By Yokota Fritz
“I will pursue any legislation in order to protect children as best I can,” says Colorado state senator Bob Bacon of Fort Collins. To that end, Senator Bacon and Represenative John Kefalas (also of Ft Collins) are sponsoring legislation to mandate helmet use for children under age 18. The proposed law doesn't have teeth -- enforcement will consist of police lecturing bike riders to ride their helmets, instead of any actual citation or fine.
Kefalas says he's responding to "numerous tragedies on Fort Collins roads involving car collisions with children riding bicycles," according to the Coloradoan. There were 38 bike / car collisions involving children in Ft Collins in 2008 reported to the Ft Collins police.
Long time cycling advocate Rick Price of Ft Collins believes cycling education for children would be a much more valuable use of state resources to improve cycling safety for children.
Sergio Portillo, 33, was stopped July 11, 2008, as he rode his bicycle while not wearing a helmet near downtown. He was then searched and charged with drug possession after police said they found that he was carrying crack cocaine.
Abuse of power is one of [Attorney David] Pire's concerns. Complaints from clients about the helmet law "popped up periodically and it's always a minority" who has been stopped by police, he said. "I started looking at it and I thought this law can't be valid."
And then the Dallas police claim (falsely) "...hospitals are filled with patients from those injuries who were not wearing helmets." What a bunch of hokum.
Seattle cyclist claims helmet saved his head from certain death
By Yokota Fritz
Mark Seawall was hit from behind by a drunk driver while riding his bicycle. He was knocked unconscious and didn't know what happened. "I knew something bad had happened. I knew I had been in a bicycle accident apparently," he said about the moment he came to in the ambulance. But now the news media claims the truck ran over Mark's head and he was saved by his helmet!
If you're naive enough to believe this ludicrous claim, consider these photos. This is your brain:
This is your helmet-protected brain under the wheel of a car.
By Yokota Fritz
I can definitely see some useful cycling applications for this material.
The material is called D30, which is described as a "lightweight material is very flexible and malleable, until subjected to abrupt force, making it useful in protective clothing in situations where the wearer may be exposed to blunt trauma." D3O has been used for protective ski gear, soccer gloves and shinguards, and motorcycle gloves.
By Yokota Fritz This "Breathe Air" helmet was created by 22-year-old Brunel University industrial design and technology student Luke Pannell. This helmet and face shield covers the cyclist's nose and mouth with an air filter to remove particulate matter from the breathed air.
Air pollution is a concern for me, but I don't think I'll rush out to get this particular helmet. There's no comment on how much this thing restricts air flow, and it looks unbelievably hot to me. Fishbowl wonders what happens if you sneeze while wearing this? Many cyclists also know that mucous buildup in the throat and nose that collects while cycling and must be periodically cleaned out.
Dave Wild demonstrates the safety benefit of wearing a wig while bicycling.
ABC News 20/20 Intouch has a series on what Americans fear. In this video, John Stossel interviews Dr. Ian Walker, the psychologist who did the infamous study comparing motorist behavior around a cyclist wearing a helmet versus wearing a wig. You can see both Dr. Walker and Mr. Stossel riding their bikes with a wig.
Colorado HB 1147: Helmet legislation for children
How about spending money to actually teach motorists how to drive properly and enforce the existing laws on the books?
Legislation in this arena that has any fiscal impact would go down like the Heene's balloon. I.e., there's no money to spend and this bill costs nothing. What it does do that is unique is "allow" cops to stop kids or parents and remind them that we have a law in Colorado requiring minors to wear a helmet. Enforcement, therefore, is not punitive nor is it mandatory. But it gives the cop an opportunity to become a part of the educational process. That would be a nice switch.
The law also requires Colorado Dept. of Transportation consider all users of the public streets and roads (read bicyclists and pedestrians) when they build roads.
Finally, it requires CDOT and the Departments of Education and Public Safety to make available to schools, communities, advocacy groups, and others a comprehensive bicycle safety curriculum for all grade levels.
In short, there is WAY more to this bill than helmets. That's the least of it. We're talking educating citizens in this state about safe cycling. Morotists included.
Dallas bike helmet law and selective enforcement
Pretty transparent - they aren't really cracking down on those idiot cyclists who don't wear helmets, it's an easy pretext to stop someone they suspect of something "more sinister"
I live in Dallas, I commute by bike, I ride a bike for fitness and fun. I was all in favor of the helmet laws then it became a "cause celeb" for those who resist any laws such as red lights, stop signs,etc. this is the same group that wants the city to fund a private playground of bikeways on public streets so they can continue to flaunt safe traffic laws with impunity and protection of the city.
I can not tell you how many drug deal I have witnessed on the MUT in town. I am all for continued enforcement of the helmet laws.
Helmet laws are the result of fear mongering by the paranoid, and meme infected soccer moms in bike clubs. They are totally unwarranted, unnecessary, and as this story illustrates, used by police to violate our constitutional right against unwarranted searches.
Seattle cyclist claims helmet saved his head from certain death
I remember something in the news like this about a month ago. I thought that if the helmet had managed to save the guy's head, he was just lucky the car didn't run over his neck (after all, we need an intact throat to breathe -- and presumably an intact spinal cord to function below the neck -- or his chest, where the lungs and heart are located. Isn't the possibility of having these parts of the body run over as compelling an argument for compulsory neck and body armour for cyclists (and for pedestrians to boot, since whether you are walking, skateboarding, skating or biking when hit by a motor vehicle makes no difference to what happens to you at the time of impact with the vehicle/ground/other hard surface)...? No helmet activist ever seems to think of these equally obvious possibilities, even if we accept the selective misinformation put out to the public about helmets...
Now there's a physics experiment.
Run over that thing at all different approach points to see when it would flat run over (in which case he'd still be squished), when the wheel would have *missed* him entirely if the helmet hadn't been there, but it hit the helmet and squirt him out of the way... which then might have protected him from the rear wheel (but I'd imagine the driver at least reflexively swerved a bit)... hmmm...
"You went over my helmet?!" "Well, n-not over, really, m-m-more to the side... no! No! Aaaaaaaaaa!"
Hey, the watermelon did not get destroyed. It was saved!
While the notion that your head would survive with a car on top of it, a shoe was sufficient to protect my foot when it got run over by a station wagon and a glove was sufficient to prevent injury when my hand got run over by an ice skate. With the car it felt like there was major damping from the suspension. With a helmet, the more accurate test would be to see how well it deflects your head away from the wheel, plus how much of that initial impact it absorbs.
I don't know why it's difficult to believe this at all. Shoot - look at the picture - the melon is still more or less intact. And I've heard of much-crazier things that turn out to be true.
This page suggests the 'squirt effect' may help save people:
And this guy says that, yes, his head did, in fact, get rolled right over by a truck - and the helmet looks convincing:
If it's an inconvenient truth that these folks' skulls were kept intact by helmets, then that's just something we cyclists need to deal with and get over.
If we hope to avoid mandatory helmet laws, then we need to be organized, have better reasons than "duh!", and be willing to put down any authoritarian helmet law attempts if and when they arise.
Happy helmet-less cycling! :)
I find the picture hard to believe. The helmet looks like it sustained serious damage, but there doesn't seem to be a 'track' from the wheel up the back of the helmet.
Also, there isn't much compression of the tire, which makes me think that the helmet was broken separately, with the 'scene' assembled afterward with a wheel conveniently arranged on the top of the helmet.
Silvercosmos: Bike helmets are made out of polystyrene (EPS). Foam. With a thin shell of plastic and lots of holes. You can break one in half with your hands. How is a piece of EPS going to support the 1 ton that most small cars weigh?
...it's my theory that this is a flawed test...speculation, i know but one simply cannot trust a melon that continues to smile w/ a car tire on top of it... ...accept at face value ???...i dare say, no !!!...
welp, seems like in the "test" they lowered the van onto the helmeted melon. That is generally not anything like what happens in traffic accidents.
It also seems like they *could* have rather easily simulated a traffic accident and "run over" the helmeted melon.
Maybe they did and didn't get the results they wanted. Makes it look like an experiment far from keeping to the scientific method; rather a distorted demonstration with an agenda.
Couple of months back a local guy was clocked by a driver at a 4-way stop and the guy was tossed up onto the windshield. Smacked it hard... with the helmet. Helmet cracked. Head intact. Make your own choices - but these arguments are working against themselves because of their weaknesses.
The helmet argument is as old as....as???? Well it's old.
I'm so sure my argument will sway you to my belief that I'm going to exclude it.
You guys, the "they" of the Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute behind the watermelon experiment is Randy Swart. Randy is the guy who advocates strongly for mandatory helmet use. His agenda is very mcuh pro-helmet-use.
I've gone into the windshield also. This was nearly three decades ago when helmet use was not common. Besides the big Frankenstein bolts sticking out of my head, Touret's outbursts and uncontrollable bowel movements, everything seems to be just fine.
I simply consider that having each person learn responsibility for their own carcass is a much better argument against legislated armor than "it doesn't work!" because that argument ain't gonna work.
Moldable goo withstands shovel whacks
Pollution filter for cyclists
The filters would probably flow enough air when they're new, but I'd wonder about it after going through a few duststorms or even a good, soaking rain.
But there's a bigger concern - just how do you drink when you have one of these things? It looks like you'd have to remove it entirely. Now here in Oklahoma (which is an Indian word for 'this place is only a mile from the sun, dammit!') hydration is a serious issue when the temperature an humidity are off the scale.
Oh, there's just one other question - where can I get the rest of the Star Wars storm trooper uniform?
These aren't the droids you're looking for.
He can go about his business.This post has been removed by the author.
I wondered about the heat issue - I assume the guy who designed this has made it as lightweight as possible (and white...) but yeah, I think it would be uncomfortable (especially if hot and humid) and surely you have restricted vision as well?
It looks good as a sci-fi get up though....soon to be found on geek emporiums and fetish sites everywhere....
Bicycle safety video: wigs versus helmets
How about a helmet that looks like a woman's wig... wouldn't that be the safest?
It would appear that I have been a safety pioneer! ;)
A wig on a helmet should do it... that is one serious wig, publicenergy. I'd love to know how the wig/helmet/barehead guy felt about helmets beforehand, since his slight-but-significant bias was rather apparent in the interview. There's just a whole lot of potential for confounding factors and he is definitely a line-hugger!
I think this subject deserves further study, and in fact, the University of Eastern Oklahoma at its Broken Elbow extension campus has assigned noted bicycling expert Dr. Walter Crankset to attempt to replicate the original study. Dr. Crankset is performing the basic research and field studies at present, mostly by riding his bicycle fitted with sensitive distance measurement equipment from bar to bar around scenic Broken Elbow. He expects to publish his results in the spring, after he finishes his stretch of community service.
Wally says that the orange jumpsuits just aren't his favorite color.