Friday, April 22, 2011

Leaving your bicycle face first


- baby no. 2 came a 'cropper', and no-one can tell me that an AS/NZS 2063 helmet would have made a difference!!!


  1. It would probably have been worse with a helmet; the helmet extra diameter and unnatural extra weight (however slight) might've given her a neck/spine injury, but, because the thing would no doubt have shattered on impact (since this is what they are designed to do), baby no. 2 might've been psychologically scarred for life (and frightened off her bike), believing that she 'narrowly escaped death'.

    Seeing baby no. 2, I'm reminded of a fall I made when I was eight or something. Not from a bike, but simply stumbling over one of those metal drain-hole-grid thingies in the school playground (it was the marble season, and I sprinted excitedly from one game to the other and wham! Faceplant!) My nose, cheek and chin was horribly scraped (my 'crusty face' mentally scarred a friend of my sister, who reacted to me as if I was a plague victim), but the impact was such that I hardly felt any pain. My face was pretty numb for quite some time. Healed within a week or so. No lasting damage, no broken teeth, no nothing. Just one of those scrapes and bruises you get as a kid.

    I wonder if the whole helmet-fearmongering thing isn't a branch of the whole fearmongering-thinking-the-worst thing that seems to have pervaded the english speaking countries. Used to be that a kid scraped his knee and mom kissed it better. From what I hear, if nowadays an American kid scrapes his knee, mom drives him to the nearest emergency room for a doctors opinion and a tetanus shot and then sues the County for having a 'dangerous playground'!

    Anyway, give baby no. 2 a hug from me.

    Marion from The Hague

  2. Wish baby no. 2 a speedy recovery.

  3. Hi Sue,
    Sorry about baby number 2s "horrific" injury. A few hot cross buns might fix it. This post, along with the previous one about Sydney unis woeful lack of bike culture, put me in mind of the following communication from professor Victor Roads (clearly a potential Rhodes scholar). You will understand that I am unable to authenticate my source!

    Associate Professor Victor Roads
    Centre For Cycling Safety Research
    An independant body fully funded by the Victorian Government in partnership with Bicycle Victoria

    “We are currently working on the development of a new Australian standard for full face bicycle helmets. This is in response to the clearly identified need to protect cyclists aginst serious injury to the face. The serious risk of such injuries has also been identified as a major factor in deterring the widespread uptake of the bicycle as a means of transport, especially amongst teenagers and young adults. We are confident that once such a standard is developed and mandated throughout Australian jurisdictions, the level of bicycle use, particularly amongst the more informed student population, will reach the levels already enjoyed at many of the leading universities in the non Australasian world.”

    Happy Easter to all

  4. Ouch, hope she recovers soon.

  5. Thank you, Marion, Kathy, Alan, & Kim, for lovely & entertaining comments - 'baby no. 2' is on the mend (!!!) and joins me in wishing you all a 'happy easter' too! xx

  6. Get well soon!

    You are right about the helmet issue - it would have made no difference but if she were wearing one it is likely to have made contact and cracked.

    One less anecdote - hooray!!


  7. Ouch. Looks like her teeth were most at risk from this accident, in which case she might need Medibank extras cover:

    Wishing her a speedy recovery.

  8. ...hilarious, 'Etienne'!!!

    ...&, Paul, must be almost time for bon voyage - funtimes!!

  9. Marc from Amsterdamized (!/amsterdamized) recently (26-4) witnessed a freak bicycle accident. Quote from his tweets: "wide bi-directional bike path. German tourists on normal bikes from 1 way, road cyclist at high speed fr the other, head-on collision ..."

    The helmetwearing road cyclist died of severe headtrauma. Marc made pictures....
    So here's your proof how useless a helmet can be...article about the accident:
    According to Marc (see his tweets from that date) the other non-helmet wearing cyclist had an eye injury.

    I thought it was rather ironic that a fierce opponent of helmetuse like Marc witnessed front row how little protection a helmet offers.