the extent of my injuries (i.e.,
the helmet made no difference).

or

3) My head struck an object whilst cycling; I was wearing a helmet and


I feel the helmet worsened the extent of my injuries.

Please limit responses to the three scenarios as outlined above. As


simple or as detailed as you like. And, *first hand* accounts only
(i.e., it happened to you). And no responses of "studies show",
"statistics prove", etc.

Ozark Bicycle: You are Thompson, Rivara and Thompson, and ICMFP

If you knew anything about helmet research, you would withdraw the above
"research" as being completely invalid. If you really were TRT, you will do
even more "research" to prove the conclusions you had already reached before
you even did the first "research"

Never forget: if the facts get in the way of your perceptions, there must be
something wrong with the facts.