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Wearing a helmet, For or Against?


Working in the cycle trade for some years now, it seemed the idea of wearing a cycle helmet was just common sense? Although, I myself am guilty of occasionally jumping on the bike without a helmet for the short ride to work. Or am I guilty? After reading many articles over the weekend I have found that a vast amount of cyclists, organizations and even doctors are against the compulsory cycle helmet law.
There is no doubt that the argument is aimed mainly at the general commuter, as opposed to the more serious  racing, off road or BMX rider, where the benefits of wearing a helmet  are quite clear due to the higher risk of injury.
But if people are against the law, are they simply against wearing a cycle helmet?
I always assumed that having the opportunity for additional safety, especially on the road, is a good thing, right? I was surprised to hear so many people disagree.

 

Facts and statistics
Many reports show a huge decrease in cyclists in certain areas where the law for cycling helmets has become mandatory.  Some reports even show that car drivers approach cyclists with helmets with less care and attention. Equally, the helmet can give the cyclist much more confidence, or some might say a false sense of security.
The statistics showing the drop in cyclists when law enforcement of compulsory cycle helmets begins is significant, giving a large amount of support from health experts against the law. They believe the amount of cyclists that would suddenly stop riding would increase the amount of unhealthy citizens. This in turn also creates more traffic and therefore more pollution.
On the other hand we have the vast amount of reports supporting cycle helmet use and you just cannot deny the fact that a helmet can add precious protection to your head when on the road. Statistics show that when a helmet is worn in cycling accidents head injuries can be prevented by up to 88%.

 

Points that I have come across For and Against the Compulsory Bicycle Helmet Law.

 

For:
Extra Safety.
Confidence.
Fewer head injuries/fatalities.
Some insurance companies will pay out more for an accident, when a cycle helmet is worn.

 

Against:
Less people cycling.
More cars on the road.
More accidents due to more pedestrians (there are statistically more pedestrian accidents than cyclists)
False sense of security.
Studies show drivers pay more care and attention to cyclists without helmets.

 

With the strong studies against compulsory cycle helmets, it is hard to be in favour of the law. But with so many conflicting studies, and the general consensus of a helmet being the safe option, what would be the correct answer?

 

Interesting studies and reports:
http://www.nohelmetlaw.org.uk/nhl/
http://www.cycle-helmets.com
http://www.bhsi.org/stats.htm
http://www.bakfiets-en-meer.nl/2008/10/16/bicycle-death-statistics-in-amsterdam-and-the-netherlands/

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Monday Mash-Up!

A few of us here at Koo are off to The Bike Place, and Core Bike show; two trade shows in the UK which are a great laugh, and of course we will bring you news on all the latest shiney things bike related! So make sure you check back for updates. Meanwhile, here are some cool vids to keep you amused….

 

 

  Dirtcoaster from Bobby Henderson on VimeoMore Mountain Biking Videos     2012 Freeride Entertainment Demo Reel from NWD films on Vimeo.

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Fantastic Thursdays! > Koo Filmstars…

Something we have been looking forward to for a while now is a promotional video, showcasing what Koo-Bikes and our shop, Cogs-Bikes, is all about. Last weekend we were lucky enough to have Henry Powell from Richmond6 Productions sparing some time to come and visit us. We spent the whole weekend filming, including some riding with some of our Koo-Bikes DH team.  It was a great weekend, with lots of banter and fun at the shop and offices, and the riding was wild and mega loose, tearing up some of our secret tracks.

Here are a few teaser pictures taken, giving you a bit of an idea of what to expect. I personally cant wait until the finished video is ready, and we will be sure to let you know when it is!

Big thanks to Bob Williams for getting some great pictures, as usual – make sure you check out his website www.bobbogdanwilliams.com.

Unfortunately due to an injury as a result of being hit by car, I was unable to ride, so I managed to get some snaps of the rest of the team riding….

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Wednesday Weights!

A new feature we will be running every week is Wednesday Weights, where we will weigh a random product, and you have to guess the weight. The person closest will win a £5 koo-bikes gift voucher. The winner will be announced on Friday, giving you 2 days to enter. One entry per person. Get guessing, and remember answers should be to the closest .01g!

This week we have weighed this cool pair of 5.10 Baron shoes, and a carrot. They arent on our website yet, so no cheating! We will be kind to you and offer a hint; the shoes are size UK9 (with all packaging and labels removed) and the carrot is of average size, with a slight bend. Good luck!

Please write your entries on our facebook page, under the link to this competition HERE.

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