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Footage goes viral - after soparking helmet debate

A video of a father dashing after his son to prevent him from crashing his bike into a parked car has been grabbing a l;ot of attention on Reddit - but not for the reason you might think.

 The footage, which you can watch here,  shows the father steadying his son's bike on a quiet suburban street before giving him a little push to help him on his way.

The father is jogging alongside his son as the youngster makes his first pedal strokes - then suddenly sprints into action as the nipper veers towards a parked car.

For many commenting on the video on Reddit, however, the quick-thinking father's prompt action to prevent a crash wasn't the most striking thing about the video, with the first commenter observing, "That kid needs a helmet" - an opinion that inevitably has sparked a debate on the subject.

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.

422 comments

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don simon [1713 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes

Read a few of the comments which seemed quite tame, but couldn't be arsed reading the lot.

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FrankH [79 posts] 1 month ago
16 likes

Dad is running the same speed as the kid.

If Dad falls his head hits the ground from a greater height than the kid's would.

Therefore: Dad needs a helmet more than the kid.

Anybody care to fault my logic?

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Mark_1973_ [43 posts] 1 month ago
8 likes
FrankH wrote:

Dad is running the same speed as the kid.

If Dad falls his head hits the ground from a greater height than the kid's would.

Therefore: Dad needs a helmet more than the kid.

Anybody care to fault my logic?

 

Yes.

i. The child is much more likely to fall than the adult as he is wobbling along on an unstable two wheeled vehicle that he is not yet competent to control

ii. The child is likely to have slower reflexes than the adult

iii. The child's head is proportionally heavier than the adult's with a weaker neck so will have more momentum and strike the ground proportionally harder with greater force

iv. The child's skull is still not fully formed so will possibly be subjected to more lasting damage

v. The child's outstretched arms probably have insufficient strength to prevent his head hitting the ground, should he fall

vi. The child probably has less experience of falling and, therefore, of controlling a fall

p.s. I couldn't care less who wears a helmet but the angle you've approached this from is so tiring. A helmet has saved me from serious injury on three occasions so I choose to wear one.

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Jamminatrix [187 posts] 1 month ago
3 likes

Target fixation. Very common phenomenon... Be it bicycles, motorcycles, jet skis, etc.

Years ago when we were kids, my brother learned to ride his bike, ran through sprinklers and his rim brakes got wet...rather than just coast to a stop in open space he just target fixated our Dad's car.

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jimt [25 posts] 1 month ago
6 likes
Jamminatrix wrote:

Target fixation. Very common phenomenon... Be it bicycles, motorcycles, jet skis, etc. Years ago when we were kids, my brother learned to ride his bike, ran through sprinklers and his rim brakes got wet...rather than just coast to a stop in open space he just target fixated our Dad's car.

 

Totally avoidable. Obviously using deep section carbon rims with wrong pads.. Totaly avoidable with discs. blush 

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portec [120 posts] 1 month ago
15 likes
jimt wrote:

Totally avoidable. Obviously using deep section carbon rims with wrong pads.. Totaly avoidable with discs. blush 

Oh great, a helmet debate combined with a disc brake debate! Some heads are going to explode.

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alansmurphy [1482 posts] 1 month ago
5 likes

Not sure why you wouldn't stick a lid on a kid when teaching them to ride...

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kemakris [6 posts] 1 month ago
7 likes

Nevermind helmets, barefoot on a public highway? He could stand on a rusty nail, contract blood poisoning and die from sepsis! Totally irresponsible!

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don simon [1713 posts] 1 month ago
11 likes
alansmurphy wrote:

Not sure why you wouldn't stick a lid on a kid when teaching them to ride...

Did anyone learn to ride without a helmet?

Are you dead?

I rest my case.

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ConcordeCX [561 posts] 1 month ago
27 likes
don simon wrote:
alansmurphy wrote:

Not sure why you wouldn't stick a lid on a kid when teaching them to ride...

Did anyone learn to ride without a helmet?

Are you dead?

I rest my case.

my father, his brothers and sisters, their parents, aunts and uncles and their grandparents and great grandparents learned to ride their bikes without helmets, and every single one of them is dead now.

My great-great aunt Cissie on the other hand never learned to ride a bike at all, but she went everywhere in a brass fireman's helmet, and she's 173 now.

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Jitensha Oni [98 posts] 1 month ago
8 likes

Wha?! Guy’s not wearing shoes - who knows what might happen there!! Tetanus, sepsis, gangrene, leaving the kid fatherless. Totally irresponsible.
I like a good shoe debate, me.

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dodpeters [31 posts] 1 month ago
10 likes

Everybody I know that recommends wearing a helmet learned to ride without one...

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BehindTheBikesheds [1137 posts] 1 month ago
7 likes
Mark_1973_ wrote:
FrankH wrote:

Dad is running the same speed as the kid.

If Dad falls his head hits the ground from a greater height than the kid's would.

Therefore: Dad needs a helmet more than the kid.

Anybody care to fault my logic?

 

Yes.

i. The child is much more likely to fall than the adult as he is wobbling along on an unstable two wheeled vehicle that he is not yet competent to control

ii. The child is likely to have slower reflexes than the adult

iii. The child's head is proportionally heavier than the adult's with a weaker neck so will have more momentum and strike the ground proportionally harder with greater force

iv. The child's skull is still not fully formed so will possibly be subjected to more lasting damage

v. The child's outstretched arms probably have insufficient strength to prevent his head hitting the ground, should he fall

vi. The child probably has less experience of falling and, therefore, of controlling a fall

p.s. I couldn't care less who wears a helmet but the angle you've approached this from is so tiring. A helmet has saved me from serious injury on three occasions so I choose to wear one.

12 child deaths in motors solely due to head injury in England and Wales, totl child cycling deaths in whole of UK of ALL ijury types, SIX, this is 2016 stats.

Increasing child head weight by 20% in many cases and increasing head size increases chance of head strike when falling.

Child head can withstand greater force than helmet before breaking.

Children wearing 'safety' aids take massively greater risks, ergo more injuries incl heads. Cotton wooling kids NEVER EVER works to make them safer.

Child head injury rate whilst cycling massively less than other aspects in life including playground etc.

Despite this being common https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qB1b5cVK138  there were SIX child deaths in NL on bikes in 2016, their kids cycle a shit ton more than ours as do babies/infants with no helmets.

a helmet has killed a child through wearing it in UK.

Deaths/injuries of children from stabbing and guns ... solution, bullet/stab proof vests right?

You have no idea.

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davel [2052 posts] 1 month ago
9 likes
Mark_1973_ wrote:

A helmet has saved me from serious injury on three occasions so I choose to wear one.

Unfortunately it proved completely pervious to confirmation bias.

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poppa [63 posts] 1 month ago
5 likes
Mark_1973_ wrote:
FrankH wrote:

Dad is running the same speed as the kid.

If Dad falls his head hits the ground from a greater height than the kid's would.

Therefore: Dad needs a helmet more than the kid.

Anybody care to fault my logic?

 

Yes.

i. The child is much more likely to fall than the adult as he is wobbling along on an unstable two wheeled vehicle that he is not yet competent to control

ii. The child is likely to have slower reflexes than the adult

iii. The child's head is proportionally heavier than the adult's with a weaker neck so will have more momentum and strike the ground proportionally harder with greater force

iv. The child's skull is still not fully formed so will possibly be subjected to more lasting damage

v. The child's outstretched arms probably have insufficient strength to prevent his head hitting the ground, should he fall

vi. The child probably has less experience of falling and, therefore, of controlling a fall

p.s. I couldn't care less who wears a helmet but the angle you've approached this from is so tiring. A helmet has saved me from serious injury on three occasions so I choose to wear one.

Only your first point is specific to the child riding a bike. Therefore, presumably, children should wear helmets at all times?

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Rich_cb [530 posts] 1 month ago
3 likes
davel wrote:
Mark_1973_ wrote:

A helmet has saved me from serious injury on three occasions so I choose to wear one.

Unfortunately it proved completely pervious to confirmation bias.

If only everyone could be as objective as you eh?

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alansmurphy [1482 posts] 1 month ago
1 like
don simon wrote:
alansmurphy wrote:

Not sure why you wouldn't stick a lid on a kid when teaching them to ride...

Did anyone learn to ride without a helmet?

Are you dead?

I rest my case.

No but I crashed wearing a helmet and I'm not dead. I rest my case.

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davel [2052 posts] 1 month ago
5 likes
Rich_cb wrote:
davel wrote:
Mark_1973_ wrote:

A helmet has saved me from serious injury on three occasions so I choose to wear one.

Unfortunately it proved completely pervious to confirmation bias.

If only everyone could be as objective as you eh?

I can post some graphs that don't prove the point I'm trying to make if you like?

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don simon [1713 posts] 1 month ago
2 likes
davel wrote:
Rich_cb wrote:
davel wrote:
Mark_1973_ wrote:

A helmet has saved me from serious injury on three occasions so I choose to wear one.

Unfortunately it proved completely pervious to confirmation bias.

If only everyone could be as objective as you eh?

I can post some graphs that don't prove the point I'm trying to make if you like?

Only if supported with anecdotal facts.

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Legin [142 posts] 1 month ago
2 likes

Who gives a FF; my fits bike ride age 5, my brother pushed me off down a hill so that I'd balance; I turned in to a side road straight in to the back of a parked car! I learned about brakes on my next ride. Well you wouldn't believe the reaction; front page news in the Derby Telegraph; letter page blocked for months with the helmet v irresponsible parents debate. A moritorium on children learning through play and mistakes; all just in case they accidentally triggerd a nuclear war by offending the USSR! 

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cbrndc [61 posts] 1 month ago
2 likes

That vehicle should not be obstructing the highway.

Does the driver pay to store his stuff there?

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Yorkshire wallet [1632 posts] 1 month ago
3 likes

I never rode with a helmet as a child and now I shitpost on cycling forums. A clear case of cause and effect.

It's odd really as I now ride sensibly (mostly) with a helmet as an adult, but rode like a tosser on BMXs and MTBs with no helmet and here I am. Luck of the draw I guess sometimes looking back but mostly you don't NEED a helmet but I guess you never know. If it helps you ride more assuredly then wear one.

This said I remember a particulary upsetting tv programme (think it was 24 hrs in A and E) where a cyclist smashed his face into a cattle grid and ended up with a trapped blood vessel in his neck and ended up with half his skull missing. You never know what life has up it's sleeve for you.

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Rich_cb [530 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes
davel wrote:

I can post some graphs that don't prove the point I'm trying to make if you like?

Resorting to bluster again.

How delightfully predictable.

You've never once managed to provide a decent argument to explain the correlation the graphs show.

Anybody would think that you only resort to bluster to cover up the complete inadequacy of your argument...

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Peowpeowpeowlasers [552 posts] 1 month ago
4 likes

>  A helmet has saved me from serious injury on three occasions so I choose to wear one.

Perhaps you should learn how to avoid crashing your bicycle.  Observation, anticipation, they're good skills to have.

I have bumpers on my car but I don't drive around bumping into things.

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LastBoyScout [363 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes
don simon wrote:
alansmurphy wrote:

Not sure why you wouldn't stick a lid on a kid when teaching them to ride...

Did anyone learn to ride without a helmet?

Are you dead?

I rest my case.

When I learnt to ride a bike, helmets weren't available, so what's your point?

I've been wearing ever since they became widely available and I've been glad of them a couple of times, most notably when I went over the handlebars and landed on my head (hired bike that hadn't been put together properly). I was pretty happy the dent in the front of that one wasn't in the front of my head! Pretty bad case of road rash elsewhere. I also had a pretty nasty MTB crash after snapping my handlebars - the guy I was with at the time who wasn't wearing a helmet went straight to the nearest bike shop on his way home to buy one.

Just taken daughter to school on her bike - she's still learning to ride, doesn't always remember to use the brakes, doesn't always look where she's going, the pavements aren't in great condition and she gets easily distracted. Last week, she stopped suddenly and climbed off her bike because she'd seen an interesting-looking conker. Yes, she's wearing a helmet.

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Bluebug [271 posts] 1 month ago
1 like

I've seen kids learning to ride bikes with what is basically roller derby gear.

However once they have learnt the knee and elbow pads are never openly worn again. And they ride their bikes without helmets if just playing in the street. However if they are going on a journey - yes kids in my area do go cycle around the area to shops or the park - they wear them.

The helmet debate around children is silly as people are more safety conscious with them in general. Kids playground equipment is no longer on bare concrete and Adventure Playgrounds have lots of assistants even if the older kids using it are 14 so should be sensible. Children have to child seats in cars and there needs to be one seat belt per kid, no kids can be carried in the boot.

Point I'm making is what was acceptable when we were children is no longer acceptable and considered cruel.

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SteveAustin [87 posts] 1 month ago
1 like

Amazing how many people, on this site, who ride bikes are so anti helmet. Considering a helmet could be the difference between consuming food through a tube for the rest of my life, i find it hard to be as against them as others.

any kids in my care will wear a helmet, as i dont want to have to explain why to their parents why they weren't, not sure petty arguments can be used in real life to argue away life changing injuries, that could have been prevented by something as simple as wearing a helmet.

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ClubSmed [539 posts] 1 month ago
1 like
don simon wrote:
alansmurphy wrote:

Not sure why you wouldn't stick a lid on a kid when teaching them to ride...

Did anyone learn to ride without a helmet?

Are you dead?

I rest my case.

 

I also know lots of people who  learnt to drive without wearing a seatbelt (those who passed their driving test before 1983) who are not dead. This does not mean that they should not be wearing one now, nor does it suggest that seatbelts are not saving lives.
I am not saying that I am for helmet use, I am not saying that I am against it. All I am pointing out is the flaw in such an arguement regarding helmet use.

Avatar
davel [2052 posts] 1 month ago
3 likes
Rich_cb wrote:
davel wrote:

I can post some graphs that don't prove the point I'm trying to make if you like?

Resorting to bluster again. How delightfully predictable. You've never once managed to provide a decent argument to explain the correlation the graphs show. Anybody would think that you only resort to bluster to cover up the complete inadequacy of your argument...

You're the one with the hypothesis as follows:

Cyclist death rates fell.

Helmet usage rose.

Therefore, helmet usage causes a reduction in cyclist deaths.

The burden of proof is all yours, dear; I don't have to prove a thing. You're getting very unscientific in your complaints. 

As has been said - your hypothesis might be entirely correct. But you're sure as shit not proving it via those pictures you keep wheeling out.

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Rich_cb [530 posts] 1 month ago
1 like
davel wrote:

You're the one with the hypothesis as follows:

Cyclist death rates fell.

Helmet usage rose.

Therefore, helmet usage causes a reduction in cyclist deaths.

The burden of proof is all yours, dear; I don't have to prove a thing. You're getting very unscientific in your complaints. 

As has been said - your hypothesis might be entirely correct. But you're sure as shit not proving it via those pictures you keep wheeling out.

Yawn.

The graphs show a clear correlation between increasing helmet usage and decreasing cyclist fatalities.

That's evidence.

In this context it's likely to be the highest quality evidence available for the period in question.

The onus is now on you to provide evidence to the contrary.

You never have.

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