This wearing a helmet issue goes back to the days of wearing those dorky hairnets. With todays technology a helmet is actually more aerodynamic, cooler by providing air to flow over the top portion of your noggin and 100% safer than a naked head. What else is there to say? Have you ever worked with an individual with a TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury). I have !!!! Young children riding their bikes and crash, head injury. A life altered to a staggering proportion. A life that will never know the joy of riding a bike again, instead an Electric Wheelchair, being on a respirator, the brain of an infant or for the lucky ones a functioning level that allows them to eat, go to the bathroom wearing diapers for the rest of their lives and maybe a cognitive level of that of a toddler or school aged child. I myself have been saved by wearing a helmet. A crash so forceful that it cracked the helmet. Could my 1 cm skull have withstanded that trauma? No way!! Dahhhhh, what does it take to value your well being enough to swallow your vain egos and put on a head skid? We all know people who have stories about how helmets saved them, but what about the stories on how a crash without wearing the dreaded craniel cover saved them? I am waiting to hear about those life saving stories that “I was saved from a head injury by not wearing my helmet”. Well?
Does anyone find it possible that Laurent, who lost the Tour de France in
1989 by 8 seconds to Greg Lemond whose aero helmet (and bars) gave him the
winning edge, still holds the helmet accountable for his Tour loss in 1989?
Perhaps he’d like to see all helmets banned.
- Joel Artz
I ride with the Rochester Bicycling Club in Rochester, New York and I
agree with your opinion on helmets. Both my wife and I have been saved
by wearing them. Three years ago I did in my fourth helmet when I hit a
pothole and did an OTB. I crushed both my elbow and cracked my helmet.
It was worth every penny of the $60.00 I spent. Most of the people we
ride with have had a spill where they used their helmets, either by
hitting gravel or going down on a rain soaked corner. It does make me
feel good when I see more people wearing them. As far as Fignon goes,
could some body please stand by with a roll of duct tape the next time
he opens his mouth about helmets.
Charles is right on the mark with his commentary concerning the helmet
issue. It is utterly tragic that we have yet another racing death on our
hands and there are still idiots like Laurent Fignon spouting off about
mandatory helmets being ridiculous. I will give that Fignon in full flight
on the bike is one of the prettiest sights in cycling. However, please
remember this is the same guy talking whose not wearing a helmet in 1989
cost him Le Tour by 8 measly seconds! Remind me why they nickname this guy
In the last decade, every study done has demonstrated that even your
generic department store helmet keeps a head at least as cool as a bare
head. This has been done in both in still air and in wind tunnel and
environmental chambers, so it is an absolutely ludicrous argument that the
helmets cause a rider to overheat.
I urge the UCI to immediately mandate helmet use for all UCI events plain
and simple. If pros don’t like it, there’s nothing forcing them to take out
a pro license. If the UCI wants to wimp out, they can take a page from the
National Hockey League and the way they made helmets mandatory. All
existing pros were allowed to make their own free decision, but all rookies
must wear helmets. Give the sport ten years and the helmet-less dinosaurs
would all have retired.
I’m sick of the philosophy. Tell Kivilev and Casartelli’s children why they
lost their daddy if you think helmets are stupid.
Stephen Cheung, Ph.D.