At our old house, we lived on a country road that basically only had people who lived there driving on it. I taught my boys the basics about riding their bikes, but we never went to any bike safety classes. Needless to say, we never had any issues other than having to remind the boys each spring to watch out for cars. There was never a need for a beam headlight, and if the boys played with their friends at night, they always ran around with a work flashlight!
Spring ahead to a new neighborhood, a somewhat busier road and, no streetlights and it makes this mom a lot more nervous about them riding bikes during the day and even more so at night.
Neither of my boys has ever had brand new bikes. They’ve always been passed down or found at garage sales. June is when both of my boys birthdays are so I bought them both bikes. Mostly to give them something to do outside and together because there aren’t really any kids their age here.
When I surprised my boys with a trip to Williamsburg this week, we brought the bicycles with us so they could ride around with their cousin. Their aunt and uncle live in a gorgeous, wooded community, but it’s extremely populated. I was really nervous about letting the boys go riding, well, Doodle mostly, because he’s at that age where he’s not thinking about “rules” he’s just having fun. I reminded him to grab his helmet out of the back of the car and off they went.
About 10 minutes later I headed out to get some Starbucks. As I drove I thought to myself, “I hope Buddy and his cousin don’t ditch Doodle to be ‘funny’.” I came to a bend in the road and here comes Buddy and his cousin, but not Doodle! Ugh! Thankfully I was looking where they had just come from because here comes Doodle blazing a trail around the corner trying to catch up. I was going super slow, but he was going fast and coming tight around the corner towards ME! He slammed on his breaks, his back tire went up in the air, and he hopped off his bike sideways as it started to fall!
You should’ve seen his face when he saw my car before he hit his breaks. He was pretty scared, and so was I! I could’ve just hit my son! Now, to my other son’s credit, he and his cousin weren’t riding fast or trying to ditch Doodle, he was just lagging behind. I explained to both of them how dangerous that encounter was, even though I think we all knew already.
I knew that as soon as we got home I needed to research where some bike safety classes would be and get them signed up for one. I don’t know all the rules of the road and haven’t really needed to up until this point, but clearly, there needs to be some instruction.
I also wanted to make sure the boys were safe riding bikes at dusk, when people are just getting home from work because where my parents live, there aren’t any streetlights that I know of on our circle. It’s a huge circle with probably 30ish houses on it. It’s, it’s own neighborhood. No other houses around or developments, just this circle. I haven’t had an accident for 16 yrs and ended up in one here, 3 houses away from my parents. =( I definitely want my boys as safe as can be when they’re riding their bikes.
They also love to play night games, so I decided one of my best options was to get Energizer head lights. I used to see them all the time at Menards and people asked about them quite a bit! I figure if my boys can put them on their bike helmets, not only can they see better, they can be seen better.
Next month they’ll be going back to MN and will ride their old bikes in the old neighborhood and play the night games with their friends so I’ll send them back with their new head lights. They’ve always had to use flashlights before, but there’s definitely a need for a different kind of safety and a different kind of fun where we are now!
Now, to find some bike safety classes!
Monday, June 24, 2013
Words Woven by Mimi B at 5:58 PM