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Are Helmets Just A Distraction From The Bigger Issue? | The GCN Show 308

Are Helmets Just A Distraction From The Bigger Issue? | The GCN Show 308

– From Mount Glorious in South
East Queensland, Australia, welcome to the GCN Show. – Hello, and welcome to the GCN Show, brought to you by our friends at Wiggle. – Now coming up, are bike helmets actually just a distraction from the bigger issue? We talk to one of the scientists behind the most quoted pieces of
research on the subject. – Yeah, we have cycling shorts
in Cycling Shorts for once, a giant bike, literally, a giant bike, and news of more new bike
paths in the Netherlands. – Well, you can never have too
many bike paths, I suppose. – Nope, clearly. (upbeat electronic music) (air rushing) (heavy metal pounding) This week in the world of cycling, we learned that sometimes technique just doesn’t really matter. Here is top cross rider Beth
Crumpton showing that momentum, and a little bit of luck,
is all you really need. – [Woman] Go on, Beth! – [Simon] Ooh! Hoo hoo, look at that!
– That’s what I’m saying. You never taught me that
descending technique, you decided to go.
– Well, that is unorthodox, Emma, definitely, can we
just rewind a little bit? Just, yup, but hold it there. Look at that pose. – [Emma] That takes a
lot of core strength. And a lot of gumption I would say. – Well, it does look like
a yoga pose, doesn’t it? Look at those feet. – What’s it, flying fish or something? – Genius, not there, that was fantastic. – We also learnt from
cyclocross what happens if you have momentum but no luck. (upbeat piano music) (tire crashing) (bike crashing) – Ooh, that’s Mike Exley there, getting it a little bit wrong. Now we also learned this week that one of the hottest debates in cycling– – Oh, it’s sock links
because you were bleeding? – No, not a sock link this week, actually, and then whether or not we should have to wear helmets when riding around town has been well and truly stoked once again. But there’s a growing
feeling that underneath this increasingly bitter argument, perhaps we’re just being
distracted from a bigger issue. A decade ago, a academic
based at Bath University here in the UK conducted a piece of research that looked
into the behavior patterns of car drivers in relation to cyclists. And specifically, it looked into whether the behavior changes depending on whether the cyclist was wearing
normal clothes or Lycra, whether they were male or female, or whether they were
wearing a helmet or not. – The take home from it was
that drivers do give more room when they’re overtaken to riders
that look less experienced, whilst the more
experienced-looking riders, they pass far closer. So people that are
wearing Lycra or a helmet. – Yeah, now much of that
research has been backed up by other people time and again,
but the helmet part has not. Now apparently, no further
studies have been carried out, but a team of Australian
researchers actually looked into Walker’s original data set and they concluded something different. They concluded that car
drivers did not pass closely to cyclists who were wearing helmets. – Since then, though, the
author of the original study has published a rebuttal in which he says that the Australian team changed their interpretation of the data. So going from drivers pass
closer to drivers pass close. Now therefore the original
conclusion is still valid. Cyclists that wear helmets
are treated differently and in a way that poses more
of a risk to their safety. – Yeah, interesting. Now we caught up with Dr.
Walker, let’s hear from him now. – When we did the first study
and we found that drivers appear to be getting closer
when I wore a helmet, there were two possible
explanations that came up. So the first was the one
that I hoped wasn’t true, which is maybe people were thinking, he’s got a helmet on,
if I hit him, it’s okay. Or they were taking the helmet as a sign of a skilled, experienced rider. So the second study we did was actually deliberately testing that. We had my colleague riding
around either looking very experienced, like
full-on racing gear, or dressed as a real novice cyclist with novice cyclist
written across his back, just to try and get that message across. And we found that that made
no difference whatsoever. – Really?
– Yeah, so that suggests that actually maybe people
weren’t taking the outfit as a sign of experience and
being kind to the novice, maybe they actually were getting closer when I wore the helmet
because, regrettably, they thought maybe it
doesn’t matter too much. – Crikey, so I guess to
a certain extent there is a slight positive here
in that drivers do change their behavior depending
on what they’re seeing, but then the downside is
that some of that behavior is putting the cyclist at
increased risk, isn’t it? – Yeah, we saw that again
in the second study as well, where one of the outfits
we tested suggested that, had a vest with writing
on the back suggesting that the journey was being video recorded, and that was the only outfit
that made any difference. – Really?
– And got you a bit more space. So, again, it suggests
that drivers are capable of picking things up and responding, but maybe not in the way that we’d want. – It kinda feel a little bit
like maybe we as cyclists are in catch-22 at the moment
in that if we take steps to try to improve our personal safety like wearing a helmet or
wearing high-vis, then actually, it might be having the opposite effect to the one that we actually desiring. What can we do, do you think, to actually try and improve the situation? – Probably the best thing is to try and get at the root of the problem. There’s several ways you
might get hurt as as cyclist. You might lose it on bend, on a wet road, which I’ve done quite recently. But that’s probably not going to kill me or seriously injure me. What’s more likely to be a genuine threat to my life is dangerous motoring. That big, heavy vehicles cutting in on me. Cutting across me without
looking, in the case of HTVs. So, if you want to fix that problem, you want to fix the real problem that actually threatens you. A helmet’s not going to do that. What is going to do it
is removing the danger. So, as a cyclist, we can’t
just magically wave a wand and make trucks disappear
out of city centers or wave a wand and make
drivers put their phones down. But what we can do is push
our local authorities, push our counselors, push
our elected representatives, to show them that this is
serious and they’re presiding over a system that isn’t
fundamentally safe, and that there are dangers
in our streets that could be taken away if they were
taken a bit more seriously. – And so what might you
envisage then as the next steps for a counselor or an authority to do? It would be segregated by paths, I guess. So you separate cyclists from the dangers or would it be trying to
remove the trucks from cities? I mean, that would be a fairly
thrusting measure, I guess. – Well, it’s a bit of everything, so. There’s definitely some physical stuff. If we’ve got physically separated space with the motor vehicles over
there, they can’t hurt you. It doesn’t require all
the drivers in the country to buy into the idea that
they need to be safe. So that’s kinda the gold standard, but we’re never gonna have
that everywhere, you know? You and I commute in on rural roads. We can’t have physically segregated space all through the countryside,
all through the entire nation. So we also need changes
in driver behavior. As that probably means, a
greater chance of being caught and punished if you are an
aggressive, dangerous driver. It probably means that people need to get the message that
it’s not okay to speed. It’s not okay to drive while distracted. So we need fundamental
changes in our city streets but also in the way people drive. – What a fascinating bogan. Quite in the right name being Walker because actually seems
like he cycles a lot. In fact, he even won the
NorthCape4000 this year. – He did, yeah, the ultra-endurance race. Also important to note, he’s got no agenda in the helmet debate. He said he wears a helmet when he rides his bike recreationally but he doesn’t always wear one
when he’s riding around town. So there you go, he’s
got a foot in both camps. Anyway, make sure you get involved in the comments section down below. Let us know what you think
about this particular issue. Are helmets distracting
us from the bigger issue or should we focus on our
own personal safety first? Let us know in the comments section. (upbeat electronic music) It’s time now for your Weekly Inspiration. It’s that part of the show where we get to go through some of the amazing photos that you’ve sent in over the last week. And we also get to give out some vouchers courtesy of Wiggle. Third place gets 50 pounds,
second place gets 75 pounds, and first place gets a
whopping 100 pound voucher, which is pretty cool. – Yup, now in third place this
week we got UK-based Nick Cox who took this photo when he
was out in Alcudia in Mallorca. – [Simon] How do you say it? – [Emma] Alcudia or Mallorca? – Okay, anyway, that is a
cracker of a photo, look at that. You know what, particularly
inspiring for me, not just because we can
actually see the sun which I haven’t seen for a few days now, but also because it’s
one of those destinations for European cyclists that’s just so easy to get to, isn’t it? And the roads are so
good I just gotta think, ah, I could just go over there. – Yeah, it doesn’t take long to get there. So warm, the coffee is so good. – Yeah, almost feel, actually, we shouldn’t give Nick a 50 pound voucher ’cause he’s already had a
lot of riding in Mallorca. He doesn’t need it any better. But, anyway, there we go, Nick. – Lucky, Nick. – We realized that too late. Ah, right, second place
we’ve got this sent in by Sam Buchli, is that right? – [Emma] That was right, yeah. – [Simon] Yeah, okay, who is
based in Bern in Switzerland. And now this one, I think,
is pretty good for now, because that looks like
a very wintry shot. And it’s still inspiring
me to get out and ride. – [Emma] Super fast the edge
he is, looks like home for me. – [Simon] Yeah, is it colder than it here? – [Emma] Yeah, it’s flipping freezing. – Is it–
– Frosty, frozen mist that hangs on the hilltops
and in the valleys. – Oh, you make it sound quite nice, actually.
– It looks pretty, but it’s really cold. – Yeah, anyway, fair play there. So, Sam, congratulations, 75 pounds of Wiggle vouchers over to you. (drum rolling)
And then the winner. (cymbals crashing)
– Finally, proposition winning this week’s inspirational
photo competition, we have Roland who was riding
the second Torino-Nice Rally, and this is taken on the
Colle del Collombardo which is apparently a 2.2K off-road climb somewhere between Torino and Nice. – [Simon] That looks pretty
darn cool, doesn’t it? Now inspiration perhaps not to get out and ride your bike just now, but maybe to start planning
stuff for next year. That looks wicked, doesn’t it? – [Emma] It does look pretty cool. – Yeah, fair play, well, there we go. 100 pound Wiggle voucher winging its way over to you as well. If you wanna get stuck in to
next week’s Weekly Inspiration, then all you gotta do is either submit an inspirational riding
photo to our uploader, the link to which in
the description below, or on Instagram, which
is you can see a couple of these have come from this week. The hashtag is #gcninspiration. (upbeat bugle music) (spring vibrating) – It’s now time for Cycling Shorts. – We start Cycling Shorts
this week with some news of actual cycling shorts,
which is kinda nice, because Team Sky have
unveiled their 2019 kit for what will be their 10th season, can you believe it?
– Wow. Time’s gone pretty quick, isn’t it? Anyway, this year they
will be back in black. Not exclusively black, it’s
like a black, navy blue fade which, I gotta say, I’m quite
a fan of a fade these days. It’s like an 80s thing coming back. Anyway, Assos have also
signed on as kit partners to Team Dimension Data,
although we haven’t actually seen a sneak
peek of that new kit yet. – So Team Dimension Data going full Swiss on both kit and bikes next year, it seems. In other news, Italian brand 3T were the victims of a
robbery, unfortunately, with thieves apparently drilling through a one meter thick brick wall
to gain access to the facility. And 20 bikes were taken, apparently. Yeah, which is pretty bad. Apparently, hopefully covered
by insurance apart from one which is irreplaceable
because there was an Exploro custom painted by the late,
great Dario Pegoretti. – Ugh, they must be absolutely
gutted, mustn’t they? Although we said, if you
ever get offered a bike that you think might be
stolen, do not buy it. Because if you do, you are
a part, a cause, in fact, of a major, major problem
for us cyclists, haven’t you? So, although I’m a huge advocate
of buying secondhand bikes, you gotta know where it comes from. – Yup, two two, now talking
of buying stuff, though, the American chain Performance
Bicycle recently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, and in fact, they’re running liquidation sales at all of their 102 stores across the US. When you add to that the
UK mega-chain, Evans, which recently had to be bailed
out, kinda makes you wonder, do you think we’re entering a
new phase of bicycle retail? – Well, yeah, gotta wonder, haven’t you? I mean, none of those can obviously can be called local bike shops, and nor were they
specialists in online retail. It’s kinda gonna be interesting to see how it affects us consumers. This is losing, what would you call it, like the middle ground? – Yeah, interesting. – Yeah, anyway, change
the subject slightly, here is some footage of a giant bicycle. – [Emma] 19 tractors,
a 13-ton slurry truck, an excavator, and swarm
of court bikes drove for 90 minutes to create
that, it’s pretty amazing, I think, yeah.
– It is! – [Emma] You’d be pleased to hear that it also won an award. – [Simon] I am pleased. – Yup, not an eco-friendly
award, unsurprisingly, with that fuel, but the first
ever British Land Art Award. – There we go, now before
you scoff and think (blows air through lips)
British Land Art Award, Great Britain has a long
and cherished history of significant major land
art, take for example, the Westbury White Horse, or go match prehistoric times, Emma, the Uffington White
Horse, and then also this. – (exhales sharply) Yes, that is, that’s quite some six-pack. I wonder how much artistic license or maybe wishful thinking went into that. – Well, anyway, prehistoric
man putting modern man to shame there with that six pack. Anyway, moving away from
certain ab-bus slightly. If you watched any of the
GCN highlight shows over on Facebook over the summer,
you’ll be familiar, I’m sure, with the genius cycling
statistician Cillian Kelly. Well, he has just collaborated with commentator Ned
Boulting to create this. Quite frankly, one of the coolest
cycling books of all time. That’s something that gets high on my list of things that I would
like for Christmas, Emma. It is a 2018 season almanac. In here is every race
result of note this year. Not just the results but
also the weather on that day. Tour of California, Stage
2, Emma, 11 degrees C. Sunshine and showers, five kilometer an hour northwesterly wind. Not only race results, also
this has got some cool essays in here from people of note, bike riders. Another friend of the
channel, Tom Southam. And also my favorite
page, 812, GP de Plouay, women’s historical results, 2009 and 2010, Emma Pooley puts away Marienne
Vos and Emma Johansson. Two successive years! There you go. – No, that one was a good
year, it was a while ago. – Two good years, back to back! – Yeah, in other news, we
had it in the Netherlands which is already,
frankly, a bit of a mecca for cycling commuters. The authorities are investing
a further 245 million euros in cycling infrastructure. – Yeah, as if they didn’t already have good enough cycling infrastructure. But, oh no, we need more! I mean, the Netherland has a pretty enviable reputation amongst
countries, isn’t there? Bike mileage outstrips car
mileage in most towns and cities, but yet there is still
need to keep investing, and so 15 new fast bike lines. We get to skip out traffic lights, which sounds like a winner, and then also improved bike
parking at stations as well. – [Emma] My guess is a
lot that other countries could learn from that. – Absolutely.
– But we’re gonna finish Cycling Shorts with a
call to action because we, as cyclists, need to do more
to convince non-cyclists to take the roads, I mean,
on their bikes obviously. – That’s right, because according to the Transportation Research
Record which is, of course, the journal of the
Transportation Research Board, there is a measurable disconnect
between peoples perception of cycling safety versus
what we actually feel when we’re riding our bikes. – The disconnect apparently is that people riding their bikes in traffic feel safer than someone watching on would imagine, as in people think that cycling is scarier than it actually is. So maybe we just need to
encourage people to try cycling. – That’s right! So the GCN Convince a Mate
to Go Cycling Campaign starts here! At possibly the worst
time of year, December. – Yeah, well in the Northern Hemisphere. In the Southern Hemisphere,
convince a mate to go cycling. Now is the perfect time.
– That’s right. Yeah, and in the Northern Hemisphere, we can just hold fire perhaps till March. – Wait till a sunny day. – Yeah, in the three month
interim just convince yourself to go cycling ’cause it’s
not quite as miserable in the rain as you think it is. – Maybe you can start convincing me now, I might take three months. – Good point, good point. Anyway, I think it’s genuinely something we should probably think about. – Can I just interrupt
the show for one second? To tell you that we have got GCN coffee (inhales) in the shop. How cool is that? We got to go and select
the beans and the roast, and there you go. – Can I have a whiff? (Emma sniffing) – If you have to, ah. – That does absolutely
smell amazing, doesn’t it? Anyway, that comes from local legendary coffee roast, the Colonnas. As Emma said, hand
selected by us here at GCN and it is now batch number
one shipping worldwide. So you gotta get your hands on that. And can I just say, Emma, (clears throat) it tastes even better out of
a GCN espresso cup and saucer. (mellow jazz music)
(Simon slurping coffee) Mm, really rich. – Given that Christmas
is fast approaching, there are loads of great
gift ideas in the shop. I mean, our Black Friday range
has ended, but nonetheless, there are loads of tasty offers. – Not as tasty as the coffee though. – No, no, come, hey, I wanna smell. Give it back. That was my one. Oy! – This week in the tech
world we’ve got ourselves a new aero bike because FOCUS have just launched the new Izalco Max Disc. And at first glance, well, it doesn’t really look
like a aero bike, does it? Because it’s not covered in
aero foil tubing or such like. Instead, it takes a real traditional look, other than of course the drop seat stays and the oversized head tube. Once you get up close to
it, you can actually see the tubes do actually
have Kammtail profiles which help in the wind transferring over those tubes a little bit easier, as well as combining two
with a D-shape seat post which means it’s gonna cheat the wind just a little bit more too, and also give you a little
bit of extra comfort. And we’ve also got the
Bike Vault, your upgrades, which components were the most successful in 2018 World Tour, and get this, a super trick custom bike
specially made for a child. (power tool whirring) – Right, now it’s time for
Hack/Bodge of the week. And here we go, we’re gonna start out with if you live in the Northern Hemisphere, I think this could be very useful because it’s time to
think about cross-training and strength training to get strong. – [Simon] No, okay, you need some bikes. – [Emma] No, no, (chuckles) bad time. Get indoors in the gym and get strong. And here’s a cool recycling hack from @timmerdhc on Instagram. – [Simon] Wow, that is kinda cool. As in like training for sprint training by lifting up the set of
drop handlebars, but– – [Emma] Well, I’m not
too sure what they are. I thought they were for
doing like back rollouts which is about core strength. – [Simon] Oh, okay, multi-purpose. – Potentially, yeah.
– Hack we saying then? – [Emma] Oh, definitely, yeah. (punch thudding)
– Multi-purpose hack, fair play then. Alright, this is sent in by
Grant Arnold from Facebook. I mean, that look terrifying. What I assume, Emma, is going on is that they’ve attached mountain bars end to some drop handlebars
to create like a flat bar, but it looks like there’s
some break levers. – [Emma] Yeah, so they can be ya-yop in breaking when he wants to mercy, and then get down on the drops
when he wanted to take you. The only thing is,
though, that you’re gonna really struggle to fit
through any narrow gap, and you might take out
unsuspecting people. – [Simon] Well, I mean,
that’s what mountain bikers deal with all the time. They struggle with gaps and
they often take out spectators, but I’m worried about using
your bar ends to break from when all you’ve got is
a flimsy little clamp holding it to your handlebars. – [Emma] That’s a very good point. – Anyway.
– Well, mate– (spring vibrating)
– Seeing that was a bodge. Right, next up, this one
from Alistair Dennis. I mean, it’s there, isn’t it? Held in place in front of your stem like an out front mount should be, but– – [Emma] It’s just that there
was so many ways of doing it and it seems like an unnecessary
hack, if it even is one. – [Simon] I think unnecessary hack is probably the best
way of describing this. Does that make it a bodge? (spring vibrating)
– Yeah, why not just get a, get a mount. – Just get a mount, honestly! Next up we got David Mailander. Arm warmer turned sweat guard. He’s just used some
scissors and some Velcro. – [Emma] That’s brilliant. – [Simon] I think that’s brilliant. – [Emma] That’s absolutely brilliant. – [Simon] Important on your
steel De Rosa there as well. If you’re anything like me on the trainer, – I would not use–
– that thing’ll dissolve in a sea of salt water. – [Emma] I think this sweat (punch thudding)
catcher is a hack, but I think using your steel De Rosa on an indoor trainer is a bodge, like– – Oh, really?
– Well, the rust risk. – [Simon] Right, that’s why
he’s got his sweat guard, isn’t it?
– Yeah, but it’s not waterproof, is it? Is it gonna absorb some of it? If that was me, there’s
still be a puddle underneath. – Yeah, okay, me too. – Quite sweaty. – Right then, next up
then, we’ve got this, Alvi from Helsinki, this is
mudguard/fender hack/bodge. But I like it. So on a frame with massive clearance, in order to get his mudguards
to fit nice and closely, he’s used an old break
caliper mounting bolt to get it to work perfectly. That is neat, Emma,
and that fits the bill. – [Emma] Very niche, but
beautifully executed. – [Simon] That’s the perfect hack for–
– It’s beautiful. (punch thudding)
It’s something that I never thought loads of clearance would
be a problem for mudguards. You’d kinda assume that, great,
you got space for mudguards, but no, he was getting
dirty feel apparently, so there you go, he’s sold it.
– Oh, well, it worked. Well, there we go, a hack
to solve your dirty feet. What about this one from Robert Amelard. – [Emma] Yeah, I’m not really sure what you could carry on that. – [Simon] Well, we could
hang stuff off there. – [Emma] Yeah? Yeah? – [Simon] Carry your bags. – [Emma] Yes, or cut
grass or something, or. – [Simon] How’d you hang
cut grass with an aero bike? – [Emma] In sheaves. – [Simon] Oh, I see. (chuckling) There we go, sheaves of
wheat can be hung off your (spring vibrating)
new paddy rack. Alright then, anyway, we’re
gonna finish with a festive one. Mark Hagen getting in here early. He said, tubeless ain’t just for tires, I love having a tree
right after Thanksgiving, but it’s usually brown and dry by the time (punch thudding)
Christmas is here, so I use my tubeless sealant injector to keep it hydrated this year. Look, as you can see, what amazing hack! Bit of drilling, bit of injecting. Presumably water into the
roots of your Christmas tree. – That’s really clever, and
I discovered this weekend that tubeless sealant is not
all it’s cracked up to be, especially if you use it on tires not designed to be tubeless ready. – Yeah, I think that might be the problem. The sealant had a bit
too much of a job to do. But it did stay in the carpark. – It stayed in the
carpark and on my hands. It sealed some things, yeah. – Actually, that is a good point. Can I just interrupt, a quick shout out. If anyone knows how to remove dried tubeless sealant
from frames and wheels, can you let me know in
the comments section? ‘Cause I’ve got some stainage
and it’s really upsetting me. – That would be an awkward looking stain. – Yeah. (upbeat electronic music) – Now it’s time for Caption of the Week. Chance to win an amazing shiny GCN bottle. – That’s right, this is last week’s photo. Thank goodness we got to see
the back of this one, Emma. – [Emma] We did indeed see the back of it. It’s better than seeing the front. – [Simon] Oh, it was, it was. Anyway, we got some absolutely brilliant, brilliant entries this week. So much so, in fact, that
we’re gonna read a few out before we get to our winner. Shawn Taras, Simon still manages to ride despite suffering from a
serious case of hem-Lloyds. See what he did there, like that one? – [Emma] And then we’ve got Mrfilichris, proud to announce that Dan Lloyd is the new face of AssSaver. – [Simon] Ha, that’s very good. It’s a good idea for AssSaver, isn’t it? Stipulous faces on the back. Ian Stevens, Dan gets a cracking view of Si’s ride across London. Like he could go anywhere.
– Just what everybody wanted. – And then the winner.
– Yup, the winner from Neil Moss, the caption is, I think you better start it off. – [Simon] Loads of people
complimented me on my physique. – [Emma] They said Fi’zi:k, Si. – As in the saddle! Ba dum tss!
(drum rimshot) – Beautiful.
– Yeah, there we go. – You kinda have to see it written down. – Yeah, probably did.
– It’s brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. – There we go, anyway, people know. – Yup, so this week’s,
what’s our photo this week? – (laughs) I’m glad you asked, Emma. – I didn’t see, actually,
what have you chosen. – This is this week’s photo. This is a snapshot taken
from Sunday’s video where Emma does her first
ever cyclocross race. – Why did you have to choose that photo? A lot of photos were actually riding, and you chose the one time
I didn’t make it over, like seriously, don’t believe this photo. – You’ve actually given
me an idea for a caption. Emma gets crossed. – I mean, of course I’m crossed, I made it over the table top
like fives times out of six and you took the photo from
the time I didn’t make it over. – Emma clearly gets crossed. Do you actually get crossed now? As you get crossed. – No, that was rubbish,
but I really enjoyed it. It was so much fun but I didn’t get, it was absolutely useless. – It was brilliant. – I was actually–
– You have to watch, Emma did great. – I’m actually quicker running. – Yeah, anyway, it was
a tough race, I saw it, and there was quite a bit of running. Anyway, we’re getting sidetracked now. Getting ahead of ourselves. So if you fancy a chance at winning a GNC CamelBak water
bottle, please have a go at captioning this photo of Emma. To be fair, you didn’t
need to say that you were just about to deck it off
the side of a table top. You could have been about to
launch a massive tail whip, which everyone was probably
thinking was about to happen. – Yeah, I did, yeah, that was probably it. (upbeat electronic music) Now before we comment on
what’s coming up this week on the channel, we thought
we’d go through some of our favorite comments
from last week’s videos. And starting with a comment on the Top 10 Memorable
Moments of 2018 where Ian Nancollas says, shame on you, no mention of Simon
Yates’ Vuelta a Espana. – [Simon] State some passions,
isn’t it, that video? And known to believe, if you’ve only got 10 memorable moments, then you’re gonna lose some, but– – I think it’s good to still debate. – Yeah, well, yeah. It was quite memorable. I’d argue, actually, that
Simon Yates blowing up at the Giro was more memorable. – Definitely, I would say.
– But, anyway. – That would go down in
cycling history, I think. – Yeah, we’ll will it. Right, how about on How
to Plan Your Adventure. Good one here from Culross
Harbour with reference to me suggesting that Google
Street View was good resource, he said, if it’s on Street View, that diminishes the adventure. Fair point? – Yes, but I could see the point, yeah. – Yeah, but then again, Google Street View can get us everywhere. – Yeah, if that counts out any adventure then your options are
gonna be very limited. – Some countries you’re gonna
be completely off limits in. Either that or you just
go mountain biking, which is totally fair enough. And then Lee A. Dorney said, great video, thank you very much. But what the hell is on your wall? Is it a chest hair brush or
a marmite encrusted brick? Someone else asked, I
think it was David Pratt, asked whether or not it was
an old washing up sponge. And it, fair enough, not
my choice of decoration. I think it’s just art. It was art, yeah. (classical violin music) – Then we have some comments on John’s Saitama Criterium video which one from Peter Finney which, Crackergate, so awkward, yeah. I know, that cracker. A lot of viewers were a bit upset about the treatment of the cracker. So Alan also commented, RIP cracker thing, may you be forever loved. – Yeah, if you don’t know
what we’re talking about, we should put a clip in. Let’s have a clip of John at Saitama Crit. – [Cook] Oh, oh, uh! – Ooh! (laughing) No. – [Cook] We get you one. – That’s okay. – [Man] One more, one more, one more. – [Cook] One more. – [John] I can’t believe
I did that after all that. – Coming up on the channel this week, on Wednesday we’ve got
three training sessions that you can fit into just 30 minutes, plus deep section wheels
versus crosswinds. Ollie explains the dos and the don’ts. – It had to be Ollie and not Emma probably ’cause in your book, deep set wheels versus
crosswinds is just only don’t, isn’t it?
– Yeah, one of the don’ts is don’t be small. Then on Thursday we’ve got
some top Christmas gifts that would would actually
like for Christmas, as opposed to novelty
jumpers or get more chocolate at a time of the year when I– – Right, chocolate, I don’t mind. Novelty jumpers always a bit annoying because you gotta wait
a year to wear it again. – Yeah, but chocolate I always feel like I eat too much at Christmas anyway. – Well, fair then.
– Don’t need more encouragement. Friday, Ask GCN Anything. – Yeah, and then on Saturday,
can you get fit on an e-bike, and also can Lloyd-y claim
black a KOM off himself from back when he was lean and fit. That is on Saturday, as I said. And then on Sunday. Emma’s first cyclocross race, yes! – [Emma] It was fun, I’m not
sure it was that exciting. – It’s good, it’s a good watch, that one. And then Monday, of course,
is the GCN Racing News Show. And then on Tuesday it’s the
GCN Show, again, brilliant. (upbeat rock music) We are getting towards
the end of the show now, but we still have time for Extreme Corner. And this week it’s David Yakuza showing that there is still a future
for public hire bikes, even if it’s not the future
that you might have imagined. (upbeat rock music) Whoa, fair play! – Pretty gnarly but I’m a little bit hurt that you didn’t want to
use any of the footage from my cross race. – We are saving that, Emma,
for Sunday’s video, oh yes. – Well, anyway, thanks for watching, guys. And don’t forget to head over to the shop where you can’t get some
delicious smelling coffee. – Well, that hasn’t been
sniffed to death by Emma. And myself.
– I don’t think it damages it to sniff it, does it? – Sucking the flavor out maybe? – (inhaling) Sorry.
– We’ll probably do some experiments and see what that
one actually tastes like now. Anyway, yes, if you have
enjoyed watching this, please give it a big thumbs up. And if you wanna watch another video, then do make sure you
check out the recent one about cycling’s body weight obsession. How light is right? (air rushing) (heavy metal pounding) (electric screeching)

100 comments on “Are Helmets Just A Distraction From The Bigger Issue? | The GCN Show 308

  1. A few years ago I was doored using a helmet. Ironically I had cervical damage due to the extra weight on my head against the pavement, this was said by the doctor. Point is, crashes are a chaotic and therefore complex experiences to be reduced by an anecdotical conclusion on safety for everyone. The data for large numbers proves time and time again, it’s the motorist behavior who puts everyone in danger.

  2. They have drilled through a 1m thick wall?! Seriously, italian bike thiefs don't fuck around. Have to write that down.

  3. “We’ll start cycling shorts with some actual cycling shorts this week” – goes on to show some cycling tops, not a short in sight!

  4. Am recovering from a hitnrun in Malta two months ago, just started cycling again this week. Got a nice scar on my forehead a decent concussion, and lots of physiotherapy on my neck and shoulder . Wasn't wearing a helmet and in hindsight I should have worn a helmet, but I reckon my nose would have been completely smashed to bits instead of my forehead. Would have been better not to have the concussion. The hitnrun left me no room to evade the accident as the car pulled out in front of me. The ride was low key on a Saturday morning and normally on intense rides I wear a helmet. I reckon the helmet would have caused my neck to be even more muscle damage and probably broken a vertebrae or two. So it's tricky on helmet laws / rules benefits.

    This all said the Malta police have been pathetic, not only have done nothing to chase down the culprit, they said unless I could provide the number plate of the car they couldn't do anything. If your thinking of cycling in Malta, don't do it, not even with a helmet or even a full protective bodysuit!

  5. As far as the respect and overtaking room goes, I've found the exact opposite from what these studies say. I wear a welmet almost all the time I ride (in Lisbon, Portugal).
    But, if by some chance I happen no to, I've had more "close calls" with actual aggressive drivers and even bikers than with a helmet.
    When this happens, drivers start yelling, honking and driving closer to me, because they believe I'm doing some sort of illegal or "with disregard for others" thing.

    It's a cultural principle: "if you're doing it wrong, I'll take it unto me to show you the error of your ways, and that allows me to hurt you". Just check out the way many people speed up (or don't slow dow at all) when they realise the pedestrians are crossing with a red light (or somewhere where they're not supposed to) – for instence on the 6:04 of the video…

    Cyclists do close calls to pedestrians when they're walking on a bike lane.

    The same principle applies.

  6. I've tried to (subjectively) monitor driver behaviour in terms of passing when riding in different kit and circumstances. The two things I've noticed make drivers pass wider and/or slower are 1. Load size – if I ride with two panniers or tow a trailer, people definitely pass wider; 2. Wearing a GoPro in a prominent position. Sadly both indicate that the drivers are acting primarily in self interest.

  7. The basic argument is this, does a cyclist who is not wearing a helmet deserve a $200-300 fine, any fair and reasonable person would say NO !!

  8. Many years ago, I went with a scout troupe on a bike ride on the road in the mountains. I was bringing up the rear on my very old 10 speed. I watched as the last scout took off and he immediately hit a rock in the road. He flew off as his bike did a complete flip. The kid hit the road and his head did as well. If he had not been wearing his helmet, it would have been all over for him. I think helmets are a necessity when riding bikes, whether in the city or country riding.

  9. Typical of a cycling channel to not look at the cyclists part on road safety. Living in Bristol and watching cyclists filtering in and out of cars, cycling down the middle of the road at speed, jumping lights…..the list is long.

    I cycle a lot and take my kids out (we all wear helmets because its better to have and not need than to need and not have) and its hard to show them how to be safe when so many around are doing what i tell them not too.

  10. About 15 years ago, I was hit head on in an approach to a turn where the vehicle that hit me swept wide, across to within 6" of the curb, then continued after striking me, after I slid across the roof and fell down the other side, the van continued up the curb, blowing out 2 tires before coming to a stop… The driver was only 17 years old, without even her beginners license yet, her father had given over the keys to her and said 'drive us home hunney!' … She had hit the gas pedal instead of the brakes entering the same turn I was approaching from the opposite direction, then locked her hands, sweeping a large radius that took her, according to witnesses, within 6 inches of the curb on my side of the road as she accelerated. I smashed the minivan's windshield with my head, a photo showed the windshield depressed about 8" in an oval the size of my head. By looking at the damage done to the helmet I was wearing, and the fact that my lower jaw wasn't injured, while my upper jaw- teeth and face around the eyes and nose needed reconstructive surgery, I think ( and I have no direct memory of the accident, it was wiped out) I think that I tucked my head forward and down just before impact, in order to place the helmet between me and the approaching windshield… I am still alive because of my helmet, no amount of signs on my shirt, or thinking of modifying drivers behavior around cyclists, would have made any difference at all with this inexperienced driver suddenly breaking all the rules, to accelerate, come across the median to my side of the road, where I unfortunately didn't react fast enough to decide which way to go to dodge out of the way, where the helmet I was happily wearing was destroyed in the process of saving my life! (I'd always insisted on wearing a helmet, If I'd misplaced it, I would look for an hour, I'd search high and low, before I would have got on my bicycle without one) Wear your helmets everybody!

  11. I say wear a helmet no matter what. That being said, My experience in my part of America is that cyclist are a nuisance and not given the time of day. A cyclist was run over by a police officer and was caught on camera admitting he was on his phone while turning a corner and still they blamed the cyclist for being "beyond the stop sign at the intersection". There are many stories of cars hitting cyclist and suing the cyclist for damages, hell a person in my home town got ran over on christmas eve and killed and the driver sued the family for damages to his car and won. It is disgusting what is allowed with drivers here, I ride daily and I fear for my life at some point almost daily.

  12. It startet a longterm study about that topic in Berlin, again only inn german ^^its called Radmesser, with 100 people tracking their daily commute with a cam and a instrument measureing the speed of the car and the distance when they pass over and also where they pass over. I am looking forward to that, first conclusion was as well "wear a helmet and car drivers get more careless":
    And I woul dactually say that it is and should be a discussion apart from the helmet, that is your own choice, do it or not your choice, no judgement. But make the streets as safe as possible for everybody.

  13. Wore my giro helmet mountain biking lunch loops in Grand junction a couple weeks back. Finally used my helmet when I went otb, nice dent in it that would have been a dent in my forehead. Helmets 4 life.

  14. Caption – “ If I crash in this mud I won’t have to run those banks again “ trust me I know as I was in the same race 😉

  15. I'm a keen cyclist & agree the solution to improving rider safety is multi faceted, but it also needs cyclists to follow the rules of the road and not jump traffic light which I saw last night

  16. I did my own “sample of one”. . . I do not normally wear a helmet, but cycling in Nova Scotia 2017, where “Helmets are Mandatory”, I donned a helmet on the day we were approaching Halifax, reasoning that the local constabulary might take a stricter view than the RCMP (who cared nothing).

    After 1/2 hour of helmeted riding, I put the helmet back into the pannier.

    Bingo. Back to getting “enough” room while being overtaken. . .

  17. In Portland Oregon, it is encouraged by the dept. of motor vehicles that cyclists ride in the center of the lane so drivers won't try to pass. I rather cycle closer to the parked cars and let the cars pass me. This must be a safety issue for me but I'd rather not have an upset driver behind me stuck at 10 miles per hour. The upset driver is likely to speed past the cyclist when they get a quick moment, which can be dangerous. Bike paths and bike boulevards are key.

  18. Improvements in physical performance, equipment and skill building can make cycling more safe. I don't wear a helmet. I encourage others to wear a helmet. I'm a little dumb in that respect, but I am always practicing and learning skills.

  19. The research you discuss that says drivers give more room to cylists they perceive as less competent has been largely debunked. Somebody re-analyzed the data and found that, if you just classify each overtaking move as "at a safe distance" versus "not at a safe distance", there's no statistically significant difference between drivers' actions based on how competent/safe the cyclist looks. The actual effect is that you'll get the same number of unsafe passes regardless of what you're wearing, your gender, etc. but, if you're perceived as less competent, drivers who would have given you plenty of room anyway give you even more. And that makes no real difference.

    Ian Walker complains that it's moving the goalposts, but it isn't. Once a driver is passing at a safe distance, it doesn't become any safer for them to give more room. But considering average passing distance pretends that more room is always safer.

  20. there were a couple of odd bits of video there, involving bicyclists passing trucks on their left side (in Britain). That truck driver has a hard time seeing you. If you get run over, no helmet in the world will save you.
    Generally, I believe that traffic rules are often not designed to keep bikers safe. For instance, bikers should leave intersections prior to all the cars moving off, because they are the most vulnerable when starting. Once having some speed you go in a straight line, and unless a car driver really wants to hurt you, both probably get along just fine.
    As for helmets: If I anticipate that I will break a sweat, I will probably wear a helmet. Mountain biking always requires a helmet, I believe. But if I go for a few kilometers to school or training or work, I usually wouldn't wear one. Its just so much hassle to bring the helmet everywhere.

  21. Just use common sense when deciding to wear a helmet or not. I only wear mine in urban traffic or when screaming down winding descents. Otherwise, I'm about as safe as when I run 5 miles so why wear a helmet.

  22. I find the way I ride usually helps a lot when it comes to the way drivers treat me. Stopping at all red lights, never riding on the pavement and just generally riding with patients and certousy really goes a long way. I often see other riders and think no wonder drivers don't treat you with any respect when they see you riding like that.

  23. Please refrain from the lewd images and humor. It takes away from the show, which is otherwise very good and enjoyable. Thanks for your consideration.

  24. Everyone driving / riding on the road should be predictable. Shits happen when people try to pull out stunt moves for no apparent reasons. I'd still use the helmet though, cause, you know, I had to spend money to buy it, and not using it doesn't make any sense now.

  25. Here's what I'd like to add to the debate. Where I used to live – in the south of the UK, I regularly varied how I commuted to work on a daily basis – 4 ways in total. I either cycled (usually road bike full lycra & helmet), drove my car (unremarkable family car) or I rode my motorbike (2 types here – a 600cc sports bike with full leathers & black visor or 125cc bike wearing cordura clothing and open face helmet). So over a 25 mile commute each way, I guess over a long period I was probably alongside / commuting with mostly the same type of other road users OR EVEN THE SAME PEOPLE ( a sort of control). Guess what? The behaviour of the other road users changed markedly toward me depending on how I travelled. Sports bike & black visor – literally nobody messed with me. Car – sort of an equal – but subject to the usual type of behaviour. 125cc motorbike – some aggressive behaviour shown toward me when I was perceived to be jumping queues (filtering). And cycling – well you guessed it – to a small but significant proportion of other roads users (5-10% in my estimate) – just a flippin target, ignored, invisible, driven too close to etc etc. Draw you own conclusions – but I believe that it's something to do with risk / threat perception.

  26. Always helmet MTB, always helmet commuting, sometimes helmet around town, never helmet going to the pub or a party when I don't want to mess up my hair! 🙂

  27. I haven't seen the data myself, but I would think there are problems with the studies. Was there a control? You can't just look at random groups of cars at different times and locations and think they are representative of the norm. Does anyone have a link to the studies?

  28. I don't think it should be a legal requirement, however if you are stupid enough not to wear one it's on you when you end up a vegetable who can't wipe their own arse.

  29. I found long ago that wearing bike kit and helmet provokes hostile behavior. They think your a weenie and want to kick your ass. At least that is my 40 year experience in new jersey!

  30. What we as cyclist have is a bigger problem of educating the public to be more aware and courteous of bicycle riders. There is no safety equipment that offers protection against a 3-5 thousand pound car or truck. Education in the form of including whole sections of test for drivers licenses to include bicycle awareness, schools for driver awareness of cyclist for those that fail the drivers licence , public service announcements, more laws and stiffer fines for infractions of the laws.

  31. It seems as always people only pay attention to anecdotal evidence as opposed to actual large scale studies so here's some anecdotal evidence. I went a few rides in the summer without a helmet on social country lanes but also through busy roads – I only did this as I had a skin condition around the strap area – so everything else was the same, same bike same lycra etc. I definitely got a lot more space on the road a fair amount of drivers gave me more respect/room. Felt arguably safer in a way – still wear a helmet as I do push it and ride in faster groups, but have no issue not wearing a helmet on shopping rides.

  32. I agree. They are a distraction! Drivers don't really care. They think cyclists are flies. It's a war on the roads. It needs to be addressed!

  33. Caption – Emma's first cross race nearly ruined as her Competitive spirit is challenged by her love of nature when she spots a Worm crossing the track!

  34. I was cycling in June when I experienced an unplanned exchange of kinetic energy with a Range Rover. Recovered fully (knee and arm injuries) in three months. My helmet saved me from serious head injury or worse. Definitely agree with other comments on falling driving standards. Still haven't regained my confidence to get back on the bike.

  35. Maybe some legislation that mandates every new road gets a dedicated bike lane which is separated by a physical barrier. As well over time existing roads can be fitted with barrier protected bike lanes. It's just a matter of do people care enough about the safety of others to dish out some tax dollars for it.

  36. It would seem to me the helmet makes cyclist seem less human so that is why the cars come closer. I think GCN you are dangerously close to moving some cyclist to not wear a helmet which is negligent. If you do not wear a helmet you are an idiot.

  37. We wear helmets because there are so many dangers outside our control. From pedestrians stepping in front of you causing you to veer into the streetcar tracks to "right hook" turns (left hooks for those of you in the UK). I will say it is hard to evaluate UK studies as both drivers and cyclists in the UK are night-and-day different from those found here in the southwestern U.S. (Arizona).

  38. Depressingly, attitudes towards cyclists in my home town are at such an all time low, there is a huge negative Facebook post regarding a new cycle path. The work has been independently funded (not by the local council) and was put forward to improve travel to a primary school for the pupils to ride to school. A worrying number of local residents have made frankly inappropriate comments towards cyclists. Only makes me want to get on my bike even more though.

  39. 1. If we want motorists to treat us well, we have to behave according to the road rules. Its something they complain about all the time and often use to justify them treating us badly. How hard is it to stop at a stop sign? Rider education for new cyclists is essential.
    2. Even though the helmet people make it seem like it will. Your head will not explode as soon as you ride a bike without a helmet. Yes it will protect you if your head hits the ground, but the risks when not doing dangerous riding or near cars is minimal and not always needed.
    3. Its really cool that there is a cycling equivalent to the Wisden Cricketer's Almanac.

  40. Experience a wider pass by drivers in Wicklow, Kildare & Dublin. Wear a helmet, Beryl lights & hi viz night and day. On the country long rides I always wave to the drivers who pass wide or slow down behind and wait till its clear to pass. Find most drivers respectful and safety conscious.

  41. You should wear a helmet it’s just common sense any impact to the head is potentially fatal at any speed even stationary.

  42. Is speed ever look at in the helmet debate? I often wonder if half the issue is that a driver may give the same space to a cyclist doing 5mph as one doing 25mph, and that can feel very different to the cyclist

  43. The more critical reason for wearing or not wearing a helmet is how effective they are in mitigating death and injury, versus not wearing one. Until I find out differently helmets are significantly safer, and we would even be safer if we wore them while walking.. but the increase in safety isn't enough except on work sites, climbing mountains, etc…

    A bigger factor, then how do drivers act when they see a helmet, is whether or not the motor vehicle driver EVEN SEES the bicyclist or is even aware there's a bicycle in the vicinity, or is bothering to look. I live in Los Angeles and have witnessed many many egregious incidents with bicyclists. Auto drivers who suddenly decide to change lanes, make turns and cut right in front of a bicycle they didn't see (partly because they didn't bother to look and also because bicycles and motorcycles can be hard to see.) On the bicyclist's side of 'egregiousness' is darting across traffic, wearing two ear buds, and not realizing there's a vehicle near by.

    The camera idea is a good one. I had the idea that accident lawyers should give away bright safety vests 'gilet jaune' ( I now know) with the lawyer's name and "I WILL SUE YOU: SMILE YOU ARE ON CAMERA. Saul Goodman Attorney…" And of course the more bicyclists who wear cameras the better, and if possible stream them to the cloud, so stopping the car and stealing the camera won't be of any use to the offending driver. (Did you know that inmates at Attica prison in New York really like security cameras? It helps keep them safe.) (One of the reasons I want a dash camera is not just to protect my own interests in an accident, but to support bicyclists being nearly killed by careless drivers. )

  44. I like to see that the Netherlands still keep investing more in cycling infrastructure and tries to develop the system even further. Always so easy and fun to ride in the Netherlands and especially in the big cities, if I compare it to the Germany. Also the acceptance of the other people in traffic is much higher for the cyclists, would be so nice to see that also happen in Germany.

    And regarding the helmet discussion, I think the more available distractions are a huge problem. It doesn't matter if you were a helmet or not, I think people are just not taking care enough in general. I noticed it during my team as a valetparking driver for an airport and also on the bike each time, people hanging on their smartphones while driving, talking to other people in the car and not looking where they going or even just at a crossing they look to one side and not to the other and keep driving… I think that we need more and better education for traffic. People need to get aware again, what can happen and how fast it can happen. People blunt more and more and have a attitude of not giving space to others in the traffic, which can cause a lot of damage. So the ideal case would be the helmet is protecting you if you fall, but not because a car made you fal or crash. Keep the helmets and educate people who take part in the system better (car driver, truck driver, tram drivers, cyclist, everybody).

  45. Caption: Nice to see thing Emma put into her Cyclocross some of the things she learnt during maths lessons at school, notably, circles, sectors and arcs, and most importantly, the use of the slide rule.

  46. Rather telling that one of the biggest promoters/lobby groups for the wearing of bicycle helmets is the automobile industry :-O

  47. An interesting study for sure. My own observations while commuting are similar but different. I've noticed that if I wear a back pack while commuting cars give me more space. If I have no pack and , I guess, look like I'm just riding recreationally, cars come much closer. In winter while commuting in the dark with MANY lights there is not as much of a difference. Cars always come closer in winter in the dark.

  48. Helmets are for pussys. Once out of the test lab and in a real world accident that bike helmet won’t really do much for you.

  49. Recently came off after a touch of wheels and smashed the side of my head hard against the tarmac. Not traveling particularly fast. My helmet (Giro) actually broke in two, and I shudder to think what injuries I would have received without it. It did it's job and saved me from a scalping followed by a few weeks in a coma.
    Now, whenever I see any cyclist not wearing a helmet I cringe. You think you'll see the fall coming and deftly go into a nice roll, jumping onto your feet unhurt. In reality, you don't see it coming, you have no time to even think before you hit the ground, and it's not like when we were kids falling off all the time and running home with skinned knees. It feels like you've been punched by Frank Bruno and you ache all over for days/weeks afterwards.

  50. Its a fascinating study, but it has nothing to do with helmets. Assuming, becuase it would take too long to discuss in one post, that a difference in passing distance for a driver that HAS ALREADY SEEN THE CYCLIST makes any difference at all (I mean, isn't the problem accidents? as in "the driver did not see the cyclist and accidentally ran into them" – not "I saw the cyclist but because I figured that he was experienced so cut it too close") — well, that's not the issue. The only study worth anything about helmets is the degree of protection they provide. If the protection is significant, then there would be a savings to society if everyone wears one in case of lower, for the population as a whole, mind you, medical costs. Its exactly the same as mandatory seatbelts in cars.

    No one every did a study as to whether people drove more carefully with seatbelts or not wearing seatbelts.

  51. I feel forcing me to wear a helmet is taking away my right to choose. I mostly wear a helmet in case I hit the deck but not because a vehicle may hit me. I wear bright colors to ensure they see me for that but when I cycle to the shops or.for a casual jaunt on a beautiful spring day I do not want to wear a helmet and that should be my choice!

  52. tbh im the 1% here. in stockholm i rarely ride with traffic. the short times i need to they accept my fully and usually let me do whatever i need

  53. I do understand that you would need a helmet in UK traffic, however I do not understand why youwould require a helmet for biking in general. In the Netherlands we prove to you that helmets are not required to protect you. There are official reports that the helmets do not protect you in a heavy accident. So I do appreciate you needing helmets in the UK but we do not and we do not even have this discussion among the cyclists. (Of course mtb drivers and Tour de France cyclists do wear helmets in the Netherlands because of speed and terrain.

  54. Here in Madison WI USA the city puts white painted bikes with flowers at intersections where a bicyclist was killed. Every story I heard was clearly the bikers fault and quite frankly traumatized the motorist. As a taxi driver in this city I see bicyclists committing major violations endangering public safety. I can go vice versa 180 degree turn toward motorists. I feel there needs to be a protocol educated to all motorists and bicyclists to ensure we are all on the same page. Its my dream business. Mabey someday.

  55. Yes, helmets are a definite facilitator of safety for the bicycle rider.We are terribly fragile when impacting with the likes of cobbles, concrete and tar roads.A friend of mine incurred a serious injury taking a small flop off his bike (at a very slow speed) without a helmet. In addition , perhaps we should add a blinking red light to our helmets since, that is the highest and most visible to (same lane) car and truck drivers.However, living in Florida, it appears that preoccupation with cell phones are a major contributor to pedestrian and bicycle accidents.

  56. I used to object to wearing a helmet until I found myself skidding up the road on my head (more than once) and it was all down to me.

  57. Helmet or no helmet, it's a matter of choice. I've had my fair share of crashes and pretty much won't cycle anywhere without a helmet. Having cycled in Amsterdam you could argue that pedestrians need helmets too, which is ridiculous of course, and as a cyclist you get some odd looks if you do wear a helmet [unless you're in lycra on a training ride] but the infrastructure there is way ahead of the UK and has been for decades. The main issue in the UK is education. Many drivers, in say the last 20-30 years or so, won't have any element of cycling knowledge [unless they are a cyclist as well]. There used to be something called the Cycling Proficiency test that you would do in schools to be allowed to ride your bike. Maybe it needs bringing back to educate from a very early age about road sense and respect. Perhaps if you want to learn to drive, you need have cycled first? If you want to ride a scooter/motorbike you take a CBT. The UK driving test needs some kind of integration to include cycling safety. Cycling is meant to be for recreation, commuting as well as a sport for as many as possible of all ages. Helmet or not, you should allowed to do it in safety.

  58. I've been cycling almost every day of the last few decades in a third world country with no cycling tradition. I commute by bike, I buy groceries by bike, I have fun riding a bike. I had my share of accidents, both small and large, both caused by others and by myself and by sheer unluckyness, getting bruised many times (even if only the ego), breaking equipment and bones as well. But NEVER, even for a SINGLE day, no matter how short or "safe" the path was, I rode without a helmet. And by the (lost) count of destroyed/cracked/expired helmets so far, I can say with great confidence that I am probably alive thanks to them.

    Sure, If I ever got hit head on by a ten ton truck, it won't matter at all, but for almost everything else, it helps. I ride respecting EVERYTHING, ALL of the time. The others, the rules and myself. And that does not exclude riding safe and fast.

    I feel completely naked if I ever try to ride a bike without a helmet.

  59. The helmet "debate" should not be an either/or, but a both/and discussion. Improve the infrastructure but watch out for yourself!

  60. Maybe its time that in the driving school that they teach the drivers to be careful about cyclists even the ones that who know what they're doing

  61. I often ride solo on rural Wisconsin roads with 55 mph speed limits and small or non-existent shoulders. When I see, in my helmet mounted mirror, a motorist overtaking me, I have found that if I swivel my head, as if to look at them, they give me more room than if I just keep riding with my head straight ahead. I, obviously, am not rotating my body and head enough that I could look directly at the motorist, but my small acknowledgement that I am aware of their presence seems to make a difference. Most motorists seem to drive in autopilot mode and need something to break their trance. I started running daytime lights last year, as have most of the riders in our club. As far as helmets go, I have twice had my head saved in road crashes with no motorists involved. I hit the pavement in exactly the same sequence both times; hip, shoulder, helmet. Maybe it’s a cultural thing in the US, but nobody comes to our very open club rides without a helmet. It would be like showing up barefoot. We aren’t going for a ride on the beach.

  62. I'm near DC, USA. The "program" here isn't making bike lanes (although there are a few), it's putting up signs that say "Bikes Can Take Full Lane." I ride the center of the RH lane, forcing drivers to change lanes to pass me, yet I still get passed by cars partly in my lane. But when I used to ride near the shoulder, many cars didn't move over an inch when passing.
    I will never ride without a helmet, as I've destroyed 2 while riding, and can only imagine what my skull would have looked like, if I weren't wearing one.
    Cars aren't the only danger in America. One helmet was damaged when I was hit by a car, but the other one was destroyed when a pedestrian stepped into the road in front of me, without ever looking if a car was heading toward him. The helmet disintegrated, and I got a concussion, but I survived & was able to get back on my bike immediately.
    I ride with the philosophy: "People are idiots. All you can do is make sure they see you (so they have no excuses), and do what you can to improve your chances of survival."

  63. the issue here in the United States is predominately driver attitude. I have encountered a duisturbing number of people that care nothing for my safety. And i follow the rules too. there was a guy that was 15 years older than me, every time i encountered either him or his wife, they both got as close as possible to me. Law enforcement obviously shares their attitude because they make no effort to stop people who use their vehicles in a manner that can only be considered as a weapon

  64. As in most cases – especially with systemic error/risk – change can never really come from the individual. The individual can compensate slightly but solve the problem.

    Regulation of individual behaviour and re-organisation of the system and incentives is almost always the way to go. 

    This is not very likely to happen any time soon though as more often than not political will is no where to be found (and the public more often than not will not applaud any political commitment/change as effects of fundamental change is almost always somewhat uncertain and thus scary). 

    SO it really is a catch 22 – both on an individual level and systemic level. I think it is partly due to a discourse that weakens collective action through narratives such as "I make my own decisions"/"That has to be up to individual choice"/"Why should cars suffer because of bikes – thats their problem". 

    This even though its clear said choices are the individual trying to compensate for systemic error i.e. through helmets and/high vis – I think the willingness to allow the risk of traffic has to be considered a systemic error – which will only take us so far but never solve the problem.

    I mean just the fact that discussing wether high-vis and helmets are a good idea sort of proves my point. Why would that ever be a problem if the problem wasn't bigger than the individual wearing these things.

    I am from Copenhagen – and we have a long way to go in order to create an efficient and safe way to organise traffic and commuting. But the UK – its not the same ball game. Its not even the same sport… crazy.


  65. Trust me (scuse the cliche), I’m a builder (and a cyclist) and being on site, I often wear just a cap or a beanie and the difference between a serious gash and I minor bruise is night and day when wearing just that thin headwear. I’ve been smacked on the head with a brick on my bonce about 2m above my head and the result wasn’t good, if I’d had my hard hat on I’d have walked away no problem. Always wear a helmet and be as visible as poss. Always have very bright lights on, even in the daylight (preferably the flashing ones). I don’t give a shit if other road users don’t like it; if they can see me they probably won’t hit me.

  66. I was given a lot more room by overtaking cars when I was riding my trike (with 700c wheels). Perhaps the rarity factor or did they think I was incompetent?

  67. I'm viewing this as a car driver that came to the channel while researching bikes, toying with the idea of getting one for exercise. This post will likely get a negative reception as it is being made in the comments section of a video from a channel dedicated to cycling, but the one sided way the headline article has been presented here rubbed me up the wrong way.

    Obviously the behaviour of SOME drivers is concerning regarding cyclists (I think it is untrue and unfair to suggest that all drivers disregard the safety of cyclists), but to suggest that trucks be banned from city centres simply because you wish to cycle is completely unrealistic. A truck is generally used to transport things. How do you think this would work? Are they supposed to park out of town and make journeys back and fourth carrying things or using a pallet truck?

    Many of the times I've seen close calls between vehicles and cyclists (and motorcyclists) is because the cyclist/motorcyclist is trying to cut through traffic and the driver wasn't aware they were there. Yes cars have mirrors, but you can't give them 100% of your attention 100% of the time. Just occasionally you need to look forward while driving. In the nature of balance I will say I've also seen a lot of drivers be complete asshats too, particularly when it comes to overtaking.

    Many cyclists expect to be treated like an item of traffic but don't act like one. I can't tell you the amount of times I've had to overtake the same cyclist multiple times because every time there's a red light they ride along the white line or pavement to the front of the queue and hold everyone up. SOME cyclists seem to think the world revolves around them and are oblivious to when they are being reckless or a downright nuisance.

  68. Although I totally Agree with the changes mentioned, that need to be made, I feel the biggest problem of it all, is WE as cyclists need to remember that we have to do our part as well it's NOT JUST DRIVERS of motor vehicles. Hundreds and hundreds of tests and studies are done on this all the time, and almost every single time there is no mention of the cyclist needing to change their habits. A person on a bicycle is exceptionally more agile and aware of their surroundings then someone in a noise free car. In my personal opinion, We as cyclists need to be more aware. We need to realize that we cannot ride our bikes anywhere we want, Even if the law says we can. We have to be smart and practical and understand that a vehicle is a huge piece of fast metal and will probably kill you if hit by one. For instance, even though in some cases you are allowed to ride in the road, say in a 25 mile an hour zone, doesn't mean you should by any means. If you can not keep up with the natural flow of traffic you are causing yourself and others around you and inconvenience and also potential harm. Get on the sidewalk or take another route. If neither of those are an option, than such is life and walk. Over the last 10 years cycling in towns and cities has become extremely popular, but now I fear the cycling community has grown so strong they're starting to get a big head And are abusing our rights. Ultimately, it's not about being right or wrong it's about being safe or potentially dead. Be smart whether you're on a bike or in a car and make sure to have fun and enjoy the ride. Now getting back to helmets… If you wear a helmet it will probably greater your chances of less injury if you were to be struck by a car or have an accident of some sort. It's a simple as that. As far as the driver Of a vehicle coming too close when passing… It goes both ways it's not about high visibility clothing or a helmet. It's about the driver scooting over a foot or 2 and the cyclist scooting over a foot or 2. It goes both ways. If you are a cyclists and you have a 2 or 3' wide shoulder do NOT ride the white line!! Scoot over. Never try to prove your point against a vehicle because the vehicle will win every time. Be smart.

  69. Helmet is a "passive" protection, that may save you once the crash happened . The best protection is the one that avoid accident, so put the odds on your side and make everything possible to be visible from drivers => remove all black and dark jerseys and jackets from your wardrobe and keep all red and fluo stuff.

  70. I had a look at the data for this study, the difference in passing distance between the best and worst performing outfits was 8cm.

  71. Helmets – my very first ride on a bike in my entire life put me in the ER with nine stitches to the head after I got into a wreck with a utility truck (age 6 years old). I see a neurologist every 6 months now, take god-awful meds, and have had more seizures than anyone I have ever met. Even my neurologist commented on the number I have had.

    Missing the bend – I have an acquaintance who was flying down a decline on a California road with his buddies when he was young. He missed the turn and went off the cliff. He can barely walk now, can't ride a bike, can hardly talk, and his one arm is locked into a bent position.

    When I hear that someone has "crashed" their bike, I assume they ended up in the hospital unconscious and got at least an i.v. stuck into them if not two:))

    I don't worry about traffic anymore because we have bike lanes all over the city. To hit me, they have to veer out of their lane and into mine. The real issue for me is getting hit by the racing bikers who may or may not obey traffic laws around here.

    Regarding the helmet debate – I'm new to this channel and thinks its great. Now here is an interesting thing I learned while watching going commando with the kit. I learned I should wear some kind of shirt underneath bibs/jersey in case I have a crash and the piece of mesh fabric is supposed to help. But people are against helmets?????? 🙂 Bikers shave their legs partly in case they have an accident and its supposed to make things better than if they had hairy legs?? But a helmet is not cool? :)) Bikers wear padded pants and gloves to protect their parts but a helmet doesn't make sense?? :))

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