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Children: maintainance and safety

labarumlabarum Posts: 110
edited July 2009 in Campaign
One day I was sitting on a bench overlooking a local lake when I heard this crash and wail. A three year old had come off her bike. Mother and Grandmother were trying to get the bike chain back on, so I walked over to help. The whole bottom bracket had come unscrewed. That is why the chain came off the chainwheel and why the child came off the bike. I put everything back together then noticed the tyres were near-on flat. I very politely advised the women to have the bike checked out as I did not have the tools to tighten the bottom bracket and I did not have the right sort of pump. I stressed the importance of maintainance for safety.

One day I was sitting on a bench in the park by when a girl cycled passed me on very flat tyres. I later passed the girl with her Grandmother and advised the Grandmother of the state of the tyres - the bike becomes much harder to ride and much less steerable - the tyre can come off the rim, and if that happens with a car behind you . . . I believe the advice was noted.

I regularly see children and teenagers on bikes with extremely low tyre pressures.

OK, so I am an interfering old busybody, but I would hate to see children hurt because of adults' ignorance or carelessness.

Maybe more local education is needed? We have to keep chipping away at safety issues.

Posts

  • petejukpetejuk Posts: 235
    I think this lack of knowledge is commonplace with adults as much as with children. The problem is that, when the new bike gets bought, that is it. the kids are put outside and told to get on with it. They literally ride the bikes into the ground until they are completely unrideable. Parents have little or no knowledge about maintenance and no willingness to find out. This might because they simply stopped riding earlier in their life and have no experience to bestow on their children.
    I would recommend, with every new purchase, a basic toolkit and instruction manual be supplied. This might prompt more adults to look after their purchases. After all, whats the sense in sending your child out on a bike with a cycle helmet on but no effective brakes?
  • labarumlabarum Posts: 110
    I have written to my local Councillor, who happens to own the local bike shop.
  • petejukpetejuk Posts: 235
    Its a very good start. You should be commended for taking action. Seems like your local Councillor is in a very good position to influence change.
  • downfaderdownfader Posts: 3,686
    Labarum wrote:
    I have written to my local Councillor, who happens to own the local bike shop.

    Write a letter to your local papers too.
  • petejuk wrote:
    After all, whats the sense in sending your child out on a bike with a cycle helmet on but no effective brakes?

    IStR case of a young boy a few years ago, propelled himself off the pavement between parked cars (unsupervised by parents), straight into the path of a lorry. His bike brakes were found to be virtually non-existent. The bereaved parents started campaigning on "If only he'd been wearing a helmet" :shock:

    I 'd like to think a toolkit would help, but suspect a large part of the problem is kids' bikes being seen as 'toys' ie not something you have to seriously look after. Parents aren't used to toys becoming dangerous when broken/worn out, but of course most toys don't move you at greater than walking speed, in an unstable position, into traffic etc..
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