The Chainlink

as an embalmer i get to see some gnarly shit and today was head trauma from a motorcycle accident. the dude wasn't wearing a helmet and. ironically, was on his way home to get the helmet when he was nailed by a car. i also noticed alot of "tsk tsk finger wagging" from some club riders at some of the riders in the group going down to darklord who weren't wearing helmets. i don't usually wear a helmet but i did saturday and i think as an adult you make your own decisions. so whats the personal take on the matter?

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The majority of people in the Netherlands do not wear helmets. Most of the obese harley riders here in the states dont. I have always ridden without one, but when I do put on a Helmet its like trouble comes to find me! Cars get a little too close, people cross infront too quickly and I have wrecked other parts of my body with my helmet on. Really, anyways I would rather just pass away on my bike than to live in this hell hole if that is what is coming to me for being so stupid for not wearing my brain bucket.

Dammned if i do dammned if I dont.
i don't have an excuse for not wearing a helmet. i see both sides of the coin i guess. sometimes it is a false sense of security, but thats not all the time. as a messenger i'm required by law to wear on while working, and i still don't. its a bogus law. if i get hit and fuck up my head, then i don't get to collect workman's comp. that's my issue. i am the only one who really is affected by me not wearing a helmet, so i think the law is bullshit.
I honestly go a few times without my helmet. All lucky few times.
I will always encourage a new cyclist to get one, but it isn't my place to say what others should be doing.
i had to wait at the roadside for an ambulance for the better part of an hour with a clubmate who took a header. He was unconscious and convulsing, bleeding heavily, and breathing like a locomotive. We were out on the frontage road along I-55 in the soybean fields of Bolingbrook. Nearest 'phone about 2 miles away (NO cells back then) and NO ONE on the interstate would stop to help despite our desperate waving.

Fractured skull, blood in the spinal tap, broken jaw and nose. Comatose for ten days. Had his 50th birthday while out. 18 year-old kid next to him in the ICU with almost identical injuries (motorcycle) didn't make it.

Just out on a club ride, none of the four of us had helmets along (left 'em in the car, we weren't racing, eh?)

He came up and never knew what had happened... we were going about 25mph at the time. Accident left him with a speech impediment and the inability to do his job as an engineer... "semi disabled" i think they called it.

One week later, i got tossed ass-over-teacups and smacked my bean during another non-competitive ride. My old Kunoh hockey helmet (best we had at the time- pretty useless otherwise,) saved me a concussion or worse.

NO CARS were involved. Just bad roads and bad bike handling. It can happen in a flash and there's not a damned thing you can do about your landing, no matter how young, lithe, limber, and agile you may be.

i don't put leg over bike any more but i wear my brainbucket.

Unfortunately, over the years i have lost a few friends and aquaintences who didn't wear theirs.

Instant death doesn't scare me quite so much as persistent vegetative state does. i don't ever want to be a years-long burden to any caretakers, and maybe you wouldn't either.

End of rant.

Peace. Out.
::puts helmet on::

mike w. said:
i had to wait at the roadside for an ambulance for the better part of an hour with a clubmate who took a header. He was unconscious and convulsing, bleeding heavily, and breathing like a locomotive. We were out on the frontage road along I-55 in the soybean fields of Bolingbrook. Nearest 'phone about 2 miles away (NO cells back then) and NO ONE on the interstate would stop to help despite our desperate waving.

Fractured skull, blood in the spinal tap, broken jaw and nose. Comatose for ten days. Had his 50th birthday while out. 18 year-old kid next to him in the ICU with almost identical injuries (motorcycle) didn't make it.

Just out on a club ride, none of the four of us had helmets along (left 'em in the car, we weren't racing, eh?)

He came up and never knew what had happened... we were going about 25mph at the time. Accident left him with a speech impediment and the inability to do his job as an engineer... "semi disabled" i think they called it.

One week later, i got tossed ass-over-teacups and smacked my bean during another non-competitive ride. My old Kunoh hockey helmet (best we had at the time- pretty useless otherwise,) saved me a concussion or worse.

NO CARS were involved. Just bad roads and bad bike handling. It can happen in a flash and there's not a damned thing you can do about your landing, no matter how young, lithe, limber, and agile you may be.

i don't put leg over bike any more but i wear my brainbucket.

Unfortunately, over the years i have lost a few friends and aquaintences who didn't wear theirs.

Instant death doesn't scare me quite so much as persistent vegetative state does. i don't ever want to be a years-long burden to any caretakers, and maybe you wouldn't either.

End of rant.

Peace. Out.
Ammo said:
::puts helmet on::

:->
I'll admit, I don't always wear mine, and I know I should. I had to get one and paint it the way I liked before I did start wearing it. The way I see it, helmets are like an insurance policy.
I hope that my helmet is wasted money on my part. I mean that it is one piece of gear that I will carry around and hope I never really need to use in any kind of critical fashion.

It certainly cant hurt you to wear one.

It is kind of like carrying a condom around with you.

better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it.
One of the first things i did at the begining of the ride was take a little tallie in my head of who is/isnt wearing helmet. i myself will admit that i was a part of the "isnt" category. i have been riding for a very long time now and never have i owned a helmet. tho as riding bacame more and more of my routine and even primary form of transportation, i consider it everyday. still...no helmet. i really have no good reason why. i have been hit by a car, side swiped - once by a van, once by a cab (on the same day), had a door opened on me, wheels caught in trolley rails, momentarily forgetting i was on a fixie, and even...believe it or not...hit by a boat. yes...boat. but nothing ever serious. and tho i recognize any of those situations may have proven me liable of embalming, i still have not convinced myself to purchase one.

conversely, my girlfriend Shar rode down with us also. i have learned that i have some paternal-like instincts, especially when it concerns her safety. She wore a helmet, of her own volition. and i wouldnt have it any other way. She is a newer rider, and therefore im concerned she may be prone to more accidents, or possibly not knowing how to get out of a dangerous situation (im sure she would like to tell me otherwise).

Experience behind the handlebar is of course no excuse either. Tho i feel confident almost all of the time while riding, whizzing in and out of traffic, running those road signs and traffic signals, racing CTA buses, deep down i still recognize that SHIT HAPPENS. and my confidence levels drop when riding in suburbia (faster moving cars, ignorance to cyclists, teen motorists throwing their slurpies).

While on the Dark Lord trip, i wished that i was in the "is wearing" category. yeah, i had my cool little hat on (at least i think its cool), and i enjoy the physical comfort of not wearing one. But i recognize it value. I guess its time.

So...anyone recommend a good helmet?
I don't feel right riding without my helmet. I always have it on, even on trails, so it's got to the point where it feels physically weird to not have it on. And with all the "summer drivers" coming out now, I'll definitely keep it nice and tight when riding.
Ahh, yes, this is a perennial debate topic. For me, it's simple: I always wear a helmet. That way, I never have to make a decision about it. It's like wearing shoes... I don't even question it.
Or pants? :)

Sorry, too much Family Guy for me.

Sam S said:
Ahh, yes, this is a perennial debate topic. For me, it's simple: I always wear a helmet. That way, I never have to make a decision about it. It's like wearing shoes... I don't even question it.
I think this random comment, posted by a user 'RidingMama' on bikehacks, sums it up best:

I always wear my helmet when I get on my bike, even if it is a test ride around the block. No helmet no riding. A simple easy to follow rule because I like the privacy of being able to wipe my own ass!

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