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Kids on bikes

Digger

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Good to see and not a ipad or tablet in sight. Would recommend a helmet though as ground looks hard.
 
Amarillo

Amarillo

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Good to see and not a ipad or tablet in sight. Would recommend a helmet though as ground looks hard.
I'm not convinced about the effectiveness of cycle helmets for utility cycling (racing, BMX and mountain biking is different). I fear that protective equipment gives cyclists a false sense of security and encourages risk taking that would not otherwise be taken. The best way to make sure that children are safe on their bikes is to reduce the likelihood of them falling off or being hit in the first place, and a cycle helmet is unlikely to help with that.

To reduce the risk of falling off I encourage my boys to cycle sensibly and well within their skill level.

To reduce the risk of being hit I teach my boys to communicate effectively with other road users, which includes gaining eye contact.

When cycling on the road I mitigate the risk of my boys being hit by cycling behind them and making sure that I am very clear to traffic around what our intentions are. If turning right into a side road I cycle slightly ahead, stop and wait while the boys turn safely. If turning left onto a main road, again I go slightly ahead and wait while they turn. Similar if turning right onto a main road.

I encourage the boys to slow down and use their bells on the road outside school where pedestrians might cross without looking.

At very quiet road junctions I encourage my older boy to wait, look and make his own decisions about whether it is safe to proceed and tell me that decision before proceeding ahead of me.

What I will not do is place a helmet on their heads then disregard my responsibility to ensure they cycle in a safe manner.
 
pjm-84

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Amarillo, your argument is not valid.

I work in Construction so it's like me saying be safe and you don't need to wear any PPE (I've never had an accident on site in 33years).

Cycling wise I was yes and no on helmets until I snapped a chain. I went over the bars and landed on the back of my head, crushing the rear of the helmet in the progress.

All in all, I've probably thrown away about four or five helmets from crashes, maybe more, which have taken the brunt of the fall. My intention, as always, is not to fall off.

The helmet is always a marmite subject with those either side of the fence.

However, I will leave this one with you. A team I used to cycle for had an accident on a roundabout on a club ride. A younger rider, who was not wearing a helmet, suffered brain damage as a result of the accident. Of course, there is a counter-argument that we will never know that if he was wearing a helmet he would have been saved from this injury. Sadly he is now confined to a wheelchair for the rest of his life
 
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tuono001

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Great to see your boy on his bike. Islabikes are great, my girls cycle to school with me 3 times a week on theirs all year round. Been doing it since they were 4.
Helmets, personal choice but mine wear them, seen the consequences of not having one.
I also get mine to wear gloves, nothing worse than a gravel rash hands
 
Amarillo

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Cycling wise I was yes and no on helmets until I snapped a chain. I went over the bars and landed on the back of my head, crushing the rear of the helmet in the progress.
We also do the A-B-C-D check before cycling. A ir in tyres, B rakes working correctly, C hain running freely, D anglers such as shoe laces tucked away.

I am convinced there have been cyclist head injuries which would not have occurred had the cyclist been wearing a helmet. I am equally convinced that there have been cyclist head injuries with a helmeted cyclist who had taken unnecessary risks because they had a helmet.

Similarly, I am sure there have been pedestrian head injuries which would not have occurred had the pedestrian been hearing a helmet. I see little call for children to walk to school wearing helmets.
 
tuono001

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I'm not sure I get part of your argument on helmets. Having ridden a lot of years now I've never felt a helmet on my head made me want to do something more risky than I otherwise would.
The same applied when riding my motorcycle, my helmet made no difference to my riding style.
 
pjm-84

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My chain break caused SRAM to investigate in both Holland and Spain. The conclusion was I pulled it apart under power and they suggested using a heavier, higher specification chain. They were apologetic and provided 3 of the chains as a good will gesture.

I subsequently snapped 6 carbon frames / 2 aluminium frames and a swing arm. Snapped a 2 bolt stem plate which sent me down the road at 35kph.

One of the reasons why I ride MTBs now.
 
Amarillo

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Whatever your view on cycle helmets it is (probably) statistically inarguable that the safest European country for utility cycling has the lowest rate of cycle helmet use.

I too have twice suffered a broken chain. The result has been a sharp pain in my groin. I have no intention of wearing a box to mitigate the consequence of a broken chain. I prefer instead to check regularly for signs of wear.
 
Aubisque

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Amarillo, your argument is not valid.

I work in Construction so it's like me saying be safe and you don't need to wear any PPE (I've never had an accident on site in 33years).

Cycling wise I was yes and no on helmets until I snapped a chain. I went over the bars and landed on the back of my head, crushing the rear of the helmet in the progress.

All in all, I've probably thrown away about four or five helmets from crashes, maybe more, which have taken the brunt of the fall. My intention, as always, is not to fall off.

The helmet is always a marmite subject with those either side of the fence.

However, I will leave this one with you. A team I used to cycle for had an accident on a roundabout on a club ride. A younger rider, who was not wearing a helmet, suffered brain damage as a result of the accident. Of course, there is a counter-argument that we will never know that if he was wearing a helmet he would have been saved from this injury. Sadly he is now confined to a wheelchair for the rest of his life
There's data to support all arguments, e.g. millions of bike miles are safely completed with no helmet in countries like Holland with no issue. And I have ridden thousands of miles and raced many road races and never thrown any helmets away, so you need to look at the bigger picture really.
This is a good read : https://mayerhillman.com/1992/06/01/the-cycle-helmet-friend-or-foe/
 
Amarillo

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There's data to support all arguments, e.g. millions of bike miles are safely completed with no helmet in countries like Holland with no issue. And I have ridden thousands of miles and raced many road races and never thrown any helmets away, so you need to look at the bigger picture really.
This is a good read : https://mayerhillman.com/1992/06/01/the-cycle-helmet-friend-or-foe/
Counter intuitively, in places where mandatory cycle helmet laws have been introduced, head injury rates have increased.

I do not know if this website is biased or not, but there is a wealth of information here:
https://www.cyclehelmets.org/
 
kp64zl

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pjm-84

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Hence the marmite argument. We can all argue on each side of the coin and pull facts to suit one's narrative.

It is a requirement to wear a helmet when competing in bike racings and now mandatory for sportives in this country. Even the Pros now need to comply and have for some time.

Another argument is the effectiveness of the helmet compared for example to a motorbike helmet. However a balance needs to be drawn.
 
pjm-84

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how many of you smoke cigarettes???
No. Never. My Father did and thankfully he has finally gone onto vapouring. No more coughing his guts up first thing in the morning although he believes he still does. Odd that?

My Aunt, who was a chain smoker, did but doesn't any longer as she died of lung cancer back at the beginning of the year. Her voice was very similar to Margie Simpson sisters.
 
MartG

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I think there is (enjoyable) risk in lots of life's great activities and I never feel more alive than when I'm on my motorbike. I think cycling will be doing far more good to kids irrespective of wearing a helmet or not.
 
Amarillo

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Now we have answered the cycle helmet question I have a question for readers.....
Ha ha ha.

This is a fine example of where I have a problem with this research.

Risk is a product of likelihood and consequence.

The research you cite examines consequence only, and completely ignores likelihood. In other words, it only looks at the effectiveness of helmet use once a fall has occurred.
 
Aubisque

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The consequence-only logic (as typically argued by medics who see injuries all day long) would mean that helmets would be recommended for kids in playgrounds too.
 
kp64zl

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Ha ha ha.

This is a fine example of where I have a problem with this research.

Risk is a product of likelihood and consequence.

The research you cite examines consequence only, and completely ignores likelihood. In other words, it only looks at the effectiveness of helmet use once a fall has occurred.
Hi @Amarillo -- I completely agree with you.

Personally -- I don't wear a cycle helmet -- I believe that if I was to have a serious accident then wearing a helmet would probably mean I would have a less severe head injury. However, I also believe that the absolute risk of me having a serious injury on my bike is very low. Also, when I did use helmets they invariably got lost or stolen.

But that doesn't invalidate the research that's been done at all - as you correctly say you can only infer so much from any particular piece of work.



My second link (this one: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=bicycle+helmet)
is to a simple pubmed search showing a variety of research papers with differing methodologies with varying conclusions.

for those not familiar with pubmed -- this is the archiving system for peer-reviewed medical research.

at least this helps you get closer to what the original researchers did & the debate isn't solely on opinion and hearsay
 
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GillianC

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There are arguments on both sides and there are undoubtedly huge advantages to be gained by encouraging children to cycle from a young age. I do feel however that if you get children used to putting a cycle helmet on from the start then that would become their norm until they are in a position to consider the risk for themselves.
My boys are now in their 20s and automatically put a helmet on before venturing out on the roads (or off road). It is their choice. All I know is that if they had been injured when children (through fault or no fault of their own) I would never, ever forgive myself.
 
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