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Re: CCT construction. Its not really a metal plate, rather a very poorly paved 10ft section of trail over where the sink holes had been developing. Hoping it gets fully repaired soon, because the current paving job is almost as bad as the sink holes.

If they are going to fix the sink hole, can they fix whatever is causing the slow trickle of water where K-St meets the trail? (I think its the canal).

"that helmets probably help in some situations, they don't in others and in still others they might do harm; we don't really know much about how much they do any of those things"

The helmet is to protect your head nothing more. There is not now nor has there ever been any question that the head is better protected from an impact with a helmet then without. Anyone who doubts this can bang the head on the concrete with and without a helmet and see.

Yeah, I don't get at all how helmets might do harm in some situations. Didn't see that in the article.

All I can think of is if you are someone who rides very carefully when not wearing a helmet but when putting a helmet on feel so secure that you throw any and all caution to the wind. So with a helmet on you'd be more likely to get in a crash. Thats not me, and I can't imagine that being a very realistic scenario.

So, how could wearing a helmet, even though they could be better, ever cause harm?

How helmets can cause harm: The article addresses this. It has to do with rotational forces as the helmet grips the pavement and that can harm your neck. It's pretty well accepted by the experts that some neck injuries are caused by helmets, and that some crash victims would've been better off without a helmet (there are also cases IIRC where seatbelts cause more harm than good).

I'm quite pro-helmet. I welcome the point of the article that the standards to which helmets are built are inadequate, based on what we now know. Better designs are certainly possible, but there's little incentive to develop them. In fact, there may be designs that offer superior protection with fewer drawbacks that would not meet the current standards.

I did think the two-layer shell was a really good idea. But if you're not wearing a helmet won't the pavement just grip your head in the same way and still cause the same neck injuries you suffer with the helmet on?

I'm sure there are a few cases where your head wouldn't have hit the ground, but the extra inch or two of helmet does cause contact with the ground, and a neck injury. But it seems like that would have to be the vast minority, and betting on that two inch gap and choosing not to wear a helmet just seems like always the wrong choice.

(Really like your site by the way -- Good stuff!)

@SJE - that trickle of whater (and the nearby 'channel' in the pavement, right after you pass under the old Aqueduct bridge(heading towards G-town) have been the topic of Washcycle posts in the past...DDOT looked at it and never really came back with a satisfactory answer as to why they couldn't fix it.

Supreme Court Justice Breyer was injured in a bike accident near the Korean War Veterans Memorial on Friday afternoon. He was taken to Georgetown Univ. hospital where he underwent reverse shoulder replacement surgery.

I think he may need to start riding an adult tricycle if his balance is an issue, at the age of 74. Hope he recovers quickly.

. There is not now nor has there ever been any question that the head is better protected from an impact with a helmet then without.

There are a lot of very smart people who question this. So, TO YOU there may be no question, but it is still in debate.

Anyone who doubts this can bang the head on the concrete with and without a helmet and see.

I banged my head on the concrete with a helmet on...and now I'm dead. So I never got to finish the experiment.

Zombie Washcycle: the nightmare of Lon Anderson, or just another scofflaw cyclist.

I'm the smartest person I know, and I have serious doubts about the effectiveness of bike helmets.

I welcome the point of the article that the standards to which helmets are built are inadequate, based on what we now know. Better designs are certainly possible, but there's little incentive to develop them. In fact, there may be designs that offer superior protection with fewer drawbacks that would not meet the current standards.

That's a good summary. It's sad that mandating helmet use seems to be a higher priority than mandating helmet effectiveness.

Banged my head on asphalt with a helmet on once after hitting a pothole. Head was fine. Knees and hands weren't.

Call me biased, but I'm a believer in bike helmets. Nevermind that the Navy requires active-duty folks to wear them (unless we'd prefer to pay out of pocket for the medical bills).

Update on the CCT sinkhole - NPS/DDOT repaved the bumpy section along the CCT by the Washington Canoe Club - much better now.

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