Where a helmet while overseas

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Where a helmet while overseas

Postby jemo27 » Wed Jun 26, 2013 10:01 am

Because in Australia you have to wear a bicycle helmet, I have got used to wear a helmet while cycling but in other countries there are no laws about wearing a helmet.

What has been your experience been with going overseas while cycle touring in relation to wearing a bicycle helmet?

I'm heading overseas soon and plan on wearing my helmet just feel safer with it on and because cycle touring involves cycling on roads with traffic going quick.
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by BNA » Wed Jun 26, 2013 4:03 pm

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Re: Where a helmet while overseas

Postby il padrone » Wed Jun 26, 2013 4:03 pm

We've been cycletouring in Italy for the past two and a half months. We both wear our helmets all the time - well, 99% of the time. I will leave the helmet off if I'm just riding up the street. It is probably just the result of a 30 year habit for me, plus it's easier to wear the darn thing than to find somewhere to carry it.

Other cyclists wearing helmets are mainly road racing types on training rides (only about 80%) and travelling cycletourists (about 40%). Many such recreational cycling enthusiasts are happy to ride with no helmet. People just riding about, in cities towns and on country roads virtually never wear a helmet.
Riding bikes in traffic - what seems dangerous is usually safe; what seems safe is often more dangerous.
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Re: Where a helmet while overseas

Postby scirocco » Wed Jun 26, 2013 8:42 pm

When in places like Europe I usually leave the helmet off while climbing, because it's cooler and speeds are low. If I'm unsupported I'll leave it on, because, like others have said, you have to carry it and if so it might as well be on your head.

Back on for descents and flat riding.
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Re: Where a helmet while overseas

Postby biker jk » Wed Jun 26, 2013 9:50 pm

I did a cycle tour through Germany and Austria with a German company and just about all the group were German but for my wife and I. As such, we chose not to take our helmets. I felt strange riding without my helmet and in hindsight should have taken it. A few years later when riding in France we took our helmets and were much happier riding with them. Even when climbing Mt Ventoux in 35 deg heat I wore my helmet and there were plenty of others doing likewise.
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Re: Where a helmet while overseas

Postby toolonglegs » Wed Jun 26, 2013 10:09 pm

Rarely wear a helmet... Only when obliged to ( racing and guiding ).
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Re: Where a helmet while overseas

Postby Marx » Wed Jun 26, 2013 10:14 pm

I think it's best to wear it. All the really bad cycling accidents seem to happen in Europe.
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Re: Where a helmet while overseas

Postby Nate » Fri Jun 28, 2013 6:04 am

When climbing - no
tootling around a city on a hire bike (london, dublin, Montpellier) & where the drivers are REALLY polite, cautious & observant - no

downhill (AT) 75km/h - yes
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Re: Where a helmet while overseas

Postby il padrone » Sat Jun 29, 2013 7:15 am

Nate wrote:When climbing - no
tootling around a city on a hire bike (london, dublin, Montpellier) & where the drivers are REALLY polite, cautious & observant - no

downhill (AT) 75km/h - yes

That's just the thing though - I can get all of those things in one day of touring (like today). Seeing as I'll need the helmet for part of many days I may as well carry it on my head rather than having it swinging from the bars or trying to find room to pack it in the bags.
Riding bikes in traffic - what seems dangerous is usually safe; what seems safe is often more dangerous.
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Re: Where a helmet while overseas

Postby Nate » Wed Jul 03, 2013 8:25 am

il padrone wrote:
Nate wrote:When climbing - no
tootling around a city on a hire bike (london, dublin, Montpellier) & where the drivers are REALLY polite, cautious & observant - no

downhill (AT) 75km/h - yes

That's just the thing though - I can get all of those things in one day of touring (like today). Seeing as I'll need the helmet for part of many days I may as well carry it on my head rather than having it swinging from the bars or trying to find room to pack it in the bags.


oh yeah of course - you gotta lug it around
but in 34deg sun & ascending at 9km/h - much better on the bars than the head.
HUGE difference in overheating with it on
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Re: Where a helmet while overseas

Postby Meditator » Tue Jul 23, 2013 3:01 am

I just got home from france. I wera a helmet because i am prone to falling off. This time i bought a new bike and on hte first day i noticed the handlebars weren't fixed enough and i tried to kick the wheel straight while still on the bike. I bounced over the front and cracked my head on the hard ground. My head was actually ok becuase i was wearing a helment but the foam is completely cracked.

Also all the french cyclists wear helmets. Not those in the cities so much but the club cyclists love their bike gear. Most tourers i saw wore helmets as well. MIght as well.

Going up a mountain yes it gets hot i am inclined to think that having something on the head actually protects you from overheating. It was intense when i was in the pyrenees and i admit i was pushing my bike a fiar bit so would walk from shade to shade and i didn't suffer so much at all. Unlike the poor german woman who tried to race up the col and nearly got heatstroke after an exceedingly shot period of time because she couldn't adjust her cycling behaviour to the conditions. Also you have to drink a lot in such conditions. and frequently cool yourself down if you are feeling like you are cooking.
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Re: Where a helmet while overseas

Postby toolonglegs » Tue Jul 23, 2013 3:17 am

Meditator wrote:Also all the french cyclists wear helmets. Not those in the cities so much but the club cyclists love their bike gear. Most tourers i saw wore helmets as well. MIght as well.

it's about 2/3'rds of club cyclists who wear helmets when they aren't obliged to.... Certainly not all
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Re: Where a helmet while overseas

Postby DavidI » Tue Jul 23, 2013 12:46 pm

I visited my cousin in The Netherlands a decade ago, and before going out for a bike ride she advised "Don't wear a helmet, all the locals will think you're American!"
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Re: Where a helmet while overseas

Postby clackers » Tue Jul 23, 2013 2:40 pm

Meditator wrote: I wera a helmet because i am prone to falling off. This time i bought a new bike and on hte first day i noticed the handlebars weren't fixed enough and i tried to kick the wheel straight while still on the bike.


Um, with that level of decision making, Meditator, you may want to simply walk around all day with that helmet on, just in case! :grin:

(Just jealous of what must have been a terrific holiday! )
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Re: Where a helmet while overseas

Postby Meditator » Tue Jul 23, 2013 4:20 pm

Yes i do some silly things some times but luckily not all my decision making is that bad. Yes it was a good trip.
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