Once Again The ChainLink Crowd ‘Makes A Ripe Mess’ Of A Discussion

Background Reading


Reply by Anne Alt on May 14, 2013 at 4:11pm

Thank you and well said, Serge and Lisa.

Why do people feel such a need to fight about the least little thing lately? Why not use that energy to actually accomplish something, or at least be a pain in the butt to fewer people?  Or if people really feel a need to thrash it out, why not have your own fight club thread and get it out of your system there?



I know what a discussion board looks like when its swimming in narcissistic waters. Clearly the ChainLink has either a ton of unemployed or lazy workers who haunt its hallways or I am a “monkey’s uncle“. As Anne Alt (if memory serves) once put it there seem to be people on this forum who simply like to see their names appear in discussions. And so rather than backing off when a topic comes across their keyboard about which they have no particular expertise, they either try too hard to be clever or as one wag puts it “have a little internet fun“.

What all this tells me is that there are a rather large number of folks whose lives could best be described as “Arrested Development“. And for this to be the bulk of what constitutes the Faithful in the Church of Urban Cycling makes me want to run the other way:

Article Citing 66,000 Person Helmet Research
Posted by Michael J Blane on May 31, 2013 at 1:05pm

Hi, here’s an interesting article regarding the efficacy of bicyclists wearing helmets.
I wear a helmet, by choice.
I am posting this to bring attention to the article, not to engage in a helmet vs no helmet debate.
I hope you enjoy the article.

Ever notice how on the ChainLink the guys with the least intelligence and even less expertise just have to comment? It’s a compulsion but there it is. I often wonder if these guys ever get out and actually ride or are they spending all their time hunched over a keyboard being asses?

Reply by Zoetrope 19 hours ago
So in a nutshell, helmets unquestionably help reduce brain and head injuries. After that, things like PBL’s/other infrastructure upgrades and public education do much more to help keep riders safe than a helmet will ever do.
“The study is just the latest to highlight the paradox of bike helmet laws. At the foundation of the puzzle is the fact that wearing a helmet, without question, reduces a rider’s risk of injury. (Recent work estimates an 88 percent reduction in brain injuries and an 85 percent decrease in head injuries.)

I feel brighter already! Of course I really did not need the Cliff Notes version of this story but there it is…

Reply by dana 19 hours ago
The essential fact is that helmets protect your head if you’re in a crash (a small number of people in the context of the entire population of a given place). They don’t prevent crashes. This makes the public health benefit of helmets a hard topic to study, and makes legislation a tricky subject.
The main point of this article is in its limitation:
“When baseline trends in cycling related injury rates were considered, the overall rates of head injuries were not appreciably altered by helmet legislation.” (i.e. due to changes in infrastructure, the rates of head injuries were already decreasing, and when you correct for that, you can’t attribute the decreases in injury to a helmet intervention.)
Does that mean you shouldn’t bother wearing a helmet?
I did a pretty extensive review of the literature (prior to the publication of this article) on Tiny Fix a few months back. Shameless plug, I know, but I think it’s a pretty good article.

So we have yet another person who is telling us what we could deduce from a simple reading. And into the bargain comes that little gem that “Helmets don’t prevent crashes.” Wow! I’m glad that got cleared up. And man oh man let me rush over to the blogging equivalent of the Pulitzer Prize Committee to vote for this author. After all if they think their article is “pretty good” who am I to argue?

Reply by Cameron 7.5 mi 19 hours ago
So the too long didn’t read is:
If you hit your head, wearing a helmet reduces your chance of injuries. However it’s still better to not hit your head. While as an individual choice helmets may increase safety, helmet laws don’t help overall safety because they take energy away from helping people not hit their heads.

Wait just a minute here! If the article was too long and you didn’t read it, how the heck can you offer a summation? Is there a Candid Camera posted somewhere closely? Do these folks really need to keep offering summations of things they either did not read or perhaps think the rest of us cannot possibly understand or is there a dying need for people on the ChainLink Forum to simply offer something, anything even if it is “out of their wheelhouse“? Being an activist must be a very tiresome thing.

Reply by h’ 1.0 18 hours ago
I’m not agreeing or disagreeing with dana, but his/her statement was more than reasonable when considered in the context it was offered:
**They don’t prevent crashes. This makes the public health benefit of helmets a hard topic to study**

This is what I call the Goldilocks-style reply. It is essential inside the ranks of the Urban Cycling Community to stay on everyone’s good side. So you try to find “a line through the muck” which while getting your activist’s shoes a bit dirty, does not cause you to step on anyones toes in the process. Can we all say “gutless“?

Reply by dana 18 hours ago
not sure if or exactly how you misinterpreted what i wrote, but maybe you should re-read it or offer a response. it also wasn’t an opinion on the efficacy of helmets. i said helmet legislation is a tricky subject, because the fact is, the data on the public health benefit of helmets isn’t great, because it’s a *really* difficult topic to study. i apologize if that wasn’t clear.
if you’re trying to insinuate that i am anti-helmet (or just uninformed), you might be interested to know that i’m a physician who treats traumatic brain injury patients (among others). just saying.

One thing is for certain, on the ChainLink everyone who is “anyone” tries to remain anonymous. But then when they get offended because someone disagrees with them they are willing to poke their heads out of the anal orifices just long enough to let you know that they are on a “first name basis” with the Good Lord Himself and you should think about contradicting anything they have written. Gimme a break! Are these folks really this stupid? In the immortal words of Sarah Palin, “You betcha“.

Reply by David Barish 18 hours ago
Lets take the requirement out of the equation. No need to raise the ire of the Live Free or Die crowd and their Harley riding brethren. It comes down to individual choice. If I wear a Helmet I reduce the chance of a traumatic brain injury ruining my day. Te wear or not to wear? We all manage risk in our lives and all have our own assessment of what risk we are willing to entertain. We balance that risk against the cost of activities, purchases, behaviors that effect that risk.
Personally, the cost of a helmet ($30 to $150 depending on style, comfort and use) and the cost of putting it on (my hair doesn’t look as good) seem worthwhile to me. A helmet law will not change my behavior. I don’t need to be told what to do. Do you? That being said, the mere act of getting on a bicycle, especially in an urban environment raises my risk. I am willing to take that risk and my mother has been telling me that I am crazy for years. We don’t have to look far (put your cursor over the appropriate thread) to find that some have seemed to do all they could to minimize risk (wear a helmet, ride safely etc.) except that they did get on a bike and have had catastrophic consequences.

Well at least he is attempting to use logic to guide the discussion. Nothing snarky here, just a plea for some commonsense in a crowd that seldom seems to possess much of that precious commodity. Come to think of it we could easily replace all of these walking puddin’ heads with clones of my grandmother and get lots more done. But then I wouldn’t have much to write about, now would I? So, scratch that idea, these guys are walking advertisements of what is all wrong about Liberalism.

Reply by Cameron 7.5 mi 18 hours ago
Before putting too much effort into defending your comment, remember who you’re talking to. That actually was one of Zoetrope’s more insightful and articulate comments lately.

Ouch! Nice “bitch slap“! Hang on. I need to refill my popcorn bucket. Okay, I’m back!

Reply by Zoetrope 18 hours ago
I’ve already offered a response. And I understand what you are saying, however, others may not. “Helmets don’t prevent crashes”? Naw, really? Think about that for a second, Doc.
There aren’t any glaring limitations or outright lies in the article as far as I can see, which is more than can be said of other Atlantic Cities articles. It just looks like you’re objecting to something that doesn’t exist to get people to click on your site.
I think the misunderstanding is entirely on your side. My attempt at having a little internet fun wasn’t meant to cause you harm or question your worth as a physician. Let’s all chill. It’s Friday is it not?

I really, really want to accompany Zoetrope to a good leather bar where I can stand off to the side and watch him/her get their butts kicked by people who really have no patience with his frequent attempts at “internet fun“. I would guess that most of his writing gets done in his skivvies. And let me quess, they are either pink with a white waistband or have flowers.

But really what the heck is “internet fun“? Where I come from we call this sort of thing “mental masturbation“. And besides where exactly is the justification for responding to people in this fashion in the first instance? You really have to be a close cousin of Gabe’s, right? And just a word between friends, “you suck at internet fun!” Leave that for the guys with the really high IQs.

Reply by Adam Herstein (5.5 mi) 16 hours ago
News report: helments do exactly what they are intended to do.

Obviously this is the day for profundity. America’s role in the world is safe so long as these clowns are around to set everyone straight. And to think I’ve been wasting time reading long reports when I could just come here and get the Cliff Notes version instead. Who dresses these people? I will pay money to see these guys in their nursing homes in a few decades (if not sooner) slobbering in the corner and trying to find anyone who will listen to their stories of their role in the Great Awakening to Urban Cycling.

Reply by Zoetrope 59 minutes ago
Let me do some more research and get back to you on this. I need to make things more complicated somehow. Thanks.

I still say that given the number of people on this forum who use more than one alias, it would not surprise me that this is one guy (or gal) doing all the voicings before going outside to torture small animals before his Mother calls him to dinner.

Reply by David crZven 10.6 3 hours ago
People smoke, and cite to obscure studies that suggest it is not actually dangerous.
People drink and drive arguing that it is really only the heavily intoxicated drivers that are dangerous.
People don’t weat seatbelts citing those exceptions to the rule where the wearing of the seatbelt would have increased the injury.
People deny climate change
People deny evolution.
And people don’t weat helmets.
At some point, you have to decide that you can’t legislate stupid. About the only one of the above that you have to legislate is the drunk driving as it hurts others.

Okay this will be the last one. Even I can get tired of listening to the babbling of Arrogant Socialists who have not a single clue how things get done in a Capitalistic society nor care to. What they do know is that whatever the heck they think is best for the masses is what we should be doing and that is simply the Truth.

By the way David, I think you meant to say “you can’t legislate away stupidity” so something to that effect? And while you are at it you might want to include legislation not only against driving drunk but riding a bike in that condition as well. Fair is fair.

Practicing What You Preach Or Maybe Just Faking It…

Imagine my surprise when I listened to this tribute peace to a fallen cyclist Bobby Cann:

It is the soundtrack that gave me pause. It speaks specifically of “treating everyone as an equal“. This is a posture that no one in the ChainLink Forum Family really practices. If you doubt this take a read here:

Reply by Juan 2-8 mi. on Wednesday
As a last resort when passing through the WEST SIDE. A blast from my airhorn usually frightens off those animals in this URBAN JUNGLE.

Assuming that the writer using an Hispanic name is actually from that genetic stock, it is evidence of the willingness of people of color to so identify with “their betters” that they are willing to out “hate them” at every single turn.

Juan is a frequent contributor to the forum and as such represents its core values. Like Gabe he truly believes that the areas of the city which are predominately African-American are in Gabe’s vernacular “shitholes“. So why that particular soundtrack with the video?

I can only surmise that many people have a very cheapened notion of Grace. You can call pedestrians “assholes” on this forum and sound no different than your virtual neighbor. This is because in general Urban Cyclists believe themselves to be at the bottom of the food chain in terms of “vulnerable users“. But they are not. Pedestrians are and that is both a legal and a philosophical reality.

Practice Silence Not Bullshit

Practice Silence Not Bullshit