RE: priorities in protection
> to quote our motorcycling brethren…
> ‘the helmet law sucks! let those who ride decide’
That’s fine with me as long as your ability to no longer work for the rest
of your life, due to a brain injury, doesn’t end up increasing my insurance
cost or taxes. Since it apparently does, I think this is why most states now
have helmet laws, even though they are not popular with a lot of riders. I
fully support your (and my) freedom to get injured, as long as I don’t have
to help pay for it.
Yes, the helmet debate has gone on a long time, and it won’t likely go away.
Even when we switch to 700c for track racing, it will probably rear its ugly
head again due to the higher speeds.
In unicycling, we require helmets for certain events to protect the hosts
and the unicycling organizations. Attitudes toward helmet use (and liability
in general) vary widely from country to country, but they are very severe in
the United States.
Personally, I wear a helmet for basically all outdoor riding (I do artistic
indoors). The helmet is neither heavy nor uncomfortable. If yours is, time
to get a new one. You can find great helmets for as little as $25 or even
less. I just bought a nice one for $35. Helmets also protect my balding dome
from the sun.
I do not ever expect to fall on my head, just as I never expect to be in an
auto accident. However you don’t get to decide on those things. Try as you
will to prevent them, they may still happen, totally beyond your control.
Though I can hope any future auto accident will be caused by another driver,
I will likely not have this luxury in a unicycle crash
Your wrists heal. Your shins heal. Your knees heal. Though they may heal
less than perfectly, they will probably still function. Your brain does not
heal. You only have to hit it good & hard once to have a major permanent
change in your lifestyle. So I recommend a helmet for anything on rough
terrain, and for anything fast. This means any form of MUni and Trials,
racing, and even commuting or cruising on Cokers.
I also recommended helmets for the High Jump and Long Jump competitions we
have at our conventions, though this did not pass as a rules requirement.
Those two events generally end in dismounts, unlike most other events, so
are likely places where people may get hurt.
For those attending NAUCC and UNICON, Remember you will be required to wear
kneepads, and gloves or wristguards for all forms of racing at both
conventions. In addition, all riding at the Snoqualmie Summit (site of the
MUni and Trials events) will require helmets. This is the policy of the
Summit Hiking and Biking Center and is not open for debate.
Stay on top,
John Foss, the Uni-Cyclone
2002 NAUCC and UNICON Referee
Go to NAUCC and UNICON 2002! www.nwcue.org