by

February 2, 2011

by

February 2, 2011

Comments (11)

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perception

I think the ECF stance is beneficial.

Helmet promotion relies on the perception that cycling is dangerous, and while there are risks that come with riding a bike, when those risks are placed in proper context, and benefits of riding are factored in, it is obvious riding a bike without a helmet is no more dangerous than most other activities we engage in on a regular basis, and should be encouraged in order to improve society on many levels.

Being against "shock and horror" helmet campaigns advocates for cycling and exposes discriminatory and unrealistic perceptions that cycling is dangerous and not worth the risks of riding.

Brad more than 3 years ago

Helmet usage

Im a bike messenger in chicago and wear a helmet every single time I am at work. I understand that a helmet will not save me if I get hit by a vehicle and have a high velocity head impact with something hard. That being said, some of my closest calls have come at relatively lower speeds. Taxi's doing unexpected u turns or reversing, cars pulling out of alley ways into the street. Drunk people obliviously crossing the street. I have a higher exposure time than most other people on bikes and if i'm involved in a low speed accident, I think my family would be pretty upset with me for not taking my safety as seriously as I could have. How about this scenario: Im late for a delivery, it's 1 am because its my friday late shift, and raining, So Im hauling as fast as I can when a car overtaking me doesn't leave quite enough room, maybe they're drunk, maybe not, but they clip me and I go over the handle bars, hit the street, and lets say initially my head is spared as I slide along the pavement progressively losing speed. Then I impact the rim of a parked car. I was going slow. But not quite slow enough to avoid traumatic, or even minor brain damage. Now I understand this a completely fabricated scenario, and I hate fear mongering as much as anyone, but the reality is that there are a million different scenarios we could encounter every time we saddle up. Im gonna keep my helmet on.

Luke more than 3 years ago

Risk

I ride both helmeted and bare headed, and I hope that if I crash, I'm wearing my helmet. But the phenomenon of "risk compensation" is real, and I think people wearing helmets (myself included) tend to engage in riskier behavior. I think it's instructive that sports that have incorporated increasingly sophisticated protective gear have actually become more violent, and more dangerous,cf. hockey, football, field hockey,etc....

Jimmy more than 3 years ago

Karen...

Are you simply pro-helmet or pro-helmet law? I have no issue if you *choose* to wear a helmet, but forcing me to do so is ridiculous. I see zero benefit in helmets and will continue to ride helmet-free.

Ryan more than 3 years ago

Helmets Work!

I was t-boned by a car that had run a stop sign. My bicycle went under the car and I bounced off of the hood and hit the ground. My helmet was cracked in the collision and I suffered a minor concussion. I hate to think of what would have happened had my bare head hit the pavement instead of the helmet I was wearing. I am obviously very Pro-helmet.

Karen Davis more than 3 years ago

carton of eggs

If and when you are hit by a car while riding a bike, or walking, a typical bicycle helmet, or even a motorcycle full face helmet, is not going to avoid the type of damage you will incur. Mountain Bike magazine had a very succinct summary of protective ability/design of bicycle helmets about 18 months ago. Wearing a helmet encourages a sense of invulnerability that leads to risky behavior. If an extreme sport requires body armor or an inflatable vest, then so be it, but normal exercise/errand running/commuting to school or work should not require a bike helmet or Power Ranger uniforms.

Janice Dougherty more than 3 years ago

not for motor vehicles

A common misconception is that cycle helmets are useful in collisions with motor vehicles. Not so.

"Cycle helmets are made for simple falls that do not involve other vehicles. The tests they go through mean they should offer similar protection to a pedestrian who trips and falls to the ground."

So says one of the leading experts in helmet mechanisms and who runs one of the worlds leading helmet testing facilities.

http://www.cyclehelmets.org/papers/c2023.pdf

Brad more than 3 years ago

No Mandatory Helmets.............just wear a helmet

As a person who grew up in the Netherlands where I never wore helmet biking,except when I was rollerskating. All Dutch Car drivers share the road with cyclist .They are equals. In North America they are not equals. Cars are still the Kings of the road. I don't know If you had a close encounter or a direct hit. I have and I was happy I had a helmet on.
In the end it's your choice. go wear a helmet or not ,but go bicycle

Sjors Liem more than 3 years ago

contradiction

It'll be interesting to see just how, or if, the ECF will comment on BC's helmet law during Velo-City

The education program that was instituted alongside BCs law issued a directive for it's students; no helmet - no bike.

Further to that directive, a law was instituted in BC's motor vehicle act that allows police to seize the bicycle of a cyclist who has been found by a court to be guilty of riding a bicycle without a helmet.

All his runs counter to cycling advocacy and opposed to the ECF position and promotion of cycling. It also runs counter to the evidence that the benefits of cycling outweigh it's risks. A mandatory helmet policy means, the risk of riding a bicycle without a helmet is too great to bear, the benefit of not riding a bicycle outweighs the risks of riding a bicycle.

Host politicians cannot be supportive of both bicycle promotion, and a helmet law at the same time, can they?

Brad more than 3 years ago

That pro-choice facebook page is excellent!

A big hallelujah to Todd for the initiative!

Although I would love to see the sight of Vancouver's finest going beyond the call, and ticketing Dutch tourists on the seawall. Your tax dollars at work ladies and gentlemen!

James Twowheeler more than 3 years ago

"No Mandatory Helmets..."

Here is the Pro-Choice Helmet Facebook Fan Page I started: http://www.facebook.com/pages/No-mandatory-bike-helmets-at-Velo-city-Global-2012-in-Vancouver/165806686776077?ref=ts

Todd Edelman more than 3 years ago