Wear Your Bicycle Helmet, Damn It!

Kathleen DeJoy died because she was not wearing her bike helmet

Yesterday, both my sons were glum and grumpy. They were missing their big sister who had just left for sleep-a-way camp for the entire summer.  My youngest simply missed her because she was his big sister. My oldest, he was just mad because HE wasn’t going to camp the whole summer.

So, to cheer them up, I cleared my day for an activity that would set us soaring and put us all in a good mood. We embarked on an extra long bicycle ride. On their bikes, they had to get along as brothers. They could not cut each other off because they would crash. The older one had to stay with the younger one and remind him about traffic rules like staying to the right of traffic, look out for parked cars, and stopping at stop signs.

Finally, after winding our way through side streets we had discovered in a previous bicycle ride. we made it to Brighton’s Buckland Park.  Finally, I could let my guard down, if just a little, and feel free to let them ride in safety the park’s dirt bike trails that took us through tall bulrushes filled with red-winged blackbirds and over wooden bridges. On the paths, I didn’t have to think about a car coming up from behind them or, well YELL at them to get off their bikes and walk them across the busy intersections.

The other night, as I was drifting to sleep, came on the Late News that a 15-year-old boy had been killed while riding his bicycle. He was not wearing his helmet.The next day, my husband came home from work and let me know that the boy was the son of a man who worked at his office. When you live in a small town, the local news is very local.

Today, I also read about a woman in her 50’s who had just died from injuries she sustained while bicycling. She also was not wearing her bicycle helmet.

But, back to our joyful bicycle ride……

On our way home, I saw a kid of about 13 on his bicycle. We both came to a stop at a 4-way Stop intersection. He said “Hi” and I said “Hi” back.

Yeah, he had left the house with his bike helmet. But somewhere away from his mother’s eye – he took it off and strapped it not to his head but the handlebars of his bike.

Little did he know there are a lot of other mothers out there.

“Put on your helmet.” I said. No pussy-footing around this time, no saying “I’m sorry for being pushy” or “I hope you don’t mind saying..”

I just said it:

“Put on your hemet. A kid your age was just killed this week on his bicycle and HE was not wearing a helmet.”

Maybe another kid would have snickered and flipped me off. But all this kid said was:

“Okay.”

And the helmet went right back on his head.

IF YOU SEE SOMEONE, PARTICULARLY A KID THIS SUMMER WITHOUT A HELMET, BUTT IN AND TELL THEM TO PUT ONE ON!

Tags: , ,

About stacylynngittleman

I have been a public relations professional and reporter -- and always thought I would live in the New York Metro area - before my husband took a job in Rochester, New York. Most in Metro New York can't find Rochester on a map,and neither could I before we moved. I am now a columnist and a freelance writer for Rochester's only daily newspaper, the Democrat & Chronicle. I also am passionate about gardening, fitness and most of all, Jewish education and Israel Advocacy. Here's my perspective on Western New York living - the good, the bad, and the snowy.

One response to “Wear Your Bicycle Helmet, Damn It!”

  1. EILEEN says :

    Each time we are out driving we see people riding without helmets. Moms and Dads with their young children in tow. The kids often wearing their helmets,but NOT the parents. What example are they setting for their children. It is the law,but common sense should dictate this rule even if there was none.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 813 other followers

%d bloggers like this: