Sunday, October 3, 2010

Cycling International: Helmets: Do they really save lives?




     


    



Between You and Julian Warmington
Julian Warmington October 3 at 9:00am Report
Hey Brian,
Thanks for your liking of those two notes there.
I just want to enquire: what is it that you did actually like about it? Was it the waiving of the helmets demand, or the warning of the rain, or just the expression of hope to see people out there?
I notice you always wear helmets. I have seen before, last year or at least several months ago, the study available online that shows that the introduction of the compulsory helmets law in Australia and NZ has supposedly done nothing to protect people, and that it is generally healthier for people just to be on bikes and out and about than it is to be at home and sedentary because of lack of access to or interest in wearing a helmet.
I noticed that in most if not all your pictures you wear a helmet. I have stayed in hospital in Korea, and i have been in Korean courts following proceedings after a foreigner had 'an accident' (and died) in this land, so i know first hand the extent of the lack of sympathy that can be extended in either situation. I also notice that now everyone on the major races such as the Tour du France wears helmets. I also know that just because some study is available online does not automatically mean it is valid and legitimate.
The reasons this whole issue is a cause of concern for me are immediate and at least two or three-fold: I wanted to promote a trip locally to celebrate the local bike paths and mark the 350.org date of world action on climate change on 10.10.2010. I have some friends who live near where we went yesterday who have gotten themselves bicycles and have started getting out but they are severely overweight and so i wanted to provide them with a challenge or goal. And finally the course we actually did yesterday on the distant bike paths did follow a busy road much further than i was initially led to believe by the guy whose idea it was to go there, so i'm hesitant to suggest again that people recommend coming even without a helmet next weekend, when he wants to revisit there with the group when i'm away (at my brother's competition in the world 24-hour mountain bike championships...).
Any ideas? What would you do? What do you recommend? (I would not hold you responsible for any consequences. I make my own decisions and accept my own consequences. I'm just looking for feedback and ideas from people whose opinions i respect on this issue 'cos they are serious road riders and appreciate both the danger and legality of the situation as it applies to themselves and others.)
Hope you're having a good weekend. See you 'round!
j.
Brian Perich Bikes October 3 at 3:04pm
Hi Julian,

I have always had helmets in my cycling career, albeit the early years when I rode BMX and other fake-motorcycle types in the 1980's. Canada never had an enforced helmet law, but I know a club rider that died on the race track in the 1990's. Given the evidence to support the high-fatality rate for cyclists (urban riding perhaps is the most dangerous form), there remains enough evidence for me that quite simply says, bicycle helmets do save lives. Some call it a "brain bucket" -whatever it is, it's well worth  the price in foam (and good for years of use without a crash necessitating it's replacement I might add here). There are a variety available on Gmarket.co.kr and my wife recently purchased a nice Giro for around 45,000 won. I think it's good you're just advocating for Cycling in Korea, nothing better than that in itself! Once a rider falls hard, they begin to believe in the purpose of helmets: to protect the valuable contents inside your head, not to mention the outward appearance following the crash.

With or without, that is the question- many expedition riders go without them around-the-world, see Nicholai Baangsgaard's informative site, he rode mainly without a helmet around the world 2006-2010. (Except OZ) http://worldtravellers.dk/

Peace, Brian P





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About the Korean-World Author

Brian Perich was an English as a Foreign Language (EFL) lecturer for a decade, father, and adventure cyclist based in South Korea.

Previously, Brian has led Canoe adventures in Quetico Provincial Park, Atikokan, Ontario, Canada (1993/1999); led Grand American camping adventures (2000); lived at Paramahansa Yogananda's SRF Ashram for 5 months (see the film "AWAKE"), formerly worked in titanium welding at Agilent Technologies, formerly worked in Winery industry in Marin County with Kendall Jackson in California; Surfing and Meditation continued for several years in California, British Columbia, South Korea, Yoga training in California 1999-2000.

Between 1994-1998 - Brian completed his own adventures with motorcycles. His motorcycling marathons took him across the United States and central/western Canada, while traveling solo over an astounding 24,000km in 60 days! Brian endured 900 mile/1300km average days in the motorcycle saddle and apparently loved every minute of those adventures.

Today, he has given up motorcycle adventures altogether, but finds an outlet for his enthusiasm in outdoor recreation while bicycle touring and micro-blogging about those experiences on his mountain bikes.

While employed as an English teacher in South Korea, Brian has became an advocate for bicycle touring on his mountain bikes. The Korean-World blog originated from those small adventures in Korea, now expanded to cover his recent trek down the TransMongolian highway to the Gobi Desert, cycling 900km east through the Khentii grasslands and in 2012 crossing Mongolia in 45 days, 2500 kilometers 1553 miles. HimalayasX expedition Brian previously cycled across western China, the Taklamakan Desert, the northern Himalayas of East Turkestan Xinjiang/Uyghur Autonomous Region, the corrugated back roads and mountains of Kham Tibet. Brian successfully completed his 2011 mountain bike expedition with 3200 kilometers / 1988 miles unsupported, on/off road MTB adventure cycling.
Brian has completed his second mountain bike journey, MongoliaX expedition - Crossing Mongolia 2012, an unsupported mountain bike MTB expedition across 2500km of Outer Mongolia from Ulanbaatar to Altai Taven-Bogd National Park bordering China, Russia and Mongolia.


In 2013, as a sequel to a trilogy of cycle tours, Brian enjoyed a more leisure bicycle tour onboard his Koga-Miyata World Traveller seeing the northern tier of the United States and western Canada covering 3400 kilometers / 2000 miles in 30 days. This North American cycle tour was called Totherocktour. Enjoying the adventure of bicycle travel and every great conversation started while traveling on the road - has refueled his inspirations to cycle around the Earth. In 2013, while he cycled solo from the Great Lake State of Michigan, United States to Banff National Park in the Canadian Rocky Mountains. He weaved through local communities and reconnected with friends, family and community after spending almost a decade in Asia.


Brian is now supporting several non-profit foundations through expeditions: IDEAS Foundation of Canada IDEAS is the acronym for Intestinal Disease Education and Awareness Society which supports the IBD community, those suffering from IBD-inflammatory bowel disease, also known as Crohn's and Ulcerative Colitis.


The second non-profit foundation is ETE.ORG - Education Through Expeditions, UK which supports educational outreach programs inside schools around the world. ETE connects explorers with students in the classroom, through an interactive online program in development (Beta).


Brian is researching support for a 18000 kilometer bicycle expedition across the Americas: North, Central and South America - ONE -Arctic to Argentina
Please contact him if you are interested in helping out.

Twitter: Cycleagain
Location: Gangneung, Gangwon-do, South Korea or southern Ontario, Canada.

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Brian's friends have also been...Cycling in Korea!

Brian's friends have also been...Cycling in Korea!

Cycling in Korea, Warning: always wear a helmet! (I gave mine to my friend)

Cycling in Korea, Warning: always wear a helmet! (I gave mine to my friend)

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