Friday, May 23, 2014

Don't be Uncool - Protect Your Head - Wear a Helmet

A Wise Move…

With the ever increasing amount of people riding mountain bikes now days in Kathmandu and the Valley we are seeing more and more riders not wearing helmets. It's not a nice thing to see.

Why? Well as anyone who rides mountain bikes regularly will know it’s an expensive sport. For most Nepalese these things are out of reach. Ignorance also plays a small part in it… there is very limited information and advice about the importance of Helmets. So the point of this blog is to try and solve a few of those issues :).

The one message we would like to pass is .. “It is NOT COOL to not wear a helmet, so dont be a Fool. “

Let us share a story with you. You may know Raj Kumar Shrestha one of the top riders in Nepal. A month ago his younger brother who was keen to follow in Raj Kumar’s footsteps went out riding without wearing a helmet. He fell badly and had to get six stitches in his head, he was lucky….it could have been much worse. Why was he not wearing a helmet? Simple he could not afford to buy one!

We have since given him a second hand helmet to wear. 

One month later Raj Kumar Shrestha who is currently training hard to be one of a group of five riders who will be a part of the first Nepal National MTB Team to represent Nepal in a WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP RACE in South Africa this coming June, had an horrific accident in Shivapuri National Park. Raj Kumar was wearing a helmet, still he was unconscious for  15 mins and got several stitches in his face. Picture the Helmet below, this was the helmet he was wearing. Note the damage to the Helmet, this is what helmets are design to do…take the majority of the impact of a fall, THEY ARE DESIGN TO BRAKE SO THAT YOUR HEAD DOES NOT. If RK was not wearing a helmet, there is no doubt he would not be standing in our workshop today fixing bikes…… The message should be resoundingly clear….HELMETS SAVE LIVES!


What to look for in a Helmet (Buyers Guide)
1.       Cheaper is not always best – Quality and safety always comes at a price. For most people after they have scrounged up their life savings to by their dream bike, a helmet is a last minute add on and normally they buy the cheapest one. At HST we do not stock cheap Chinese helmets. You should always buy the most expensive helmet you can afford. (The helmet in the picture cost US$160)
2.       Make sure it fits….most people buy based on color and price, most important is to make sure it Fit!

  •          Once you have crashed badly you should replace your helmet….
  •          When buying a helmet always check the manufactures expiry date….yes all good helmets have one! After the expiry date the materials used (high density foam) can start to deteriorate and lose their effectiveness.
  •          Check the inside of your helmet to make sure there is a Safety  Standard Sticker.

Here you can see a XC (Cross Country) Helmet and a Downhill. You can get a friend to help. A downhill helmet offers full protection in a heavy crash, used by Downhill Riders.

1. Place the Helmet on your head
2. Adjust the head band fitting
3. Check the helmet is firmly in place

4.Fasten the Chin Strap
6.Notice the clip position under the ear.

5. Make sure its not too tight - two finger space

But like we mentioned above, the sad thing is this is a developing country and many enthusiastic riders have already overreached no existent budgets to get riding in the first place, proper gear and safety equipment is simply a pipe dream…..

That’s why HST is setting up our DONATE TO RIDE SCHEME

Anyone touring with us is welcome to leave behind gloves, jerseys and Helmets for the riders, also if you have a bike club or group, perhaps you can send us your old kit.

Where will it go?
  •           Nepal’s developing Professional Riders. Many young riders are now joining the ranks of the top level riders and they are doing it on tiny budgets with limited equipment, You can help keep them on the trails safely.
  •           Himalayan Children’s Foundation is a Children's home in the east of the Kathmandu Valley that takes care of the education and future of kids from remote areas of Nepal. They have recently taken up cycling as a recreation and also with the possibly to developing future biker and mountain bike guides. HST is working with them to develop a vocational training program for their older students. Of course they have already brought the bikes but have a very small budget to maintain the bikes and provide equipment for the boys and girls!

What Can you Donate?
Small sizes are better – Slacks, Jerseys, Gloves, Shoes and Helmets

Usefull bike parts and accessories are always appreciated.

For more information on how you can help please email

1 comment:

  1. It is a great practice of wearing safety gadgets such as helmets, gloves, and shoes before cycling, biking, or doing any sport activity. Out of many parts of the human body, head is the most important one. I really liked reading this article. Thank you for sharing it with everyone.

    Arnold Brame
    Health and Safety Risk Assessments