Posts Tagged ‘Lycra’

Wearing bicycle helmets increases injuries.

December 2, 2016
Helvi in Amsterdam

Helvi in Amsterdam

It seems a contradiction. But according to some reading, The Netherlands, where just about everyone rides a bicycle, those injured in bicycle accidents are most likely to be those wearing helmets. Surely, when a Dutch head hits the ground it is equally painful? Is the head of a Dutch non helmet-wearer harder? Of course not. However, what the investigators found is that the few that do wear helmets in Holland (less than -.5%) it is because they ride mountain bikes or racing bikes. In other words they engage in some form of competitive bicycle riding, which normal bicycle riders don’t. In Holland the danger to bicycle riders is the motor car not the cycling. This is why both are separated as much as possible.

I am sorry for giving you this link. (Just be happy I did not publish the full text!) Here in Australia, the issue of bicycling is truly and well in the hands of sport and fashion. The fact the Government is even thinking of imposing identity on bicycle riders seems to indicate that riding bicycles is seen as dangerous enough in case of accidents. And, they are right. It is dangerous because riding bicycles is much more seen as a sport instead as a way to getting from A-B. The way the rider dresses up. Hours are spent to get into artery-tight lycra. I bet the sperm counts count are drastically lower in male bicycle riders, and I am not even a doctor. The shoes alone costs hundreds and have to be multi ribbed for speed and brightly coloured. If the fashion is not expensive enough, has anyone looked at the cost of those bicycles? You can spend thousands.

Most bicycles in Australia are also highly dangerous. They fall mainly in racing bicycles genre.  They are supposed to be ridden with head lower than bum, facing the ground. How dangerous is that? They have very thin tyres. When those tyres are slightly underinflated it doesn’t take much for the steel rim to connect to the road and the inevitable tumble of the rider. Then, we have here, like in America a very aggressive car-riding population. They think nothing of tooting their horn making sure the bicycle rider understands it is the car drivers’ domain. There have been jailing of drivers who were shown to deliberately drive in to bicycle riders.

In Holland it is proven that the car driver is the one who ought to wear helmets. Far more people get head injuries driving cars than riding bicycles.

Here a copy from WWW. “Tree huggers.”

“It’s also Dutch policy not to encourage helmets because overall it is counterproductive; if you could somehow preserve the bicycle use we see today AND also wear helmets, yes, a few deaths would be avoided. But in practice you can’t promote helmets without discouraging cycling – where helmets have been made mandatory, cycling levels drop. That has a public health cost — lack of exercise is far more dangerous than biking without a helmet. The exact value of “far more dangerous” depends on the local risk of cycling – in England the estimate is that per cyclist the risk:reward ratio is about 1:10; here in the US (with our riskier roads) it is about 1:5, but in the Netherlands it is 1:25. That is, for each year of life lost to bicycle crashes in the Netherlands, 25 years are gained from better health because of the exercise.”


“You’re talking about the Netherlands, where helmet use is almost non-existent, bike use is very high, and yet it has the lowest cycling death and injury rate in the world.
If helmets really were effective, the USA would be the safest place to cycle, right?…

the Dutch don’t need bike helmets because cycling is not an intrinsically dangerous activity – it’s the road environment that is dangerous, and the Dutch have created a safe cycling environment.

The majority of head injuries are sustained by car occupants. Perhaps it is motor vehicle drivers and their passengers who should be wearing helmets?

Similarly, from dr2chase:

Because it doesn’t make sense — cycling there is 5 times safer than cycling here in the US. It would make more sense (that is, the risk is higher) to ask you why you don’t wear a helmet when you drive your car. To put it differently – your risk of head injury per trip or per hour is higher if you drive a car in the US, than if you ride a bike in the Netherlands.”

A Game of Chess anyone?

February 7, 2013

A game of chess anyone?

I just knew it. Competitive sport brings out the worst. Has anyone listened to the news? Did I not advice over and over again to award losers in sport instead of the winners? This is going to be big, I mean really big. Australia and sport are one. Forget about Craig Thompson, Slipper and Obeid. That’s just confetti for a reluctant shy bride. No one is going to catch the bridal bouquet from this lot of corrupt, drug addled doped up sport junkies.

The truth has now come out, glaringly.  The minister for sport looked glum. Drugs, crime, doping, gangsters are the catch words in sport now. Woe the parent that enrolls their child in sport from now on. Soon after this evening news I went for walk.  I already noticed children near our park running away from a ball that threatened to roll towards them. Within days people will be burning balls, cricket bats, sport-commentators will be strung up from goal posts. In the dark of the night people will be jettison their boxer shorts, in kerbs you will find redolent of sweaty thighs Lycra cycle gear, knee pads and other sport paraphernalia. I noticed rugby balls sticking out of the Salvos bins. The revolution against sport has begun.

The fault is not in sport but rather in insisting that the ‘winning’ is more important than just playing it. Not everyone was as lucky as I was in choosing sport as one of those activities that should only be indulged in for the fun of it, but ditched it as soon as I heard ‘winning’. I like the fun, the pure enjoyment of kicking a ball as hard as possible or to slice through a wave feeling the water rushing by. Alas, I had trouble finding sport loving friends who did not think that winning were all important. They thought of my tennis playing weird for never knowing the score. I left the tennis club.

Of course, it was always on the cards this would happen. The insane emphasis on winning trophies and medals took away what sport is about, a healthy way of burning of energy and excess calories. I played basket ball years ago for Scarborough but resigned when the coach rebuked me for throwing a ball in the basket of the opposite team, the nerve of him trying to lesson my joy of running and leaping about trying to get the ball in a basket. Who cared which basket?

There was just no enjoyment. Of course, awarding losers might sound silly but when you think that winning only awards the one entity and the rest made out losers, there is a lot that seems to stick in my craw from a social point of view. Does that not encourage the drug and doping that is now occurring worldwide? Why anyone wants to win is also a bit dodgy when you consider that it is likely most won’t. So what if you kick the ball a bit slower or in the wrong direction. Isn’t kicking the aim? If you kick slower or swim in the opposite direction, you are a loser? Come off it. Winning above everything else in sport is insane. It creates whole armies of despondent, depressed losers. No wonder sport had been drawn into drug, crime and despair.

If you are going to award medals, what about medals for empathy, tolerance, stroking a snake, kindness, knitting socks at the railway station, feeding a hungry duck or smiling at a brave lady slowly crossing an intersection, catch a shooting star? Where are the competitions in housing refugees, a race to house the homeless or feed the flotsam of society, the mentally ill and those lost souls with the dark disturbed look sitting forlornly on the park bench? Where is the race for communal inclusiveness whereby no one will ever be allowed to die unknown, unloved, uncared, a pauper’s grave?  Where are the medals and expert coaches to lower our incarceration rates or lower our unwanted teen pregnancies and those lost knee deep in gloom and despair?


There is one sport I would exclude from being subject to my scorn and deeply felt aversion in having to win at all cost. It is a sport that includes a king, a queen, rooks, knights and castles, pawns and a lot more. It is a compulsory subject at school in some countries and is often played outdoors. Everyone can play it, even ex rugby players and gangsters. You don’t need to win but is fun if you do. Just enjoy it.

It is a game and sport called Chess.