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 great helmet debate? I have wore hemets since high school. I am 35 now and have destroyed 30-40 or so helmets in the last 20 years or so. I have been in alot of motor vehicle accidents-at least 20 I can remember. When I was younger it seemed almost once a week in the summer I would be getting in a accident with a car or truck. Against cars or trucks you always will get injured. You either get up again to ride another day or you get taken to the morque. There is no good reason not to wear a helmet. Being dead because of someone else fu*king up sucks. It is always some dumb shit thing that gets you dead. I have seen my share of injures while biking. Head injures are almost always fatal or debiltating. Who wants to be a burdan on their family or friends because you get hit by some dummy? Do not be a dummy, wear your lid. Life is tough, it is alot tougher if you are dumb. As for helmets I like Bern, Bell, THE, or Giyro. The BMX style is better in urban conditions since it covers more of your head because of the various urban threats. Mountain style or roadie for out in the sticks on St. Mary's Rd. Full face for winter riding or free riding in the woods. Only place you do not have to wear helmet is riding inside on the trainer I hope.
have any of you found a certain helmet better for keeping you from getting "helmet head"?
My friend would rather be dead than to go on in this #$%@^ world. Still not seeing any skaters or runners wearing helmets.

Curt H Moore said:
it only takes one time , then it is to late....

John Dominguez said:
Looks like I would have to wear a helmet around all these helmet wearers. A friend of mine from Amsterdam (the Dutch Ninja) told me to ask all these chain smoking, guilt tripping, smarty pant, lushes, if they have any stats for skateboarders and skaters suffering the joys of head trauma as well. He is still not convinced that he needs to put a brain bucket on despite all those American style horror stories.
a shaved head ;)

Julie Hochstadter said:
have any of you found a certain helmet better for keeping you from getting "helmet head"?
Like T.C., it depends what bike I'm on, my speed, and my route.

I usually wear a helmet when I'm riding my fixie, unless I forget, and I won't pretend I don't forget. I usually don't wear one when I'm on my Schwinn Suburban upright, or my hauler. My speeds on those bikes tend to be slow, I tend to be more aware of my surroundings, and on my hauler I'm usually pulling a trailer, which is like a "keep away from me" signal to approaching cars.

Yes, it only takes one accident, I realize. And I think motorcycle riders who go helmet-less are seriously insane. But jaunting around my 'hood on my Schwinn is not like peeling out on the highway on a Harley, no matter how many people tsk tsk. There are many ways to get creamed in this world. Chances are slim that I'll go out crawling along on my city bike, if I'm an aware and careful rider, which I am. I know that won't protect me from reckless drivers, but as someone pointed out, I don't wear a helmet while walking, either.
I wear one 90-95% of the time. I don't believe they should be mandatory.
I wear a helmet and have yet to hear a very compelling reason not to.

However, I think there are some problems with the idea that helmets keep us safe. They certainly help -- I don't want a brain injury any more than anyone else does. But in some ways, I feel that to talk about helmets in the context of safety for cyclists is almost a red herring. Because the real problem is that the streets are not well designed to be shared by bikes and motor vehicles, and that many drivers are just inattentive, careless, and aggressive. The argument that "people in x country don't wear helmets" is irrelevant here because our street culture is different.

I assume some of you have had the misfortune of reading the comments in the Tribune after a cyclist is killed -- they are mostly horrifying and hopefully not a representation of the opinion of the general population. But I would estimate that one out of every three comments is something like this: "WAS THIS PERSON WEARING A HELMET?!?!" And I think to myself, is that really the issue? If someone is hit hard enough to be killed, there are probably internal injuries that would not be prevented by a helmet anyway.

I do think that cyclists need to take responsibility for themselves and behave safely, but I also think that drivers need to be responsible for cyclists' (and pedestrians', and each other's) safety as well, and I think that behavior is the deciding factor in whether or not injuries and deaths will occur on the road.
Every day. All the time. No matter what. - just do it.

Please don't make big-box stores a shopping habit, but you can find helmets there for $20 and under... maybe at Working Bikes for perhaps even cheaper.

We're not talkin about elbows here... We're talking about BRAINS! Wouldn't you want to keep yours?

We're also not talkin about YOUR bike skills... we're talking about everyone else's driving skills. Do you trust them? I sure don't!

Besides, they stop feeling clunky or cumbersome after you use them for a very short time. You can also leave them on your bike lock if you don't want to carry. If someone wants your helmet badly enough to cut the straps - let 'em have it.



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