Practical Backpacking™ Forums

Welcome to Practical Backpacking™ Forums (PBF).

You are currently viewing PBF as a guest which has limited access. By becoming a PBF member, you will have full access to view and participate in tens of thousands of informative discussions, to view links and attachments (photos), and will gain access to other special features. Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free! Click to Become a PBF Member! Be sure to also explore the Practical Backpacking Podcast.


Go Back   Practical Backpacking™ Forums > Practical Backpacking™ General Outdoors (Backpacking Related) > Bikepacking
HOME FAQ PBF GUIDELINES BLOG PODCAST GALLERY STORE CALENDAR Mark Forums Read

Bikepacking The Bikebacking forum is for discussion that relates directly to bikepacking (also known as bicycle camping). Subject matter should involve the backpacking/camping/bike gear and trip planning as it relates to mountain biking and bicycle touring.


View Poll Results: Do you wear a helmet (law required or not) when bikepacking (touring)?
Yes, always 37 71.15%
No, never 8 15.38%
Occasionally 7 13.46%
Voters: 52. You may not vote on this poll

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #21  
Old 09-18-2011, 07:52 PM
© 2006-2016 Practical Backpacking™ / All Rights Reserved
WildlifeNate WildlifeNate is offline
Practical Backpacking­™ Forums Moderator
Backpack: Osprey Atmos 50
Sleeping Gear: DIY down quilt
Shelter: ENO Doublenest Hammock, WB Bugnet, GG Tarp
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Nacogdoches, TX
Posts: 1,610
I wear a helmet because $#!+ happens. I'm not arrogant enough to believe that I am a flawless bike rider who absolutely never does something stupid or exceeds his limits. I try not to screw up and seriously maim myself, but I cannot guarantee that it won't happen. That is why I wear a helmet.

I am also not naive enough to believe that other people are flawless pilots of their chosen mode of transport. I've seen bicyclists run into each other. My wife was in one of those crashes a few years before we met, and she was helmetless. I saw two people get thrown by horses just yesterday. I've also seen people driving cars run into all sorts of stuff from other cars to stationary objects. This is another reason I wear a helmet.

40mph really is not an unreasonable speed on a bicycle. Riding the brakes too much can be equally dangerous when on a long downhill, especially with a full load. I know enough cases where people's tires have exploded because the rims got too hot.
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 01-16-2012, 05:25 AM
© 2006-2016 Practical Backpacking™ / All Rights Reserved
RicemanDan RicemanDan is offline
Practical Backpacking™ New Member
Backpack: GoLite Jam (50L)
Sleeping Gear: GoLite Ultra 20 Quilt; Exped Synmat UL 7 (S)
Shelter: Highlander Basha Tarp (8ft x 5ft) with GoLite LA1 Shelter
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Devon, England
Posts: 8
I'm a long-time non-helmet wearer. I hear the horror stories all the time, but it often leaves me thinking that the added circumference/area provided by helmets is what gets them hit. I've come off many times, including 25-30mph, hitting a sheep that rushed under my front wheel and still yet to ever hit my head. I don't know whether my natural reaction avoids it or not, but after 15+ years cycling and tens of thousands of cycling miles, I'm nowhere nearer to getting one. Perhaps I will pay the ultimate price one day, but for endless hours of comfort vs the seemingly ultra-low odds of actually needing one, the decision for me is an easy one. Even more so for touring, where I sit up straight and feel stable and never reach the 50mph road bike speeds.

I even incurred a $55 fine in NZ for breaking the helmet law, after several warnings. I told the officer that my helmet (MET: given free by an adamant bike shop owner) has a crack in it and I haven't even worn it! I dropped it a few times from handlebar height and this was enough to crack it. So to all those who think it is dramatic that you've cracked one, which would have been your skull, I do not buy. Any impact and they crack. Left me wondering what the point of the thing was.
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 01-24-2012, 09:18 PM
© 2006-2016 Practical Backpacking™ / All Rights Reserved
WildlifeNate WildlifeNate is offline
Practical Backpacking­™ Forums Moderator
Backpack: Osprey Atmos 50
Sleeping Gear: DIY down quilt
Shelter: ENO Doublenest Hammock, WB Bugnet, GG Tarp
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Nacogdoches, TX
Posts: 1,610
Quote:
Originally Posted by RicemanDan
I'm a long-time non-helmet wearer. I hear the horror stories all the time, but it often leaves me thinking that the added circumference/area provided by helmets is what gets them hit. I've come off many times, including 25-30mph, hitting a sheep that rushed under my front wheel and still yet to ever hit my head. I don't know whether my natural reaction avoids it or not, but after 15+ years cycling and tens of thousands of cycling miles, I'm nowhere nearer to getting one. Perhaps I will pay the ultimate price one day, but for endless hours of comfort vs the seemingly ultra-low odds of actually needing one, the decision for me is an easy one. Even more so for touring, where I sit up straight and feel stable and never reach the 50mph road bike speeds.

I even incurred a $55 fine in NZ for breaking the helmet law, after several warnings. I told the officer that my helmet (MET: given free by an adamant bike shop owner) has a crack in it and I haven't even worn it! I dropped it a few times from handlebar height and this was enough to crack it. So to all those who think it is dramatic that you've cracked one, which would have been your skull, I do not buy. Any impact and they crack. Left me wondering what the point of the thing was.

your decision, I suppose. but if you've never felt the effects of a traumatic brain injury, I suppose you might not understand the gravity of the potential results of your decision.

while my traumatic brain injury was not caused by an accident - it was illness-related - I DID spend nearly a month in a coma and I am still working on rehabbing my body nearly 3yrs later. doctors compared the effects of it to a bicycle crash without a helmet. that comparison was not lost on me.

if a piece of foam wrapped in plastic will reduce the likelihood of that happening from a bicycle accident in the future, I will wear the dorky thing and I will be perfectly fine with it.

it's the same reason I wear sunglasses when I ride my mountain bike. even if the lenses are just clear ones. the repercussions of injuring my eyes from debris or overhanging tree branches is just too high. I depend on my eyes for the things I do for work and for fun.

I depend on my brain for survival.
Reply With Quote
Please Consider PBF Partners
  #24  
Old 01-27-2012, 03:03 AM
© 2006-2016 Practical Backpacking™ / All Rights Reserved
GGervin GGervin is offline
Practical Backpacking­™ Forums Moderator
Backpack: Gregory Shasta, Deuter ACT Lite 65+10
Sleeping Gear: REI ThermoPod +0 mummy, MH 3D +40 mummy
Shelter: SD Superflash, GoLite Hut 1
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: California
Posts: 436
Quote:
Originally Posted by RicemanDan
...my helmet (MET: given free by an adamant bike shop owner) has a crack in it and I haven't even worn it! I dropped it a few times from handlebar height and this was enough to crack it. So to all those who think it is dramatic that you've cracked one, which would have been your skull, I do not buy. Any impact and they crack. Left me wondering what the point of the thing was.

A quick note on the frustrating physics of a helmet: Helmets protect heads by absorbing impacts. The only way for a helmet to absorb an impact is to deform. Physics says the energy of an impact has to go somewhere, and the helmet deforms to use up the impact energy - which keeps the impact energy from deforming your head. That's how a helmet protects you. Unfortunately, a helmet isn't smart and can't tell the difference between a crash and just being dropped. Any time you drop a helmet (motorcycle or bicycle), it will still do its job by deforming. Even if a crack isn't visible, there will still be deformation. That means it won't protect the head nearly as well in a second impact, and needs to be replaced after either an accident or a drop. So you are entirely correct that "any impact and they crack." But ironically, that's actually the point of having a helmet. They aren't intended to last like a steel army helmet. They are engineered specifically not to last.

I certainly have no desire to impinge on your freedom to not wear a helmet. I just wanted say that if a helmet cracks when you drop it, that's actually a good thing. Odd as it sounds.

Last edited by GGervin : 01-27-2012 at 03:16 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 01-27-2012, 06:15 PM
© 2006-2016 Practical Backpacking™ / All Rights Reserved
Bushwalker Bushwalker is offline
Practical Backpacking­™ Associate Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: New South Wales
Posts: 275
Some will always say: "To each, their own..". Well, No brains... No need for a helmet, I suppose.

I have suitable headwear to suit the occasion hanging in my shed, ready to grab when and where needed ~

* bicycle helmets;

* sun hats, baseball cap, beanies (actually these are in a drawer with my gloves and such, but I digress.. );

* rock climbing helmet;

* a (Kevlar) emergency services (SES) helmet;

* a couple of beekeeping hats & veils;

* industrial bash hats...


I have been wearing bicycle helmets over here in Oz since before it became law ~ and basically, with well over 20 years helmet-wearing experience in our hot Aussie summers, I'm more than happy to declare that the bulk of the no-helmet-excuses put forward by the anti-helmet brigade are mostly rubbish..
[I also have all the desirable PPE in my workshop: safety spec's, goggles, face shields, ear protectors, dust masks - but that's getting even more off-topic..].

As I see it, there are two genuine and fundamental reasons that the anti-helmet protesters don't want to use the "brain buckets" ~
1. They look too dorky, and don't add to their imagined coolness or machismo;
2. They "mess up their pretty hair..".
Reply With Quote
  #26  
Old 02-01-2012, 02:41 AM
© 2006-2016 Practical Backpacking™ / All Rights Reserved
IT_Mike IT_Mike is offline
Practical Backpacking™ Junior Member
Backpack: Osprey Argon 85
Sleeping Gear: Ascend -20°
Shelter: Hennessey ED
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doss
We all have a point that we consider out limit of personal safety and what we are willing to risk, I do many activities that people would consider "unsafe" but while I do them I choose to take certain action that increase my margin of safety (such as wearing a helmet, not drinking and driving, double-checking rappel and climbing gear, etc). I do not consider someone who does a 'thrill-seeking' action or sport someone with a head filled with mush and actually know many very intelligent people who would take offense to your backhanded way of calling people stupid.

I see no reason to repeat what Doss has laid out so well.

I wear a helmet when riding with my sons. Other than that, it depends how I feel at the moment.

As a motorcyclist, racking up over 30K miles a year, I'm intimately familiar with all of the arguments for and against helmets. I also know that statistics can demonstrate anything the presenter wants. I can easily show state published numbers that demonstrate motorcyclists are more likely to die or suffer from serious injury wearing helmets. Either way you're putting your life at risk, a personal choice.

To each his own, if we wanted to be completely safe we wouldn't be out here.

Mike
Reply With Quote
Please Consider PBF Partners
  #27  
Old 09-09-2012, 11:15 PM
© 2006-2016 Practical Backpacking™ / All Rights Reserved
TDFbound TDFbound is offline
Practical Backpacking™ New Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 2
After literally seeing a man's brains sitting on the asphalt after a botched railroad crossing and watching a woman become a quadriplegic in her own driveway (among other similar incidents), I am a believer in helmets.
Reply With Quote
  #28  
Old 04-02-2013, 12:43 AM
© 2006-2016 Practical Backpacking™ / All Rights Reserved
FirstRWD FirstRWD is offline
Practical Backpacking™ Regular Member
Backpack: Detours 40L or Bike Panniers
Sleeping Gear: Homemade Synthetic Quilt
Shelter: North Face Mica FL 2
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: WI
Posts: 85
I Always wear a helmet if I'm mountain biking(I do fast paced stuff over fist sized rocks, jumps, and 2-4' drops), and almost always if I plan on riding on busy roads with cars(which I almost always avoid). I never do if I'm just riding around neighborhood roads or bike paths.
Reply With Quote
  #29  
Old 04-12-2014, 11:16 AM
© 2006-2016 Practical Backpacking™ / All Rights Reserved
Balzaccom Balzaccom is offline
Practical Backpacking™ Regular Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 186
Bike crash ... no helmet

Yeah...I had a bad one in Italy this week, and here's what I learned from the experience.
I was lucky. I should be fine, and able to backpack this summer with no real issues. But I look even worse than usual.
Lessons learned:
Wear a helmet.stupid! With a helmet I would have walked away from this crash. I have ridden over 52,000 miles on a bike in the last ten years or so, and only ridden without a helmet about twice, And that's all it took.
Stay at a good hotel. They were solicitous beyond belief, and efficient as well. I felt fully and totally cared for.
Have friends and clients in Italy. They were wonderful, and really went out of their way to make sure that I was OK.
Wear a helmet, stupid.
Reply With Quote
  #30  
Old 04-12-2014, 02:33 PM
© 2006-2016 Practical Backpacking™ / All Rights Reserved
Grandpa Grandpa is offline
Practical Backpacking­™ Associate Member
Backpack: GoLite Pinnacle
Sleeping Gear: Moonstone Lucid 800 w/Neo Air pad
Shelter: Tarptent Sublite Tyvek & Tarptent Double Rainbow
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Texas
Posts: 430
I wear a helmet. Having only two functioning neurons, I want to keep what I have left working.

I lost a close friend when a woman ran a stop sign and he T-boned her on his motorcycle. He wasn't wearing a helmet and died of massive head injuries, leaving a wife and young child. It's possible he might not have survived even with a helmet but he didn't give himself much of a chance by not wearing one that morning. Ironically, he normally drove his car to work but it was in the shop that day.

Another close friend was riding his bicycle when someone threw a beer bottle at him, hitting him in the head and knocking him to the pavement. In this case, the doctor said his helmet saved him twice, first from the impact of the glass bottle thrown from a car doing 40 MPH, and the second time from when he hit head first onto the street. He still spent several days in the hospital with a severe concussion.

Once, I was riding the Chihuahua al Pacifico railroad in Mexico with two brothers in law and a friend. We were standing on the catwalk on the side of the engine as the train entered a tunnel (the lawyers haven't ruined Mexico yet). The engineer blasted his horn to impress some girl riding in front with him and the concussion knocked a rock loose, which hit me in the head, knocking me flat. I saw stars and grabbed anything I could grab to keep from falling off the train. Upon exiting the tunnel as I lay on the catwalk with a foggy mind and bloody head, my brother in law (who calls me his insurance policy--because if we're together, anything that will happen, happens to me and not him) stood over me and exclaimed, "See, I told you I'd be safe if I was with you!" After that incident, I decided next time I rode a train in Mexico, I'd have a helmet and a harness. I have lots of stories from that train trip.
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Falling Trees (Branches) Reality The Trailhead - General Backpacking Discussion 35 07-10-2007 05:40 PM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 10:33 AM.

Backpacking Forums


Powered by vBulletin Version 3.5.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright © 2006-2017 Practical Backpacking™
Practical Backpacking is a trademark of Absolutely Prepared™
Practical Backpacker is a trademark of Absolutely Prepared™
Practical Backpacking Podcast is a trademark of Absolutely Prepared™
Practical Backpacking Magazine is a trademark of Absolutely Prepared™