Skip to content Skip to main navigation

News

Skilled legal advice with
accessible & personal attention

Reality check for young males with a death-wish?

Dacquiri 7 April 2013 43

As I was waiting for the lights to change at Belconnen Way & Coulter Drive this afternoon, I saw, out of the corner of my eye, a dark-haired male cyclist wheeling through the intersection. What particularly caught my attention was that he wasn’t wearing a bicycle helmet. A quick double-take confirmed something even more startling: the cyclist was my 25 yr old son — who seems to make a practice of riding his motorcycle wearing jeans and street shoes, despite owning Draggin’ jeans and motorcycle boots.

The obvious question is: ‘Do you have a death-wish, or are you just immature and stupid?’ This doesn’t seem to be terribly effective, however; nor are photographs of other riders’/cyclists’ injuries, which are not perceived as remotely related to him. His usual excuse for the cavalier attitude is some version of ‘couldn’t be bothered’ (eg, ‘Takes too much time).

I understand that possession of a certain amount of male bravery and courage has served humanity well when we lived in caves and young males needed to take risks in order to slay wooly mammoths and fight off attacking tribes. However, given that we are now talking about completely unnecessary risks which can and do result in horrific and life-changing injuries or death, can someone please suggest a way to impress upon young males that complete disregard for their own safety is really not cool?


What's Your Opinion?


Please login to post your comments, or connect with
43 Responses to Reality check for young males with a death-wish?
Filter
Order
Dacquiri Dacquiri 8:52 pm 11 Apr 13

‘The way he was raised’ is probably an over-simplification, given that there’s my influence, his father’s influence, the influence of his peers, plus whatever personality/cognitive potential he was born with. It is not necessarily that case that children in the same family with the same upbringing in terms of guidance, values and rules will adopt the same attitudes or behaviours.

Henry82 Henry82 4:16 pm 09 Apr 13

Mysteryman said :

. If he’s making choices that you determine to be idiotic, then it’s probably due to the way he was raised.

lol, oh the burn.

Pork Hunt Pork Hunt 5:57 pm 08 Apr 13

Dacquiri said :

In response to the queries: no, I don’t have any daughters, and yes of course I talk to my sons about these issues, but they are fairly dismissive of my views. And it’s not just me — they do not tend to credit older people with the wisdom that comes of experience, tending to characterise this as irrational bias. For those of us who grew up with only female siblings, finding out what constitutes ‘normal’ for young males is indeed a continual revelation. Crowd-sourcing opportunities like ‘ask RiotACT’ are supplements, not substitutes, for other strategies and provide a chance to benefit (?) from the ‘wisdom of the mob’…not that it’s been all that helpful so far. 🙁

Once the truck of experience backs into them a couple of times, they will learn…

OpenYourMind OpenYourMind 5:06 pm 08 Apr 13

This is an article from today’s Sydney Morning Herald. That’s the mayor of London riding along sans helmet:
http://www.smh.com.au/executive-style/fitness/blogs/on-your-bike/do-we-need-to-delycrafy-cycling-20130408-2hfnm.html

Personally, I don’t think it should be lycra vs non lycra. Sometimes I just wear street clothes when cycling, sometimes I wear baggy clothes for mountain biking etc. The point is getting people involved in cycling without them feeling like they need to get kitted out for a downhill mountain bike race.

Postalgeek Postalgeek 2:49 pm 08 Apr 13

Watson said :

NoImRight said :

Roundhead89 said :

I grew up riding a bike without a helmet. During the 1970s and ’80s helmets were non-existent. Then along came Stackhats and a huge campaign claiming that bike riding was dangerous and you had to wear a helmet. The politicians responded with laws compelling the wearing of helmets. So we had a sledgehammer response to a non-existent problem. How many people have given up bike riding because of the stupid helmet law? Probably many, victims of our PC and cotton wool society.

Yeah. I didnt get Polio as a child either so I dont see what the fuss is about there. Of course thats assuming that my personal experience exactly represents every person of not only my generation but those before and after as well.

Is that so different from someone saying: ” Yeah, I once had a fall when I was 6 and I probably would’ve died without a helmet”. Not particularly more scientific.

Show me the evidence that bike helmets save lives or prevent serious injuries and maybe I will wear one. But if all you’ve got is “But it is common sense” without anything to back up that claim, then stop hogging internet space.

I came to in hospital with amnesia, a smashed helmet, but no skull fracture or internal swelling. I was out within a few days. Do I have indisputable evidence that I would’ve been worse off without a helmet. Nup. All I have is my own empirical evidence, and because of it I continue to wear a helmet every single time I get on a bike. I also wear a helmet when I ski and have once or twice been very glad to have it.

Do I feel the need to convince sceptical people that they need to wear a helmet? Not in the slightest. As long as their safety choice doesn’t interfere with my safety choice all’s good.

NoImRight NoImRight 2:22 pm 08 Apr 13

Watson said :

NoImRight said :

Roundhead89 said :

I grew up riding a bike without a helmet. During the 1970s and ’80s helmets were non-existent. Then along came Stackhats and a huge campaign claiming that bike riding was dangerous and you had to wear a helmet. The politicians responded with laws compelling the wearing of helmets. So we had a sledgehammer response to a non-existent problem. How many people have given up bike riding because of the stupid helmet law? Probably many, victims of our PC and cotton wool society.

Yeah. I didnt get Polio as a child either so I dont see what the fuss is about there. Of course thats assuming that my personal experience exactly represents every person of not only my generation but those before and after as well.

Is that so different from someone saying: ” Yeah, I once had a fall when I was 6 and I probably would’ve died without a helmet”. Not particularly more scientific.

Show me the evidence that bike helmets save lives or prevent serious injuries and maybe I will wear one. But if all you’ve got is “But it is common sense” without anything to back up that claim, then stop hogging internet space.

So much anger…… Did your wife run away with a bike helmet?

deejay deejay 2:16 pm 08 Apr 13

You could tell him you will be billing him at market rates for his personal care in the event of an injury, and that adds up to $XXX,XXX for his projected lifespan, and the cost of that as a TPD policy is $XX per month, and would he like to pay it annually or weekly?

Dacquiri Dacquiri 2:14 pm 08 Apr 13

In response to the queries: no, I don’t have any daughters, and yes of course I talk to my sons about these issues, but they are fairly dismissive of my views. And it’s not just me — they do not tend to credit older people with the wisdom that comes of experience, tending to characterise this as irrational bias. For those of us who grew up with only female siblings, finding out what constitutes ‘normal’ for young males is indeed a continual revelation. Crowd-sourcing opportunities like ‘ask RiotACT’ are supplements, not substitutes, for other strategies and provide a chance to benefit (?) from the ‘wisdom of the mob’…not that it’s been all that helpful so far. 🙁

alum2600 alum2600 1:40 pm 08 Apr 13

compulsory seatbelts haven’t stopped people using cars. i find it hard to believe helmets stop people cycling.

Watson Watson 1:24 pm 08 Apr 13

NoImRight said :

Roundhead89 said :

I grew up riding a bike without a helmet. During the 1970s and ’80s helmets were non-existent. Then along came Stackhats and a huge campaign claiming that bike riding was dangerous and you had to wear a helmet. The politicians responded with laws compelling the wearing of helmets. So we had a sledgehammer response to a non-existent problem. How many people have given up bike riding because of the stupid helmet law? Probably many, victims of our PC and cotton wool society.

Yeah. I didnt get Polio as a child either so I dont see what the fuss is about there. Of course thats assuming that my personal experience exactly represents every person of not only my generation but those before and after as well.

Is that so different from someone saying: ” Yeah, I once had a fall when I was 6 and I probably would’ve died without a helmet”. Not particularly more scientific.

Show me the evidence that bike helmets save lives or prevent serious injuries and maybe I will wear one. But if all you’ve got is “But it is common sense” without anything to back up that claim, then stop hogging internet space.

pink little birdie pink little birdie 10:53 am 08 Apr 13

dtc said :

OpenYourMind said :

I’m just not sure the law makes sense for the slow speed adult cyclists. Sure, you’ll find the odd person who swears a helmet saved them while tootling around at 15km/h, but in my opinion a helmet just discourages adults from doing the simple commuter cycling.

Is there really anyone who says ‘you know, I wouldnt mind riding to work/to the shops/to school and I have a bike and a lock and a change of clothes/backpack etc BUT, oh, that helmet, no way will I wear that’.

I think the claim that people dont ride because they dont want to wear a helmet is a myth. People may claim it as a justification, but its such a nothing piece of equipment, not uncomfortable, not restrictive and costs $25 at any major chain store.

BTW, the OP’s claim seemed to be ‘can anyone help me convince my son he is an idiot’ and a response of ‘he is an adult’ kinda misses the point of what being a parent is.

I just ordered a new bike to ride to work on. I am also getting a new helmet, it’s pink the only thing that changes is I now have to do my hair at work instead of at home or change my hairstyle to a low ponytail. It was really hard to find a pink helmet and a pink bike. I am happy.

NoImRight NoImRight 10:16 am 08 Apr 13

Roundhead89 said :

I grew up riding a bike without a helmet. During the 1970s and ’80s helmets were non-existent. Then along came Stackhats and a huge campaign claiming that bike riding was dangerous and you had to wear a helmet. The politicians responded with laws compelling the wearing of helmets. So we had a sledgehammer response to a non-existent problem. How many people have given up bike riding because of the stupid helmet law? Probably many, victims of our PC and cotton wool society.

Yeah. I didnt get Polio as a child either so I dont see what the fuss is about there. Of course thats assuming that my personal experience exactly represents every person of not only my generation but those before and after as well.

mossrocket mossrocket 10:01 am 08 Apr 13

blub said :

Anyone who rides a motorcycle has a death wish. If you crash wearing the right gear won’t save your life. The right gear will only assist for slow speed crashes saving you from ripping your skin off.

For the record I used to ride, so must have a death wish. Riding with the right gear on is hard, Canberra has the worst climate for riding, too hot in summer so riding in shorts and a tshirt is more comfortable, but the whole time you hope you don’t crash! That’s why I stopped riding here.

As for cycling with no helmet. I’m not one to get angry, but every time I see that I feel like yelling at the person. I stacked it slow speed a couple years ago, and strongly believe I’d be dead if it wasn’t for the helmet, now split which I keep as a reminder.

I don’t think some people will learn unless they actually injure themselves. Even then, some will persist with the behaviour.

A motorbike rider in the correct gear can easily live through a fall off a bike – I’ve fallen at 80kmh wearing leathers and a great helmet. I got a scratch on my thumb (the gloves were the weak spot in my armour). I got up, and went to work.

Car drivers who’ve never ridden a motorbike live in a bubble of blasé self dellusion. You don’t see motorbike riders checking txts and doing their makeup while riding…

I drive a car with far more care than I did before I got my motorbike.

and death wish – wtf? maybe a more honest relationship with life and death, but not a death wish…

Mysteryman Mysteryman 6:38 am 08 Apr 13

Dacquiri – do you ever raise these issues with your children or do you just blab on about them online?

Short answer to your question – get over it. Your son is of adult age. If he’s making choices that you determine to be idiotic, then it’s probably due to the way he was raised.

dtc dtc 9:47 pm 07 Apr 13

OpenYourMind said :

I’m just not sure the law makes sense for the slow speed adult cyclists. Sure, you’ll find the odd person who swears a helmet saved them while tootling around at 15km/h, but in my opinion a helmet just discourages adults from doing the simple commuter cycling.

Is there really anyone who says ‘you know, I wouldnt mind riding to work/to the shops/to school and I have a bike and a lock and a change of clothes/backpack etc BUT, oh, that helmet, no way will I wear that’.

I think the claim that people dont ride because they dont want to wear a helmet is a myth. People may claim it as a justification, but its such a nothing piece of equipment, not uncomfortable, not restrictive and costs $25 at any major chain store.

BTW, the OP’s claim seemed to be ‘can anyone help me convince my son he is an idiot’ and a response of ‘he is an adult’ kinda misses the point of what being a parent is.

KB1971 KB1971 8:30 pm 07 Apr 13

Aeek said :

Henry82 said :

Bicycle and Motorcycle are not interchangeable words.

If he isn’t wearing a helmet, it won’t take long for police to pick him up.

Motorcycle yes, bicycle no. Canberra Policing does not appear to care about bicycle riders.

I agree with that, a mate of mine was hit & run & hurt on Northbourne when a car turned across him. They were like “Meah, you were not seriously hurt so we are not going to do much about it”. He ended up gathering evidence & finding the one witness before they would do anything.

Less than a week later there was a press release looking for a hit & run driver who ran into another car but did not hurt anyone but they were out actively looking for them.

I have heard many stories like this.

KB1971 KB1971 8:24 pm 07 Apr 13

Roundhead89 said :

I grew up riding a bike without a helmet. During the 1970s and ’80s helmets were non-existent. Then along came Stackhats and a huge campaign claiming that bike riding was dangerous and you had to wear a helmet. The politicians responded with laws compelling the wearing of helmets. So we had a sledgehammer response to a non-existent problem. How many people have given up bike riding because of the stupid helmet law? Probably many, victims of our PC and cotton wool society.

Yep & I still have a lump on my head from where I hit the ground at about the age of 14. I was lucky, so no, its not that PC.

Aeek Aeek 7:24 pm 07 Apr 13

Henry82 said :

Bicycle and Motorcycle are not interchangeable words.

If he isn’t wearing a helmet, it won’t take long for police to pick him up.

Motorcycle yes, bicycle no. Canberra Policing does not appear to care about bicycle riders.

G.R.R G.R.R 7:12 pm 07 Apr 13

The Riotact…raising other peoples children since 1980!

milkman milkman 6:50 pm 07 Apr 13

The answer is simple: lycra helmets.

CBR Tweets

Sign up to our newsletter

Top
Copyright © 2019 Region Group Pty Ltd. All rights reserved.
the-riotact.com | aboutregional.com.au | b2bmagazine.com.au | thisiscanberra.com

Search across the site