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Chris Boardman is apparently anti-helmet.
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My respect for him has just plummeted.





Here's the link he shared: https://www.cyclinguk.org/...efings/cycle-helmets


Their main arguments:
Helmet use is an impediment to cycling and reduces the number of cyclists
Helmets don't prevent and maybe increase injuries
They want to promote "helmet-free roll models"

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Ed O'Malley
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VeloVetta is developing AERO cycling shoes with CFD and wind tunnel testing.
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Re: Chris Boardman is apparently anti-helmet. [RowToTri] [ In reply to ]
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He's had this stance (and been lambasted for it) for years.

His point is if you force cyclists to wear helmets, less people will get on their bikes.
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Re: Chris Boardman is apparently anti-helmet. [The Red Baron] [ In reply to ]
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Obviously I have not paid enough attention.

I understand his stance. I just think it is highly irresponsible.

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Ed O'Malley
www.VeloVetta.com
VeloVetta is developing AERO cycling shoes with CFD and wind tunnel testing.
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Re: Chris Boardman is apparently anti-helmet. [RowToTri] [ In reply to ]
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USA has highest helmet compliance but is the worst and most dangerous country to ride. Netherlands and Denmark have negligible helmet compliance but are the safest.
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Re: Chris Boardman is apparently anti-helmet. [carlosflanders] [ In reply to ]
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carlosflanders wrote:
USA has highest helmet compliance but is the worst and most dangerous country to ride. Netherlands and Denmark have negligible helmet compliance but are the safest.

Yep. Cycling safety is linked to how many other cyclists area also on the road. This is part infrastructure, but its also about cars knowing that cyclists are on the road and according them safe space.
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Re: Chris Boardman is apparently anti-helmet. [The Red Baron] [ In reply to ]
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The Red Baron wrote:
His point is if you force cyclists to wear helmets, less people will get on their bikes.

I agree with his first point. Just not his second one.
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Re: Chris Boardman is apparently anti-helmet. [RowToTri] [ In reply to ]
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Reading this makes my head hurt:

https://www.cyclinguk.org/...idence_cuk_brf_0.pdf

Nearly every paragraph leaves me trying to figure out how to connect the dots in whatever conclusion they are trying to present.
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Re: Chris Boardman is apparently anti-helmet. [RowToTri] [ In reply to ]
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RowToTri wrote:
Obviously I have not paid enough attention.

I understand his stance. I just think it is highly irresponsible.

I don't think you can justify saying he is highly irresponsible if he has put some thought into the decision, looked at some statistics, and truly believed that some greater good would come from this position based on those facts.

As tangential example, I think back to Ironman Tahoe in 2014. There I believe there was one professional who donned a masked consistently at the race venue with the smoke. That individual knew the health hazards of racing at a possible smoked venue and had his fingers crossed the organization made the right decision and cancelled the event. The event was cancelled, but then you had numerous age-groupers and pros who were emotional, then they made an emotional decision and went out on the course anyway and road their bikes in said smoking venue. Not sure what you classify that as. IMHO that was highly irresponsible and emotional. But this, I can at least along with this.

I know Brad might chime in and mention TBI, which is obviously very serious, but we all have to draw a risk/probability line somewhere otherwise we would be wearing helmets while driving, running, even in the bedroom... If you can wear a helmet, awesome. Then again, it was always my plan if I did a crit to look more like a football player with pads everywhere, than a skin baring cyclist.


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Re: Chris Boardman is apparently anti-helmet. [RowToTri] [ In reply to ]
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Everything on that link is spot on.

Helmet laws are bullshit.
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Re: Chris Boardman is apparently anti-helmet. [Thomas Gerlach] [ In reply to ]
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I think my charge of irresponsibility is dead-on. I couldn't care less if any adult decides that they do not want to wear a helmet themselves. But if they are going to participate in a publicity campaign to try to convince others to not wear a helmet, they have a responsibility to correctly interpret data themselves and they have a duty to present that data accurately and fully. If they make an mistake and mis-analyze the data and honestly believe that it indicates that wearing helmets is less safe, they do not get a pass. When one takes on a public safety-critical role, whether as an engineer, a pilot, or whatever, you do not get to say, "oh, I really thought I did that analysis correctly - not my fault" when the bridge collapses and kills people.

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Ed O'Malley
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VeloVetta is developing AERO cycling shoes with CFD and wind tunnel testing.
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Re: Chris Boardman is apparently anti-helmet. [NordicSkier] [ In reply to ]
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I do not agree with the final argument but I can understand and support the first point.

In my opinion you can combine supporting this cause and defuse the reinforcement of law and still wear a helmet.
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Re: Chris Boardman is apparently anti-helmet. [RowToTri] [ In reply to ]
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How many times has his head hit the tarmac without a helmet on?

Hooker training for the Sport of Scrum-Halves [Triathlon]
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Re: Chris Boardman is apparently anti-helmet. [RowToTri] [ In reply to ]
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Quote:
My respect for him has just plummeted.

Boardman is a data guy, and he's making a data based argument, one that goes like this: Helmet use may improve outcomes in some circumstances, but mandatory helmet laws have a profound depressing effect on cycling participation. The impacts on public health that occur due to the decrease in cycling participation attendant upon mandatory helmet use outweigh the positive impact to overall public health that result from mandatory helmet use.

I respect the hell out of him for taking an incredibly unpopular stance on an issue that he clearly believes is important, and where he believes the data supports a non-obvious conclusion.

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Re: Chris Boardman is apparently anti-helmet. [fredly] [ In reply to ]
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He is also making the argument that helmets do not prevent injury and may in fact increase the likelihood of injury. Every piece of data I have seen people try to present to make that argument is fundamentally flawed. Just like the argument above that rates of cycling injures are higher in the US than in Amsterdam.

He's a data guy, but he is not analyzing this data correctly.

I do not know if he is analyzing the data for the argument you articulated correctly because he does not present any data. He just makes an unsupported statement. Maybe he shared data elsewhere, I don't know.

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Ed O'Malley
www.VeloVetta.com
VeloVetta is developing AERO cycling shoes with CFD and wind tunnel testing.
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Re: Chris Boardman is apparently anti-helmet. [RowToTri] [ In reply to ]
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Quote:
Maybe he shared data elsewhere, I don't know.

He has. He's been outspoken on this issue for years.

Tech writer/support on this here site. FIST school instructor and certified bike fitter. Formerly at Diamondback Bikes, LeMond Fitness, FSA, TiCycles, etc.
Coaching and bike fit - http://source-e.net/ Cyclocross blog - https://crosssports.net/ BJJ instruction - https://ballardbjj.com/
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Re: Chris Boardman is apparently anti-helmet. [RowToTri] [ In reply to ]
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RowToTri wrote:
He is also making the argument that helmets do not prevent injury and may in fact increase the likelihood of injury. Every piece of data I have seen people try to present to make that argument is fundamentally flawed.

How so? I reached the conclusion that the data trying to prove the efficacy of helmets is seriously flawed.

I didn't want to believe it (I've always worn a helmet and still do), but they really don't do much if anything to reduce fatalities. Injuries are impossible to tell, since they aren't really tracked.
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Re: Chris Boardman is apparently anti-helmet. [RowToTri] [ In reply to ]
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RowToTri wrote:
I do not know if he is analyzing the data for the argument you articulated correctly because he does not present any data. He just makes an unsupported statement. Maybe he shared data elsewhere, I don't know.

Cycling UK has their "data report" that I linked above. Its a long, difficult read. As I said, every position and link to a study leaves me with more questions than answers. Using studies conducted in geographically, and culturally different locations to draw conclusions about the UK...is not obvious on the surface. Maybe its valid, maybe its not. Without reading every linked study, and hoping to have enough expertise in each to evaluate the validity of the conclusions and relationship to UK society...its just hard to know.

Further, the authors of the Cycling UK paper aren't listed, and obviously its not published / peer reviewed. So, I'm just left with more questions....
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Re: Chris Boardman is apparently anti-helmet. [Tom_hampton] [ In reply to ]
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No idea who "Chris Boardman" is but he's my new hero
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Re: Chris Boardman is apparently anti-helmet. [rruff] [ In reply to ]
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I lived in a state where motorcycle helmets are optional and the same arguments are made there.

Sadly I have had 2 acquaintances die on motorcycles where I think a helmet would have prevented the deaths.

I ride with a helmet but don't know how much good it would do on a crash at 50mph (Brockway summit for those who know it) but think that at a low speed it will the brain cells from rattling around too much.

I also ride with a helmet to set an example for my son, same goes for gloves.

Does anyone really think that Sergio Higuita would have just gotten up from this fall: https://www.rtbf.be/...x-chutes?id=10583121, watch the head bounce in the slow mo.
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Re: Chris Boardman is apparently anti-helmet. [RowToTri] [ In reply to ]
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what a ridiculous statement. he has never campaigned to convince people not to wear a helmet.

he has only campaigned that it should not be made mandatory to wear a helmet - which would create another barrier to people riding their bikes for simple journeys, instead of using their cars.

as part of the campaign, he has campaigned for improved infrastructure for cycling, which would make it safer for people to use their bikes for journeys and get them out of their cars. this would be a practical step to prevent accidents in the first place and provide an incentive, rather than a barrier for using bikes as a means of transport.

do you tell people on bikes that it was their fault a car hit them, because they weren't wearing a helmet?

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Re: Chris Boardman is apparently anti-helmet. [RowToTri] [ In reply to ]
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RowToTri wrote:
He is also making the argument that helmets do not prevent injury and may in fact increase the likelihood of injury. Every piece of data I have seen people try to present to make that argument is fundamentally flawed. Just like the argument above that rates of cycling injures are higher in the US than in Amsterdam.

He's a data guy, but he is not analyzing this data correctly.

I do not know if he is analyzing the data for the argument you articulated correctly because he does not present any data. He just makes an unsupported statement. Maybe he shared data elsewhere, I don't know.
OK RowToTri: show us your best piece of scientific evidence that wearing helmets prevents head injuries on bikes.
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Re: Chris Boardman is apparently anti-helmet. [lanierb] [ In reply to ]
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How many times has your head hit the tarmac?

Hooker training for the Sport of Scrum-Halves [Triathlon]
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Re: Chris Boardman is apparently anti-helmet. [lanierb] [ In reply to ]
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Maybe restate the question clearly. There have already been a couple of post where people have misrepresented other's arguments.

OP didn't say that wearing helmets prevents head injuries on bikes (as far as I read it). I don't agree with how he read Boardman's argument though.
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Re: Chris Boardman is apparently anti-helmet. [RowToTri] [ In reply to ]
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Here's my take: Let people do what they want with helmets, just like seatbelts. if they crash, they can deal with the consequences of their choices.

However, there should absolutely be laws around forcing children to wear helmets. They should not suffer because of poor decisions by their parents.

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Re: Chris Boardman is apparently anti-helmet. [hadukla] [ In reply to ]
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hadukla wrote:
Here's my take: Let people do what they want with helmets, just like seatbelts. if they crash, they can deal with the consequences of their choices.

However, there should absolutely be laws around forcing children to wear helmets. They should not suffer because of poor decisions by their parents.

I agree with this.

I also disagree with promoting helmet-free role models.

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Ed O'Malley
www.VeloVetta.com
VeloVetta is developing AERO cycling shoes with CFD and wind tunnel testing.
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