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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

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  #31  
Old 04-12-2014, 10:40 PM
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Wildfield Wildfield is offline
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I worked for Bell/Giro for 14 years, a company that designs and manufactures bicycle, snow and motorcycle helmets. I currently work for another bicycle manufacturer that also makes world class bicycle helmets. I won't even pedal down to the convenience store or barber shop without wearing a helmet let alone my longer training rides.

Earlier this week, I took my oldest daughter to visit several college campuses as she begins to plan for college. I was amazed at how many kids ride their bikes and skateboards without helmets.

I have required both of my children to wear helmets whenever they are on a bike, skates, skateboard or scooter since day one. When I asked my daughter if she will wear her helmet when she is riding her bicycle on campus, she said no.

I realize that the odds of falling and hitting your head is very low but for those who do fall, the odds of surviving and/or sustaining minimal or no brain injury heavily favor those who wear a helmet.

It makes me very sad to know my daughter will choose vanity over safety. At the end of the day, we all have to make our own decision and live with the consequences.
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  #32  
Old 04-13-2014, 06:47 AM
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Balzaccom Balzaccom is offline
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i want more of those stories!
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  #33  
Old 04-13-2014, 08:39 AM
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FirstRWD FirstRWD is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wildfield
It makes me very sad to know my daughter will choose vanity over safety. At the end of the day, we all have to make our own decision and live with the consequences.

I don't think you need to feel too bad about it. People fall off of and crash bikes all the time without wearing a helmet. It's just that when a thread like this pops up, all you hear about is all the crazy rare stories where someone was just casually riding along on a pile of mattresses and all of the sudden, out of nowhere, a plane flew past, smashing into their head, leaving them in a coma for the rest of their life, proving that you Need to Always wear a helmet, no matter what. However, I Assure you there are Far more cases of people falling off of their bikes and Not having crazy or terrible things happen that people just don't feel the need to share. I've fallen off of my bike Tons of times when I was a BMX dirt jumper in high school. Never once did I sustain much of an injury. I've actually had a worse accident smacking my head on the parking lot while goofing around with friends in high school. Yet I've never heard the rants that we all need to be wearing helmets if we're walking on concrete... I'm sure your daughter will be fine.
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  #34  
Old 04-13-2014, 09:51 PM
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Balzaccom Balzaccom is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FirstRWD
I don't think you need to feel too bad about it. People fall off of and crash bikes all the time without wearing a helmet. It's just that when a thread like this pops up, all you hear about is all the crazy rare stories where someone was just casually riding along on a pile of mattresses and all of the sudden, out of nowhere, a plane flew past, smashing into their head, leaving them in a coma for the rest of their life, proving that you Need to Always wear a helmet, no matter what. However, I Assure you there are Far more cases of people falling off of their bikes and Not having crazy or terrible things happen that people just don't feel the need to share. I've fallen off of my bike Tons of times when I was a BMX dirt jumper in high school. Never once did I sustain much of an injury. I've actually had a worse accident smacking my head on the parking lot while goofing around with friends in high school. Yet I've never heard the rants that we all need to be wearing helmets if we're walking on concrete... I'm sure your daughter will be fine.

Fair enough--but I have NEVER met an ER doctor who shared that philosophy. Even the guy who stitched me up in Italy told me that his life would be a lot less exciting, and he'd have a lot less work, if it weren't for cyclist and motorcyclists, particularly those who do not wear a helmet.

I have to assume that they are speaking from experience....and they see way more cyclists than people who are clowning around in parking lots. Even though there are a lot more people in parking lots than there are cycling...
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  #35  
Old 04-14-2014, 05:40 AM
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IT_Mike IT_Mike is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Balzaccom
Fair enough--but I have NEVER met an ER doctor who shared that philosophy. Even the guy who stitched me up in Italy told me that his life would be a lot less exciting, and he'd have a lot less work, if it weren't for cyclist and motorcyclists, particularly those who do not wear a helmet.

I have to assume that they are speaking from experience....and they see way more cyclists than people who are clowning around in parking lots. Even though there are a lot more people in parking lots than there are cycling...

Fair enough, but how many cyclists do they treat that didn't have a serious accident? If all you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.
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  #36  
Old 04-15-2014, 08:33 AM
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Balzaccom Balzaccom is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IT_Mike
Fair enough, but how many cyclists do they treat that didn't have a serious accident? If all you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.

I think there is a flaw in your logic. OF course people fall down on bikes and don't get hurt. But when ER doctors point out that they have a far higher percentage of people in the ER from bicycles and motorcycles, it indicates that those activities have a higher risk factor for the notably smaller numbers of people who engage in those activities.

The fact that you can fall down and not get hurt does not in any way contradict the suggestion from the doctors that if you are riding a bike without a helmet you are far more likely to end up in the ER than other people engaged in other kinds of activities. And they have the experience to know that.
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  #37  
Old 04-16-2014, 10:40 PM
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FirstRWD FirstRWD is offline
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I just asked my girlfriend, who is a nurse currently doing a month round in the ER, and she said that common illnesses are the majority of ER patients, followed probably by heart problems and car accidents. I'll give you that it's still cool out and the number of bikers will probably go up in the summer, but I don't see people strongly urging everyone to wear a helmet while driving. If more people get into car accidents and end up in the ER than bike accidents, it stands to reason that you should wear a helmet in a car at least as much as on a bike. I personally don't think you should wear a helmet in a car or on a bike if you don't want to, but my point is simply that it doesn't really make any more sense to wear a helmet on a bike vs. any other physical activity, and playing the statistics game, people should be wearing helmets when they drive.
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  #38  
Old 07-21-2014, 02:40 PM
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Ralph Ralph is offline
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I haven't been on a bike in a long time and, at my age (75) I'm not likely to in the future. Just some observations.

I grew up in a semi-rural area about 2 miles from the nearest town. Just about all of us had bikes. None of us had bike locks, helmets or any safety gear and no one ever had any serious injury despite being young and foolish.

In those days the rule for bikes was the same as the rule for pedestrians, face oncoming traffic, stop at stop signs and traffic lights and walk the bike across intersections. I'm not sure when all that changed, probably about the same time that bike accidents became an issue.

I have been eye-witness to three bike/car collisions. In every case the bike rider was doing something stupid - grossly excessive speed, sailing through stop signs and weaving in and out of traffic. In all cases, the bike hit the car.

I forget where I saw it but one posting told about the guy's biking companion spending a month in the hospital being sewn, stapled and wired back together after blowing out his front tire while riding downhill. When I asked about their speed he replied they were going about 65 MPH "well within our capability". Really? Then why was his friend in the hospital?

I was as foolish as any kid is, but I wasn't reckless and realized that flipping over the bike was likely to hurt - a lot, so I avoided doing that.

Safety and protective devices are fine, but even better is not driving/riding stupid.

That goes double for motorcycles - I have had three friends kill themselves on motorcycles all within a month after buying their first (and last) one.
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