Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thread)

Equipment and On Road Behaviour, Laws and Rules. Cycling Promotion and Advocacy

Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby diggler » Tue Aug 06, 2013 3:19 am

human909 wrote:
diggler wrote:I do hope the anti MHL people get involved in this election.

Sorry diggler I won't be running in the federal election. :roll: Also in case you didn't notice, these are STATE laws.

diggler wrote:If you really believe in this, get off your arse and back somebody who promotes your cause. If you don't do anything, then this will just be an aimless bitch session.

See earlier comments. The issue needs to be won amongst cyclists and cyclists advocacy groups before the real headway with government is made. Unfortunately many cyclists and cycle advocacy groups are only interested in themselves and not the wider cycling community. :(



At the very least, you should support the LDP because philosophically they support your view.

http://www.ldp.org.au/policies/1166-victimless-crimes

re road rules, aren't there Australian Road Rules which most States generally mirror?

"The issue needs to be won amongst cyclists and cyclists advocacy groups before the real headway with government is made." After 261 pages you clearly don't have consensus here and I very much doubt you ever will. If you wait to get all cyclists behind you, you will be waiting until hell freezes over.

You should lobby government, write letters, hold protest rallies now.
Motorists hate cyclists and cyclists hate the motorists and the pedestrians hate the bikers and everybody hates the trucks.
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by BNA » Tue Aug 06, 2013 9:34 am

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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Percrime » Tue Aug 06, 2013 9:34 am

Oh there will never be total consensus. After all some people like 'nanny states'. But there don't seem to be so very many of them.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Xplora » Tue Aug 06, 2013 10:53 am

Percrime wrote:Oh there will never be total consensus. After all some people like 'nanny states'. But there don't seem to be so very many of them.

Nanny states are great as long as you are the one deciding what they will protect you from. China and Russia did a fantastic job of looking after their citizens, and God help those people who disagreed with them. Germany had a stellar record of protecting the Germans from the Jewish conspiracy a while back as well. The Amish have got oppression sorted out pretty well - just let people decide if they want to be nanny'd or not.

Freedom is a two way street. You get good with bad. The MHL is simply a microcosm of the big picture. It is not acceptable to say "you can't do this" when it's a fair and reasonable act. Can you imagine them banning internet forums or Skype - just in case?! Bad bad baaaad things happen to people sometimes, collusion to break laws, no ability for the police to intervene to suppress the evil commentary and trolling...

Everyone has a line in the sand. That's OK. Australia is based upon freedom, not oppression, and it makes no sense for a democracy to enforce MHL. The citizens are allowed to vote for their leaders, why can't they similarly decide how to ride a bike? The rules change dramatically when the State refuses to grant that freedom (such as Russia in the 80s, and China) because the state is actually responsible for the citizens. But Australia owes nothing to us; so we should be free do make reasonable decisions. If you don't feel comfortable with riding a bike without a helmet, then go wear one. I'd prefer you didn't, but we aren't living in a free country if I can force you to decide. Banning swimming at the beach would save lives. Going boating... lives are being lost. Even despite the licencing and measures to protect. If you can't see the problem with forcing helmets on an unwilling person, you're a dictator in my eyes. Except you won't feed me, house me, and look after the REST of my life... it's easier to be Mr Plod and wave the finger at someone else than have to actually take responsibility for them. And that's what the MHL is - an attempt to take responsibility for me on the road, but it's garbage because that is the ONLY attempt at protecting me. I don't fall over on the road. I can hit by a car through no fault of mine - where is the additional rules to stop that car being close to me, if the state is REALLY concerned about me? They aren't there, because the state is concerned about control and not the citizens. MHL has been roundly rejected as an effective protection for cyclists. No repeal says "yes it was about destroying cycling".

Have a chat to 2nd Womble and his work for Safe Cycling Australia; how incredibly hard it is to get change even when there is agreement and consensus. If you want to control people, then at least do it properly. MHL isn't.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby human909 » Tue Aug 06, 2013 2:59 pm

From the forum next door....

http://www.ecf.com/news/helmet-law-to-h ... newswatch/

But of coure MHL have little to with achieving health benefits and everything to to with enforcing individual ideology on others. :roll: What I find more sad than the government regulation is the many enthusiasts who strongly advocate it.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby ILMB » Tue Aug 06, 2013 11:08 pm

Your debate works for me Xplora.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby human909 » Sun Aug 11, 2013 9:58 pm

http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensl ... z2bYnjlYf2

The Brisbane City Council would support trials of helmet-free zones with the support of the state government, following a review of Queensland's cycling laws.
In a submission to a parliamentary review of cycling issues, BCC CEO Colin Jensen writes the council would consider “relaxation” of the helmet requirement in “low risk locations”.
“This could include areas such as pathways in parks and along river and creek corridors where there is no interface with vehicular traffic,” Mr Jensen said.
“Council offers its support to assist the Queensland Government in reviewing these matters including the introduction of potential trial programs.”
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Such an amendment could help mitigate pressure on the council to provide helmets as part of its shared CityCycle bike hire scheme which has cost ratepayers $14 million over the past four years.
Lord Mayor Graham Quirk said on Friday that while he supported the mandatory use of helmets for road cyclists, "I’m more relaxed about making helmets voluntary for those taking a leisurely cycle ride along a bikeway or in a park and supportive of a trial in such low-risk locations".
“I’ve committed $120 million over four years to deliver safe, appealing paths and local streets that encourage more people to take up walking and cycling,” he said.
But the BCC submission was just one of 106 made to the Inquiry of Cycling Issues, which was motioned in June for the purpose of improving the interaction of cyclists with other road users.
Plans from the RACQ, the Sunshine Coast City Council, private individuals and various cycling groups also number among those now being considered by the Transport Housing and Local Government Committee.
A submission from the Queensland Injury Surveillance Unit said trend data indicated proportion of bicycle-related crashes relative to all transport related presentations had fluctuated between 8 and 14 per cent over the past 14 years.
However, there has been some recent upward activity, with the proportion rising from 8 per cent in 2004 to 14 per cent in 2012.
According to the QISU data the peak age group for injury presentations due to a bicycle-related crash was 25-44 years, and males accounted for 79 per cent of injury presentations due to bicycle-related crashes.
But QISU does not collect data from every emergency facility in the state, and notes in its submission the estimated adult data collected represents only about one fifth of all adult injury presentations to emergency departments in the state.
“Therefore, numbers presented below could be multiplied by a factor of five, in order to get a rough minimum estimate of true bicycle-related injury numbers presenting to Queensland emergency departments,” the report says.
According to the data, there were 30,764 bicycle related injuries between 1999 and 2012.
Other changes being considered through the review, announced by Transport Minister Scott Emerson in June, include the introduction of a one-metre overtaking rule, and bicycle registration.
At the time, Bicycle Queensland's Ben Wilson said the review was "timely and sensible", but cautioned people against jumping to easy conclusions.
The committee is due to hand their report back to the legislative assembly by November.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Percrime » Mon Aug 12, 2013 4:03 pm

Hmmm. A whole day.. and not one person has posted on how change is never going to happen.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Xplora » Mon Aug 12, 2013 4:46 pm

Partial repeal is a great start; once people realise that the sky won't fall in, they will be able to relax further. The Greens are mad enough to take this on board and push it, and the ALP politically are weak enough in the states now to fall into line with such an easy to accept policy change. Suddenly boom; change is here.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby DavidS » Mon Aug 12, 2013 11:58 pm

Given that the flimsy excuses for a helmet they force us to wear are no use against motor vehicles I can't see the logic in this. Slow single vehicle accidents are where bike helmets are most effective, the very fact that there are moves to remove compulsory helmets for this very situation just exposes how ridiculous the law is. Still, helmet exemptions are the first step to repeal so I hope it goes ahead.

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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby VRE » Tue Aug 13, 2013 7:27 am

How on earth is helmet-free zones supposed to work? If cyclists are riding into or out of one of these zones, they'll still have to carry a helmet with them :roll: . Like others, I'm hoping that this will lead to better things, but the trial sounds impractical.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby richbee » Tue Aug 13, 2013 8:48 am

Very simple, I pack my leisure cycling family into the car with bikes on top, drive to Gyatts park, ferry across the river to West End and cycle along Riverside drive to South Bank, on the footpaths where roads are open to traffic, and on the road the bits where it's closed. Or we hop onto the Western Freeway cyclepath where it passes near to my home and cycle on the dedicated and shared bikeways to Rocks Riverside. At Rocks we can then happily ride around the fully enclosed pathways free to choose whether to wear a helmet or not.
Naturally my daughter being fully brainwashed by her commuter racer father will wear her helmet all the time, but that then is my diktat, oops, her choice, and not the whim of some well intentioned but uninformed safeticrat.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby VRE » Tue Aug 13, 2013 8:58 am

richbee wrote:Very simple, I pack my leisure cycling family into the car with bikes on top, drive to Gyatts park, ferry across the river to West End and cycle along Riverside drive to South Bank, on the footpaths where roads are open to traffic, and on the road the bits where it's closed. Or we hop onto the Western Freeway cyclepath where it passes near to my home and cycle on the dedicated and shared bikeways to Rocks Riverside. At Rocks we can then happily ride around the fully enclosed pathways free to choose whether to wear a helmet or not.
Naturally my daughter being fully brainwashed by her commuter racer father will wear her helmet all the time, but that then is my diktat, oops, her choice, and not the whim of some well intentioned but uninformed safeticrat.

That doesn't address my comment, which is that you still need to ride through the helmet-free zones carrying helmets with you, unless you either drive/PT/walk to the start of these zones, or ride helmet-free through some zones where helmets are mandatory. That will reduce the practicality of this scheme. As I said, I'm hoping this scheme will result in better outcomes, but they're creating a major obstruction to the scheme with this zoning idea.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Xplora » Tue Aug 13, 2013 9:47 am

VRE, rich answered that comment already. First line. "I pack my leisure cycling family into the car with bikes on top, drive to Gyatts park"

And yes, it is very impractical, but that's a good thing. We've got a far more impractical law right now; anything to bring back the veil of the great Oz would be great.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby high_tea » Tue Aug 13, 2013 12:24 pm

Xplora wrote:VRE, rich answered that comment already. First line. "I pack my leisure cycling family into the car with bikes on top, drive to Gyatts park"

And yes, it is very impractical, but that's a good thing. We've got a far more impractical law right now; anything to bring back the veil of the great Oz would be great.


One of the stated reasons is to increase CityCycle uptake. CityCycle stations are heavily concentrated in an area with lots of offroad shared paths. So for that particular situation, it's actually fairly practical.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby lturner » Tue Aug 13, 2013 7:12 pm

http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/no-bike-helmet-required-in-certain-lowrisk-areas-under-brisbane-city-council-plan/comments-fnihsrf2-1226695824063

A POTENTIAL trial allowing cyclists to go helmet-free in parks and dedicated bikeways has drawn a mixed response, with least one other Queensland mayor backing Brisbane City Council's "commonsense" attitude to state cycling laws.
Cycling and safety groups, and council opposition, however, are warning relaxing current helmet rules could have dire consequences, including more head injuries and possible deaths.
Brisbane City Council CEO Colin Jensen has indicated council would support a trial of optional helmets in areas like parks and dedicated bikeways where riders were not at risk from traffic, with the backing of the State Government.
In a submission to the Parliamentary Transport, Public Housing and Local Government Committee's Inquiry into Cycling Issues, he also wrote that the council continued to back mandatory helmets in areas of potential conflict between motorists and cyclists.
Lord Mayor Graham Quirk said while helmets should be compulsory where there was a risk of "interaction with motor vehicles", relaxing rules in less dangerous situations could encourage recreational cycling.
"I felt it was a common sense outcome - give a bit of flexibility for people," he said.
Despite opposition claims the proposal was designed to improve use of the controversial CityCycle scheme, Cr Quirk said there would likely be limited impact on the bike hire initiative as many of its bays and routes were located near roads.
General manager of Kangaroo Point's Riverlife, Josh Wicks, who offers bike hire among other leisure activities, said he could see some merit in the proposal and believed it would encourage CityCycle use.
He added regulating such a proposal could be tricky and he would have misgivings about allowing his customers to go helmet free.
"I could absolutely see that being worthwhile in terms of getting people to use CityCycle bikes because I think the main deterrent to using them is the mandatory helmet laws in Queensland," he said.
"It is tricky though because even on the footpaths in front of us it can get pretty intense (bike) traffic and fairly fast cyclists coming through."
Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale said he personally supported examining helmet rules in recreational, settings like parks.
"There has to be some common sense.
"I can understand when people are on roads and in traffic and places governed by the Queensland Government traffic laws but I think when people are just mucking around for recreational purposes there could be some flexibility," he said.
CEO of cycling safety group the Amy Gillett Foundation, Tracey Gaudry, said she would not support any relaxation of helmet laws.
Cycling Queensland CEO Geoff Rynne said relaxing helmet laws would result in more head injuries or potential deaths.
"You can undertake all the risk assessment but at the end of the day it will still happen and it will happen too regularly unfortunately."
BCC's submission is just one of more than 100 being considered by the parliamentary committee, canvassing cycling issues, including a potential mandatory one metre separation between riders and cars on roads, and the need to register bicycles.
Committee chairman Howard Hobbs would not rule out relaxing compulsory bicycle helmet laws, in line with submissions from the Brisbane City Council and various cycling groups.
"Our brief is to look at the whole lot. Anything's open at this stage," he said.
"I think there's a general acceptance of helmets. There was a dramatic reduction in the deaths of cyclists when helmets were made compulsory but that could've been for two reasons - one, helmets provided better protection for cyclists, and two, people got the whoops and decided not to ride a bicycle."
Transport Minister Scott Emerson said he was keen to get reactions from the committee, particularly out of a series of public meetings to be held over the next month.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby human909 » Tue Aug 13, 2013 7:28 pm

Appalling that cycling advocacy groups are against this.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Mulger bill » Tue Aug 13, 2013 10:20 pm

human909 wrote:Appalling that cycling advocacy groups are against this.

Could you imagine the meeja led "public" outcry if they weren't?

"State cycling body WANTS your child to die on our roads!!!"
"In an explosive email from Beau Tye, head of the states peak cycling body exclusively leaked to the fascist times today, it was revealed that BQVWNTW supports a push from radical cyclist groups to abolish the mandatory hemlet laws that have saved the lives of hundreds of thousands of Australian children since they were enacted to global acclaim in the 1980s"


Add in a veiled implication or two that these "radical cycling groups" have "close ties" with "bicycle terrorists" Critical Mass and that relaxing the MHL will actually mean the outlawing of hemlet wearing entirely and the resulting tsunami of outrage will most likely result in demonisation of these groups to a level that has the 1%er motorcycle clubs grinning from ear to ear because someone else is drawing the crabs, finally leading to concerned citizens calling for the oulawing of all BuGs nationwide.

Yes, this is tongue in cheek, slightly.
...whatever the road rules, self-preservation is the absolute priority for a cyclist when mixing it with motorised traffic.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Xplora » Tue Aug 13, 2013 11:40 pm

They are just another lobby group. Australian Christian Lobby might have some things to say that people disagree with. I know I disagree with PETA's lobbyists, etc etc etc.

Amy Gillett would be turning in her grave if she saw what the organisation bearing her name has done, leveraging her death. It's just appalling, and has made me question EVERY SINGLE NPO out there. Yes, I kid you not. I am concerned about the hidden agendas for all these organisations, because it just seems like a gravy train for some, to keep the status quo. That's you Tracey. You haven't achieved anything. Your comments have nothing to do with the interests of cyclists of any kind. I assume you put tin foil under your helmet, because it's more logical than telling the public that you endorse restrictions on cycling.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby DavidS » Tue Aug 13, 2013 11:56 pm

human909 wrote:Appalling that cycling advocacy groups are against this.


Totally agree.

Look at the quotes from various Mayors, Lord Mayors and the like, do they realise we rode bicycles quite safely on the roads for over 100 years without helmets, that all but 2 countries in the world have millions of cyclists who get around without helmets? Must be carnage in those countries . . . oh, maybe not, maybe it's just not so dangerous to ride a bike after all.

The irony of their advocating the necessity of legislating that we wear helmets when mixing it with cars weighing over a tonne, when the mandated helmet offers scant protection against an object of that weight, is certainly not lost on me.

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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby VRE » Wed Aug 21, 2013 8:17 am

http://www.slideshare.net/Amsterdamize/why-bicycle-helmets-are-not-effective-in-the-reduction-of-injuries-of-cyclists
Clearly and concisely written, and the section titled "The Yes, Buts" is something you don't see in most articles discussing this topic.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Xplora » Wed Aug 21, 2013 9:02 am

I liked his point about the holistic approach to treating the issue of negative health outcomes from cycling - the fact that current medical practice only treats the disease and not the person (or society they live in). As a result, the poor health outcomes from inactivity are ignored because they don't present as cyclist injuries, even though holistically they might be directly related.

The Yes Buts make it patently clear that discrimination is the real justification for the MHL.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby simonn » Wed Aug 21, 2013 10:15 am

Xplora wrote:As a result, the poor health outcomes from inactivity are ignored because they don't present as cyclist injuries, even though holistically they might be directly related.


Because they are not cycling injuries. You do not get sick from not cycling. You get sick through not exercising. There are plenty of ways of exercising that do not involve cycling, not least the default method of human locomotion... walking.

Before you say "but but The Netherlands! Copenhagen!" etc etc, they also have very good PT (which, by default encourages walking, and cycling - for different reasons). They also have worse results (as measured by longevity) from and more expensive (as measured by %GDP spent on) healthcare than Australia (go figure! Smoking! <- so if public health is really your concern, but the impacts of freedom ... infinite recursion.... BOOM!).

The problem is reliance on the car. Part of, not "the", solution is cycling. I would argue, regardless of what I would like the case to be, that decent PT actually and demonstrably has a much larger impact on reducing car usage than anything else - which, of course, in turn has great benefits for cycling too. There is also plenty of evidence that cyclists tend to ride instead of using PT, not ride instead of using a car.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby human909 » Wed Aug 21, 2013 11:22 am

simonn wrote:Because they are not cycling injuries. You do not get sick from not cycling. You get sick through not exercising. There are plenty of ways of exercising that do not involve cycling, not least the default method of human locomotion... walking.


This is a tired and nonsensical argument. The same argument could be used to say that running, swimming or any specific exercise is a not a net benefit to your health. :roll: Of course increase in one activity has a substitution effect for all individuals and that will vary depending on each individual . But assuming that increasing cycling participation would have no effect on total exercise is plainly absurd.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Xplora » Wed Aug 21, 2013 11:56 am

I think cycling has a unique aspect because it is a commute option, and will (on average) require more physiological effort on behalf of the user than walking (which is obviously a commute option) because walking/running doesn't facilitate 10-20km commutes as effectively as a bike does, especially from an impact perspective. I could not run as hard as I ride, my joints and bones won't tolerate it. I'm skinny, many others will struggle to cope with the impact from running as well. Cycling is the easy option of a range of harder options that exclude the car.
All of these would be better than a car from an exercise perspective, but I accept that commute on foot is unrealistic for most citydwellers, whereas maybe 25% of people could realistically ride a bike regardless of the distance. Higher than 1-2%!!!
I'll gladly accept that we are in furious agreement about the car. I think the key is not that cycling is the only alternative, but the general attitude towards an alternative creates very serious implications for the community. Do you think a lady who runs 10kms to work in all weather every day is nuts? Why is she nuts? She saves money, I'm certain has a lean body that most women would kill for, let alone the men :lol: and she would be much more useful at work for the effort. The health aspect is completely overlooked and we label them weird, and put them on a pedestal as if such a feat was beyond natural means.
While you are certainly right, simonn, I don't think you're allowing a reasonable amount of nuance to the arguments presented. Nothing exists in a bubble, and we can be reasonable to allow extra-bubble ideas to intermingle even if they aren't explicitly stated. The bike isn't the only option, but let's be fair and allow the main arguments to flow. Once we accept your position that bikes aren't the only option, what do you propose to move forward, if cars are the main problem, and bikes aren't the only answer?
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby human909 » Wed Aug 21, 2013 12:29 pm

I'm considered super active and athletic and fit by my "normal friends". I climb, I hike, I ski, I cycle, I mountain bike and a bunch of other things.

But the truth is that when I am busy working and driving from home to office to site I don't get enough exercise in a week. My lack of fitness and my slight weight gain last year was testament to that. For me incidental exercise is my saviour. I'm back riding most days and my health is better for it. Most of my riding is under 7km yet doing this 5 times a week is enough to keep me quite fit. Personally, my health and well-being is drastically improved by cycling. I know many others like this too.

To suggest that increasing cycling participation amongst the general population won't have health improvements is lunacy.
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