December 9, 2007

Greetings from San Diego!

Comment from Chuck Northrup, member of the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition:
This is a brilliant idea. I can't tell you how many times I've felt nauseous just looking at someone not wearing a helmet--would you leave your house naked? Would you go on an arctic expedition without a parka? Would you play baseball without a cup [sorry ladies]? Would you bake cookies without potholders? I sure as heck wouldn't get into a car without putting on a seatbelt so how could i ride a bike without a HELMET? I will ride with one or more on my bike, maybe one on my helmet, give them to my riding neighbors and friends, and give them to the poor schmucks who think riding without a helmet is cool and attractive--there's nothing attractive about a brain-damaged, drooling, spoon-fed person in a vegetative state (just ask my wife the psychologist). Thanks for listening to me and thanks for the conversation starters.


ron said...

Perhaps a special slogan and sticker for cyclists who have helmets, but ride around with them dangling from their handlebars.

Ron Richings
Vancouver, BC

Anonymous said...

Cycling is no more dangerous than walking. Data shows these activities are about the same level of risk, and yet for one you think not wearing a helmet is crazy and for the other noone would even consider a helmet. How can that make any sense.

Countries that have introduced mandatory helmet laws have shown no improvement in the figures of major injuries and deaths.

Please look at the data before you start pushing your fears and misconceptions onto other people. Helmets should be a personal choice.

Chuck Northrop said...

"Cycling is no more dangerous than walking." Where is the data to support your argument 'anonymous'? As a bicyclist, I'm traffic on a street. As a pedestrian, I'm on a sidewalk which is protected. How is the risk about the same? Many states offer helmet use for bicyclists as a personal choice, mine does for adults. Where personal choice ends is when the health care system is overburdened by unsafe practices.

Just Googled "data supporting helmet use." Top hit: []

"Several studies indicate that bicycle helmets prevent 69% to 88% of serious head or brain injuries.4,5 Furthermore, as helmet use increases, hospital admissions and deaths from bicycle-related head injuries decrease.6-8 Despite such evidence supporting helmet effectiveness, a 1994 national study indicated that only approximately one half of the children who rode a bicycle reportedly owned a helmet, and only one quarter of these riders wore a helmet every time they rode.1"

1 Sacks JJ, Kresnow M, Houston B, Russell J Bicycle helmet use among American children, 1994. Inj Prev 1996; 2:258-262
4,5 Thompson DC, Rivara FP, Thompson RS Effectiveness of bicycle safety helmets in preventing head injuries: a case-control study. JAMA 1996; 276:1968-1973
6 Thompson RS, Rivara FP, Thompson DC A case-control study of the effectiveness of bicycle safety helmets. N Engl J Med 1989; 320:1361-1367
7 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Mandatory bicycle helmet use---Victoria, Australia. MMWR CDC Surveill Summ 1993; 42:359-363
8 Mock CN, Maier RV, Boyle E, Pilcher S, Rivara FP Injury prevention strategies to promote helmet use decrease severe head injuries at a level I trauma center. J Trauma 1995; 39:29-35

The data are there, you just have to look.

Chuck Northrop
San Diego, CA