helmet advice

Hi everyone! I’m new to this list, and pretty new to unicycling as well. I tried
about 30 years ago when I was a kid and now at 40 I’m going to give it another
shot. I’m expecting my new uni to arrive in a couple weeks and I can’t wait to
get started.

Here’s my question: (sorry if this has been brought up before but I didn’t see
it in the FAQ and I haven’t gone thru all of the archives yet)

Do most of you wear a helmet when you ride?

I always wear one when I ride my bicycle, but it never occured to me that I
would wear one while riding a unicycle since I don’t expect to be going that
fast. Is it really necessary to wear one when going thru the
one-hand-on-the-wall learning stages? I plan to follow the instuctions in Jack
Wiley’s book to learn, and it seems like he really gets you used to mounting and
dismounting from the beginning, so I’m wondering how likely it will be that I
will actually fall, esp. fall on my back.

Thanks for any advice. I’m really glad to have found this newsgroup!

-Rick Bissell

RE: helmet advice

Rick Bissell wrote:
>Do most of you wear a helmet when you ride?

I always wear it when I’m on the trails, and almost never when I ride on
pavement.

>Is it really necessary to wear one when going thru the one-hand-on-the-wall
>learning stages?

I think not. Though head injuries can occur from nearly any activity (we like to
refer to the all-dangerous bathtub), we choose not to wear helmets for those
activities.

I’ve never hurt my head, and know of very few instances of head injuries from
any form of unicycling. During the learning stages you are pretty safe, unless
your head hits something on the way down.

However for small children the helmet should always be there. Small children
have a lesser awareness of their body-in-space and less developed reflexes in
falling situations. That’s why most of us have the obligatory scar on our
forehead, eyebrow or chin from the coffee table or what have you during our
early youth.

>I’m wondering how likely it will be that I will actually fall, esp. fall
>on my back.

Falling on your back is more likely than your head. And the tailbone is the
worst! But during the wall-holding phase, if you’re doing everything right most
falls should be from the pedals to the ground, with your feet only.

jf

Re: helmet advice

In a message dated 9/21/98 8:17:20 AM Pacific Daylight Time,
rick@tridelta.com writes:

<< Do most of you wear a helmet when you ride?>>

We had this discussion a couple months ago I think, but we’re always happy to
repeat for a new member.

I wear a helmet when I ride the bike trail in our area. More than anything it is
to set an example for the kids. Naturally they are drawn to the uni and think
it’s “cool”. I’d like for them to think that wearing a helmet is cool too. It
also gives the appearance of riding for sport vs. just “clowning”…not that
there’s anything wrong with clowning of course 8= : )

In the 30 years I’ve been riding I’ve never hit my head on anything. I’ve hit
plenty of other things, but not my head.

-Mike UniChef@aol.com http://members.aol.com/UniChef/unichef.html

Re: helmet advice

I hear a helmet and gloves when riding on roads that cars use. Apart from that I
don’t bother.

Wayne van Wijk wvanwijk@gil.com.au


I can picture in my mind a world without war, a world without hate. And I can
picture us attacking that world, because they’d never expect it.

Re: helmet advice

Hi Rick, I was in the same boat as you were about three months ago. I learned to
ride a bit when I was 10 and rode a bit when I was a teen. Now at 38 I am
learning again and trying to work my way up the skill levels.

I experience so far is that I do seem to fall down once in a while. The worst
occured while trying to do “bunny hopping.” (That second bounce was a doozy!)

I have not been wearing a helmet but, I am planning on getting one for Muni-ing.
I can’t see how it could hurt for initial learning.

Good Luck on your new uni!

I should warn you that after just a little time I find myself hopelessly
addicted to my uni and my wife worries that I am bordering on obsession. I
tell her I am on a ten step program but this does not seem to make her feel
any better.

Perhaps if I were to learn to ride a Giraffe it would all be ok…

By the way, there is another unicycling book called something like “Unicycling
from beginner to expert” which I have found to be really good.

>Hi everyone! I’m new to this list, and pretty new to unicycling as
well.
>I tried about 30 years ago when I was a kid and now at 40 I’m going to
give
>it another shot. I’m expecting my new uni to arrive in a couple weeks
and I
>can’t wait to get started.
>
>Here’s my question: (sorry if this has been brought up before but I didn’t see
>it in the
FAQ and
>I haven’t gone thru all of the archives yet)
>
>Do most of you wear a helmet when you ride?
>
>I always wear one when I ride my bicycle, but it never occured to me
that I
>would wear one while riding a unicycle since I don’t expect to be going
that
>fast. Is it really necessary to wear one when going thru the
>one-hand-on-the-wall learning stages? I plan to follow the
instuctions in
>Jack Wiley’s book to learn, and it seems like he really gets you used
to
>mounting and dismounting from the beginning, so I’m wondering how
likely it
>will be that I will actually fall, esp. fall on my back.
>
>Thanks for any advice. I’m really glad to have found this newsgroup!
>
>-Rick Bissell
>
>
>


Get Your Private, Free Email at http://www.hotmail.com

re: helmet advice

Thanks to everyone that responded to my question about when to wear a helmet. I
really appreciate the advice, and I’m glad that most of you felt that it wasn’t
really necessary for the type of riding that I will be doing as a “uni-newbie”.

I just got an email informing me that the used 24" Schwinn that I purchased will
be shipping to me tomorrow. I haven’t been this excited about an arriving
package in a long time and I can’t wait to get started learning how to ride.
Thanks again for the advice.

Rick Bissell

re: helmet advice

Rick, Just wanted to congratulate you on the purchase of the new (used) Schwinn
24" uni. I have quite a number of unicycles of various manufactures and sizes
and I like most all of them for one reason or another, but my (used) Schwinn
remains very high, if not on top of my list of favorites. People can and will
throw rocks at anything, but it’s my feeling that the Schwinn will stand the
test of time and become more and more valued by you. When I just want to go for
a (little spin), inevitably I will grab the Schwinn before I even think about
what else I could have chosen. I know that you’ll be pleased with your Schwinn.
Just my thoughts on that! Mike

Re: helmet advice

In a message dated 9/22/98 2:05:05 AM Pacific Daylight Time,
dtempest@cadvision.com writes:

<< c) use two chairs to be able to start easily thus maximising the number of
starts per session
>>

Or my personal favorite, the shopping cart…

-Mike UniChef@aol.com http://members.aol.com/UniChef/unichef.html

Re: helmet advice

UniChef@aol.com wrote:

> In a message dated 9/21/98 8:17:20 AM Pacific Daylight Time,
rick@tridelta.com
> writes:
>
> << Do most of you wear a helmet when you ride?>>
>

If your are riding on the road I would recommend wearing one. Its not so much
because of the danger of unicycling but because of the danger of being hit by a
car (especially surprised drivers who can’t believe what they are seeing).

I know of two people sustaining head injuries while unicycling. One person was
learning to wheel walk and went over backwards, landed on their back and hit
their head. Perhaps it may be advisable to wear a helmet while learning to
wheel walk. It depends a lot on how far you push yourself. I believe unicycling
is as safe as you make it. When learning new stuff I tend to push myself very
hard and endanger myself more than necessary. Take things slower and you are
less likely to injure yourself. Of course that takes time and I have precious
little of that…

The other injury was a result of a car not giving way at an intersection and
smashing into the unicyclist. Not his fault at all but a good reason to wear a
helmet when around traffic.

Catch ya Peter

Re: helmet advice

Rick,

Ah at last, a chance to get my 25 cents in (albeit unsolicited).

I bought my first unicycle about 4 weeks ago on the spur of the moment at the
age of 44. I flailed around for a week or so until I discovered the
www.unicycle.org (hats off to Beirne Konarski et al). I “learned” (broke the 30
foot barrier) last weekend after the obligatory 15 or so hours in or at least
near the saddle.

This is what worked for me (more or less in order of priority):

a) look ahead not down

b) keep your arms up (you can always buy another seat; I actually learned on
well trodden grass)

c) use two chairs to be able to start easily thus maximising the number of
starts per session

d) think about keeping the cycle under you not you on the cycle

e) warm-up, especially your back

f) forget the wall stuff, just go for it

Best of Luck,

Doug Tempest

PS - I would recommend wrist guards (like the in-line skaters use) for the first
little while at least.

Rick Bissell <rick@tridelta.com> wrote in article
<199809211434.KAA11589@sparcy.tridelta.com>…
> Hi everyone! I’m new to this list, and pretty new to unicycling as
well.
> I tried about 30 years ago when I was a kid and now at 40 I’m going to
give
> it another shot. I’m expecting my new uni to arrive in a couple weeks
and I
> can’t wait to get started.
>
> Here’s my question: (sorry if this has been brought up before but I didn’t see
> it in the FAQ
and
> I haven’t gone thru all of the archives yet)
>
> Do most of you wear a helmet when you ride?
>
> I always wear one when I ride my bicycle, but it never occured to me that
I
> would wear one while riding a unicycle since I don’t expect to be going
that
> fast. Is it really necessary to wear one when going thru the
> one-hand-on-the-wall learning stages? I plan to follow the instuctions
in
> Jack Wiley’s book to learn, and it seems like he really gets you used to
> mounting and dismounting from the beginning, so I’m wondering how likely
it
> will be that I will actually fall, esp. fall on my back.
>
> Thanks for any advice. I’m really glad to have found this newsgroup!
>
> -Rick Bissell
>
>

Re: helmet advice

rick@tridelta.com (Rick Bissell) wrote:

>Here’s my question:

>Do most of you wear a helmet when you ride?

The other responses posted here all sound like pretty good advice. In most cases
I don’t think a helmet is necessary, but I usually use one when I am riding in
the street: I ride a lot with my kids and I want them to use one and also want
to set a good example. Also, it can’t hurt. I also use it when I am riding on
trails (falling is a lot more likely and its easier to be out of control when
you do fall).

But in many cases a unicyclist is much more like a pedestrian than a bicyclist -
so I usually don’t use one when I am riding indoors or on sidewalks, etc.

Fast backward or wheel walking might be a good time to consider a helmet. Those
are the only two activities where I have ever come close to hitting my head.
I’ve never been in danger of actually striking it hard, but I have at times
fallen and rolled back and let my head touch the ground.

scott arnold --Scott, Jody, Vjera, Luke, Hope, Thad, and Simon Arnold

o o o o o o 7 unicyclists, Lane County, Oregon /[]\/[]\/[]\/[]\/[]\/[] o
(Simon can finally do it)

|\ |\ |\ |\ |\ |\ /[]\ E-mail: jodya@efn.org
O O O O O o o http://www.efn.org/~jodya/jodya.html

Re: helmet advice

I ride on trails daily and I ALWAYS wear a helmet. I’m just used to it and it
feels funny to ride without one. Of course I also feel funny moving my car even
a few feet without wearing my seatbelt. It’s just a habit and something doesn’t
feel right driving without a seatbelt. On the alarmist side my wife is a
pediatrician and sees more bicycle related injuries than I have. The worst one
was a girl who fell her bicycle going at a somewhat low rate of speed. She hit
her head on a mailbox when she was startled by a cat that ran out in front of
her. The result was a metal plate in the head, a partial lobotomy, and severe
brain damage. When she gently asked her mother about wearing a helmet the mother
said she didn’t think she needed one just riding on the sidewalk.

Sadly, the bullet that gets you is the one you didn’t expect, and probably
didn’t even hear. It’s the same with head injuries. While working on the
finishline at NUC I saw several heads hit the ground, in the backward fast race
especially. Some had helmets, some didn’t. No one was seriously hurt, BUT, the
odds have a way of cathcing up with you eventually. The one that gets you is the
one you usually don’t expect or forsee. A helmet is a simple and inexpensive way
to protect the most important part of your body - If the brain doesn’t work
nothing works.

Sorry to be so grim,

John Hooten