Saturday, March 24, 2012

Bike Season is upon us...

The weather was so nice yesterday that we decided to go on a bike ride! Going on a bike ride is fun and a great activity to do while keeping your body healthy. I personally like to do this before lunch and nap...makes for a GREAT nap time! LOL!

Being THE first bike ride of the season there were some things we needed to do before we headed out.

Both my boys had grown since the last time they rode bikes so some adjustments needed to be made.

Many of you may want to go out as well but before you go you need to make sure you do a few things to ensure your fun AND safety.





**SAFETY FIRST**


Helmet Safety:
1. Inspect your helmet
Make sure all straps are strong and secure.
All plastic buckles and pieces strong and not broken.
Foam on helmet is not cracked or deteriorating. Make sure you even do this check when purchasing new at the store.
Many times I see them being dropped from the middle of the shelf to the hard floor aisle.

2. Size
When helmet is placed on your childs head, sitting flat, it should not be able to move too much side to side and front to back.
Some newer helmets have different sizes of pads included. You can mix and match the pads or remove them all together for the perfect fit. If buying a new helmet do not buy "with room to grow" buy what fits! It's your childs safety not a pair of shoes.
3. Position
Helmet should sit level on your head, not too far back (I see this ALOT) or too far forward.
A good measurement is 1 to 2 (adult) fingers from childs eye brow to the helmet.
It should cover your forehead!
4. Buckles
Buckles should be somewhat centered under the chin.
Many helmets are adjustable by pulling straps from the back.
This is SO much easier OFF your childs head.
5. Side Straps
Should be adjusted so the plastic slider is under the ear AND in front of the ear.
If your plastic slider has a locking system make sure it is locked.
Some of these need alot of force to actually lock them, it may look locked but to really test it try to move it back and forth.
6. Chin Strap
First and foremost...when buckling your childs chin strap be very, very careful and gentle. Pinching your childs thin, sensitive skin under their chin hurts tremendously and can ruin your bike adventure before you even start! I think we have all done this once!
Chin straps should be SNUG!
I see loose, hanging chin straps ALL the time. Why wear the helmet!?!
No more than 1 or 2 fingers should be able to fit between the strap and your childs chin. This is when you know it fits.
7. Final Fit
~When you open your mouth big, does the helmet pull down on your head? If so than it's good!
~Does your helmet rock back and forth, moving alot from your eyebrow back? If not, it's good!

Your helmet can only protect your head and brain if only worn properly!
Also, monkey see monkey do! Parents this is for YOU! Your child watches everything you do and grows up wanting to be just like their mommy and daddy. This means if your riding a bike with them YOU as well should be wearing a helmet too! It only takes a second for you to crash, sometimes cause your child ran you off the road, fall and hit your head on a rock and then what does your child do?
Be an example!!! This peeves me SO much when I see parents riding with their kids and the parent is not wearing a helmet! (sorry for the rant! LOL)

Helmet Laws
Many States and local jurisdictions have bicycle helmet laws; please refer to your State or local jurisdiction. To find this information go to www.helmets.org/mandator.htm

A bicycle crash can happen at any time. A properly fitted bicycle helmet reduces the risk of head injury by as much as 85 percent and the risk of brain injury by as much as 88 percent.
(NHTSA.gov)
More children age 5 to 14 go to hospital emergency rooms for injuries associated with bicycles than with any other sport. Many of these injuries involve the head. Helmet laws ensure the safety of our children.
(NHTSA.gov)

For more information on bicycle safety, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Web site at: http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/

**GETTING YOUR BIKE READY**
1. Proper Seat Height
While child is sitting on seat, move one pedal to the lowest position.
With childs foot on the lowest pedal there should be a slight bend in leg. Having the leg close to being straight your child will not be able to pedal without shifting their body back and forth.
Too much of a bend in leg will make it more difficult for child to pedal resulting in not as much fun.
2. Tires
Look to your tire on correct tire pressure. Use a Tire Pressure Gauge to check to the pressure and add more air as needed.
A low tire can ruin a bike trip.
Make sure you check before you leave, it's no fun to get there and realize your tires needed air and you don't have the tools to fix it.
3. Tighten Everything Up
Make sure handle bar and seat are lined up correctly and straight and tighten down all nuts and bolts before heading out (at least for the first time)

**SET SOME RIDING RULES**
1. Trail Riding
If riding on a trail remind your kids to respect others, ride on the correct side of the trail, be courteous when passing and to not go off the trail. You also want to set some rules:
~How far they can go ahead of you.
~Stop at the cross walks and wait for you.
~Along with any other rules you may want.
2. Riding in your Neighborhood
Make sure to remind your kids to watch out for cars backing out of driveways and look before leaving the sidewalk to cross.
3. Always remind your children to watch out for cars, strangers and other bike riders.






**MOST IMPORTANT...HAVE FUN**
Jack and Braeden going along for a ride
Jack has the right idea! LOL

Best seat in the house!

Tired Evie??...maybe we went too far and didn't realize we have to go back...time to push!

Bradley found another way to push.
Have fun!
Bree & J
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