helmet or not

Unicycling is very much a minority activity, I expect if as few people rode bikes/skateboards as do unicycle, those sports would have similarly few deaths.

There have been posters on this board in the past who have had quite serious head injuries from unicycling (I think one smashed his head riding under a metal sign); it’s rare, but it does happen.

I always wear a helmet, except when riding indoors, barefoot, on carpet, and sometimes even then. Although I mostly do freestyle, I still wear a helmet because unicycling can result in unpredictable crashes and because I ride on a street where I have to look out for cars continually. Also I think it makes my parents and the drivers I pass worry less about me. I have never hit my head, though, or even inujured myself worse than a slight hand, elbow or knee scrape. Remember, though, wearing a helmet is not enough. You have to wear it right. Several years ago, before I learned to unicycle, I was trying wheelies on my mountain bike and managed to go over the handlebars. Although I was wearing a helmet, I still hit my head on the ground because the helmet was pushed so far back. I may have suffered a minor concussion. Wear a helmet, and wear it right.

I’ve got to chime in being an old fart with kids. I lived in St. Louis near one of the best urban parks surrounded by a great bike/jogging path. One day a cute family was rollerblading down the only long hill on the path…Mommy wasn’t wearing a helmet, lost control and came down on the back of her head. She died in front of her kids. Ever since that story ran in the paper, I’ve pledged to wear a helmet for all riding on my bike and uni. I can’t see leaving loved ones without a parent over such an easy thing to remedy. My girls are in a great habit of using helmets, too. It’s just “peace of mind” if you’ll excuse the obvious pun. My wife has also done rehab work with brain injury patients, and it’s sobering to see how quickly one can go from vital and free-spirited to not knowing who the person in front of you is anymore. Not worth the risk in my mind, but I have to admit…I’ve made exceptions and taken rides without. Especially in Holland, where it seems the culture is to ride without. I try to fit in wherever possible. I can’t do it with a clear conscience anymore, though. Sorry to be so preachy…there are lots of bright young minds on this message board that I think should stay that way!! :slight_smile:

Nobody would want stupid organs… But seriously wear a helmet, it’ll be one of the better decisions of your life. A helmet, saved my father’s life during a motorcycle accident when he was 15, and I am grateful for it. Helmets have saved my butt plenty of times in snowboarding and skateboarding(when I did ride) and most of all unicycling, I have only fallen onto my head once, and thank god I was wearing a helmet. So wear a helmet, not only is it smart but cool cause you can put stickers all over them…

A few years back I rode a 200 mile charity ride over 2 days (on a bike not a uni - I can still only go around the block on my uni before collapsing). After the ride, I saw a guy casually riding accross the parking lot to his car with his helmet on the handle bars. Well, the strap to his helmet got caught up in his front tire and he went over the handle bars and landed on his head. He was bleeding from his head but more embarassed than hurt. So the point is…helmets can be dangerous. Wait, that’s not the point at all. I’m pretty sure this guy wishes he just put the thing on his head.

i’m currently eyeballing snowboarding helmets for winter riding. they have built in ear warmers. :slight_smile:

Helmet or not

NOT! I don’t need a helmet! (apart from at events like Moonride and the Day-Night Thriller)

I totally disagree. If there was never a time when you should not be wearing a helmet, you would wear one to bed, in the shower, and going to the toilet. There are plenty of times you should not be wearing a helmet, such as when you are getting a haircut, and when you are riding a unicycle safely on a hot sunny day. I think a helmet could even pose a danger if worn in the wrong conditions. In the blistering heat of the sun, your head is essential for releasing excess heat as about a third of your body heat escapes from your head (from memory). Wearing a hot helmet could raise the temperature of your brain and render it less capable of making quick decisions on your unicycle, and increase the chance of a fall due to overheating. It also makes your head physically bigger than it would be normally, affecting your judgement of how high you are, increasing the likelyhood of whacking your head on an overhanging branch.

My brain came free with my life. Easy come easy go. I don’t care too much if my brain dies. Everything comes to an end eventually, even good things like brains. Having brain damage through unicycling would be a better way to go than dying from a war for oil.

I have, but not seriously. I know someone who totally slammed his head on the concrete once, and it cracked his helmet. Woulda knocked him cold if he didn’t have it.

damn, Rowan.

I don’t usually wear a helmet for a cruise around the block, but if I’m trying to learn new skills or am going off-road I wear it. I don’t ever remember hitting my head while unicycling.

Re: helmet or not

On Thu, 28 Oct 2004 17:09:34 -0500, “onewheeldave” wrote:

>There have been posters on this board in the past who have had quite
>serious head injuries from unicycling (I think one smashed his head
>riding under a metal sign); it’s rare, but it does happen.

Maybe you mean Eddie Moffat? Let me repeat an old post:

On Sun, 3 Nov 2002 00:16:10 -0500 (EST), Eddie Moffat wrote:

>By far my worst injury was hitting a metal crossbeam right between the
>eye’s. I was riding with a baseball hat on and was looking down, the
>morning sun was bright in my eye’s so I didn’t see the one inch strip
>of metal between this big sign. I broke my nose, cracked the back of my
>skull open, popped my right eardrum, had a blood clot on the brain and
>came close to death. I now wear a helmet and it truly saved me about 2
>years ago when I hit another metal beam while being distracted by some
>I may be a bit accident prone, but I’m still riding today. Thank God!

Klaas Bil - Newsgroup Addict

I got a little one. Does it offend any one? - Tim

I wonder how many unicyclists worldwide have suffered head injuries in car accidents when they’ve had their unicycle and helmet sitting in the backs of their cars?

For trials, it seems like the only time you’ve got any reasonable chance of smacking your head is if you:

A) Fall over while riding backwards down stairs or down a slope.

B) You come off a ledge in such a way that you don’t land on your feet and the fall is from too great a height for your arms to protect your head.

C) Any tricks that involve the deadly combination of clipless pedals and straightjackets.

It’s at times like A, B and C when I consider using my helmet. On the other hand, I think a helmet is gonna make me that much more likely to try something crazy.

I’ve hit my head twice while unicycling, once in an offroad bail down a steep section, I wouldn’t have tried riding it if I hadn’t been wearing a helmet. Then last weekend while not wearing a helmet, I tried riding an off-centre hubbed unicycle backwards, I UPD’d and hit the back of my head on the ground, I must’ve taken some of the impact with my elbows but it still gave me a headache.

Yes, I’ve known people and met people who have suffered serious head injuries (from non-unicycling activities) and I know how amazingly bad it is but I just don’t feel the risk is there when I’m on my uni.

Thumbs up to people who wear helmets on their unicycles but like Rowan said, it’s just a hassle on a sunny day.

Pete ABC (this goes for Rowan too) are totally not the only reasons to wair a helmit. I have been riding on a trials slightly fast while passing some one and fell after hitting a bump in the sidewalk came down hard and came pretty damn close to hitting my head.

My mom worked as a nurse in the head trama part of a hospital and saw many many many ext… people die; get brain damage or go veg from accidents that a helmit would have saved them with no searios injury.

Whats worse getting a little hot during riding or not knowing who you are or worse?

I went to the X-Games when they were in Philly all the people riding were wairing helmits in 90+ degree ferinhight. We were sweating just watching them. Are you better then them?

I work in the medical profession, but I don’t believe in compulsory helmets laws- people should have the choice to splatter their heads however they choose :roll_eyes: ! It comes down to individual freedoms- and I think as long as you are old enough and stupid enough to think for yourself, it really should be up to you.

On the other hand, at events organised by private individuals- who are not your parents and do not care if you splatter your brains; it is not a good look if you do so at their event. Hence I was a bit miffed at the lack of helmets at the NZUNI weekend. I don’t think I’ll be organising another one.

Re: Re: helmet or not

Cheers, that’s the one I was thinking of.

Cycle helmets are better for heat than skate helmets. Also, you get used to it, I’ve ridden it under hot sun and felt fine, the helmets actually usefull for keeping the sun off your head.

I can relate to your ‘unicycling is a great way to die’ sentiment; however, bear in mind that a head injury is not necessarily a quick death, it’s as likely to leave you alive but maimed. That means waving goodbye to wheelwalking, trials, muni etc and putting similar learning time into the act of getting a spoon from the plate to your mouth without missing. Sorry to be graphic.


To those who are saying ‘helmet for trials. muni etc, otherwise no’- I know from experience that banging your head doesn’t necessarily occur when you’re doing extreme stuff or are at the limits of your ability. Mine happened on a super mild grass slope that shouldn’t have been any problem- I don’t know why I came off, and I don’t know why my head hit the ground on such a small fall; but it did.

Lastly, we’re high visibility on unicycles- kids are fascinated by one wheelers; it’s a great opportunity to be a role model.

So many young people do activities where ‘helmets=good’ eg skatebboarding and cycling; but so many don’t wear helmets because, in their peer groups ‘helmet=uncool’.

Seeing unicyclists wearing a helmet is surely going to be a good influence.

At unicycling, yeah I probably am better than them. I’d wear a helmet if I was doing a backflip on a 90KG motox bike over a 50ft gap regardless of the temperature too! Same applies to the skateboarding, bmx… big speed, big jumps, big need for helmets.

To whoever does volunteer to organise next years event, the lesson here is that it’s much less stressful if you just get all the participants to sign a liability waiver form.

Even without a liability waiver form, I don’t understand how the organiser of the event could be blamed if there’s no legal requirements for any unicyclists to wear helmets. It’d be like the organiser of a walking race getting blamed for a participant getting brain damaged from tripping on their shoe lace.

Helmets=more danger??

Exactly what I was going to say. If I wear lots of protective gear and helmet, I’m going to be trying lots more difficult stuff that’s going to put me more at risk and bear with me a moment almost make it more dangerous than if I had no gear on. Saying that if I have nothing on, I’m gonna just ride and not try anything hard, whereas with gear I’m doing crazyier stuff putting my self at a more risk to injuring myself.

I always used to say this to my mom about wearing my seatbelt while driving. I told her that when I have it on, I drive crazier and put myself at a greater risk of getting into an accident-aka getting hurt, where when I don’t wear a seatbelt I drive more cautiously/safer. Now I realize that it’s not myself that I have to worry about, it’s other crazy drivers and/or deer so now I always wear one.

As for helmets, I’ll keep living life on the edge and not wear one unless I’m planning on doing some hard/difficult stuff or if I’m at some type of meet/competition.

If we follow your argument that there are no legal requirements for unicyclists to wear helmets- so we didn’t have to wear it- then the same holds for ANY MTB race in New Zealand (helmets are only required by law when riding on the road). If you told your MTB race organiser you’re not going to wear a helmet- you can be sure they will tell you to get %#*@. And that is not because they care about what dwells beneath your helmet.

And did you not follow the Astrid Anderson* case? She got off but only after spending thousands on legal fees to have her criminal conviction overturned.
(*local race organiser that was found guilty of criminal negligence after some cyclist was killed in a race she organised- despite that same cyclist riding on the wrong side of the road). I’m sure they had similar waiver forms. The point is, an organiser has to have some standards of safety appropriate to that event- and I feel that for the NZUNI weekend that people should have worn helmets when gapping 6ft high structures.

Helmet threads seem to take on a life of their own. This one is much more pro helmet than others.

My opinion on helmets hasn’t changed since Helmets. What has changed is my observation of the publics perception of danger and use of helmets. In some of our club shows people have come up to our announcer asking why no helmets, some very upset by this fact (We only use them for the trials portion of the show). This is a fairly new phenomenon.

I think its great that people are using helmets in more situations but I also think there are times when the risk is low enough that I’m willing to take that chance. I’ve said that basic unicycling is no more hazardous than jogging. I had worse falls running hurdle races way back in my HS track days than I have in basic riding or freestyle practice.

I’ve never hit my head that I can remember and don’t think I ever wore a helmet until I took up Muni. I’ve taken some pretty good falls and out of control run-outs in Muni, Trials, and Coker/29er riding. And that’s where I’ll continue to use one, along with my wrist guards.

I’m in the middle on this one.

I wear one for muni and for fast road riding. I don’t wear one for hockey.

I’m actively against them for hockey, as head injuries are very rare. We definately don’t want just a few people to wear them for hockey, as it’d be bad in a head on collision.

For muni, they’re a handy place to mount lights, keep your head warm in winter and stop you getting sunburn in summer. I’ve also hit my head loads riding muni, especially with big wheels, I ride quite fast and that’s what really makes for unpredictable crashes.

As an event organiser, I’m in favour of people wearing them to my events, but don’t insist on it. For one thing, you can’t sign away your rights or my duty of care with a waiver, especially if you’re a kid. All a waiver does is clarifies whether I’d told you about any possible dangers. Even if you think you’d never sue, remember you have parents and or family, who probably think unicycling is pretty stupid and would be pretty pissed off if you did hurt yourself badly at one of my events. The problem with suing event organisers, is that even if someone is blatantly trying it on, it costs money to defend it.