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Trikeathon



 
 
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  #1  
Old April 1st 11, 06:18 AM posted to rec.bicycles.misc
Joy Beeson
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 1,150
Default Trikeathon


In a local newsletter, I read an announcement that there had been a
"trike-a-thon" which had included two days of "bike safety"
instruction. The lessons were, the newsletter said:

1. Always wear a helmet.
2. Never ride in the street.
3. Be careful near driveways.
4. Always watch where you are going.

At first glance, steam started coming out of my ears, but on
reflection, if you assume that the lessons were presented in order of
increasing importance, so that "watch where you are going" would be
the lesson most likely to be taken away with the children, the
syllabus is potentially not all that bad.

#4. is the most-important aspect of operating any vehicle, and if we
catch them young, perhaps there will be fewer instances of people
barrelling down the Interstate with their heads under the dashboard.

#3. "Be careful near driveways" can be seen as preliminary to
learning how to deal with intersections. One presumes that these
students aren't allowed to cross streets without adult supervision,
but they do have to learn how to deal with driveways.

#2. was the chief cause of the steam, but a child too young to cross
a street really ought not to be allowed to play in the street.
Pedestrians reasonably *can* be expected to walk around
three-year-olds playing on the sidewalk.

Once, when a child chided me for riding my bike in the street, I
explained "I took lessons and got a certificate. When you are twelve,
you can take lessons too." That incident alone was worth all the time
I spent in Effective Cycling class.

I wonder whether the class included any children from this
neighborhood. The street *is* the sidewalk here, and I see children
on trikes on Boys' City Drive all summer long; they mostly get out of
the way of the joggers and the walkers. A substantial number of
parents let the kid tag along on a tricycle instead of pushing him in
a carriage.

#1. urrgh. A child on a trike is actually less likely to bump his
head than one running around the way small children do. But you have
to put helmets on the kids or the superstitious will go ape.

The only harm helmets do is distracting people from actually-useful
safety techniques*, and a couple of minutes spent complying with the
superstition minimizes the distraction. And if the kids are going to
be required to wear helmets, you have to teach them how to wear them
as the first lesson.

I *do* hope they taught them how to wear them; I see all too many
children with dangling chin straps and helmets that you can see from
twenty feet away don't fit. And one sees rakishly-tilted helmets in
the illustrations on "safety" literature!
-------------
* Helmets are also a waste of money that could be spent on education
or brakes, but America is filthy, rolling-in-it *rich* compared to
what we had when I was that age, and we can waste a few bucks on hats
and still have enough to pay a teacher and overhaul the bike.

--
Joy Beeson
joy beeson at comcast dot net
http://roughsewing.home.comcast.net/
The above message is a Usenet post.
I don't recall having given anyone permission to use it on a Web site.


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  #2  
Old April 1st 11, 09:29 AM posted to rec.bicycles.misc
Tēm ShermĒn™ °_°[_2_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 1,339
Default Trikeathon

On 4/1/2011 12:18 AM, Joy Beeson wrote:

In a local newsletter, I read an announcement that there had been a
"trike-a-thon" which had included two days of "bike safety"
instruction. The lessons were, the newsletter said:

1. Always wear a helmet.
2. Never ride in the street.
3. Be careful near driveways.
4. Always watch where you are going.

At first glance, steam started coming out of my ears, but on
reflection, if you assume that the lessons were presented in order of
increasing importance, so that "watch where you are going" would be
the lesson most likely to be taken away with the children, the
syllabus is potentially not all that bad.

#4. is the most-important aspect of operating any vehicle, and if we
catch them young, perhaps there will be fewer instances of people
barrelling down the Interstate with their heads under the dashboard.

#3. "Be careful near driveways" can be seen as preliminary to
learning how to deal with intersections. One presumes that these
students aren't allowed to cross streets without adult supervision,
but they do have to learn how to deal with driveways.

#2. was the chief cause of the steam, but a child too young to cross
a street really ought not to be allowed to play in the street.
Pedestrians reasonably *can* be expected to walk around
three-year-olds playing on the sidewalk.

Once, when a child chided me for riding my bike in the street, I
explained "I took lessons and got a certificate. When you are twelve,
you can take lessons too." That incident alone was worth all the time
I spent in Effective Cycling class.

I wonder whether the class included any children from this
neighborhood. The street *is* the sidewalk here, and I see children
on trikes on Boys' City Drive all summer long; they mostly get out of
the way of the joggers and the walkers. A substantial number of
parents let the kid tag along on a tricycle instead of pushing him in
a carriage.

May I ride my recumbent trike in the street?

#1. urrgh. A child on a trike is actually less likely to bump his
head than one running around the way small children do. But you have
to put helmets on the kids or the superstitious will go ape.

The only harm helmets do is distracting people from actually-useful
safety techniques*, and a couple of minutes spent complying with the
superstition minimizes the distraction. And if the kids are going to
be required to wear helmets, you have to teach them how to wear them
as the first lesson.

The promotion of bicycle foam hats promotes the false notion that
cycling is an unusually dangerous activity, and therefore is
anti-cycling. Use of bicycle foam hats also appears to grant cagers the
idea that they do not have to be careful around cyclists, since the
Magic Foam Hat™ will not only reduce head injuries up to 85%, but also
leg and other non-head injuries up to 70%.

I *do* hope they taught them how to wear them; I see all too many
children with dangling chin straps and helmets that you can see from
twenty feet away don't fit. And one sees rakishly-tilted helmets in
the illustrations on "safety" literature!
-------------
* Helmets are also a waste of money that could be spent on education
or brakes, but America is filthy, rolling-in-it *rich* compared to
what we had when I was that age, and we can waste a few bucks on hats
and still have enough to pay a teacher and overhaul the bike.

Mandating foam hat use for children is a form of corporate welfare.

--
Tēm ShermĒn - 42.435731,-83.985007
I am a vehicular cyclist.
 




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