Cyc-lid or not to lid: Pro's and cons of cycle helmets
Cycling in London has doubled over the last few years and this years annual crop of ignorant and dangerous 'summer cyclists' has hit the roads in a bumper crop. It is like watching an insect life-'cycle'. In early spring they tentatively emerge looking shaky and unconfident, rusty gears, broken lights, lots of helmets; then when it gets hot there is a sudden flood: blokes wearing nothing but shorts riding death-traps down the pavements, big-bottomed girls wearing blowsy skirts and flip-flops flumping around parliament square.
THe scariest ones for me are the headphone wearers - admittedly in winter you get head-phoned hoodie wearers - even scarier, but not in such numbers! It's insane. It's like cycling in blinkers.
And lets not even get started on red-lights. It's such a tricky subject. My view is that if you're careful and considerate, and let pedestrians go first, well - what's the problem really?
People who cycle on the pavement are arseholes.
But LIDS - that what I meant to write about.
I wanted to jsut lay up a few of the things I've come to understand in a very short overview of the dangers of cycle helmets and vic versa.
1: You are better off without a cycle helmet. THis is the crux. And the simple answer is that 'you' as a person certainly aren't. If you fall off your bike without a lid you'll hurt your head more than if you are wearing one. About 70% more. stats
However - if a truck hits you doing 40, then you're jam, helmet or none. No difference.
But basically you are less likely to hurt your head with one on. BUT
2: Helmets stop people cycling. THis is clearly true. See Australia and SA for real-time examples. Apparently this is because people think they look stupid and would rather hurt their head than look uncool. Naturally.
Anyway this is when helmets (or the lack of) gets dangerous. Firstly a reduction in cyclists means you are more likely to be in a serious accident because drivers are less cycle aware.
Secondly helmet wearers allegedly feel safer and make more erratic maneuvres. (Actually having cycled for decades with and without I think this is nonsense - but scientists have stats)
Finally people not cycling because they don't want to look uncool get fatter and die earlier than they would if they'd been allowed to cycle without one: ergo lids are bad for your health.
Does that all make sense? No - it's a nonsense isn't it - just wear a lid and behave on the road and watch out for lorries turning left without indicating.
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