October 20, 2009

What are your thoughts on helmets?  I agree with this list.

While I will always wear a helmet in traffic, I have to agree with Yehuda Moon:

Styrofoam Hat?

Styrofoam Hat?

A Styrofoam hat is not the solution to the problem.

At the same time, I know the solution to the problem will not be implemented any time soon.  And so, I wear a helmet because I bike in traffic, because in the long run I’d rather be safe than brain dead.

One Response to “Helmet?”

  1. Anne said

    Even if you’re on a road all by yourself, accidents can happen. It’s not just a car problem. A good friend of mine was riding on a farm road in SW Michigan. Beautiful day. No traffic. Enjoying the scenery. Sudden pothole, unseen because he was enjoying the scenery. Hard crash @ 25 mph. ER visit -> hospitalization. Temporary paralysis -> spinal surgery -> long recovery. Back to riding again, with neck pain. Without a helmet, he probably would have been permanently paralyzed or dead.

    My worst crash was on an early morning ride. No traffic nearby. Deep shadows on pavement = hidden pothole. Friend hit it first -> chain reaction crash -> endo -> 15 mph crash. ER visit. Damaged vertebrae -> long-term neck pain. Without a helmet, I could have been paralyzed or dead. I know you’ve heard this story.

    On perfect pavement, cornering hard on wet leaves or snow could result in a sideways wipe-out, where your head could hit the pavement, possibly with serious consequences.

    If you’re riding slowly, not aggressively, such as city riding on a heavy Dutch bike like Yehuda rides, it minimizes the risk of crashes. With the kind of riding you’re doing, I’m glad that you wear a helmet.

    You have one more advantage you may not realize. I only studied ju jitsu for a short time, but the best lesson I took away from it was that relaxing and going with a fall when it is inevitable can reduce or eliminate injuries.

    There have been several times when I hit bad pavement or slid on wet leaves or just took a bad turn and realized I was going down. I leaned into the fall and guided it, then relaxed. Doing this, I’ve sometimes been able to direct the fall to grass instead of pavement, or at least to a position where damage would be minimal. Same is true for walking in icy conditions. If your feet are going out from under you, shift your gravity to plant your butt in a snow pile or on a lawn, instead of hands or knees hitting the deck. Using this strategy in all seasons has saved me from many ER visits. Sensei taught that lesson well.

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