James Dugan wrote:
> That logic is flawed.  There are various extremes in skiers and
> cyclists alike.  Based on a lifetime of skiing I have had numerous
> head encounters both with and without a helmet.  I believe I wouldn't
> be here posting this if it weren't for my skiing helmet. (s)  (I am
> ready for my third soon)  Mine take a serious beating.  

I find this just stunning.  I don't ski with a helmet and
have never banged my head hard enough on anything when skiing
to make think I should have had one on.   If your helmet is
taking "a serious beating", this suggests to me that you are
skiing at speeds that a) make you open to other severe risks
other than head injuries and b) make you a risk to other
skiers (like my kids).  

> I do not consider myself a serious skiing risk taker.     

For this, I blame the ski industry.  IMO, skier speeds
and skier densities have been going up noticably since the
early 80s.  I blame extensive use of snow making, power 
grooming (raise of hands... how many people remember
non-powered groomers as the norm?  I'm getting old), 
high speed quads and shaped skis.   As Bruce Cockburn
correctly notes, "normal" has been getting worse.

> OTOH, based on a lifetime of motorcycle riding I have never had an
> accident.  

I should stay out of the motorcycle discussion.  I'm
too ignorant on it and withdraw my earlier comment.

Regarding bicycle helmets, one the ways to get a
severe head injury is a tip over.  I saw one guy
do it at a near standstill due to a snapped crank.
My bosses parents slipped at a stop sign on a tandem.
This causes a whiplash type of effect smacking your
head off the pavement.  My bosses mother was killed
in that accident.  This is why I say you can't really
ride a bike without the possibility of severe head

I do understand the appeal of riding non-helmeted 
by the way and I do agree that frequency of incidence
is a mitigating factor.

Risk = Threat x Impact.

If the frequency of the events is low, the threat is low.
My experience with bicycles is that the threat is low
but the impact is high.


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