To the bicycling guitarist... or really anyone who cycles.

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Blue Jay
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21 Dec 2012, 9:33 pm

To anyone on the spectrum who cycles... especially you bicycling guitarist- I've seen you riding a geared bike with no hands on the brakes and no helmet.

Keep riding and being awesome but please wear a helmet. No matter your experience level, s**t happens. I've crushed a couple helmets and wouldn't still be alive if not for them. You can always buy a new bike, guitar or helmet...you only get one body and mind.

I understand that they can be uncomfortable. There are a lot of options though and nice ones are light and fit better, you can get used to them and forget they are there.

I took a hard fall over a week ago that fractured my helmet in over 13 places. I got a black eye but my brain is fine. Biking is a contact sport, either your tires contact the ground or you do.

That is all... take care.

P.S. to the guitarist- maybe consider a fixed gear bike so you can directly control your speed with your legs... just get a helmet first.



auntblabby
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21 Dec 2012, 9:51 pm

i wish helmets protected elbows. :hmph:



jamieevren1210
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21 Dec 2012, 11:58 pm

He's awesome! But yeah, should get himself a helmet...


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conan
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22 Dec 2012, 7:33 am

i agree helmets are a great idea but awareness and good cycling trumps any safety product. I have never fallen and hit my head in 20 years of cycling including 6 years of daily cycling in a city.

I'm seriously considering a helmet though

i want one of these : http://urbanvelo.org/abus-kranium-helmet-now-available-uk/

they are supposedly a lot safer than standard helmets which in many cases are not very effective

also, there is a study out there that suggested that car drivers drive closer to cyclists who wear helmets



TheBicyclingGuitarist
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22 Dec 2012, 9:10 am

Consider the sand paintings of Buddhist monks, or the pollen paintings of the Navajo. These are not meant to last forever. Their being transitory is part of their meaning.

Sure I could wear a helmet, but the statement I am making (artistic? spiritual? maybe both, perhaps neither) wouldn't be the same. I could put training wheels on the bike too. Heck it would be much safer to play guitar sitting in a padded room and not even get on a bicycle. But even protected with the best of food, shelter and medical care we are all gonna die someday anyway.

Since my accident last June (not caused by bicycling with a guitar), I might be a little more open to the idea of wearing a helmet. But on the other hand, it might take away from the magic of what I am doing even if it makes it possible for me to do it longer without serious injury or death. I appreciate your concern and advice. There might be more going on here though than meets the eye.


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auntblabby
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23 Dec 2012, 2:54 am

^^^
do you have a "one-man-band" type of mechanism that you make music with aside from your guitar? if so, maybe you could customize a helmet with some part of a music-making apparatus. :idea: just thinkin'...



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23 Dec 2012, 3:22 am

As an avid rock climber I understand and share the "skill is the best safety" sentiment. I've climbed some scary run-out s**t, barely protect-able with a rope. As well as a 100' free solo (nothing but death for error) climb as the first pitch of an 800' route. I still always wear a helmet, even when it would be useless. I understand the level of focus and "head-space" you can achieve when there is considerable risk involved. However, no one is infallible and the world just ain't perfect...though I believe we can make it so, if we can all believe it.

HUMANity has infinite potential.
GOOD or BAD,
We can BE or DO
ANYTHING IMAGINABLE
Everything depends on what we let ourselves believe.


I only climb rocks because I think I can and I think thinking is the only reason we really do anything. So lets protect our thinkers.



1000Knives
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23 Dec 2012, 12:14 pm

I got hit by an ambulance riding my bike without a helmet. I rolled, didn't really bump my head too hard, and walked away, well, feeling like I got hit by a Mack Truck, and with a scrape on my elbow. I'd wear my helmet on a motorcycle all the time, but on a bike, unless I was expecting to go hillbombing or something, I probably won't. There has been that study done that drivers get closer to bicyclists wearing helmets, too. I do wonder if in my crash, if I was wearing a helmet, especially one that had a lot sticking out in back, if I'd have been able to tuck my head in and roll as well as I'd done. My guess is I might have gotten a neck injury with a helmet on. Then again, falling a few thousand times in judo probably helped things. I remember I fell off like a 10 foot wall and just got right back up.

I dunno, if the place I lived was more hilly, maybe.



auntblabby
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24 Dec 2012, 12:55 am

^^^
wow :o you sound like one tough physical specimen, indestructible. :wtg:



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Blue Jay
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25 Dec 2012, 1:03 am

he's only 21... give him some time and he'll internalize the concept of his mortality.

Sometimes it takes more than one death-scare to learn the hard way, but sometimes you actually die.


Risk management is a crucial sport skill. Trust me 1000knives. :roll:



1000Knives
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25 Dec 2012, 2:02 am

I've crashed a car and totaled it. Was fine. So two brushes with death I think? No hospitalization there either, crashed my mom's Taurus into a pole in the snow at about 25mph or so. Walked straight out of that crash, no hospitalization there.

The study though, about the bicyclist having cars pass him closer with the helmet on, interesting one. But as I said, in that particular crash, I think a helmet would have been a disadvantage as I wouldn't have tucked my head in and probably would have had neck problems. In that particular crash, I managed to just like, get up from it. Wasn't hospitalized even. Ambulance maybe hit me at 15-20mph or so? Felt like hitting a wall in reverse. But I got hit by an ambulance, it didn't have it's lights flashing, though. There's a different psychological factor at work, too. Wearing a helmet might make me act a bit more invincible than I should act, thus negating the helmet's protective effect in the first place. Overall, it's more just ambivalence about it.

Figure skating I probably fall on ice like once a week at least, and have gotten no serious injuries from that. Figure skating nobody wears helmets, except for little kids. A few times a year people do die from it, but probably less injuries happen per hours done compared, to, I dunno, inline skating, skateboarding or BMX, just because the "serious" nature involved, and you learn quickly to not bite off more than you can chew.

Oddly compared to some of my friends, I'm incredibly NON-risky. I have a friend who pulls parkour type stunts and general daredevil idiot stuff. He'll break a window motor for his car, and open his door at 70mph on the highway to spit out gum, drive with 1/4 inch of frost on his windows, cross 200 foot high rail bridges like he's walking down the sidewalk (I did this once, and was totally scared out of my mind.)

Oh well, let's hope I don't die or get seriously injured somehow anytime soon. In my case, maybe I got Guardian Angels or something. With my track record it wouldn't surprise me. Especially since I've gotten up and walked away from 3 incidents in recent memory that had some potential for serious injury or death.



alex
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25 Dec 2012, 2:36 am

I don't like the overzealous push for cyclists to wear helmets because it discourages casual cyclists from hopping on a bike instead of jumping in a car. Especially when the likelihood that the helmet will save your life is *incredibly* low. In fact, if we required motorists to wear helmets, we'd save many more lives. Even requiring pedestrians to wear helmets would save more lives.

Many countries in europe don't require or focus on helmet use. These countries all have lower rates of cyclist fatalities. There have also been studies showing that motorists are more agressive towards cyclists wearing helmets than those without.


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auntblabby
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25 Dec 2012, 2:51 am

alex, if ya don't mind me saying, i used to be among the camp of folks who thought that helmets were just a pain in the neck, until i was in two severe bike accidents that the helmet prevented me from spilling my brains onto the pavement. helmet use on bicycles is highly recommended. bikes are not the safest mode of transport to begin with, and anything modest which mitigates this danger is a plus. i've known too many people to take spills on their bikes who weren't wearing helmets, they all were mightily damaged afterwards. now if only they'd invent something to protect very vulnerable elbows and knees. :oops:



alex
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25 Dec 2012, 2:56 am

auntblabby wrote:
alex, if ya don't mind me saying, i used to be among the camp of folks who thought that helmets were just a pain in the neck, until i was in two severe bike accidents that the helmet prevented me from spilling my brains onto the pavement. helmet use on bicycles is highly recommended. bikes are not the safest mode of transport to begin with, and anything modest which mitigates this danger is a plus. i've known too many people to take spills on their bikes who weren't wearing helmets, they all were mightily damaged afterwards. now if only they'd invent something to protect very vulnerable elbows and knees. :oops:


The same could be said by some weirdo who always wears a helmet while driving a car and who had his life saved by a helmet in a car crash. But people aren't required to wear helmets while driving cars. And biking is generally a very safe method of transportation. The dangers come from motor vehicles.


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1000Knives
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25 Dec 2012, 3:01 am

Yay Alex Plank agrees with me.



auntblabby
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25 Dec 2012, 3:11 am

everybody i've known who rode bikes has had at least one accident on said bike. i would not call that especially safe. that is why i no longer ride bikes, i stick to 3-wheelers with a much lower center of gravity. being 6'3" made me ride very high up, thus amplifying the force that threw me over the handlebars and onto the ground [last accident]. concerning the public good, one should be careful to avoid discouraging helmet use among novice users of bicycles.