I wonder sometimes if I’m the only parent that thinks her children are hardheaded. My kids can be sassy and sweet then rapid fire my words back to me in one-line quips. I realize they get tired of “Safety Mom” and the other titles they so eloquently bestow upon me. The bottom line is as stubborn as they can something be, their heads are not truly hard. So to make sure children’s noggins stay safe numerous organizations in Saranac Lake and Tupper Lake have joined together to host their annual Bicycle Rodeos.
The Saranac Lake event takes place June 6 from 10 am – noon at the SL Civic Center, 22 Ampersand Ave while the Tupper Lake rodeo will be held June 13 from 10 am to 2 pm at LP Quinn School, Hosley Ave. The schedules of the two activities are similar with free bike obstacle course, bike raffle, free helmets, refreshments and bike repairs. Tupper Lake will also host Flutterbug the Clown, face painting, a bounce house and other games.
There are a lot of activities listed, but the most important factor is that your child will be fitted for a free bicycle helmet. For anyone thinking that a bike helmet is unnecessary, here are the grim statistics. According to the New York State Department of Health, over 50 NYS residents are killed in bicycle crashes each year with over 2,000 NYS residents hospitalized because of bicycle-related injuries. In a bicycle crash, head injury is the leading cause of death and permanent disability. A head injury also accounts for over 60% of bicycle-related deaths, 2/3 of bicycle-related hospital admissions and 1/3 of all bicycle-related emergency room visits. It is also the law that all NYS bicyclists under the age of 14 are required to wear approved bike helmets.
I’ve never had any real struggle with my children wearing bike helmets, but I do find it easier when the police can give my child a few gentle reminders about the rules of the road.
For anyone else needing a refresher course, a bicyclist is supposed to go with traffic, but stay close to the painted line on the right side of the road. Use the left hand for all directional signals (unless indicated) and use the right hand to hold the handlebar and balance. Always signal well in advance of any turn or stop. To indicate a left turn, extend the left arm straight out parallel with the ground, pointing to the left and in the direction of the turn. To indicate a right turn, hold the left upper arm horizontally and bend the forearm at a right angle and upward into an L shape or extend the right arm straight out parallel with the ground pointing to the right and in the direction of the turn. To indicate stopping extend the left arm out parallel to the ground, bend the forearm at a right angle and angle the forearm toward the ground.
So please get those other hardheaded kids into their free helmets so that they can continue to give us all that sass and sweetness!